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Travel Services

Advances & Pre-trip Reimbursement

Travel Advance
How to Create a Travel Advance
Living Allowance
Prior-trip Reimbursement

Travel Advance

A department may issue a Travel Advance (per diem advance) through a spend authorization to defray costs a UW employee traveler may incur while traveling on official UW business.

Do not issue an advance to reimburse expenses paid in advance of a trip, they should be reimbursed as a normal expense report. 


  • Must be a UW employee, and employed through the travel end date
  • Advance is issued at the allowable per diem rate (not to exceed) for the dates of business travel
  • No outstanding advances 
  • Employees paid as a student, stipend, hourly, or a temporary appointment will require a discretionary fund/worktag for lodging per diem advance
  • Must be a minimum of $300.00
  • Must be issued on GOF/DOF funds

Time Limitations

  • Advance is not to exceed 90 days
  • Advance is not to be issued more than 30 days prior to travel start date


  • For use of privately owned vehicles
  • For the purchase of commercial airfare
  • For expenses for others 


  • Must be reconciled within 60 days from the travel end date
  • Reconciliation procedure - PDF

Default on Repayment

How to Create a Travel Advance

In the search bar, type in "Create Spend Authorization", if this advance is for another person, type in "Create Spend Authorization for Worker". 

*Please note that "Spend Authorization for Non-Worker" is not built into Workday at this current time. 

To view a larger image, please click photo.  

  • For = Payee's Name
  • Company = UW1861
  • Start and End Dates = Dates of Trip
  • Description = Short Description of Trip (City - Conference - Dates)
    • Example: Travel Advance - Paris, France - Professional Development Conference - 10/01-10/05
    • Please reach out to your department for further guidance on their naming convention for advances. 
  • Business Purpose = Business Travel Reimbursement 
  • Reimbursement Payment Type = Direct Deposit or Check (This choice is automatically inputted based on the payee's WD profile)
  • Justification = Longer Description of Trip
    • Users may input what type of per diem they are requesting (Meals, Lodging, or both) and other details that are required by the user's department policies.

Click the "+ Add" to add the lines to the Travel Advance. To ensure that your request is a Travel Advance and not a Spend Authorization for pre-encumbrance, please input the following:

  • Expense Item = Travel Advance
  • Quantity = Number of Days
  • Per Unit Amount = Per Diem Rate
  • Memo = Type of Per Diem (Lodging, Meals, or Both)
  • Cash Advance Requested = Must be checked

Once the Cash Advance Requested is checked, the amount will also show under "Cash Advance Requested" at the top of the page.

Living Allowance

A department may issue a Living Allowance to defray costs that a non-UW Foreign National may incur while in Seattle for UW Business.


Time Limitations

  • Allowance may not exceed 30 days at a time
  • WT/B2 visa types limited to 9 days reimbursement every 6 months


  • Limited to the meal per diem rate for actual dates of stay in Seattle
  • Payment will not be released until all required foreign national documentation is uploaded through the DocuSign procedure. Please inquire with Accounts Payable for DocuSign status. 
  • Can not be used to defray expenses for others
  • Must be done through the Miscellaneous payment module in Workday and attach the non-employee claim form.

Prior-trip Reimbursement

It is allowable to reimburse travel expenses prior to the trip as long as it meets all other travel compliance requirements (keeping in mind our receipt policy). Reimbursement is processed the same as after the trip. The most common expenses include airfare, registration, and lodging. When reimbursing lodging prior, the Workday expense report module (ER) allows you to select future dates.


The following expenses are not eligible for prior-trip reimbursement: 

  • Meal per diem allowance (see per diem advance above for advancing per diem) 
  • Mileage 
  • Meals paid for others 
  • Car Rental (final rental agreement required per receipt policy)
  • Gas 
  • Laundry 
  • Tolls