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Procedure for claiming expenses

Making a claim

Expenditure incurred whilst on University business should be claimed for reimbursement using an Expense Claim form, hard copies of which can be obtained from Reception, or alternatively downloaded online.

Where possible, any items should be purchased via one of the designated Departmental Buyers: These are Sara Singlehurst, Andy Jessop and Marion Martin.

Any electrical items purchased will need to be Portable Appliance Tested (PAT) before use.

All original receipts must be attached to the claim form.  A photocopied or scanned receipt is not acceptable. 

A credit card statement without fully itemised receipts is not sufficient. A credit card or VAT receipt is not acceptable without a fully itemised receipt accompanying this type of receipt. 

NB.  Claims for under £5 may be submitted without a receipt. 

Forms should be legible and correctly completed e.g. travel in the travel claims section, and there should be comprehensive details regarding the purpose of the claim i.e. the full name of the conference attended. 

When claiming for a business lunch or dinner, a list of attendees should be attached to or on entered on the claim form.  Entertainment should not include anything other than the provision of food, although a modest amount of reasonably priced alcohol is permissible when taken with an evening meal.

When reimbursing personal credit card expenses, the University will not reimburse any interest or other penalties incurred by the cardholder.

The claimant must sign the Expense Claim form and obtain an account code and authorisation signature from their supervisor / grant / budget holder.  Where a PI is claiming, the form should be passed directly for processing.  Once the form has been signed please forward it, along with original copies of receipts, to the Reception Office.

Where an Expense Claim form involves a different currency, the exchange rate used must be noted on the form and proof (e.g. bank/credit card statement or travel currency receipt document) attached.  If you live abroad and require reimbursement in a different currency cheques can raised in US Dollars, Euros and GBP.  Department employees will be paid by BACS transfer.

What can you claim for:

Subsistence rates

Employees should travel and be accommodated in safety with reasonable comfort and be reimbursed for the actual travel and associated expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

Employees should always choose the most cost-effective method of transport for business journeys bearing in mind the numbers travelling and time considerations. Generally, cars should only be used where it is impractical to use other methods of transport or where use of a car is more cost-effective, when time and other considerations are taken into account.

When employees are travelling on business, and are more than 5 miles away from both their normal place of work and home, they are entitled to recompense for the meals that they purchase.

Allowances are listed in the table below. Claims must be supported by receipts.

 

 

Current rate

Part day – spanning lunch

Absent for more than 5 hours over the lunchtime period

£8.75

Part day – spanning dinner

Absent form more than 5 hours over the evening period

£21.00

Part day – including lunch and dinner

Absent for more than 10 hours but not overnight

£29.75

Overnight

Includes breakfast as well as accommodation (higher rate applicable for the London area).

£99.00 (£130.00 London rate)

Overnight staying with friends/family

 

£25.00

Complete period of 24 hours outside of London

 

£128.75

Complete period of 24 hours in London

 

£161.00

N.B Your claim should be the current rate, or the actual cost of the meal, whichever is the lesser amount.

 

Mileage rates

The Department will pay a mileage allowance where employees use their car or motorcycle for business travel. Business travel means journeys employees make to or from a place they have to attend in the performance of their duties, but not any travel from home to a University site.

The rates of mileage are as follows:

 

Current

Travel by car

(irrespective of size)

45p a mile up to 10,000 miles

25p a mile thereafter

Travel by Motorcycle

24p a mile

 Air Travel

For air travel attention should be paid to the following:

  • Give maximum notice to take advantage of discounted fares e.g. Apex tickets
  • Avoid last minute changes before or during the trip where these result in higher fares
  • Non-refundable fares should be used when travel plans are relatively certain. The discounts should be weighed against the penalties when making the decision
  • Fully flexible fares should not be used where flexibility in travel arrangements is not a business requirement

E-tickets

E ticketing means that you receivean e-mail acknowledgement containing a reference number for your booking and you can go straight to the airline's check-in at the airport to collect your boarding pass. E-ticketsshould be taken where offered by the agent/airline. Surcharges can be levied when paper tickets are requested on e-ticket routes. However, please remember if booking tickets on-line or purchasing 'e' tickets to still ensure that you print out a receipt and if booking on behalf of a colleague you follow the University Finance regulations and seek quotes/raise purchase orders where appropriate.

Rail Travel

Rail travel is normally the most cost-effective option for travel to London. For longer journeys within the UK compare time and cost factors (including subsistence rates) against car and air travel options. Second class fare is payable unless first class travel is allowed by the Head of Department or other authorised person.

In all cases the cheapest available tickets should be purchased such as the appropriate rail saver, supersaver or Apex, many of which should be booked in advance. Wherever possible, rail travel can take place in off peak periods.

Guidance on expenses claims, with links to travel and subsistence rates, is available at
http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/finance/forms/expenses/index.html

see also : http://www.finance.admin.cam.ac.uk/policy-and-procedures/financial-procedures/chapter-5b-expenses-benefits/general-expense-procedures

 

You can also download this information as a pdf

 

[Page updated 10 May 2017]