Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.14, Procedure 1 - Cash Advance Requests & Reconciliations


Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.14, Procedure 1 - Cash Advance Requests & Reconciliations

Corresponding with:


This procedure details the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) steps to request and reconcile a Cash Advance related to a sponsored project. The UNC Finance Division’s Policies and Procedures Manual should be followed for requesting and reconciling cash advances for non-sponsored activities.

Expectations of Cash Management

  • All advances for domestic use must be reconciled within 60 days after issuance of the advance, unless required sooner for reporting purposes.
  • All advances for foreign use must be reconciled within 90 days after issuance of the advance, unless required sooner for reporting purposes.
  • A project may only request a third advance if the other advances are in compliance with this operating standard.
  • Advances must be reconciled in a timely manner per this procedure and as required to comply with the reporting requirements of the agreement.


I. Requesting a Cash Advance

  • Complete and send the following signed documents to
  • The request is reviewed for completeness and allowability on the project by the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).
  • If approved, the SPS will return the form to the submitter, within 3 business days of receipt.
  • Department submits a campus voucher (within 10 business days of receiving the approved form) requesting the approved amount on account code 559510 for sponsored projects.
  • OSP Pre-Audit Technician reviews the voucher documentation for completeness and allowability; transaction will be subject to rejection without all required documents.
  • If approved, the voucher payment is processed by Finance and distributed to the cash advance recipient identified in the form.

*Cash advance requests to a third-party institution or University foreign facility should not exceed 25% of the applicable subagreement budget of the initial award period. Requests exceeding this amount require additional approval from the Assistant Vice Chancellor in OSP and must be accompanied with sufficient justification. The total dollar amount of the advance and subaward, and the timing of the subaward will be considered in the review.

II. Reconciling a Cash Advance

  • Create a reconciling journal (JCA) moving expenses from account code 559510 to the appropriate account code for the type of expense (i.e., 523150 – study subject payment or 523160 – study subject expense).
  • Complete and attach the following documents to the journal transaction:
  • OSP Pre-Audit Technician reviews the journal documentation for completeness and allowability. Some situations where transactions may be subject to rejection are if all required documentation is not included and/or expenses were incurred outside the award period of performance.
  • If the journal is approved, the expense is moved to the requested study subject expense type. If the reason for rejection was due to non-compliance with any University policy, the advance must be reconciled to non-sponsored funds.

Contact Information

For questions regarding this procedure and its related operating standard, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSP Staff assignments are found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


Document History
Date Revision
07/11/2023 Revised to reflect updated cash advance process and form.
03/01/2023 Revised to redirect links for cash advance request and reconciliation forms to OSP website.
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect new office name.
Revised to clarify advances to third parties and reconciliation timeliness.
12/04/2020 Revised to clarify supporting documentation requirements.
10/16/2019 Revised to remove requirement of mailing original documentation to OSP Pre-Audit; electronic attachments in the reconciliation journal satisfy documentation requirement.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.
02/28/2018 Revised operating standard to clarify reconciliation expectation of foreign advances and to allow for a third advance.
08/28/2017 Revised operating standard to clarify expectations of cash advance management, updated hyperlinks to Procedures and Related Operating Standards, and Contacts.
05/29/2013 Revised procedure to include link to OSP Guidance related to Finance Division Policy 302: General Receipts and Deposits.
01/06/2011 Revised policy to clarify authorization required by Principal Investigator.
05/30/2010 Revised policy to conform to Finance Division newly revised Policy 307 – Cash Advance.
12/22/2009 Revised policy to include the compensation threshold that must be reported to Accounting Services.
09/04/2009 Changed title of policy from Compensation for Study Subjects to Cash Advances to reflect additional types of requests for advances.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132319
Thu 4/8/21 9:28 PM
Fri 1/19/24 12:09 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs
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.
Vice Chancellor
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/19/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/19/2023 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.
07/19/2023 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
05/16/2019 8:51 AM