Advances Process


advances process flow diagram

Requests of advances must be made using the appropriate form:

  1. Direct payment into recipient’s bank accounts – use the AP Advance Request form (XLS)
  2. Prepaid Card or cash – use the Cash or Prepaid Card request form (XLS).
  3. Payment for long-term funding of overseas projects or agreed exceptions to the standard Advances Process can be made via the AP Payment Request form (XLS).

Once completed, the form should be passed to a departmental authorised signatory, for example Head of Administration, for consideration and authorisation.

Review, authorise and submit advance request

The departmental authorised signatory should review the request and determine whether the conditions are met. A request, which does not meet the conditions, must be rejected and returned to the individual.

If the conditions are met, the authorised signatory should sign the form, and submit it either:

Please see the Prepaid Card page for further information.

Funds provided in advance should only be used for the purposes outlined on the Advances Request Form and must comply with the expenses principles set out in the Expenses Policy.

The Advance Request Forms include worksheets on which expenditure must be recorded against the advance.

The Advance Request Forms should be used to report actual expenditure incurred against the original sum advanced. Once all expenditure against an advance has been completed, individuals must ensure that all original supporting information (receipts and other documents) is gathered together as proof of purchases or expenditure made.

Individuals should complete the second and third pages of the form and obtain approval from a departmental authorised signatory before submitting the completed pages, plus supporting documentation, to either: 

The final page of the Advance Request Forms will show whether there is an outstanding balance owing either to the University or the individual.

Note: In the case where an advance payment is greater than the amount spent, the individual must pay back the balance to the department who will then arrange for the money to be forwarded to the Cashiers Office for receipting in Oracle Financials. Cashiers will receipt the funds to the relevant departmental GL code, where funds relate to a project, the department will need to arrange for a journal of the funds.

Only one advance may be provided at a time, which must be fully reconciled and closed before a new advance may be requested.

Advances should be reported within three months of being incurred, or two months of returning to the UK.

The Head of Administration has overall responsibility for ensuring that requests for advances are in line with the University approved policy.

Identified below are the key financial controls that apply:

  1. The need for an advance is bona fide and adequate funding is available.
  2. Advances are requested using the appropriate University forms and are authorised by an appropriate signatory.
  3. Advances are cleared against receipts to show the actual expenditure incurred.
  4. Any taxable implications of payments to individuals are promptly advised to the Finance Division.
  5. Advances payments to individuals are reviewed monthly and cleared as soon as possible. All outstanding advances are monitored by the Payments team / Cashiers as appropriate.

Segregation of duties

One of the key financial control principles to be adopted in all University finance processes is the need to ensure no single member of staff completes all stages of any particular process. This principle requires an adequate 'segregation of duties' when designing work flows.

For further advice on this subject please contact Financial Assurance.

Contact us

 : Payment Services
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET
 :  01865 (6) 16016

 :   Team contacts  

 : Cashiers Team
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street

       Oxford OX1 2ET

 : Senior Cashier -
       01865 (6)16032
       Finance Administrator - 
       01865 (6)16120

 : For further information
      please visit our contact page