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Advances general policy

Advance payments against expenses may be requested. The payment and subsequent administrative processes for advances are time-consuming and costly so it is expected that requests will be kept to a minimum and for large amounts only e.g. £200, particularly as costs can usually be met using personal credit cards and settled in arrears.

Wherever possible departmental arrangements should be made for the direct payment of fares, car hire, hotel expenses etc thus leaving the minimum amount to be met in the course of the journey. Finance Regulations state that advances may be granted at the discretion of the Head of Department and be up to the estimated cost of one month's subsistence.

If for operational requirements an advance is required for a period longer than one month's subsistence then a request must be made in writing for a dispensation from the Director of Finance.

The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring advances are monitored and are netted off against any subsequent expense claim. There is no facility to draw cash on University Credit Cards.


Sterling advances

Requests for an advance should be made in writing to the departmental administrator by submitting an advance form FD1B. The form should be clearly identified as being for an advance, detail the reason an advance is required, include a breakdown of the places to be visited, the type of expenditure anticipated and the sums required.

Once authorised the advance will be entered onto the UFS system by the Department as a pre-payment and posted to an account in the department's balance sheet as a debtor (e.g. U.xx.0000.0000.UNDF.0000).

A cheque will be produced in the normal way and returned to the department for the employee.

Upon return the employee who took out the advance should submit a standard expense claim detailing the actual expenditure, the original advance taken and attaching all the supporting receipts. Advances must not be outstanding for more than two months.

If the actual claim is greater than the advance taken:

  • The full value of the claim is entered on to UFS and the expense form 'applied' against the original advance.
  • This will cancel out the original debtor entry in the balance sheet and a cheque will be produced for the balance of the claim.

If the actual claim is less than the advance taken:

  • Then a personal cheque (crossed and made payable to the University) for the amount due should be securely attached to the travel expense claim form before it is submitted for authorisation.
  • The expense form will be entered onto UFS and applied against the original advance.
  • The cheque is then receipted on the AR module, coding it as income against the balance sheet code used by the original advance.

The University reserves the right to recover any un-cleared advances from any monies owed to the employee and any interest incurred will be the responsibility of the claimant, unless it can be shown that the University caused unnecessary delay. In the case of non-repayment the Head of Department should be informed initially and if it then remains unpaid the Head of Accounting Services.


Foreign currency advances

Foreign currency advances i.e. travellers' cheques and cash are available to University employees for oversees visits directly relating to University business. Travellers' cheques should always be used in preference to cash and particularly for amounts over £100.

As a preference foreign currency advances should be arranged via the Cashier rather than through an exchange bureau. Please do not over order in order to reduce the need to re-cash it once back in the UK.

Complete the Foreign Currency Advance form, obtain authorisation from the Head of Department and forward to the Cashier.

All requests should be made at least one week before the currency needs to be collected.

The Cashier will advise departments if there are any restrictions regarding the value of currency that can be taken in or out of a specific country.

The currency will be ordered in the name of whoever will collect and sign for the funds and will be held at Barclays Bank, Bene't Street. The collector must provide two forms of ID (one of which must be their passport) when collecting the currency/traveller cheques from Barclays Bank.

A copy of the authorisation will be sent to the employee's department as confirmation that the arrangements are in place.

The Accounts Payable Team in the Finance Division will ensure the currency advance is posted on UFS to the account specified by the department - normally a balance sheet debtor account. The amount posted will be the amount of currency advanced, plus Barclays commission charges.

The University Cashier will check the sterling value of travellers' cheques and currency when they appear on the bank statement. Any difference (gain or loss) between the sterling equivalent applied by the department on UFS and the amount given by the bank will be journalled back to the department by the University Cashier.

Upon their return the employee should detail the expenditure on an expense form in the relevant foreign currency, attach all their receipts and clearly show the advance obtained and any surplus to be returned. Advances must not be outstanding for more than two months.

If the subsequent expenses claim is greater than the advance taken:

  • The balance of the claim is to be entered on to UFS in the normal way and coded to the appropriate general ledger account or research project.
  • The advance amount should be journalled out from the debtor account and to the appropriate general ledge account or research grant.
  • Thus producing a cheque for just the balance due.

If the subsequent expenses claim is less than the advance taken:

  • Then a personal cheque (crossed and made payable to the University) for the amount due should be securely attached to the travel expense claim form before it is submitted for authorisation.
  • The department should journal the actual expenditure amount out of the debtor account and to the appropriate GL or research grant.
  • The cheque for the balance is then receipted on the AR module and coded against the original debtor account in the balance sheet.
  • The Department should bank any surplus travellers' cheques and cash: Euro travellers' cheques and cash should be banked into the Euro Bank Account. All other travellers' cheques and cash (including USD) should be banked into the Sterling Bank Account.

Advice and assistance is available from the Accounts Payable Team in the Finance Division.

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