The University will begin making changes to travel processes this semester, and the institution will see the savings in full in the next few years, said Mike Volna, associate vice president of the University Controller's Office.
"It's a lot of money, but [the University does] a lot of stuff that requires us to travel, and it's appropriate," Volna
University officials say the institution's travel spending isn't excessive.
said the amount wasn't surprising - the University typically spends around $30 million annually on travel and related employee expenses, he
A better process
The internal audit report found that the University's adherence to travel and employee reimbursement processes is good, with the exception of employee cash advances.
Cash advances are intended to be a way for employees to pay for travel expenses when they don't have enough money on hand to cover them, Volna
But the audit report found the University was giving cash advances for things that weren't technically meeting those standards, he
The University issued almost $1 million in cash advances during the audit period.
"I'm not saying that any of those needs were actually fraudulent or bad," Volna
"It's just there are better ways to do it than through [the] cash advance process."
Cash advances have higher risks of theft, fraud and lack of repayment than other payment methods, according to the audit report.
said the University will move toward using debit cards or stored value cards - one of the recommendations from the Huron report - which have fewer risks and are more efficient.