Skip to Content
California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

III. Travel Payment Methods

  1. Prepaid Expenses and Direct Charges

  2. Prepaid expenses, such as transportation tickets and conference fees, as well as, lodging and meals for group travel and prospective employees, may be billed directly to the University. Direct billing of lodging and meals for individual travelers is not allowed. These expenses must be paid by the traveler when they are incurred, and a claim for reimbursement submitted at the conclusion of the trip.

    Except in the cases of Payment of Group Subsistence Expenses, Students, and Prospective Employees, travelers are prohibited from charging travel-related lodging, meals, or miscellaneous expenses directly to the University.

  3. Cash/Non-Cash Advances

  4. In order to document the business purpose for which an advance was issued, the traveler must submit a Travel Expense Claim within 30 days after completion of travel even if he or she is not owed any additional reimbursement.

    Cash Advances are only issued in the following circumstances:

    • Travel is for a student group
    • International travel
    1. Issuance of Cash Advances
    2. Cash advances will be issued no more than 15 days in advance of the travel. The amount requested on the Travel Advance Request form shall not exceed a reasonable estimate of the out-of-pocket expenses needed for the trip.

      Cash advances should not be authorized under the following circumstances:

      • The traveler is 30 days delinquent (60 days past the last day of the trip) in submitting a Travel Expense Claim for a prior trip

      Since a traveler should have no more than one outstanding cash advance at a time, each cash advance should be accounted for before another cash advance is granted.

    3. Non-Cash Advances
    4. Employees may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs occurring prior to the actual dates of travel by submitting a travel claim form for reimbursement. This amount is considered an advance and a travel claim must be submitted within 30 days of the conclusion of the trip.

    5. Cancelled or Postponed Trips:
    6. A cash advance must be returned immediately if an authorized trip is cancelled or indefinitely postponed.

      Funds paid or reimbursed for travel related expenses prior to the actual dates of travel should be returned to the department. Refunds should be requested for registration fees paid directly to a vendor unless applied to another participant from the department. A non-refundable ticket associated with a cancelled trip should be used for the employee's next trip.

    7. Recovery Procedures
    8. Travel advances cannot be recovered using payroll deduction. CSU Policy 3130.01 Accounts Receivable Management limits the collection by payroll deduction to receivables resulting from payroll overpayments.

      Thirty (30) days after a trip is expected to be completed, the Controller's Office will initiate proceedings for the recovery of any outstanding advances. Any advances that cannot be recovered from the traveler shall be charged to the account indicated on the Travel Advance Request or Check Request forms or as designated by the accounting office.

      1. Cash Advances:

      2. If an employee fails to substantiate expenses and return any unused cash advance amounts within 120 days of the end of a trip, the University is obligated under IRS rules to consider such amounts as income to the employee.

        As a result, the amount of unsubstantiated expenses and unrecovered advances will be reported through the payroll system as additional wages to the employee no later than the first payroll period following the end of the 120-day period.

        The income and applicable employment taxes on the additional wages are to be withheld from the employee's regular earnings. No refund of such taxes or any adjustment to gross income shall be made with respect to any substantiation or reimbursement received from the employee after the 120-day period.

      3. University Paid Expenses Non-cash Advances:

      4. Travel payments, such as registration fees, airline tickets, etc., made to a vendor on behalf of an employee who has not submitted a Travel Expense Claim within the 120-day period are not reportable as income to the employee, provided the expenses are ordinary and necessary business expenses. This requirement will be satisfied if the payment procedures (e.g., check request form) substantiate the time, place, and business purpose of the trip.

  5. Payment of Expenses on Behalf of Others

  6. University travelers normally shall not be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of other persons, except in the case of co-travelers who are sharing a room or student group travel.

  7. Cancellation of Reservations

  8. If a trip must be cancelled or changed, the traveler must make every effort to cancel/change any travel reservations. Fees incurred as a result of cancelling/changing a trip will be covered if the cancellation/change was work related or due to unforeseen circumstances out of the control of the traveler. A business justification must be submitted and approved by the Appropriate Administrator.

    Travelers who are unable to honor a reservation shall be responsible for canceling the reservation in compliance with the cancellation terms established by the hotel, airline, etc. The traveler must return any refundable deposits to the University.

    Charges or lost refunds resulting from failure to cancel reservations, registrations, etc. shall not be reimbursed unless the traveler can show that such failure was the result of circumstances beyond the traveler's control.

    The traveler shall be responsible for promptly returning for a refund any unused or partially used transportation tickets.