Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Sponsored Programs Services
A cash advance is a specified cash sum issued to a staff or
faculty member who purchases goods or services in circumstances which do
not permit usual WSU purchasing procedures. A typical example would be funds
for purchase of supplies while on a field project.
Allowable Programs (11-14, 10/Fund 148 Only)
Cash advances, as documented in this section, are issued from
accounts in sponsored programs (11-14) and program 10 / fund 148 only.
Other Types of Funds
WSU administrative units which require cash funds may wish to
open a petty cash fund for making purchases (see 30.50)
or a till cash fund for making change (see 30.51).
Travelers requiring a Travel Expense Advance should follow procedures in
Recipients of cash advances are expected to disburse WSU funds
responsibly and carefully, making every effort to extract a fair value for
expended dollars. In addition, all purchases are to be appropriate and in
accordance with the policies and procedures of the state of Washington,
WSU, and grant and contract sponsors.
WHO MAY APPLY
Only faculty and staff on the WSU payroll are eligible to apply
for cash advances.
APPLYING FOR A CASH ADVANCE
All previous advances issued an applicant must be cleared before a new cash
advance is issued.
The applicant initiates a Cash Advance Request (see sample in
the PDF version of 40.21.3) and
a State of Washington Invoice Voucher (see 30.45).
All documents are sent to Sponsored Programs Services a minimum of 10 days
before the check is required to allow time for approval and processing.
Cash Advance Request
Make a copy of the form in the PDF version of 40.21.8
and fill it out according to the following instructions. Refer to the sample
in the PDF version of 40.21.3.
Unexplained sections are considered self-explanatory.
Maximum Amount Required
This amount should be the maximum amount of cash required at
any one time during a field trip, period abroad, or project.
Installment Amount Required
Controller's Office personnel recommend that advance holders
receive funds in installments, replenishing the cash supply at intervals.
In this manner, potential loss of cash or receipts can be minimized.
If the applicant plans to use the cash advance for more than 90 days, Sponsored
Programs Services requires that the advance be replenished in installments.
Sponsored Programs Services may grant exceptions to this requirement.
The installment amount required may be any amount up to and including the
amount required indicated under Maximum Amount Required or $50,000, whichever
Final Accounting Date
- If a recipient of a cash advance wishes to have his or her cash supply
replenished on a monthly basis, batched original receipts and a State of
Washington Invoice Voucher (see example in the PDF version of 40.21.5)
must be submitted to the Controller's Office by the 15th to receive the
installment check by the first of the following month.
- When calculating the interval between checks, off-campus cash advance
holders should allow for maximum mailing time to and from the area plus
two weeks for WSU processing. Thus, if the maximum mail interval is one
week each way, the installment amount required would be cash to sustain
activity for four weeks.
This is the date all outstanding receipts are turned in to the
Controller's Office. This date is no later than 15 days after the applicant's
anticipated return to campus.
Describe the nature of the planned purchases. Usually this is
not itemized, e.g., miscellaneous office supplies, camping equipment. Any
unusual items should be listed, e.g., water purifiers, malaria medicine.
If the cash is for disbursal by the applicant to WSU faculty,
staff or students, a complete list of proposed cash recipients is included.
When cash is actually disbursed by the recipient of the cash advance, each
individual indicates receipt by signing a list of names. The signed list
of names serves as a receipt for the cash and is turned in to the Controller's
The applicant agrees to properly account for the cash advance,
and indicates that he or she understands that the state of Washington has
the right to withhold the applicant's pay against unaccounted balances.
The applicant's dean and department chair signify approval of
the cash balance. These individuals are not personally liable for any unaccounted
balances incurred by the applicant.
State of Washington Invoice Voucher
The applicant submits a State of Washington Invoice Voucher (see also 30.45)
with the Cash Advance Request (see sample in the PDF version of 40.21.5)
filled out as follows:
Vendor or Claimant
Include the applicant's name and the address to which the check
is mailed. If the applicant wishes to personally pick up the check, this
should be indicated under DESCRIPTION.
The applicant signs and indicates his or her title.
Indicate "Cash advance per attached request."
Indicate the total amount of the requested cash advance.
This is signed by the department chair or an authorized departmental
Indicate the account code of the supporting account.
Send the request documentation to Sponsored Programs Services.
MANAGEMENT AND DOCUMENTATION OF CASH ADVANCES
Recipients of cash advances are expected to maintain complete
records and retain receipts from all transactions involving the funds.
Project Control Register
The Project Control Register form may be used by cash advance
recipients to keeping track of expenditures. Sponsored Programs Services provides
supplies of the Project Control Register upon request.
Security of Funds
The recipient of a cash advance is responsible for the security
of the funds.
When practical, recipients of cash advances are encouraged to
obtain traveler's checks. WSU or the project sponsor pays the bank charges.
Large cash advances should be deposited in a bank near the project
- Bank charges are allowable expenses. A copy of the bank statement
is turned in with the periodic receipts or on the final accounting date.
- Out-of state and foreign accounts -- Follow procedures for
out-of-state and foreign accounts in 30.65.
Foreign banking regulations should be checked. In some countries, one individual
cannot write checks on an account established by another, even though they
are both working on the same project.
- If the bank account is established in the name of Washington State
University or in the name of a University department, the approval procedures
must be followed.
Cash amounts in excess of $100 are kept in safes, vaults or
money chests if traveler's checks or bank accounts are not used.
Currency Exchange In Foreign Countries
Dollars are exchanged in legal currency transactions, usually
at a bank or government currency exchange. The recipient of the cash advance
is to obtain a receipt for the transaction for submittal to the Controller's
Office on or before the final accounting date. Until the total amount advanced
is liquidated, apply the exchange rate used at the time of conversion.
Hiring Temporary Employees
Upon liquidation of the amount advanced, report as a project expense any
loss incurred as a result of exchange rate changes. Report as a reduction
in expenditures any gain incurred as a result of exchange rate changes.
Prior to requesting a cash advance, consider the local market conditions
in order to minimize the impact of exchange rate fluctuations.
When hiring personnel from the local area use standard WSU temporary
employment procedures. See 60.26,
Payroll Services generates checks for temporary employees from accounts
designated on appointment forms. Temporary employees are not paid directly
from cash advance monies.
Disposal of Property
If the purchase was made with funds from a sponsored account,
the principal investigator contacts Sponsored Programs Services requesting
disposal instructions prior to disposal.
If property is to be sold, WSU Purchasing should be contacted
for proper sale procedures. All sale receipts are retained and turned in
on the final accounting date.
Items are abandoned only in appropriate areas of abandonment,
e.g., a dump, junkyard, or recycling center.
Recipients of cash advances should be aware that they are accepting
personal liability for expenses that exceed the amount of the cash balance.
There is no guarantee that WSU or a sponsoring agency will reimburse excess
A recipient of a cash advance who wishes to be reimbursed for excess expenditures
should send the following documents to the Controller's Office.
- Receipts for excess expenditures.
- Cash Advance Request -- Include the pertinent items indicated above
under applying for a cash advance, plus an explanation of why the expenditure
was necessary. This request is approved by the dean and department chair.
- State of Washington Invoice Voucher -- This is filled out as indicated
above under applying for a cash advance.
The recipient of the cash advance is responsible for turning
in all outstanding receipts and unexpended cash to the Controller's Office
within 15 days of return to campus as designated on the Cash Advance Request.
The Controller's Office should be notified if the recipient of the cash
advance cannot account for the expenditures by the final accounting date.
See PDF version of BPPM, 40.21.8:
Cash Advance Request
Receipts are to be in chronological order within expenditure type and referenced
to the original State of Washington Invoice Voucher number when turned in
for final accounting.
All outstanding cash advances must be cleared prior to termination of WSU
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