Washington State University

Revised 10-04
Travel Services

Travel Payments From Third Parties

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University personnel are responsible for approving, documenting, and accounting for official WSU-related travel supported by third parties.

State Requirements

The University is required to establish and maintain a positive system of control over all WSU-related travel, including travel supported by third parties. (SAAM 10.20.60)


A third party is an entity or individual other than WSU. Third-party travel for purposes of this policy includes travel that meets the following requirements:

NOTE: Official travel supported by sponsored accounts managed through the University accounting system is not considered third-party travel for purposes of this policy.

Double Payment

A traveler may not receive and keep payments or reimbursement from both the University and a third party for the same travel expense. Likewise, a traveler may not receive and keep reimbursement payment for a travel expense previously paid by the University.

Reimbursement Limits

For travel supported by third parties, travelers are not to be reimbursed for more than the actual expenses of travel except for meals which can be reimbursed on an allowance basis as listed in 95.19. (SAAM 10.20.60)


Often a third party pays an honorarium in addition to trip expenses. A faculty member may accept an honorarium in accordance with applicable provisions of the Faculty Manual.

NOTE: This section (95.16) is not intended to govern honoraria. All employees must comply with state law, including RCW 42.52, the Ethics in Public Service Act, regarding honoraria and outside compensation.


Official University travel paid for in part or in whole by a third party must be approved in advance by the traveler's supervisor on a Travel Authority (see 95.05).

Indicate all travel payment arrangements on the TA. Indicate exactly which costs are to be supported by the third party. Indicate the name of the third party.


Whenever a third party pays for all or part of travel expenses, the traveler must complete and submit a Travel Expense Voucher (TEV) to account for all portions of the travel (see 95.20). The traveler indicates payment arrangements, (i.e., how paid, name of third party, and the payment amount) under Travel Details.


When permitted by practices and regulations of the third party, the third party should directly pay the vendor or directly reimburse the University for travel expenses incurred by a University traveler. Direct reimbursement to the traveler is acceptable if the third party's practices do not provide for direct payment to vendors or the University.

Payment to Vendor

If the third party pays the vendor directly, the traveler indicates the payment arrangement on the approving Travel Authority. The payment arrangement is also to be indicated under Travel Details on the Travel Expense Voucher.

If there is no direct reimbursement to the University or the traveler, the traveler submits a TEV with minimal information. See example in the PDF version of 95.16.3.

Reimbursement to the University

If the third party reimburses the University for the travel, the traveler submits a Travel Expense Voucher to request reimbursement from a University account.

Deposit Check

The department deposits the check from the third party with the Controller's Office. See deposit procedures in 30.53. The department references the payment request number on the Cash Deposit Report. The Controller's Office deposits the amount as a recovery of the original expenditure.


If a payment to the University includes an honorarium, the department deposits the honorarium portion in a discretionary account. The administrator of the discretionary account may authorize payment of the honorarium to the traveler. An honorarium payment to a faculty member must be consistent with requirements of the Faculty Manual. See also 70.33.

Reimbursement to the Traveler

If the third party reimburses the traveler directly, the traveler submits a copy of the check or remittance advice from the third party with the Travel Expense Voucher.


If the third-party payment exceeds travel expenses, the department deposits the amount of the overpayment into a discretionary account or other account established for receiving revenue.

Payment to Traveler and No WSU Support

If the University did not support any travel expenditures and the third party directly pays the traveler for travel expenses and the payment exceeds incurred travel expenses reported on the TEV, the traveler submits a check for the overpayment to the department. The department deposits the overpayment into a discretionary account or other account established for receiving revenue. The traveler notes the details of the overpayment deposit on the TEV prepared to account for the travel.


All official University travel supported by third parties is subject to review by appropriate University officials and auditors.

See the examples in the PDF version of 95.16.4-5.