Field Advances

Remember to complete 1099 reporting for research subject payments made through a field advance by January 3rd.



Field Advances are subject to all Federal, State, University, and budget purchasing rules and guidelines.

A field advance is a loan from the University of Washington (UW) general funds made to an individual (the custodian) to provide a temporary source of funds for conducting official UW business. Below are the criteria allowed for a field advance:

A field advance can be funded for up to $10,000.00.  Amounts above $10,000.00 require secondary approval from leadership.

Field advances are distributed via a debit per diem card or an ACH or wire to a UW bank account.  Please make sure to build a contingency in for any bank fees that could be incurred.   **Bank accounts at UW can only be opened with authorization from the Assistant Controller or Controller/VP.  We strongly advise against any UW employee opening a personal bank account for UW business of any kind.**

The turn time for advance requests and expenditure processing is 10 days from the date we receive the request.  Funding cutoff time is 2:30 pm daily.

For requests that may involve cash exceeding $500.00, a safe will be required to store the funds.  Please email for more information.

Field Advances are to be used only when other purchasing methods have been exhausted, including Procard and Travel Advances, please see below.  Please make sure these options have been explored before submitting your request as your request could be delayed or redirected to Travel or Procurement for processing.

Purchasing Hierarchy

Preferred Purchasing Methods

Preferred Travel Purchasing Methods

Purchase Reimbursement Methods

Alternative Purchasing Methods

  Authorized Uses of a Field Advance

  • Conducting research or training in a remote areas where payment methods like check and credit card are not accepted and cannot be handled through UW Procurement payment methods including Procard
  • Per diem advances for UW students and other individuals not on the UW payroll
  • Research subject payments and incentive payments when a revolving fund account is not applicable
  • Field advance funds are to be spent in real-time and are not to be used to reimburse

Unauthorized Uses of a Field Advance

The following are not authorized uses of a field advance:

  • Travel expenses for UW individual employees
  • Domestic purchases for goods and services
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Reimbursments to UW employees for any reason.  All reimbursements must go through eReimbursement.
  • Alcohol purchases, with meals or alone, unless charged to a discretionary (64-XXXX) budget. IMPORTANT NOTE: The UW’s policy regarding alcohol in international student programs is that no university funds, including discretionary budgets, can be used to purchase alcohol for student activities.
  • Payments to UW employees for services rendered anywhere in the world (including honoraria, stipends, awards, scholarships, etc.)
  • Payments to U.S. citizens for services rendered anywhere in the world (including honoraria, stipends, awards, scholarships, etc.)
  • Payments to nonresident aliens (NRAs) for services rendered within the United States (including research subject payments, honoraria, stipends, awards, scholarships, etc.)
  • Items not directly related to a project's purpose (e.g. items for personal gain or benefit and related items for non-research consumption)

Criteria For Obtaining a Field Advance

The custodian for a field advance must be a permanent UW employee.

For field advances for students must have a UW employee as the custodian.  A per diem debit card will be ordered for the student.


The custodian is accountable for all aspects of maintaining the advance, including its safekeeping, appropriate usage and timely reconciliation. All field advance expenditures are subject to UW Purchasing policies and procedures.  Additional responsibilities include:

  • Request a per diem debit card, if a UW bank account is not available for funding (7 day turn time to request a card)
  • Cash on-hand must remain below $500.00 if a safe or vault is not in place
  • Reconciles the expenditures by the due date
  • All expenditures generated with field advance funds require that all associated taxes are paid at the time of purchase
  • When using a UW debit per diem card all purchases should be swiped at the point of sale, and not paid in cash, whenever possible
  • Any invoices that exceed $10,000.00 require a Purchase Order, no exceptions
  • Any field advance funds that is used to pay research subjects are required to complete 1099 reporting at year end
  • Any field advance funds that are used to pay per diem of any kind to foreign nationals to be spent in the United States requires additional documentation.  Please email

How Long Can I Keep a Field Advance? 

Maximum 6 Months + 1 Month = 7 Months


Requesting a Field Advance

Please go to 

Note: Only those with a net id will be able to access the website.

Below are step-by-step instructions for requesting a field advance online:
  1. Click on FA link above
  2. Click on new FA
  3. Under “custodian information” your net id information should be populated
  4. Type in a name under Reviewer Information (must be different than custodian or requester)
  5. Type in amount requested
  6. Select the dates for the field advance (cannot exceed 7 months total)
  7. Type in the Purpose of the field advance by providing a detailed breakdown of how the field advance will be spent (this will be compared to expenditures submitted at the end of the field advance; more detail the better will help expedite request)
  8. Select tender for funding the field advance
    1. Country = where the funds will be spent
    2. Currency = how the funds will be wired or ACH to a UW bank account
    3. Select Payment Type = Card if UW bank account is not available (include the cardholder name and birthdate in General Field Advance Notes)
    4. If you have an existing per diem card, use the drop down menu to identify your card by finding the last four digits listed
  9. If you need to have additional people in your department view and track activity on this field advance, take the following steps:
    1. Click on the gray button at the top of the page “Manage Additional Requesters”
    2. Type in the requester name (only those with a net id can be added)
    3. Click “Add”
    4. Repeat steps 1-3 as many times as needed; there are no limits to the number of people that can be added to view and track activity on a field advance
  10. Check the box to “Agree” to the terms and conditions
  11. Scroll to the top and click “Save”
  12. Click “Submit for Approval”
  13. Your request has now been submitted to the “Reviewer” for approval  **Make sure the FA gets approved.**
  14. When you receive your debit card, follow the instructions provided with your card to register your card online to monitor your balance and transactions.  You will need to print your debit card statements at the end to reconcile your field advance.  If you have questions about our card, or need to report suspicious activity please email

Closing a Field Advance - Reconciling

Receipts are required for all expenditures, and should include the following information:

  • Date of purchase
  • Location of purchase
  • Vendor name
  • Amount
  • Description of items purchased and or services rendered
  • For receipts in languages other than English, a few words describing the expenditure
  • Invoices submitted are required to show as "Paid"
  • Ensure all receipts submitted fall within the timeframe of when the field advance was issued (receipts should not pre-date the field advance)

To submit your expenditures online, click here

  1. Arrange all receipts and invoices associated with the field advance
    1. Tape down receipts on to 8.5 X 11 paper to be scanned – no staples
    2. Review to ensure all documentation meets field advance requirements
  2. Print out a copy of your UW debit card statement, if applicable, and reconcile the amount spent; upload a copy of your statement(s)
  3. Scan in receipts and save as a file to be uploaded (you can scan in a batch of receipts and assign multiple budget numbers for your spend down)
  4. Go to Field Advance website
  5. Look for your field advance under FA Requests on the FA home page
  6. Stop: Do not click on "Return Funds" button at this point, please go to step 6
  7. Clock on the “Pencil” under “Edit Spend Downs”
  8. Scroll and click  “Attach Document”
  9. Browse for your scanned documents
  10. Click “Attach Document”
  11. Enter in the total amount of US dollars associated with the expenditures
  12. Click on the “New Detail” button
  13. Enter the following information:
    1. Budget Number
    2. Obj/Sub Obj
    3. Any PCA information, as needed
    4. Amount (can be partial)
    5. Click “Save Detail”
    6. To add another budget number click on “New Detail” and follow step 11 again until fully reconciled
  14. If you have money left over after all expenditures have been submitted, either on a card, or cash/check in hand, please follow these steps:
    1. If you have a card, B&AO will unload the funds, do not withdraw the cash.  Click on the "Return Funds" button after all your expenditures have been submitted.
    2. If you have cash in hand that was left over from your event, please email  We will send you a deposit slip and a bank bag to deposit the cash into the UW bank account at Bank of America.  Departments, do not create a CT for these funds.  B&AO will apply the funds to the spend down.

Approver Instructions for requesting a field advance and submitting expenditures:

  1. Approver’s will receive an email from
  2. In the email, click on “Review Field Advance” link
  3. A new window will open – review the request or expenditures submitted
    1. For expenditures submitted you can click on the “File Name” link to open up the attachment to review receipts
    2. Click on the “Details” arrow to see a detail of the budget information associated with the spend down

How do I add additional people to the field advance so they can view the activity and/or submit expenditures?

  1. The custodian, requester or approver can add additional users
  2. Have one of the three people above click on the field advance link
  3. On the home page, find the field advance that needs additional users
  4. Click on the link for that advance
  5. Click on the gray button at the top of the page “Manage Additional Requesters”
  6. Type in the requester name (only those with a net id can be added)
  7. Click “Add”


Suvi Siriyanonh

Compliance Analyst , Banking & Accounting Operations

Box 354965
206-543-6402 (voice)






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