307 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Cash Advance


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Cash Advance



Cash advances are necessary for efficiency or because they are the only means acceptable to the payment requirements of the service rendered. This policy explains how to obtain the necessary funds to meet payment requirements, appropriate use and settlement of such cash advance funds.


This policy applies to any campus unit or department that needs cash to conduct University business.  For individual employees of the University that need financial assistance to conduct University business, please work through your unit's business office to obtain the appropriate method of procurement or cash advance.

Policy Statement

University departments have a need for cash advances to conduct University business such as group field trips, hosting foreign visitors, purchasing food and materials for large group functions, compensating study subjects, and other exceptional activities. Advances are strictly limited to those circumstances requiring cash payments of dollar amounts that are too small to justify the use of an imprest account and are intended for a specific purpose. Advances must be reconciled and settled in a timely manner.

Study Subjects

Departments may choose to compensate study subjects with gift cards or other payments methods as an alternative to cash. Gift cards may be purchased from the cash advance or departments can utilize other payment methods or platforms to disburse funds.

Restrictions on use of cash advance

Departments should utilize existing campus voucher and accounts payable processes for the following:

  • Payment to an employee for services.
  • Payment to an independent contractor, including guest lecturer, for services.
  • Cash awards to an employee (excluding gift certificates and gift cards).
  • Cash awards to an employee who is on another state agency payroll such as UNC Hospitals.
  • Department purchase of event tickets, such as athletic events, performing arts or other University events, from any source.
  • Travel reimbursements, such as airline tickets, hotel accommodations, and related expenses. Travel-related expense reimbursements should be requested through Travel and Payment Card Services.



Special Situations



  • Finance Procedure 307.1 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Procedure on Requesting, Reconciling, and Settling Cash Advance

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if an employee fails to receive timely payment for services, then can a cash advance be used for making such a payment?
A: If an employee fails to receive timely payment for services, and all forms have been completed and approved for the pay process, then the Director of Payroll Services should be consulted.

Q: Can the department use a cash advance for an employee recognition award?
A: Cash awards to employees have tax consequences and should be reported. Hence, these payments should be processed through HRIS or EPA Web to capture accurately the information for reporting. Refer to the University policy on Taxation of Gifts, Prizes and Awards for additional information.

Q: Can study subjects be paid with petty cash?
A: No, study subjects must be paid through imprest checking accounts or cash advances.

Q: Are temporary employees eligible to receive a cash advance?
A: No, only permanent employees are eligible to receive a cash advance.

Related Data


Policy Contacts
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Cash Advance Cash Management 919-962-1601 919-962-3306 cash_management@unc.edu
Cash Advance Disbursement Services 919-962-0748 919-962-0748 pettycash@unc.edu



  • June 6, 2023: Updated formatting and replaced negative language, minor edits.
  • June 15, 2016: Added FAQ on temporary employees.
  • November 11, 2014: Added FAQ on paying study subjects.
  • April 8, 2010
  • April 14, 2023
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Article ID: 131496
Thu 4/8/21 9:10 PM
Tue 10/31/23 1:18 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Cash Manager
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
06/08/2026 10:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
06/06/2023 10:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
06/15/2016 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
06/15/2016 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
09/01/2004 12:00 AM