Applying an Advance in NUFinancials Training Guide


This article explains the rules, procedures, and uses of advances.

Applying an Advance to an Expense Report

  • You must apply an Advance to an existing expense report.
  • For yourself or as proxy for another employee
  • An Advance can be used for travel or non-travel purposes, with a single or multiple expenses
  • Charged to a grant or non-grant chart string
  • Using one or more chart strings
  • Advances are not paid in cash; they are paid via direct deposit (like payroll).
    • Employees who do not receive their payroll via direct deposit may request a printed check.

What happens to the unused portion of an Advance?

  • If the employee’s expenses are less than the amount of the advance, the employee must return the unused portion of the advance via a personal check made out to Northwestern University when submitting the expense report.
    • Record the Advance number on the check and mail to Accounts Payable.
  • If the employee’s expenses exceed the amount of the advance, the employee will be reimbursed for their expenses, less the advance amount.
  • If the employee expenses are equal to the advance, no amount is due to the employee or the university.
    • However, an expense report must be filed to account for this.

What rules govern Advances?

  • Advances are only available to University employees.
  • Advances are only issued five working days prior to the travel.
  • Advances must be for $350.00 or more.
  • Advances are not available for a travel period of less than 14 days.
  • Advances may not be used to purchase primary modes of travel.
  • Advances should be reconciled within five working days of the return from travel but no later than 90 days from the date of return.
  • Advances will not be issued to an employee who has not fully accounted for an earlier advance, except when this individual must leave for another trip within five working days following return from the earlier travel.

Applying a Cash Advance

Cash advances are reconciled by applying them to an expense report. This expense report should list the expenses for which the cash advance was used. You first create the expense report and then apply the associated cash advance to offset the reimbursable amount.


Navigation to NUFinancials

To apply a Cash Advance to an existing Expense Report, click the Expenses tile. 

Navigation: Login to NUFinancials > Employee Self-Service > Expenses


Access My Expenses Reports

Click My Expense Reports Tile.

(My Expense Reports tile displays the number of active Expense Reports in the system. Click the tile to see the reports available where you should apply your Cash Advance. You must apply an Advance to an existing expense report.)


In My Expense Reports, you see a list of existing expense reports.


Enter Expense Lines and Apply Advance


1.    Select an Expense Report or click on the arrow at the end of the line.

2.    Review the expense report for accuracy and completeness.


·         Click Review and Submit.


3.    The Cash Advance should be applied to the domestic airfare ($1400.00) on this expense report. To apply the Cash Advance to the Expense Report


·         Select Outstanding Cash Advance under Additional Information.


4.    In the Apply Cash Advance screen, click in the Total Applied field for Cash Advance.

5.    Enter the amount that should apply to the airfare report. The amounts adjust. Check for correct amounts.

6.  Click Apply.


7.    The “Due to Employee” amount will update

8.    Click Submit.


Submission Confirmation

This will open the Confirmation box. To certify that the Expense Report is accurate and complies with expense policy, click Submit. The outstanding cash advance has now been applied to the expense report.


For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or email




Article ID: 1706
Thu 5/12/22 1:39 PM
Fri 1/27/23 10:32 AM