Finance

Staff Expenses

The University's rules and guidance on expenses are shown on these web-pages.

Contact us

The contact details of those supporting the payment of expenses are noted below.  

Please contact :

  • finance@ed.ac.uk or 650 2387 for expenses system matters or general guidance
  • for advances of expenses for research grants please contact your individual Research Grant Administrator for your school
  • lesley.forrest@ed.ac.uk  or 650 2164 for other advances
  • accounts.payable@ed.ac.uk for queries relating to the payment of expenses

Expenses Policies and Guidance

The University's policies on reimbursement of expenses and travel and subsistence are available to download.

Before you travel

The University has a business travel website which has information on matters to consider before travelling, guidance on travelling safely, booking travel, travel insurance, how to deal with emergencies and student travel etc.

Claiming Expenses

Travel or other activities which give rise to an expense should only be undertaken with the prior approval of the budget holder.

Expenses' claims must be authorised by the budget holder or his delegated authority. The budget holder and senior University staff must arrange that their expenses are approved by a more senior member of staff or the school finance officer or by an arrangement agreed by the Director of Finance.

The University will accept or reimburse reasonable travel, subsistence and other costs incurred by a member of staff in the furtherance of his or her duties for the University, however

  • You must ensure that no unnecessary costs are incurred and that the University receives good value for money.
  • You should consider whether or not travel is essential.
  • Low value travel should be approved in advance, self booked, paid for and reclaimed via eExpenses. Other University business travel, transport, car hire or accommodation, if possible, should be ordered only with firms who have formal contracts with the University.
  • No member of the University shall make a claim in respect of any expense that was not incurred necessarily on university business. Any attempt to submit a false claim form will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence.
  • If travelling to more remote or dangerous parts of the world you must undertake a full travel risk assessment.
  • Payment of expenses is in arrears on the production of receipts.
  • The University's guidelines for reimbursement of expenses must be strictly adhered to.

The following types of expenditure will be normally be reimbursed:

  • Staff travel and subsistence while performing University duties;
  • Accommodation when travelling away from home on University business;
  • Other necessary expenditure incurred by a member of staff in the furtherance of his or her duties;
  • Reasonable expenditure incurred entertaining persons visiting the University.

The following expenditure will not normally be reimbursed:

  • Personal expenditure;
  • Subscriptions to professional bodies;
  • Travel between home and work;
  • Car parking fines and permits at place of work:
  • Travel, subsistence, accommodation costs or other expenses that appear in the opinion of the finance office to be inappropriate or excessive:
  • Unvouched expenditure unless exceptionally agreed with the budget holder

Staff expense claims must be made through the online claim system, eExpenses. Further details on the eExpenses system, including how to register, are available on the Finance Department Wiki.

Reasonableness

All expense claims and advances will be payable subject to verification by the Finance Department.

Where claims appear unreasonable or are not correctly authorised or completed they will be returned unpaid until the problem has been resolved.The FInance Department may pursue any claim which appears to be excessive.

Authorisation of Expenses 

Claims should be authorised as soon as possible to minimise delay in payment.

Authorisers must confirm that the costs have been incurred necessarily for the purposes of the University business, that there is sufficient budget to cover the expense and that supporting documentation, such as a receipt, is presented, prior to approving expense claims.  

Heads of Schools/Heads of Support Departments may delegate authority for authorisation of expenses to senior members of staff who have management or financial responsibility. They may not delegate authorisation powers to more junior members of staff. Non-budget holding staff should only be given powers of authorisation where there are clear line management responsibilities for a particular area.

All expenses must be authorised by someone senior to the claimant or at an equivalent level or by the unit finance manager.

Heads of School/Units shall have their claims authorised by the appropriate member of the College/Support Group

Heads of College/Support Groups or Assistant/Vice Principals will be authorised by either the University Secretary, or in the Secretary's absence by the Director of Corporate Services, Principal or Director of Finance.

The Principal shall have his/her claim authorised by the Vice-Convener of Court.

Individuals who are not members of staff must have their expense claims authorised by the authorised signatory for the appropriate cost centre.

All authorised signatories should be recorded on the Finance Department's Authorisations Database. Any changes should be notified promptly.

Further information in relation to claiming  

Access to the Finance Department Wiki requires EASE login.

Advance of expenses

It is not normal to provide an advance of expenses for travel but where a reasonable case can be made to the Budget Holder, and with the agreement of Finance, an advance can be made but the Budget Holder remains accountable for managing the recovery of the advance.  

Please refer to further guidance on reimbursement of expenses for the circumstances when an advance payment may be made.

Forms for claiming payment of forms in advance are available to download from the Finance Department Wiki.

Approved mileage rates

Approved mileage rate for expenses claims can be found on the HMRC website.