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How to claim expenses


All University staff should make all claims for reimbursement of expenses through the SAP Concur system (click the red login button here). If it is your first claim through this new system, you will have to set up your profile (including your bank details) before you can submit the claim.

Staff claiming reimbursement via the old Excel forms will be redirected to make their claim through SAP Concur. They are no longer accepted by the central finance department as of March 2021.

A new form is made available for claimants outside the University who cannot access SAP Concur (available here)

Guidance and support for SAP Concur and the eExpenses process can be found here. If you need further help, please contact the Primary Care finance team at

We are more than happy to help.



  • Itemised, original, receipts must be provided for all expenses claimed.
  • If you are unable to produce a receipt you must give a brief explanation on your claim as to why.
  • Credit card receipts and copies of credit card/bank statements are not valid receipts for these purposes. Statements are acceptable as proof of exchange rate only.

Business purpose

  • The Business Purpose field is the only comment field that gets transferred onto the Oracle finance system. This means it will be the only comment visible to the Grants team. Populating Business Purpose clearly and meaningfully will reduce the need for the grants team to subsequently ask for justifications for expenditure items. Please use the Business Purpose field to explain why the expense is relevant to the grant and avoid vague comments such as “Travel”, “Conference” or “Food”.

Foreign Currency

  • When claiming foreign currency expenses you must attach the source of conversion to your claim. This can be a printout from a website (e.g. or a bank statement. 


There are numerous Expense Types that can be selected when claiming for meals:

  • Staff Subsistence: Breakfast
  • Staff Subsistence: Dinner
  • Staff Subsistence: Lunch

These should be used when a staff member takes meals in the course of their travel whilst on University business. For example, when they are at a conference (Reasonable rates in the UK are considered to be; breakfast £10, lunch £10, dinner £25.)


  • Entertainment – Business

This should be used when a staff member takes an external guest (or more than one guest) out for a meal. Remember to list both internal and external attendees.


  • Entertainment – Non Business (social)

This should be used when a group goes for a meal and there are no external guests attending (i.e. just University staff and students). For example, a group goes out for a Christmas meal.

The use of this Expense Type will be a taxable benefit and therefore should only be used for staff entertainment.

It is important that a list of the Attendees is included in the Attendees field on the claim.


  • Refreshments & Working Meals

This should be used for meals taken as an integral part of a work meeting or event. According to the University Expenses Guide:

Refreshments and working meals should be arranged and purchased through your department wherever possible.

The cost of a working meals can only be claimed if:

- It is integral to the meeting; and
- A copy of the agenda, notes or action points are retained; and
- It takes place in an appropriate location:
     - University staff only: must be taken on University premises
     - University staff and externals: can take place on or off University premises; and
- Alcohol is not consumed.

A meal taken immediately after a meeting is considered to be entertainment, not a working meal. A meal taken on college premises is not considered to be University premises.

If food is purchased externally and brought/delivered to the University, it is not always obvious to us that the meal took place on University premises, so the claimant should note if this is the case in a comment when claiming on SAP Concur.


  • Non-staff hospitality and catering

This should only be used when all the participants are students or other non-employees of the University. For example, catering for a student reading group. Since there are no potential taxable benefits, an attendee list is not required.

rules on business entertaining/working meals 


The rules around claiming for alcohol have changed and on most grants it is now not an allowable cost. Please speak to your grants officer before making a claim for alcohol.



Funders are becoming more strict on allowing taxis to be claimed on grants. Please only use a taxi when it is not possible to use public transport. Please add a comment confirming why a taxi was required.

Oyster Cards

  • To reclaim travel made using an Oyster Card you must attach the statement showing the journeys made that you are claiming for
  • The payments team cannot pay any Oyster Card claim without proof of the journey. HMRC have insisted upon this.
  • If you top-up online you can view and print your journey history through your online account. Otherwise you will need to contact Oyster for details.

Season tickets/travel cards

  • Season tickets or a multiple journey travel card (Rail card, Oxford key card etc) do not normally meet the requirements for tax allowable travel because it is possible to use open tickets for private as well as business journeys. Whatever the intention, the strict requirement for exclusive business use is not therefore met.
  • Where it is believed that an exclusive business use can be shown against a season ticket or equivalent then arrangements can made in advance of any purchase. These purchases have to be approved with the Head of Accounting Services so please contact the finance team in the first instance.

Mileage expenses

For claiming mileage you can claim 45p per mile and an extra 5p per passenger per mile accompanying for University business

By submitting an expenses claim for mileage, claimants are declaring that:

  • they have a valid driving licence; 
  • the vehicle is safe, legal and roadworthy;
  • the vehicle has a valid MOT;
  • the vehicle is maintained to the manufacturer’s recommendations; and
  • the vehicle is insured for business use.


YOU MUST HAVE BUSINESS INSURANCE IN PLACE TO CLAIM FOR TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES. If your insurance does not cover you for business use already, most insurance companies only charge a nominal difference to your premium to add it. You cannot claim for reimbursement of the cost of added business insurance. The mileage allowance paid by the University includes all actual and incidental costs involved in running a vehicle, including an element for motor insurance.

For more information please see Travel expenses claimant guide page.

IT Equipment

  • IT equipment and software is not an allowable expense and must be purchased directly by the University. 

Purchasing from an Oxford University Department

  • If you are buying from another University department you must raise a valid purchase order through the Finance Team
  • Do not pay for the purchase yourself as there is no VAT to pay if bought through the Department. VAT is currently 20% so it can be quite a saving to your cost centre/grant code. 


If, on your travels to conferences, meetings, presentations etc, you need to buy something that you would normally get through the department e.g. posters, paper, pens, postage etc, you must include the following information on your claim form:

  1. that the purchase was not for your own personal use but will now remain the property of the University OR
  2. the purchase relates to work use 

Guide to expenses

Read the full expense guide

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