Expense procedures

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This policy was approved by the Board on 9 February 2014. (approved revision, subsequent changes)
Changes to this policy are subject to board approval, and should be proposed either on the talk page or the Engine room

Approval history:

* 9 February 2014 - Expense procedures split off from main Finance policy (approved revision)

Reimbursement of Expenses

For the record of expense claims by staff and trustees, see Category:Expenses
For an expenses claim form as a PDF, see File:Expenses Form.pdf or for an editable Excel version, see File:Expenses Form.xlsx
  1. A common set of financial controls is applied to all expense payments, without exception, to all those involved with the chapter whether staff, trustees or other volunteers. (CEO)
  2. We seek to involve people in our activities that reflects the diversity of Wikimedia project users and recognise that not all such people are able to pay for their own out of pocket expenses. We will therefore normally reimburse expenses that are properly incurred for the benefit of the chapter. Advance payment of expenses will be considered where cost may be an obstacle to any person carrying out their activities. (Administrator)
  3. Expenses will only be reimbursed if they are approved in principle prior to the expense, are reasonable, are correctly submitted and supported by receipts as appropriate and are properly authorised. (Payer)
  4. The policy sets out the requirement for the provision of properly identified claims and original receipts. (Payer)
  5. Claimants are expected to keep the expenses they incur to the lowest reasonable level. (Claimants)
  6. Authorisers must only authorise claims after they have been checked for accuracy and the correct associated paperwork. Authorisers may not process their own claims. (Authorisers)
  7. Expense claims must be reasonably accurate. Submitting or authorizing a false or inflated claim, even if not paid, may damage public confidence in the chapter. For staff members this may result in disciplinary action. In extreme cases, disciplinary action may include removal of company membership and hence, for board members, their directorship under Article 4. (Claimants/Authorisers)
  8. Expenses are expected to be submitted within three months, or, for expenses incurred up to two months prior to the accounting year end, by one month after the year end. If expenses are not submitted in time, the Charity may be unable to pay them. This rule ensures that the annual financial statements can be prepared promptly. (Administrator)
  9. All claims for reimbursement will be paid, unless disputed, by BACS or through petty cash within a week of approval. (Administrator)
  10. Unless we receive a dispensation, an annual P11d expenses form will be provided for any affected staff (Administrator & Agency)

More detailed areas of expense are detailed below:

Airfare

  1. Airfares are only repaid at economy class rates.
  2. Flights not using low cost carriers should be booked through the office with our in-house travel agent to obtain charity rates. (Administrator)
  3. When not booking through the office, budget airlines are preferred where available; otherwise the use of standard airlines is acceptable, particularly when flights are of long duration (i.e. over 4 hours), or the cost of a standard airline is comparable to a budget airline. (Administrator)
  4. Increased costs resulting from travelling at more convenient times are acceptable, providing that it does not significantly increase the cost. (Chief Exec)
  5. Travel by train is generally preferable to flying so long as it does not take significantly longer, and that it is not significantly more expensive than flying. (Administrator)

Train

  1. Train fares are generally only repaid at standard rates. First class fares may be reimbursed where the cost is no more than standard class plus the reasonable benefits of first class [e.g. internet access and catering]
  2. Claimants should try to travel off-peak wherever possible

Private vehicles

  1. Travel by private motor vehicle will be reimbursed at the HMRC mileage rates applying at the time. The additional amount per passenger per mile can be claimed when carrying passengers who are also on WMUK business. As mileage is more likely to be incurred for individual trips than in bulk throughout the year, the higher HMRC rate will be used for the first 150 miles of any round trip; thereafter the lower HMRC rate will be used for the remainder of the miles.
  2. Individuals are expected to travel by public transport, or private vehicle, wherever possible. Travel by taxi should be considered only if there is no other reasonable option.
  3. Claimants should ensure that their car insurance allows them to be compensated for travel. This may require them to include use for business purposes on the insurance for the vehicle. The cost of such coverage, or any other insurance coverage including breakdown cover, will not be covered by WMUK beyond the standard rates.
  4. Toll charges where unavoidable or incurred during peak times will be reimbursed.

Car rental

  1. Vehicle rental may be approved in advance where necessary on a case-by-case basis, but would not be reimbursed on a routine basis.
  2. For example when necessary to transport bulky items, or if the cost of renting and petrol is less than the cost of private motor vehicle mileage (as described above) or other reasonable transport alternatives.

Insurance

  1. WMUK Staff and trustees will be covered by the WMUK travel insurance policy when on WMUK business (Administrator)
  2. Pre-existing illnesses need to be reported to the insurance cover before travel (Staff and trustees)
  3. Otherwise WMUK expects, and encourages, all individuals travelling on WMUK business to have obtained the appropriate travel insurance, and will reimburse the cost of this insurance.
  4. WMUK will not normally reimburse expenses and liabilities incurred that would otherwise have been covered by such insurance.

Companions

Where expenses are being reimbursed for people under 18 years old, or for people who are disabled and require assistance, the corresponding travel for their guardian or companion may also be reimbursed, if approved in advance and in line with this policy. (Chief Exec)

Accommodation

  1. Reasonable costs of accommodation while on Wikimedia UK business will be reimbursed.
  2. We expect people to choose accommodation that represents reasonable value. As a guideline this would mean their own room with their own bathroom in a safe area within reasonable distance of the venue they are attending.
  3. We recognise that the price of accommodation varies geographically and by season.
  4. When standard accommodation is designated by a conference or workshop, we would normally expect people to stay at that hotel even if alternative, cheaper, options exist.

Incidental expenses - per diems

  1. When agreed with the Office Manager in advance, the option of "per diem" expenses allowance may be paid for those coordinating, facilitating or presenting at Wikimedia events or for those at other events and meetings when acting as the official representative of Wikimedia UK. The per diem rate is intended to cover:
    1. meals and refreshments, including breakfast, lunch and dinner for the full rate; or either lunch or dinner for the lower rate; in both cases including refreshment costs in between meals
    2. costs of phone calls
    3. Incidental transport costs (e.g. bus fares, car park charges, short taxi rides) too trivial to submit claims for
  2. These rates are designed to apply to stays of less than 7 days duration within the UK, the rest of the European Union, and the United States of America. Rates may be altered at the discretion of the Chief Executive for longer stays, other locations, or particular circumstances. Where these items are provided by Wikimedia UK or another party, reasonable deductions, at least equivalent to the benefit, will be deducted from the per diem rate. Should there be any doubt or disagreement, the default of requiring receipts for all expenses shall apply. If the per diem rates prove inadequate owing to high local costs then individual expenses can be submitted for assessment by the office whose decision will be final.
  3. Where any individual claims per diem expenses on a recurring basis, the Chief Executive will review the arrangement.
  4. The normal rates for the per-diem, which may be varied for particular circumstances, are:
    1. Full day (> 7 hours of activity including travel to and from) with overnight stay : £30 per day
    2. Full day (> 7 hours of activity including travel to and from) without overnight stay : £20 per day
    3. Half day (4-7 hours of activity including travel to and from): £15 per day
  5. These rates may be revised in line with inflation by the CEO at the start of each financial year. Any increase above inflation to be approved by the Audit and Risk Committee to ensure compliance with HMRC rules.
  6. In exceptional circumstances additional payments, e.g. a meal may be provided by the charity on the authority of the CEO.

Other expenses

WMUK may also reimburse, where incurred for the benefit of the chapter and approved by the relevant budget holder in advance:

  1. Registration costs for conferences
  2. Meeting rooms, catering and other corresponding costs for WMUK and WMUK-related events
  3. Long-duration car parking expenses where necessary
  4. Publicity material, such as badges, T-shirts and printed materials, and corresponding postage costs, where that material cannot be supplied by the WMUK office
  5. Phone calls to participate in meetings remotely - normally not needed, as WMUK have a freephone conference call service
  6. Costs of caring for dependants whilst on WMUK activity
  7. Entertainment costs for other parties
  8. Other reasonable expenses

See also