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Expenses FAQs

Got a query? You've come to the right place. Take a look below and see if we've answered your question - if not, drop us an email at: expenses at warwick dot ac dot uk

What can I claim on expenses?

Expense claims should only be used for reimbursement of travelling, subsistence, accommodation or other related costs. All travel and accommodation requirements over £500 (inc. VAT) must be booked through an approved travel agent unless evidence is produced that to do so would be significantly more expensive on a like-for-like basis.

Goods and services other than those above should be ordered using the University purchasing procedures (see: Financial Procedure 15). Staff must not use their own funds to purchase other goods and services – these will not be reimbursed through expenses except for pre-approved minor items required in emergencies.

Further information on what can be claimed can be found in Financial Procedure FP16, which focuses on travel subsistence, gifts and hospitality.

Where will I find current claim forms to use when claiming expenses?

Current claim form templates can be found on the Expenses section of the payroll website. It's important to ensure you use the correct and most up-to-date claim forms to avoid the possibility of claims being rejected.

Where can I find the current mileage and subsistence rates?

The Payroll website includes current rates for mileage and meals and other allowances.

What information do I need to include on my expenses claim?

You must include as much information as possible - for example, when claiming mileage, you must state your starting point, the end of your journey and any deviations. This enables your claim to be verified and paid without delay.

You must provide original receipts for any items of expenditure incurred on business - these include meals, train tickets, taxi journeys, etc. You must also state the reason for the journey or expense. The more information you are able to provide the less likely it is your claim will be returned for clarification.

My claim has been authorised by my Head of Department - so why does it need to be checked by the Expenses team?

The Head of Department or authorised deputy certifies that the claim was for expenses incurred in the performance of your duties and that there is a budget within the department to cover the cost.

The Expenses team is responsible for ensuring the amounts you claim are within those authorised to be paid tax-free by HMRC and are in accordance with the University's financial regulations.

What is my vendor number and how do I get one? 

Your vendor number is a unique reference number generated by the payment system when your first claim is paid. The number remains with you during your employment with the University and is quoted on your emailed remittance each time you are paid.

You must ensure you quote your vendor number on each and every claim you submit. This ensures the payment goes into your bank account and not to someone else. It is your personal responsibility to enter this number on claim forms - you may ask a colleague to do this on your behalf but it remains your responsibility to ensure it is quoted correctly. Quoting an incorrect number risks the payment being made to someone else and omitting the number will result in payment of your claim being delayed.

For those who have access to it, the report ZVAG on SAP produces a list of vendor numbers in a department. If you cannot find your vendor number, please speak to your Departmental Administrator or Finance Officer. If neither of these people is able to help, please contact the Expenses team: expenses at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Can I save up my claims and submit them all at once?

Expense claims should be submitted no later than three months after the earliest claim you have made on the form. Late claims will be considered on receipt of a written statement explaining the reason for the delay but they are not guaranteed to be paid.

Once I have completed my claim, what happens to it?

You should check on the procedures that apply within your department. However, the Head of Department or other authorised officer needs to approve your claim. The certifying officer confirms the following:

  •  The expenses were necessarily incurred in the performance of duties.
  • The expenses claimed are not payable from another source.
  • There is sufficient money in the budget to meet the costs involved.
  • Due consideration has been given to achieving value for money.

Your claim may then have to go through your department's Finance office or be signed off by Research Support Services staff before being submitted to the Expenses team for processing and payment. It also needs to be coded by someone in your department to signify which budget the cost is to be allocated to.

All those authorising expense claims must be registered with as an authorised signatory. Claims authorised by unregistered staff will be rejected by the Expenses team.

Where can I find the relevant codes to be used on the expenses claim?

A list of the most frequently used codes is given below. It is important to use the GL code which most appropriately fits the description of the expenditure – especially entertainment. Please do not ignore or overwrite the pre-printed codes 2382____. All fee payments ( e.g. approved self employment) made outside the payroll system must have codes beginning 2382 and not 2101 (which is for payroll fee payments only). A full list of all GL codes can be found on SAP (shortcut KDH3).

If I have spent some money in foreign currency, where will I find the exchange rate to convert to sterling?

If you have any evidence of the exchange rate (bank slip or credit card statement) please attach it to your claim. If not, please use for exchange rates. You must use the exchange rate on the date you incurred the cost or expense - not when you left/returned to the UK or when you sent the claim.

What are the rules about per diems? Can I claim a per diem when abroad?

Full details about per diems can be found on the main Payroll site.

Important points to note are as follows:

  • A per diem can only be claimed if there is one listed for the actual place you will be staying (or if there is an ‘elsewhere’ rate) and you will be staying there for at least 24 hours. If you are on an overseas business trip of less than 24 hours you should not claim a per diem, but on the basis of receipts.
  • Actual hotel bills must be produced – the University does not pay per diems for hotel accommodation.
  • Any meals provided must be noted on the form and the per diem will be reduced accordingly.
  • Generally a per diem is designed to cover all living and travelling expenses whilst abroad. If you believe the per diem will not cover all these costs, then you should provide receipts for all expenditure rather than claim a per diem.
Can I claim travelling expenses between my home and place of work?

Under normal circumstances, the cost of travel between home and a permanent place of work cannot be reimbursed. This is because travelling to work is not ‘in the performance of duties’ but simply puts you in a position to undertake the duties of your post.

In some limited and exceptional circumstances, an employee’s home can be regarded as their permanent workplace. In these circumstances, any business travel undertaken from home would be regarded as business mileage and eligible for reimbursement.

In other circumstances, where someone covers a geographical area with no specific base, that geographical area can be regarded as the workplace. Travel to the perimeters of the area is private mileage with business mileage applying thereafter.

It is also possible that someone who regularly undertakes their duties in a number of different venues would treat each venue as a permanent workplace and travel to each venue is private mileage.

General ledger codes

Travel and subsistence

  • 210401 - General Travel & Subsistence UK
  • 210402 - General Travel & Subsistence Overseas
  • 210410 - Accommodation UK
  • 210411 - Accommodation Overseas
  • 210420 - Visa & Medical Certificate
  • 210421 - Insurance
  • 210422 - Public Transport / Taxi / Car Hire
  • 210423 – International Air Fares
  • 210424 - Mileage (must be used for all mileage claims)
  • 210430 - Travel: Teaching Practice Staff
  • 210431 - Travel: Teaching Practice Students
  • 210433 – Domestic Air Fares

 External Conferences

  • 210501 - UK Expenses
  • 210502 - UK Travel
  • 210503 - UK Accommodation & Subsistence
  • 210521 - Overseas Expenses
  • 210522 - Overseas Travel
  • 210523 - Overseas Accommodation & Subsistence


  • 238501 - Entertaining UK
  • 238502 - Entertaining Overseas