Claimant's Checklist

Claimant’s Checklist for expense claims.

 Like all employers, the University is obliged by law to follow the rules imposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). These include a requirement that all expenses payments are "wholly, necessarily and exclusively" for work purposes. If this is not the case, expenses may be paid only at the discretion of the University, and income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) must be deducted from the payment. HMRC also require that original receipts are provided with all claims. This gives the necessary proof that the expenditure was incurred and was for bona fide University business.


  Claim Timeframe           

  Claim is recent i.e. within last 3 months. Normally all claims should be completed within 3 months.

  Accessing the online system                                                                                                         

  All expenses for all staff must be entered using the online system - eExpenses, the only exception to this is for new starts who may be paid via FPM in the first instance until their eExpenses record is completed.


  Please contact your school eAuthorisations administrator to get access.


  The system may be accessed directly from the MyEd portal home page menu.

  Valid claim

  Travel expenses were incurred wholly and necessarily on University Business


  Reason for expense recorded clearly and entered on the expenses system




  • All original receipts scanned/attached. Credit card statements, booking or application forms are not sufficient.
  • Missing/Photocopied receipts – if applicable – identify missing receipts and enter explanation.
  • Dates entered agree to receipts
  • Receipts in foreign languages and alphabets should be annotated at the time       of purchase so it is known which transaction they relate to.
  • Although flat rate allowance exist normally payment is done on the basis of actual costs incurred
  • Restaurant receipts must be fully itemised and state the number of diners and list all meals and drinks bought. HMRC will not accept a vague summary such as “meals”, especially if the total bill is for a significant amount.


  Receipt or Credit Card

  Be aware that our Research Grant auditors draw a distinction between a receipt (which usually contains details of what was bought) and a credit card transaction record (which only tells you the amount debited to your card account) – it is the receipt that they will want to see.


  Car Insurance

  If using own car for business mileage, appropriate insurance should be in place.  

  Foreign Currency

  Currency – if receipt is in currency this should be noted and the exchange rate being used to convert the currency or if that is not available, a reasonable exchange rate from an appropriate exchange rate website e.g.




  • Appropriate expense type selected
  • Valid job code and cost centre codes used




  • Travel advance – if an advance issued make sure noted on claim
  • Travel – reason, location and distance travelled – may be useful to attached conference itinerary/course syllabus etc
  • Use procured suppliers where possible e.g. key travel
  • Mileage rates are linked to HMRC rates and are embedded in the expenses systems



  We know it can be difficult in a restaurant when there are people from several institutions present at a meal. In this case, ask for individual receipts or for copies of the receipt, but always try to obtain the original receipt.


  In extenuating circumstances, we will accept either a photocopy or photograph of the original receipt, but you must also supply the name and institution/company of the person who has the original receipt


  Expenses should broadly be agreed with the budget holder in advance of being incurred.


  Correct financial codes are charged ( i.e. cost centre and job code, account code is dependent on expense type selected )

  Policy compliance

  Travel in accordance with policy



The cost of alcohol consumed as part of a meal will not be reimbursed unless it meets the criteria of entertaining as per the Expenses Policy:

8.Entertaining for University purposes

8.1.The University recognises that there may be occasions when it is appropriate to provide hospitality to external customers or other important stakeholders of the University. On these occasions it is expected that the purpose of entertaining is to foster new business, provide a documented benefit to the University or to continue existing academic or business contacts. Hospitality is an accepted courtesy of an academic or business relationship however the University must avoid a situation whereby the hospitality may be deemed to have influenced a decision or lead to allegations of a conflict of interest.

 8.2. Where University staff are being offered gifts or hospitality they should refer to the guidance within the University’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy which provides clear guidance on accepting gifts and hospitality.

8.3. All entertaining detailed in section 8.1 must be authorised by the Head of School/Planning Unit before it is incurred unless there are acceptable unforeseen circumstances.

8.4.Necessary costs of entertaining academic or business contacts will be reimbursed on production of receipts. Reasonable tips that do not exceed 15%paid to reward good service are claimable as part of the meal. Expenditure must be incurred wholly, necessarily and exclusively for the entertaining of academic or business contacts. Academic or business contacts do not include other employees of the University of Edinburgh or of any organisation or company associated with the University.



  Hospitality – Names and details of attendees and business and purpose should be recorded.


  Gratuities paid for restaurant service will not be reimbursed unless the bill clearly states that the service change is compulsory.

  Non-allowable expenditure


  • Normally home to work travel
  • Christmas functions
  • Tips unless part of a mandatory service charge
  • Traffic related fines
  • Spouses, partners and children’s travel costs
  • Pet/House/Baby sitters
  • Personal items – toiletries, clothing, luggage, books, videos
  • Gifts for staff ( including maternity, leaving and retirement)
  • Miscellaneous hotel charges – mini bar, video/tv changes


  Research Grant specific rules

  Each research sponsor has different rules about what is and is not allowable. These rules are particularly notable for EU grants and for US government research grants (e.g., DARPA, IARPA, NSF). Ensure that your claim falls within the rules for your sponsor.