Procedures

Reimbursements - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This document outlines the expense reimbursement claims procedures for particular expenses incurred on behalf of the University.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all who are able to claim the reimbursement of expenses from the University.

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

4. Procedures Statement

The University procures goods and services via the following key methods:

  • Raising a requisition via the UniFi system.
  • Corporate Card – typically used for low value goods and services, travel, hospitality and entertainment, and
  • Travel Card – typically used for travel and is a cash passport.

An expense reimbursement claim will arise where it is not possible or practicable to purchase goods via one of the above methods.

Expense reimbursement claims are typically raised to reimburse staff, students and non-staff for authorised expenses incurred which exceed the sum of $50.

All expense reimbursement claims must comply with the requirements of the particular account or grant to which the expenditure is to be charged as well as the policy governing expenditure of the kind in question.

Expense reimbursement claims will only be processed if the relevant reimbursement form has been filled out correctly, supporting documentation has been provided and it is approved by the relevant parties.

University resources are to be used exclusively for institutional use. Personal expenses are not to be charged against any University funds.

5. Expense Claim Requirements

An individual who incurs expenditure on behalf of the University may be reimbursed. The individual must be able to provide receipts for monies expended.

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

5.1 Amounts

Amounts up to the approved petty cash limit will be reimbursed from petty cash. Refer to PPL 9.45.04 Petty Cash.

For amounts over the approved petty cash transaction limit an expense reimbursement claim form must be completed and submitted to Accounts Payable within FBS for payment.

5.2 GST and supporting documentation requirements

The claimant must obtain appropriate documentation for expenses incurred on behalf of the University. The University's preference is a tax invoice however, it is acknowledged that this may not always be available and a document which contains the relevant information, as detailed in the table below, is suitable.

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.

A Missing Supporting Document Declaration that is not accompanied by one of the alternative documents listed above is not sufficient for the University to claim GST. These transactions must be processed as GST Free in UniFi.

Supporting documentation must meet the following requirements:

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.

 

Additional supporting documentation requirements should be in line with any relevant University policy or procedure, based on the nature of the expenditure (e.g. PPL 9.45.07 Special Payments). The University is unable to claim any international taxes (e.g. GST/Tax/VAT) and Australian taxes such as WET.

If you do not have adequate supporting documentation, you must submit a Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration.

5.3 Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration

In exceptional circumstances only, a Missing Supporting Documentation Declaration may be submitted where receipts have been lost. The declaration must specify the reason 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.

5.4 Travel expenses

The amount of travel expenses that will be reimbursed by the University will not normally exceed the amount that would have been paid if a travel allowance had been paid instead. 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 include a statement outlining:

  • Why the costs incurred were higher,
  • What efforts were made to obtain suitable alternative meals not covered by allowance,
  • A general comparison of prices,
  • Whether there was any alternative but to stay at the particular hotel not covered by the allowance,
  • Any other reasons for choosing that location or venue, and
  • Any other relevant information.

Where the hotel chosen coincides with the conference venue, a photocopy of the conference program that indicates the venue as the hotel and any information to demonstrate that a special (discounted) room rate was negotiated by the conference organisers should be supplied.

5.5 Fuel purchases

Non-staff can be reimbursed for fuel purchases through the expense reimbursement claims process.

Staff must not claim reimbursement for fuel purchases. Instead, staff can claim a kilometre reimbursement in respect of any University business travel undertaken using a private vehicle with the Kilometre Reimbursement Claim Form.

5.6 Time limit for claims

Expense reimbursement claims can only be submitted for expenditure incurred during the 2 calendar years preceding the current calendar year.

As an example, claims for expenditure incurred during the calendar year 2015 must be claimed by 31 December 2017.

5.7 Payment method

It is expected that all expense claims are paid by funds transfer, except in exceptional circumstances. Reasons should be provided if cheque payment is required. Claimants should complete their staff number or the bank details area of the expense reimbursement claim.

6. Processing an Expense Reimbursement Claim

The organisational unit officer responsible for accounts is to ensure that the forms are completed in accordance with the following instructions prior to being sent to Accounts Payable, FBS.

The four types of expense reimbursement claim forms are as follows:

1. Staff Domestic Expenses Reimbursement Form

2. Student Domestic Expenses Reimbursement Form

3. Non-Staff Domestic Expenses Reimbursement Form (for payment to AU Bank)

4. Non-Staff Overseas Expenses Reimbursement Form (for payment to O/S bank)

6.1 Filling out Expense Reimbursement Claim form

The claim forms are designed for online completion. Claim forms completed by hand may be rejected due to validation errors.

Claimants need to note the following when filling out an expense claim form. If the form is not completed accurately then the claim will be rejected until rectified by the claimant.

Staff - complete the claimant's full name and employee ID. Staff claims without employee ID will be rejected until rectified by the claimant.

Students and non-staff - complete the claimant's full name, student ID (where applicable), and mailing address at the top of the form. Overseas claims must provide a complete physical address, post office boxes and mailing centre addresses are not acceptable.

Details of Claims - Must be completed in the space provided. In respect of claims other than those for an allowance, supporting documentation must be attached (preferably stapled) to the back of the form.

References and approvals must be attached to the back of the claim form in all cases where prior approval of a designated officer is required.

The dollar and cents must be recorded in the column provided for each part of the claim.

GST Amounts - GST value for items claimed may be noted in the column provided.

Total Amount to be Reimbursed - The amounts recorded for each part of the claim are totalled and checked against the total amount being claimed.

Claimant’s Signature - All claims for payment to a staff member, student or researcher must be certified by that person.

Cost Apportionment - If more lines are required, attach another claim form with this form for the additional lines.

Chart of Accounts - The full 20 digits (or 26 in the case of project expenditure) of each chart string must be entered onto the claim form. The account number must be valid and active and relate to the nature and classification of the expenditure.

Amount (excluding GST) - That part of the claim applicable to the account number. Where the claim is for travel expenses or purchases made in Australia, the total amount of GST should be recorded in the GST column.

Receipts in the form of tax invoices should be attached to the claim for all expenses. The sum of all distribution amounts on the form must equal the amount recorded in the form Total field.

Bank account details - The BSB, Account Name and Bank Account Number of the claimant needs to be entered as reimbursements are processed electronically.

Overseas claimants must provide additional information:

  • Their full personal address
  • Payment currency code
  • Bank name and full address
  • SWIFT / BIC / Routing or Sort Code (depending on country of origin banking requirements)
  • Beneficiary name
  • Account number / IBAN (depending on country of origin banking requirements).

Authorisation: The relevant Budget Holder and Finance Officer must sign the form where indicated. 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.

A financial delegate cannot certify an expense reimbursement claim form for payment in favour of a more senior financial delegate.

6.2 Urgent forms

Organisational units may wish to arrange for an expense reimbursement claim to be paid urgently. FBS will make all reasonable efforts to comply with such requests. The voucher must be prominently marked “URGENT” and, where an organisational unit is located on the St Lucia campus, hand delivered to:

Accounts Payable
FBS
Level 3
J D Story Building
St Lucia Campus

The processing of urgent forms is both time-consuming and expensive and should not be used to compensate for inefficiencies within the originating organisational unit.

6.3 Alterations to forms

Correction fluid may not be used on an expense reimbursement claim form. If an error is made, either the form is to be retyped or the incorrect entry is to be ruled out and the change initialled by the authorising officer.

7. Payments to Research Subjects

A cash advance can be issued to the Chief Investigator to enable payments to research participants. The cash advance can be processed to the Chief Investigator's bank account up to 14 days in advance of the requirement and must be acquitted by the Chief Investigator within 14 days of the activity completion date.

Where the research activity traverses a year the Chief Investigator will be required to apply and acquit the advance before the University's Financial Year End (31st December), and can apply for another advance in the following year.

Unspent funds must be returned to the University with a completed Income Deposit form.

Acquittal is processed by Accounts Payable upon receipt of a complete acquittal form supported by payment records which include basic details:

  • Participant's name
  • Payment Value
  • Acknowledgement of receipt.

Chief Investigators are responsible for establishing if the intended payment meets their grant requirements and the value does not generate a tax issue for the University or Payee.

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 Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

Non-Staff Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

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Description: 

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

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
Staff Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

Staff Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

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Description: 

This form is used to claim reimbursement for a staff member who is paid by the University and has an Australian bank account.

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

Student Domestic Expense Reimbursement - Form

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Description: 

This form is used to claim reimbursement for a student who has an Australian bank account and wishes to claim for expenses already outlaid.

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