Finance Division

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses

Scanning your receipts to attach to your claim

You must ensure that the image of the receipt is clear, complete and legible for the authoriser and for external statutory and compliance purposes. As long as this is the case multiple receipts can be scanned into one document. Our scanning guide provides further guidance.

Finance systems access and financial literacy training

Using the app to help prepare your Out of Pocket Expense claims

Before you start, check the operating system on your phone to ensure compatibility.

iPhone App: Requires iOS (iphone Operating System) 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod. The app is not supported on Windows devices. Check the Apple support pages for help.

Android App: Requires Android phone 5.0 and up. Check if your device is compatible.

Find out how to download and use the app in Part 2 of the Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide.

The URL you will need to copy and paste into your device for the App to work is: https://abwlive.sussex.ac.uk/BusinessWorld-webservices/Service.svc

Download the app

Policies, forms and guides

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Policies

Purchasing Policy 2018 

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Forms

Expense form for Students

Expense form for Visitors

Overseas Travel Safety and Security Risk Assessment: OTTSRA Risk Assessment Form

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guides

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide

Guidance for capturing images of receipts

Purchasing Card Guide

FAQs

Key points to consider before spending

1. The Policy references reasonable/moderate expenditure. How do I make this judgement?

By their nature certain expenditure relating to personal travel, accommodation, entertaining and similar situations require judgement to be applied to ensure Value for Money from University funds. In many circumstances staff who are authorised to incur expenditure are expected to make a judgement as to what is reasonable based on local circumstances.

The Purchasing Policy cannot cover all eventualities and relies on staff to make these judgements as they are best placed to understand these circumstances. If in doubt, you should apply the transparency test, i.e. would you be comfortable with the action or behaviour in question being subjected to public scrutiny?

If you are unsure, you should consult your budget holder in the first instance.

2. Can I buy food or alcohol for staff or students events with my purchasing card, or using out of pocket expenses?

Guidance on the situations where it may be reasonable to purchase alcohol using University funds can be found in the Purchasing Policy.

The specific situations are described in appendix 5 to the policy as follows: Section A5.4 visitor hospitality, Section A5.4.2 staff leaving events, Section A5.4.3 student welcome and leaving events, and Section A5.4.4 other staff and student events. In all cases the budget holder should be consulted before purchases are made.

The University's Catering Provider should be approached in the first instance for events on campus. However, if business need cannot be met, use of an alternative supplier may be allowable (see section A1.1.1 of the Purchasing Policy).

In this case, as for other purchases, the use of a University purchasing card should be the preferred route if the supplier is not set up on the Finance System.

3. If I add a personal extension onto a business trip, what should I do if this extension increases the cost of the journey?

In these circumstances, you must first discuss the proposal with the budget holder and your line manager in accordance with section A4.9 of the Purchasing Policy.  If they authorise the extension you should pay for the trip in full and claim back the appropriate cost to the University via an out of pocket expense claim, making the rationale for the amount clear on the claim form.

Costs which are wholly and necessarily incurred in respect of the business element of a trip are appropriate use of University funds. If the arrangement results in higher travelling costs, University funds will meet the equivalent cost had the traveller’s journey been purely for business.

If the arrangements result in the cost being less than would otherwise have been incurred, University funds will meet the actual cost incurred and no more. 

4. What mileage can I claim?

Guidance as to the allowable mileage to claim for private car travel on University business is set out in section A4.4.6 of the Purchasing Policy. Mileage rates are set by HMRC and the total claim is automatically calculated in the Finance System.

Therefore, you only need to enter the amount of miles you have travelled and the type of vehicle used.

5. My bank details have changed, how do I update them?

Payments to staff are made using the details held in the HR system. If your bank details have changed, you should follow the HR process to update them.

How to submit a claim

1. How do I install and use the expenses app?

Please see page 18 of the Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide.

2. How do I submit a claim for out of pocket expenses?

You must submit out of pocket expense claims using the Finance System if you have systems access.

If you do not have systems access but believe you are eligible please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

Guidance on how to submit your claim can be found in the guidance and e-learning here.

Out of pocket expense claims for visitors and others without systems access should be submitted using either the Student Expense form - no finance system access or Visitor Expense form - no finance system access as appropriate.

3. Can someone input my expense claim for me?

All claims should be submitted using the Finance System where you have systems access. You should never share your log-in credentials with another individual (ITS Security Guidance).

4. How do I know what budget to charge my expenses to?

You should always check with the budget holder to ensure that you know where to charge the expenditure.

If you have already agreed with the budget holder that you can purchase against a particular budget, but need to find the code, you can begin typing the name (or code) of the subproject in the appropriate box on the requisition input screen of the Finance System. The predictive search function will then generate a list of selectable subprojects that match the characters you have input so far.

If you require further help please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

5. How do I claim for foreign currency purchases?

Please convert foreign currency receipts for cash items into GBP, using www.xe.com, and submit the claim using the rate you bought the cash at. Please attach the cash receipt to your claim to evidence the rate used. If you used your personal credit card please indicate the GBP charge you actually incurred from your card provider. The authoriser may ask to see your credit card statements to support this.  

6. I forgot to attach receipts to an out of pocket claim, what do I do?

If the claim has not yet been authorised: Please contact the authoriser and ask them to reject the claim back to you. You can then attach the receipts and re-submit the claim.

If the claim has been authorised: It is really important that the receipts are kept securely for HMRC, and the research funder where relevant. We need to keep them for 6 years for HMRC but some research funders ask for a longer period.

You should contact the budget holder immediately to agree how to ensure to do this – we recommend that you agree to do this electronically and build in a clear audit trail to the expense claim so that any future review can link them together. The receipts will need to be retianed in the Universiry even if one of both of you leave the University and it is the budget holders responsibility to make sure this happens.

7. I can’t take photos or scan my receipts. What should I do?

If you do not have access to a scanner, smart phone or similar device to capture electronic images then please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

8. I don’t have the app. How do I attach receipts to my out of pocket expenses claim?

You may also use a scanner / phone / tablet to capture electronic images and upload them via the Finance System. You must ensure that the image of the receipt is clear, complete and legible for the authoriser and for external statutory and compliance purposes. As long as this is the case, multiple receipts can be scanned into one document. Please see the Guidance for capturing images of receipts for further information and examples.

If you require further help please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

9. I don’t have the app, how do I claim mileage?

You can enter mileage directly onto the Finance System via the Expenses tab. Mileage rates are set by HMRC and the total claim is automatically calculated in the Finance System. Therefore, you only need to enter the amount of miles you have travelled and the type of vehicle used.

See page 20 of the Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide

10. I don’t have a Finance System login. How do I claim out of pocket expenses?

You must submit out of pocket expense claims using the Finance System if you have systems access.

If you do not have systems access but believe you are eligible please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

11. Can I use a paper claim form?

You must submit out of pocket expense claims using the Finance System if you have systems access.

If you do not have systems access but believe you are eligible please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

Guidance on how to submit your claim can be found in the guidance and e-learning here.

12. How long do I have to submit my expense claim?

You should submit expense claims within 3 months of the expenditure being incurred. The relevant budget will not be updated until your claim is submitted so any delay can lead to the budget being overspent.

After you have submitted a claim

1. Who will authorise my out of pocket expenses?

The Finance System is configured to ensure that the correct budget holders authorise purchases relating to specific budgets. It is important to ensure that any purchase is correctly coded for this reason. You can check to see who the authoriser is on the Finance System by using the 'workflow enquiry' link on the out of pocket tab of the Finance System. Page 26 of the Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide illustrates how to do this.

If you require further help please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

2. I am a budget holder, can I authorise my own claim/purchase?

The Finance System is configured to ensure that the correct budget holders authorise expense claims relating to specific budgets. If you are the budget holder the system will direct authorisation of expense claims and other purchases to the agreed authoriser.

This is often the Head of School or Director of Professional Service. You can check to see who this person is on the Finance System by using the 'workflow enquiry' link on the Purchasing or Expenses tab of the Finance System. 

3. The person who normally authorises my claim/purchase is away, what should I do?

In most cases the authoriser will have delegated someone to authorise claims when they are away. If they have activated this on the system then the claim will automatically go to this person. You can see who this is when you create the claim if you hover over the authoriser’s name on the tracking screen.  

If this is not the case you should contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

4. How can I see if my claim is authorised?

You can track the progress of your claim via 'workflow enquiry' in the Expenses tab on the Finance System. Page 26 of the Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide illustrates how to do this.

5. How do I know when my out of pocket expenses will get paid?

You can track the progress of your expense claims on the Finance System. Once your claim is authorised, payment will be made on the next payment run (usually twice weekly).

6. How will my expenses get paid?

Payment will be made to your bank account according to the details held for you on the HR system once the claim is authorised. Payments are usually made twice a week so this should not take more than a few working days.

7. I haven’t been paid for my expenses, what should I do ?

You can track the progress of your claim via 'workflow enquiry' in the Expenses tab on the Finance System.

8. What should I do if a claim is rejected?

You should discuss this with the budget holder and agree appropriate action.

9. How do I get a list of expenses I have been paid for my tax return?

In the Finance System, navigate to: Reports > Global reports > My Reports > My expenses. The report runs straight away and will show all claims to date with payment dates.

Other types of claim

1. How do I organise out of pocket expenses for a job candidate etc?

Out of pocket expense claims for visitors and others without systems access should be submitted using either the Student Expense form - no finance system access or Visitor Expense form - no finance system access as appropriate.

2. How do I claim relocation costs?

Relocation expenditure is governed by the Removal Expenses Policy on the Human Resources website.

3. How do I get an advance?

Refer to section 6.4 of the Purchasing Policy 6.4 which will provide you with the information for obtaining an advance.

4. How do I get a purchasing card?

The Application Form and Guidance can be found on these web pages

If you require further help please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

Travel

1. Do I have to use the Managed Travel Provider?

The Managed Travel Provider should be used in the first instance unless business need cannot be met. In these circumstances, alternatives may be sourced in line with the Purchasing Policy at the budget holder's discretion (appendix A1.1.1). Additional guidance with regards to travel and working away from base can be found within appendix A4 of the Purchasing Policy.

2. How do I find the risk assessment for travel (including accommodation e.g. Airbnb)?

Overseas Travel Safety and Security Risk Assessment: OTTSRA Risk Assessment Form.

3. How do I organise travel insurance?

Guidance on travel insurance can be found on the insurance web page