Before incurring an expense, careful consideration should be given to whether the University can pay directly. The University does not expect staff to pay for goods or services on its behalf where it can pay directly (for example, by raising a purchase order). The method of payment can also affect the tax treatment of an item.
Expenses incurred by an individual on behalf of the University must be in accordance with the principles set out in the Expenses Policy:
- Value for money is achieved. Costs should be modest and reasonable, and any cost which an external observer might regard as being unnecessary or excessive use of public/charitable funds must be avoided. “Reasonable” expenses are those that are cost effective when weighed against the purpose of the activity. Reimbursement in full is not guaranteed if the claim is not considered to be value for money. Please refer to your departmental finance or admin team if further clarification is required.
- The University cannot pay directly. Expenses should only be used when it is not possible and/or practical for the University to pay for the goods or service directly by raising a purchase order or receiving an invoice (as opposed to the individual incurring the expense and being reimbursed).
- Costs incurred are for business purposes only, and the individual receives no personal benefit (see information on taxation on the main on the main Expenses page).
- Evidence required. Only actual and evidenced costs are reclaimed on a timely basis and claims are authorised by someone other than the claimant or a related individual. Claimants should note that an expense is not considered legitimate until authorised.
If the claim is to be met from a research award, it is also important that the claim meets any additional funder terms and conditions.
There is guidance available to show how these principles are expected to apply in different situations: