When a travel advance is issued to an individual through a research project, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure the claimant accounts for his or her expenses by submitting a travel expense claim with the appropriate supporting documentation.
When advances are issued through a research project, it is usually due to a business/research relationship between the PI and the claimant. Given the PI has entrusted this individual to receive an advance on their project, which is demonstrated by the approval of such payments, the PI is responsible for ensuring the individual accounts for their claim, prior to the claimant leaving the University.
Outstanding advances are considered a debt to the institution and must be repaid if not accounted for. When not accounted for, these payments present a risk to the institution from a research funding agency perspective as well as Canada Revenue Agency, given an amount has been paid to an individual without any tax implications.