Expenses requirements and guidelines: information for departments


The SAP Concur 24/7 Support Desk is your first port of call for queries about using the eExpenses system. Contact them on 0800 389 8758 or via Help within SAP Concur which also offers a chat function.

For issues relating to accessing eExpenses please see Managing access to eExpenses for information on how staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students are set up and the forms needed to add and remove access if required.

All expenses must be in accordance with the four mandatory Principles.
Expenses Principles Logo. 1: value for money. 2: cannot pay directly.  3: no personal benefit. 4: evidence required.
  1. Value for money is achieved.

  2. Expenses should only be used when it is not possible and/or practical for the University to pay for the good or service directly.

  3. Costs incurred are for business purposes only, and the individual does not receive a personal benefit.

  4. Only actual and evidenced costs are reclaimed.


The University will only reimburse costs undertaken for necessary business purposes as part of an individual’s requirement to perform their duties of employment or conduct University business.

All expense claims should be properly recorded and evidenced with supporting receipts or proof of purchase and the reason for the claim.


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  • It is an HMRC requirement that all expense claims are supported by evidence. In addition, some research funders may also require additional evidence (for example a flight boarding pass). Claimants are advised to consult their departmental admin team to understand the documented evidence required for claiming expenses
  • Claimants should request detailed receipts as proof of purchase and attach these in support of all expense claims made. In exceptional circumstances, if this is not possible, a full explanation should be provided together with any other supporting documentation as proof of purchase, such as a bank or credit card statement. Any claims submitted without receipts or reasonable explanations may be rejected
  • To remain compliant with HMRC and funder requirements, claimants must also provide sufficient information about the reason for the claim (for example, purpose of journey).

Credit card slips or copies of bank statements alone are not considered sufficient evidence to support a claim as they do not include itemised detail of the transaction.

These should only be used occasionally in circumstances when receipts could not be obtained.  Where receipts or copy receipts are unavailable, a reimbursement may be made as long as a declaration is made, and the nature and circumstances of the expense are understood and approved by the department

  • It is important for expense claims to be made in a timely manner. For budget management purposes and to avoid the risk of any overspend etcetera, expense claims should be made within three months of being incurred or of returning to the UK
  • In exceptional circumstances, when also supported by the head of department and a full written explanation for the delay, late claims may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Finance Division.

Lack of organisation or lack of awareness or forgetfulness of the procedures etcetera are not acceptable reasons for delay 

Disputed cases will be reviewed by the Director of Finance and a final decision regarding payment will then be made

  • Any attempt to submit a deliberately false or duplicate claim will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence
  • All expense claims should comply with the four mandatory expenses principles
  • It is the claimant’s responsibility to understand the Expenses Policy and guidance, and check the legitimacy of any purchase BEFORE it is made, to ensure reimbursement of their expenses claim. By submitting a claim via eExpenses or signing a form, they are declaring that their expenses have been incurred for carrying out University business and are in line with the University's expenses principles
  • All claims must be approved by an authorised signatory with appropriate delegated responsibility. Self-authorised claims, or claims authorised by a close relative, member of staff or staff junior to the claimant will NOT be paid
  • To remain compliant with HMRC regulations, all claimants must provide the following information with their expense claim:
    • personal details (name, address, bank details)
    • sufficient information about the reason for the claim, for example purpose of journey
    • if the expense was incurred in a foreign currency, evidence of the exchange rate used must also be provided. Appropriate evidence includes:
      • confirmation of exchange rate on date of payment from an established source, for example XE.com
      • evidence from bank, credit or charge card statement of actual rate of exchange
  • Confirms that the activity has taken place and is legitimate to charge to their budget
  • Considers the Expenses Principles and any relevant restrictions (for example, donation, trust fund or any departmental terms and conditions)
Finance team review
  • Checks that the expense is in line with the expenses principles as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF). Checks include confirming receipts are correct and explanations are reasonable. Many checks are now built into eExpenses, for example do the numbers add up, is the claim signed?
  • Confirms the claim is coded appropriately
  • Considers any relevant restrictions (for example, donation, trust fund or any departmental terms and conditions)
Financial approver
  • Confirms compliance with the expenses principles as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF), taking assurance from the claimant and the budget-holder declarations that the costs are legitimate business expenses
  • Takes overall responsibility for confirming this is a legitimate expense to be refunded
  • Authorised signatory for claims of up to £10,000


  • As a general principle, the University will make all payments in GBP (Pounds Sterling). However, where the payee is not resident or has no permanent establishment within the UK, and has no UK bank account, then a foreign currency payment may be allowed
  • Where expenses are initially paid out by the claimant in a foreign currency, a conversion to GBP is required:
    • Items claimed via eExpenses:the claimant should select the transactional currency and eExpenses will convert the value using the rate from Ouanda.com at the date for the transaction.  The rate can be changed within 10%, but evidence supporting a different rate is required
    • Items claimed via an offline form: the claimant should obtain an exchange rate on the date of the transaction from a verifiable and reliable source such as XE.com, the Financial Times or equivalent. Evidence of the exchange rate used should be attached to the claim
  • If a bank or credit card was used to make a purchase and the exchange rate is itemised on the statement, this may also be used as evidence of the exchange rate used
  • Reimbursement in a foreign currency may be allowed where the payee is not resident or has no permanent establishment within the UK, and has no UK bank account
  • For reimbursement of expense claims in any currency other than GBP (Pounds Sterling), an explanation should be attached to the claim detailing why this is necessary
  • For expense claims to be made in a foreign currency, the exchange rate in force at the time of input to Oracle Accounts Payable will be used unless it is necessary (for example, to comply with funding rules on research grants) to use a different rate
  • Where a different rate is required, a calculation should be provided from GBP to the currency concerned in the same manner outlined in the above section. Chargeable exchange rate variations will be posted against the default departmental cost centre which means that the actual amount payable to the claimant may vary


  • It is the responsibility of each department to understand the full impact of tax on departmental budgets if they choose to bear the tax and National Insurance costs on the individual’s behalf, and the tax implications to individual claimants on any personal benefits received
  • If the department covers the cost of any tax owed by the individual for a personal benefit gained, the costs incurred to the department are significant and can be up to 107% of the cost, depending on the individual’s income tax rate:
    • For a basic rate tax payer, the expenses cost incurred to departments will increase by 42%
    • For a higher rate tax payer, the expenses cost incurred to departments will increase by 89%
    • For an additional tax rate payer, the expenses cost incurred to departments will increase by 107%

For further guidance and information, please refer to the Head of Payroll

  • It is not possible to reclaim VAT through the eExpenses system
  • If it is important to reclaim VAT on an item, we recommend a purchase order is raised

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When eExpenses is live in your department, download the app and log in using:

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