How to claim expenses: staff and students

Expenses going online

The University is moving from the paper expenses claim form to SAP Concur eExpenses for most expense claims. Social Sciences Division departments will be early adopters of eExpenses, to allow for a review before it is introduced more widely, with a provisional go-live date of 15 March. eExpenses is expected to go-live for other departments and participating colleges from 29 March (date to be confirmed), with individual departments choosing when to start using it and when to stop accepting the current paper expenses claim form (within the window until its retirement at the end of September 2021).  Please check with your departmental or college admin or finance team when you should start using eExpenses. 

 

Before you start

The University does not expect staff or students to pay for goods or services where it can pay directly.  When this is not possible, staff can pay themselves and claim via the expenses process. Any expenditure claimed via expenses must be in line with the Expenses Principles. Before you spend, think about whether this is the right route, or whether the University is able to pay directly.

 

Claims should be submitted promptly - as close as possible to the time of expenditure, with submission within three months of the activity concluding or return from travel. Lack of organisation, forgetfulness or non-awareness of the procedures etc are not acceptable reasons for delay. Please note that late claims may not be reimbursed.

 

To avoid staff being out of pocket, an advance can be requested (if certain criteria are met). See further information about organising an advance

Making a claim

There are two ways to submit a claim:

  • Most claims should be submitted via SAP Concur eExpenses and further details are outlined below showing the action you need to take when you first access the system (Your profile in eExpenses) and how to make a claim using it (Claiming via eExpenses). SAP Concur eExpenses can be accessed via the link in the right hand menu. Log in with your Single Sign On (SSO) user name and password (for example abcd1234@OX.AC.UK).
    • Staff and postgraduate students: set up in the system when they join the University
    • Undergraduates: need to complete an online service request form to be set up in the system (details on how to do this will be made available before eExpenses is live).  Then see the information below on Your profile in eExpenses and Claiming via eExpenses.
  • Some items that form a taxable benefit need to be paid via payroll. These classifications are made by HMRC and the University is obliged to follow them. There is a separate offline form for these items (see below)
YOUR PROFILE IN eEXPENSES

Before you make your first claim, you need to set up your profile within SAP Concur eExpenses, logging in via the link in the right hand menu using your SSO credentials (for example abcd1234@OX.AC.UK). This has to be done via the web browser, rather than the mobile app.  (Information on supported browsers is available in Section 9 of SAP Concur Supported Configurations document.)

 

The following items need maintaining:

  • Bank details: so your expense claims can be reimbursed
  • Vehicle details: required if you claim mileage (you can include multiple vehicles, as well as motorbikes and bicycles)
  • Email address: if you want to email receipts to the system you need to verify your University email address, and you can add another email address (for example, to send photos of receipts from the default email address on your mobile device)
  • You can add and manage delegates via your profile, enabling colleagues to carry out some activities on your behalf. A delegate can create a claim on your behalf but you have to submit it yourself (see more information under Claiming via eExpenses)

 

Your profile can be amended at any time and you should keep it up to date.

 

If you are never going to make an expense claim you do not need to edit your profile (for example by adding bank details).  You will still be able to act as a delegate for someone else.

CLAIMING VIA eEXPENSES

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  • Multiple items can be submitted on a claim and we would advise grouping items where appropriate
  • Only claims up to £10,000 can be submitted (see more information under Frequently Asked Questions)
  • When you start a claim, you will be prompted to:
    • Provide a name for the claim and brief details about the purpose: take time to make these meaningful as this will help you keep track of your claims later
    • Specify which project code or a cost centre the costs should be charged to (please speak to your departmental finance or admin team if you need information about codes):
      • This code will be applied to all items on the claim
      • If you are including items that should be charged to different codes, select the appropriate code for the majority of items to minimise amendments,  you can then change the coding for individual items that differ
  • Your main department is selected by default, giving access to your department’s codes but you can change the department if necessary using the drop-down.  You will need to do a separate claim per department
  • You should add each item individually to the claim. You will be prompted to:
    • Select an appropriate expense type, for example train, conference travel, and it will automatically map to the correct natural account code (if you are unsure how to categorise your claim, do not guess the code but contact your departmental finance or admin team for advice)
    • Complete basic information about the item, including the value
    • Provide information about the purpose of the claim, which is essential to remain compliant with HMRC and funder requirements
  • Additional information is required for certain items, including:
    • Entertaining: details of attendees must be included (note this may have a tax implication). You manage attendees in your eExpenses profile, and then choose which of your listed attendees should be included on an individual claim, or add them directly as you create the claim
    • Mileage:
      • You need to have entered vehicle details in your profile before you can claim mileage and note that by submitting a claim for mileage, you are declaring that your car is roadworthy and insured for business use
      • You can enter miles travelled or use the mileage calculator by entering your start and end points
      • You can add passengers if appropriate
      • HMRC reimbursement rates will be applied to your claim
    • Currency: you can claim for different currencies and eExpenses will convert this to GBP (GB pounds) using the transaction date exchange rate from Ouanda.com (see more information under Frequently Asked Questions)
  • You can change where the item is charged by amending the coding details and can split an item across multiple codes if necessary by using the Allocate option.
  • It is an HMRC requirement that all expense claims are supported by evidence and you can provide this by attaching photos or scans of receipts to your claim 
  • Some research funders have additional requirements (for example, flight boarding passes) so check grant terms and conditions or talk to your departmental finance or admin team for advice
  • Credit slips or copies of bank statements alone are not considered sufficient evidence to support a claim, as they do not provide itemised detail of the transaction
  • We recognise that sometimes it is not possible to obtain a receipt or receipts get lost in which case a declaration is required. Where possible, other supporting documentation (for example a bank or credit card statement) should also be attached to the claim
  • All items should be in line with the Expenses Principles:
    • there is guidance available showing how these principles are expected to apply in various situations
    • If you are claiming from a project, there may be additional funder requirements
  • eExpenses might flag up messages (for example, a warning that a receipt has not been attached) to highlight areas where you may need to add more information, check that an item is correct or that it is in line with guidance, so that your claim flows through the process as quickly as possible
  • Once you have finished your claim and cleared any warnings, you can submit it and by doing so you are declaring that the expenses you are claiming have been incurred for carrying out University business and are in line with the University's expenses principles. This declaration is recorded within the eExpenses system
  • Submitted claims enter a workflow for review and, if there is a query, your claim might be returned to you for additional information or explanation
  • You will receive email alerts as your claim travels through the workflow and you can track the progress of your claim by clicking “Open claims” to view all your claims
  • Delegates can prepare a claim on your behalf, but you will need to submit it yourself as your declaration, retained on eExpenses, that the expenses you are claiming have been incurred for carrying out University business and are in line with the University's expenses principles
  • You will receive an email notification when a delegate has prepared your claim and considers it ready for you to submit
  • You can set up more than one delegate via your eExpenses profile
CLAIMING FOR TAXABLE BENEFITS

Under HMRC rules, some items may be considered a benefit, and are therefore refunded via payroll so that tax can be deducted. These cannot be submitted via eExpenses, but should instead be detailed on the Taxable Benefits Expenses Claim Form, submitted to your department for authorisation and forwarded to the Payroll Team. Please note that due to payroll deadlines, reimbursement may not be until the following month. 

 

The University is obliged to operate in line with HMRC rules. These rules can be complex, and we recognise that it is not always straightforward to identify taxable items. Taxable items may be identified as follows:

  • Guidance: information is included in the expenses guidance (see further information on taxation in the Expenses Policy)
  • System flags: where possible, information is programmed into eExpenses. If you receive a flag telling you to include an item on the Taxable Benefits Expenses Claim Form, please remove it from eExpenses and submit the offline form instead
  • Returned claims: items may be identified during approval. In this case, your claim will be returned to you to remove the taxable item and include on the offline form, before re-submitting your claim

 

Please note, paying for items yourself and claiming via expenses can affect whether they are taxable. The University should always pay directly wherever possible and practical. You are advised to speak to your departmental finance or admin team for advice if needed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Claims should be submitted as close as possible to the time of expenditure, with submission within three months of the activity concluding or return from travel.

Yes, you can start a claim, save it and return later to finish it.

  • You would need to 'Recall' the claim before final approval, add or amend comments and resubmit it
  • The claim would then go back to the beginning of the workflow
  • An expense claim which totals more than £10,000 cannot be submitted or processed via eExpenses
  • If the claim consists of multiple items totalling more than £10,000, the claim can be split
  • If it is a single item, please contact your Head of Administration and Finance (HAF), or equivalent, for advice
  • Exchange rates are applied automatically to expense items and the amount calculated by the system, based on the transaction date, using oanda.com
  • You can overwrite this rate within 10%, but need to provide evidence for using a rate other than that applied in the system, for example a receipt with the rate applied to your purchase
  • You can include multiple currencies on one claim, but all items will be reimbursed in a single currency
  • oanda.com is acceptable to the EC, and EU funders will not query our policy as it will now be consistently applied through eExpenses
  • The default is GBP (British pounds sterling)
  • You can be paid in other currencies on request to eExpenses support
  • Yes, you can be made a delegate for multiple people
  • Anyone wanting to delegate permission for you to act on their behalf needs to set you up as a delegate via their eExpenses profile
  • No, there is not a minimum amount for which you can claim an expense but we would recommend grouping small claims together, otherwise the cost of processing the claim might outweigh the claim (bearing in mind the University guideline to submitting claims within three months of the activity concluding or return from travel) 
  • See the University expenses policy (PDF)

Yes, but you can select another code from the dropdown list if required

The SOF code will default to 00000 but you can select another code from the drop down list, if required

  • There is a standard list of suppliers and vendors loaded into eExpenses
  • The data can be overwritten if the supplier or vendor you need is not listed
  • Yes, you can split your claim across different cost types (GL cost centre or project codes), if they are all being claimed against a single department
  • You will need to create individual claims for each separate department
  • eExpenses accepts files as PNG, JPG, PDF or TIF files 
  • To attach an email you must first save it to your local drive as a PNG, JPG, PDF or TIF file
  • The need to include a city is to ensure the correct currency conversion is applied, if needed
  • The system has a wide range of villages and towns as well as cities.  If in doubt, use the nearest one
  • No you will not be able to see the name of the individuals who will review your claim within the system but you can ask your departmental finance or admin team for this information

It is possible for everyone to see all the codes held within eExpenses, but the default display will be those for the department selected to allocate the expense.

Evidence of authorisations is available via the eExpenses approvals workflow so hard copies and wet signatures will not be required for funder audits.

EXPENSES CLAIM FORM (XLS) for use until eExpenses live

LINK TO SAP Concur (when eExpenses live)

University code for downloading mobile app (when eExpenses live)

 

Downloads and related links


Guidance and support


Help


Using eExpenses: SAP Concur 24/7 support (details available when eExpenses live)

Payment query: payments@admin.ox.ac.uk