Spend Authorization

Enable an employee to obtain an Expense Advance (Cash Advance) to pay for travel-related expenses that cannot be paid for any other way, or for Human Research Study Participant payments.

  • Only employees of the university (including student employees) may request a Spend Authorization (SA) and receive an expense advance
    • Should not be used to reimburse non-employee students or non-employees, such as visiting speakers; in these cases, a Supplier Invoice Request should be used
  • Only one expense advance may be outstanding for an individual at any time
  • Additional funding may not be added to an existing expense advance
  • If you travel frequently, keep the reloadable debit card so it can continuously be reloaded. However, outstanding advances must be cleared before another SA can be issued
  • Salary and wage payments for work done in the United States should not be made with funding from an expense advance
  • P-Cards should not be used to purchase gift cards for Human Research Study Participant advance payments

Order of Work

Action to Take

Essential Process Details/Helpful Tips


Determine the type of expense advance needed

There are two options:

  1. Travel-Related advance
  2. Human Research Study Participant advance


Determine the advance dollar amount needed

  • Should not exceed the costs to be incurred


Determine the start and end dates of the advance

  • Expense advances should not be created earlier than 10 days prior to the start date


Confirm the correct Chart of Accounts (COA) to be charged

  • Check with your department business office


Identify the business purpose and/or an outline of how the advanced funds will be spent (How and Why the funds will be spent)

  • Tips on how to construct a business purpose can be found on the Business Purpose section of the  Expense Report Checklist


Identify the method of payment by which the employee would like to receive the advance funds

  • Use the “Options for Receiving and Returning Cash Advances” reference tool below


Confirm that the employee is set up for the requested method of payment.  If they are not, have the employee complete the set-up prior to creating the advance

  • The default payment method depends on how the employee is set up in Workday to receive expense payments (reimbursements). Employees can check and change this by following these Instructions
  • The Payment method can be changed in the “Reimbursement Payment Type” field when creating the spend authorization, but to receive payment by direct deposit, the instructions in the bullet above must be completed first


Any employee can create a Spend Authorization for themselves. To prepare an advance on behalf of another Yale employee, you must be set up as a delegate

Delegation of authority can be requested one of two ways:


Ensure the employee understands what documentation will be required to clear the advance

For Human Research Study Participant Expenses:

For Travel-Related Expenses:

  • Required documentation includes original receipts for expenses equal to or greater than $75 and an itinerary, statement of foreign payments, if applicable. Note: Some business offices may require receipts under $75
  • For complete information refer to: travel policy and procedures


Ensure that employees understand the policy and their responsibilities when using a Spend Authorization, including the need to repay outstanding funds

Order of Work Action to Take Essential Process Details/Helpful Tips
1 Create a Spend Authorization in Workday
2 Follow data entry requirements for each type of advance For Human Research Study Participant Advances:
  • Business Purpose - Study Subject Advance
  • Expense Item - Study Participant Advance
  • Line Memo - Must include Yale approved IRB protocol number

For Travel-Related Advances:

  • Expense Item - Travel and Expense Advance

For Both Advance Types:

  • Select the “Reimbursement Payment Type” chosen by employee prior to creation
  • Click on box for “Cash Advance Selected or Requested”

Order of Work

Action to Take

Essential Process Details/Helpful Tips


Clear expenses within guidelines outlined in the policy

For Travel-Related Advances:

  • Must be cleared no later than two weeks (10 business days) after the end date of travel
  • If travel exceeds 90 days, expenses incurred to date should be cleared every 90 days

For Human Research Study Participant Expenses:

  • Must be reconciled monthly and cleared within three (3) months of opening the advance


Clear expenses via an Expense Report in Workday

  • Refer to the Create/Clear a Spend Authorization training guide for step-by-step instructions. “Create/Clear a Spend Authorization
  • Only click the check box for “Final Expense Report for Spend Authorization” if there are no remaining expense items to link.
  • The Spend Authorization will only be closed if the expenses entered equal or exceed the balance of the Spend Authorization and the “Final Expense Report” box is checked
  • If there is no outstanding balance and the “Final Expense Report” box is not checked, you will need to manually close the SA
  • Only the employee or their delegate can close a Spend Authorization with a zero balance
  • If the employee is no longer employed at Yale, email FSC to request closure of the spend authorization

For Human Research Study Participant advances:

  • Use the “Human Research Payments” expense item


For outstanding advance amounts, ensure that the remaining funds are returned to Yale

Order of Work Action to Take Essential Process Details/Helpful Tips
1 Run reports as needed: Find Spend Authorizations/Cash Advances – Yale

If You Need To:

Request the Following Role:
  • Any employee, or their delegate, can create a SA

Delegation of authority can be requested one of two ways:

  1. Cost Center P2P $1K Approver
  2. Cost Center P2P $10K Approver
  3. Cost Center P2P Unlimited Approver

Speak to your supervisor regarding the appropriate dollar threshold for this role

Monitor/Run Report(s
  1. Cost Center Financial Analyst
  2. Cost Center P2P Inquiry

See full list of Workday Roles.