Procedures

Expense Claims - Procedures

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1.0 Purpose and Scope

An individual who incurs expenditure on behalf of the University may be reimbursed. For reimbursement to be approved, the individual must be able to provide receipts for monies expended, and a description of the purpose and details of the purchase.

It should be noted that staff should always endeavour to avoid using personal funds to incur University related expenditure.

The underlying principle of the Expense Claims Procedure is that University resources are to be used exclusively for institutional use. Personal expenses are not to be charged against any University funds.

Personal funds should only be used for purchases when it is not possible or practicable to purchase goods or services by:

  • Raising a requisition in the UniFi system;

  • Paying via a Corporate Credit Card – typically used for low value goods and services, travel, hospitality and entertainment; or

  • Paying via a Travel Card – typically used to cover the travel expenses of UQ students.

All expense reimbursement claims must follow the relevant claim submission process and comply with a series of conditions, namely that the claim must:

  1. meet the requirements of the particular account or grant to which it is to be charged;

  2. comply with the policy governing expenditure of the kind in question;

  3. be backed by appropriate supporting documentation; and

  4. be approved by the relevant parties.

1.1 Objectives

This procedure aims to explain how expense claims are administered and managed at the University and provides processes for staff and non-staff. The procedure has the following objectives:

  1. To outline the requirements for an expense claim in relation to travel expenses, currency conversion and fuel purchases

  2. To clarify requirements for GST and supporting documentation in relation to an expense claim

  3. To clarify that expense claims are reimbursed to the claimant by funds transfer

  4. To describe the end-to-end expense claims processes for staff and non-staff

  5. To provide staff with clear steps for making expense claims via the Expense Management System (EMS)

  6. To provide non-staff with clear steps for making expense claims via an online form

1.2 Related policies

This procedure relates to the following policies:

1.3 Subject matter covered

The procedure covers the following topics:

  1. The expense management system (EMS)

  2. The expense claims process for staff (employees)

  3. The expense claims process for non-staff and students

  4. How staff can make an expense claim via the EMS

  5. The benefits of travel allowance over travel cards for domestic travellers

  6. How non-staff can make an expense claim

  7. Appropriate supporting documentation to support an expense claim

  8. Reimbursement for the GST component of expenditure

  9. How to claim reimbursement without supporting documentation

  10. What to do if your claim for travel expenses is higher than the travel allowance

  11. How to account for currency conversion in claims for expenses incurred overseas

  12. Reimbursement for fuel purchases

  13. Time limit for claims

  14. How approved expense claims are reimbursed to claimants

  15. Staff (employee) role

  16. Non-staff role

  17. Responsibilities and accountabilities of staff and non-staff

  18. Monitoring, review and assurance of the expense claims procedure

  19. Recording and reporting of activities relating to expense claims

  20. Definitions, terms and acronyms.

1.4 To whom the procedure applies

The Expense Claims procedure applies to staff and non-staff (including students and visitors) who are eligible to claim the reimbursement of expenses from the University.

These procedures do not apply to reimbursement payments made through the HR system (Aurion).

Procedures vary for staff and non-staff.

1.5 Exclusions

There are no exclusions to this procedure.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

2.1 The Expense Management System (EMS)

All staff expense claims must be submitted via the Expense Management System (EMS). The EMS features:

1. The web portal (ProMaster) at secure.inlogik.com/uq/

2. A Smartphone app called “ExpenseMe”, downloadable from the App Store or Google Play

3. The ability to:

  • Capture  photos of receipts - up to 28Mb file size

  • Claim expense reimbursement

  • Approve expenses (by staff with the appropriate access and role)

  • The ability to email photos of receipts (or scanned receipts) directly to EMS so they are readily available when submitting expense claims

  • Emails must contain an attachment (invoices in the body of the email will not be uploaded to the receipts wallet), maximum allowable size of 35Mb

  • The ability to upload supporting documents from a computer running the ProMaster web application. Note that each attachment has a maximum allowable size of 35Mb.

4. Approval workflow including:

  • compliance review, and

  • financial delegate approval.

5. Reimbursements of funds back into the staff member’s bank account.

2.2 The expense claims process for staff (employees)

The below diagram outlines the claims process for staff (employees). Instructions on how to make a claim are in section 3.1. How staff can make an expense claim via the EMS.

Please note: Staff studying at the University of Queensland must always use the staff reimbursement process, irrespective of whether the reimbursement pertains to expenses relating to employment or study.

Detailed training material on how to use the EMS is available at https://learn.uq.edu.au/FBSX0202.

2.3 The expense claims process for non-staff and students

The below diagram outlines the claims process for non-staff and students. Instructions on how to make a claim are in section 3.2. How non-staff and students can make an expense claim.

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 How staff can make an expense claim via the EMS

Steps to assist staff to make an expense claim are listed in the table below.

Please note: Staff studying at the University of Queensland must always use the staff reimbursement process, irrespective of whether the reimbursement pertains to expenses relating to employment or study.

Detailed training material on how to use the EMS is available at https://learn.uq.edu.au/FBSX0202.

Step 1 – Incur Expense

  1. Incur expense
  2. Capture documentation – electronically
  • e.g. Photo (on Mobile device) or PDF scan of a receipt

 

Step 2 – Initiate Expense Claim

  1. Logon to EMS using a single sign on at https://secure.inlogik.com/uq/pm/base/logon.asp.
  2. Create Expense Claim
  • An expense claim may constitute multiple expenses, including travel allowance.
  • Complete all mandatory fields.
  • If claiming travel allowance, the expense type will be Dom. Travel Allowance. 
  • Attach digital copies of receipts/approval for domestic travel approval if relating to a claim for domestic travel allowance.
  1. Submit expense claim for compliance review.

 

Step 3 – Compliance Review

Once submitted by the claimant, expense claims enter the approval workflow. Compliance review is carried out by a team of Compliance Reviewers based on the ‘Opal Unit’ recorded in the expense claim chart field.

The Purpose of the compliance review is to ensure:

  • expenditure is appropriately coded for chart fields,
  • the correct tax treatment has been selected,
  • supporting documentation is compliant and correct,
  • the expense complies with relevant PPL requirements.

Unacceptable expenses can be rejected by the Compliance Reviewer and returned to the claimant.

Once review is complete, the claim will automatically progress to a ‘Financial Delegate’ for approval.

Step 4 –

Financial delegation approval is directed to the appropriate group of Financial Delegates based on the value of the claim and the Business Unit incurring the expense.

Financial Delegate approval is provided in accordance with 1.10.02 Financial Delegations.

Unacceptable expenses can be rejected by the Financial Delegate and returned to the claimant.

Step 5 – Payment to Claimant

Following approval by a financial delegate, the details of the expense will be committed to the University’s General Ledger, and when processing is complete, payment will be made to the claimant’s bank account. The bank account used for staff is the primary account stored in the HR Staff Profile.

Note: Staff can override their bank account details by adding alternate account and BSB within their EMS profile. 

3.2 How non-staff can make an expense claim

Having incurred an expense, non-staff and students can make an expense claim by:

1. Filling in a reimbursement form

2. Refer the form for review to your Finance Professional Services team. They will need to ensure that the form is accurately completed prior to submission and the claimant has provided:

  • Full name
  • Student ID (where applicable)
  • Residential address
  • Details of claim
  • Amounts to be claimed and the respective GST charges
  • Total amount to be reimbursed
  • Australian (or overseas) bank account details

3. If the claim is made by a person located overseas, a complete physical address must be provided. It is not acceptable to provide a post office box or mailing centre address.

4. The form must be signed by the relevant Finance/Compliance Officer.

5. In addition, a financial delegate with authority under the financial delegations policy (refer PPL 1.10.02 Financial Delegations) must authorise each claim by signing and dating the Financial Delegate’s Certification section of the form.

6. The completed form must be submitted to Accounts Payable, FBS via the internal post

3.3 Appropriate supporting documentation to support an expense claim

The University prefers a tax invoice as supporting documentation to support an expense claim, however other suitable documents are outlined in the table below.
 

Except for amounts under $82.50 as above, if claiming GST the supporting documentation must include:

If not claiming GST the supporting documentation must include:

The supplier’s identity

The supplier’s identity

The supplier’s Australian Business Number (ABN)

A brief description of what is sold, including the quality (if applicable) and the price of what is sold

A brief description of what is sold, including the quality (if applicable) and the price of what is sold

The date the document is issued

The extent to which each sale is a taxable sale – this can be shown separately or, if the GST to be paid is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as “total price includes GST

 

The date the document is issued

 

The amount of GST payable for each sale

 

The buyer’s identity or ABN (if the total sale price is at least $1,000)

 

Note:  a transaction document is NOT a valid tax invoice.

 

3.4 Reimbursement for the GST component of expenditure

The claimant must obtain appropriate documentation for expenses incurred on behalf of the University, including documentation that provides sufficient information about tax incurred.

The University can receive one of the following alternative documents to claim a GST credit for acquisitions that cost $82.50 or less (including GST):

  • a cash register docket;

  • a receipt; or

  • an invoice.

For transactions of $82.50 or less; if you can’t obtain one of the alternative documents (listed above) record the purchase on a Missing Supporting Document Declaration, providing the following details:

  • the name and ABN of the supplier

  • the date of purchase

  • a description of the items purchased and

  • the amount paid

If you are unable to provide the necessary detailed information the transaction must be treated as GST FREE.

3.5 How to claim reimbursement without supporting documentation

Claimants without adequate supporting documentation, must submit a Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration.

Claimants should note that Missing Supporting Documentation Declarations are only accepted when receipts are lost in exceptional circumstances.

The declaration must specify the reason/s that receipt/s are not available and must be signed by the Claimant.

Only one (1) Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration per claim is permitted.

Claimants deemed to be abusing this concession by frequently submitting Missing Supporting Documentation Declarations may be required to reimburse the expenses to the University.

3.6 What to do if your claim for travel expenses is higher than the travel allowance

The University will not normally reimburse travel expense claims that exceed the amount of travel allowance that would have been paid instead.

In extenuating circumstances where the amount claimed exceeds established allowances, the University requires that documentation be included to support the higher cost.

Such documentation must be submitted with the claim form and requires a statement that explains:

  • Why the costs incurred were higher

  • Any other relevant information

Refer 1.90.01 Travel - Procedures section 9.4 for more information on UQ's travel allowance. 

3.7 How to account for currency conversion in claims for expenses incurred overseas

When travelling overseas, it is the responsibility of the claimant to document the rate of exchange to which purchases were subject. The following are examples of ways a claimant can document the rate of exchange:

1. A receipt for the exchange of AUD for foreign currency

  • Subsequent purchases related to this currency exchange rate can then be calculated at this rate

2. A personal credit card statement identifying the rate of exchange per transaction

3. A foreign exchange rate as provided by the ATO for the respective country and day

3.8 Reimbursement for fuel purchases

Non-staff can be reimbursed for fuel purchases through the expense reimbursement claims process for non-staff and students at section 3.2 How non-staff and students can make an expense claim.

Staff using a private vehicle for business travel must not claim reimbursement for fuel purchases. Instead, staff can claim a kilometre reimbursement for University business travel with the Kilometre Reimbursement Claim Form (payable via payroll).

3.09 Time limit for claims

Expense reimbursement claims can only be submitted for expenditure incurred during the previous 12 months.

As an example, claims for expenditure incurred on 5 January 2017 must be claimed by 4 January 2018.

3.10 How approved expense claims are reimbursed to claimants

The University routinely processes payment of reimbursement via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Wire Transfer (for foreign accounts).

Staff members whose claims are processed through the EMS will be paid directly to their registered bank account. Non-staff should complete their bank details in the area provided on the expense reimbursement claim form

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1 Staff (employee) role

Staff (employees) includes anyone claiming a legitimate expense incurred on behalf of UQ who has an employee number and HR Profile.

4.2 Non-staff role

Non-staff includes anyone claiming a legitimate expense incurred on behalf of UQ who is not a paid employee. This includes students, contractors, visiting academics, professionals and others.

4.3 Responsibilities and Accountabilities of staff and non-staff

Staff and non-staff that make expense claims are defined as claimants.

Claimants have the following responsibilities and accountabilities:

  • The claimant must be able to provide receipts for monies expended, and a description of the purpose and details of the purchase.

  • The claimant must ensure that any purchase they intend to claim as an expense is known to, and approved by, the budget holder (for the grant and operational expenditure). While the approval process for expenses will not necessarily include the Budget Holder or Supervisor, reports which include ‘reimbursed expenses’ can be viewed by these positions, and audit reporting across the University is in place to identify people illegitimately claiming funds.

  • Claimants should always endeavour to avoid using personal funds to incur University related expenditure.

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Compliance with PPL 9.45.03 Expense Claims procedure will be assessed via a range of mechanisms that will help to identity deficiencies and allow them to be addressed.

Monitoring activities and key performance indicators are outlined in the table below:

Monitoring Activity

Key Performance Indicator

Frequency - Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration

Claimants with above average MSDD usage will be subject to additional audit review

PSt EMS Admin – Multiple Transaction Report

Identify and investigate potential duplicate expenses

EMS EC – Expense Claim aging

Review process workflow to ensure timely reimbursement

6.0 Recording and Reporting

Transactions, activities and results of this procedure are recorded via the University’s Expense Management System (ProMaster) and the Finance System (UniFi).

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Term, Acronym

Definition

EMS 

Expense Management System

ProMaster 

Expense Management Application supplied by Inlogik

Staff

An employee of the University of Queensland with a HR profile containing bank details

Non-Staff

People who are not employed by the University of Queensland

Receipt 

A written acknowledgement that a party (company or person) has received money in payment for transfer of goods, or provision of service

Invoice

A list of goods sent or services provided

Tax Invoice 

An Invoice that includes taxable and non-taxable items – that is, items that are either GST-free or input-taxed. It must clearly show which items are taxable (or list each taxable sale), the amount of GST to be paid, and the total amount to be paid.

Chart String

To purchase anything within the university, the cost must be allocated to the area of the university or to the project responsible for the cost. Chart strings are made up of the following segments:

  • Project Number – 6 digit code
  • Opal Code  (short for Operational Unit Code) – 7 digit code made up of sub codes for Faculty School and Section
  • Site Code -  (2 digits) – related to the site the expense was generated on
  • Fund Code – (3 Digits)
  • Function Code – (2 Digits)

 

 

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts

Forms

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Acquittal - Form

Acquittal - Form

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Description: 

This form is to be used when acquitting an advance upon return of travel.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Non-Staff Overseas Expense Reimbursement - Form

Non-Staff Overseas Expense Reimbursement - Form

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Description: 

This form is used to claim reimbursement for a non-staff member who has an overseas bank account.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Recurring Expense Payment Declaration (PECD) - Form

Recurring Expense Payment Declaration (PECD) - Form

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Description: 

Staff whose Portable Electronic Communication Device (PECD) expenses are paid by the University must complete this form and have it authorised by the relevant approver.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Student and Non-Staff Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

Student and Non-Staff Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

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Description: 

This form is used to claim reimbursement for a student or non-staff member who has an Australian bank account.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Temporary Accommodation Relocation Declaration - Form

Temporary Accommodation Relocation Declaration - Form

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Description: 

Must be completed when temporary accommodation is provided to an employee as part of an agreement to reimburse or pay for relocation expenses. This includes costs associated with the temporary accommodation such as furniture rental.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts