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Expense Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy, together with Procurement Policy, specifies the principles by which Macquarie University and its controlled entities (the University) will execute and manage all non-contracted expenditure with a total value up to and including AU$10,000 ex GST per transaction (Low Value Expenditure).

Part A - Background

(2) All University procurement activities and associated expenditure of funds (including research and other grants) are governed by the requirements and standards of integrity, fairness, accountability, sustainability, open and effective competition, and value for money. These requirements and standards are embedded within this Policy and associated procedures and guidelines.

Part B - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all non-contracted expenditure up to and including AU$10,000 ex GST per transaction (Low Value Expenditure). For expenditure of AU$10,000.01 ex GST or greater, the provisions of the Procurement Policy apply, specifically the requirements of pre-approval of expenditure and the use of Purchase Orders.

(4) This Policy applies to all professional, academic, and research staff, all staff of controlled entities, and all contractors, across all campuses and locations of the University, who are authorised to spend or use the University’s funds (including research and other grants) to acquire or lease goods or services from external organisations (referred to as employees in this Policy).

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Section 2 - Policy

General Principles

(5) Employees who incur expenditure must act in the best interests of the University and incur expenditure that benefits and promotes the interests of the University.

(6) When incurring expenditure on behalf of the University, employees must act prudently, as if they were spending their own money.

(7) In addition, the University will reimburse those described in Clause 4 for expenses incurred in the reasonable course of business and in the conduct of the employees’ duties.

University Credit Card

(8) The University Credit Card is the preferred method of payment for Low Value Expenditure. This includes expenditure on both Business Expenses and Employee Related Expenses.

(9) Employees with a regular need to incur Business Expenses or Employee Related Expenses will be provided with a University Credit Card.

(10) Employees without a regular need (for example less than once per month) to incur Business Expenses or Employee Related Expenses must use the Expense Reimbursement Process.

(11) The Purchase-to-pay process must be used for:

  1. preferred vendor arrangements;
  2. multiple purchases of low value items from the same vendor using a “blanket” purchase order; or
  3. where a vendor does not accept payment by credit card.


(12) All Low Value Expenditure must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate financial Delegate in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Register. This will occur:

  1. during the monthly reconciliation process for a University credit card; and
  2. during the expense claim approval process for expense reimbursement.

(13) The financial Delegate must ensure that any expenses submitted for approval:

  1. adhere to this Policy and the Expense Guideline;
  2. adhere to the Credit Card Policy (where relevant);
  3. relate to a bona-fide Business Expense or Employee Related Expense; and
  4. are fully substantiated by the appropriate supporting documentation.

(14) The financial Delegate may reject any expenses which do not meet these requirements. For purchases on the University Credit Card, this would require the employee to reimburse the University.

Expense Reimbursement Currency

(15) All expense reimbursement claims will be paid in Australian dollars.

Deviation from this Policy

(16) It is acknowledged that deviation from this Policy may be necessary in exceptional circumstances. Where this occurs, the employee must seek written approval from an Executive Group Member. Such approval must be obtained before making a purchase and must be attached as supporting documentation to the expense claim.

Submission of Expense Claims

(17) Expenditure on University Credit Cards must be reconciled at the end of each month.

(18) Claims for an out-of-pocket expense reimbursement must be submitted within ninety (90) days from the date the expense was incurred.

Breach of Policy

(19) Any employee who fails to comply with this Policy, whether in respect of expenditure incurred and claimed, or as an approver of expense claims, will be considered by the University as having breached the Policy. Any such breach may result in disciplinary action which may include termination of employment or dismissal. In addition, all instances of fraud will be referred to the NSW Police.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(20) Refer to the Credit Card Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(21) Refer to the Expense Guideline for guidance on appropriate and inappropriate expenses.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(22) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Business Expenses are expenses necessary for the operation of the University and may include items such as stationery, courier, subscriptions, kitchen stock etc.
  2. Employee Related Expenses are expenses incurred by employees in the delivery of University outcomes, and may include items such as University related travel and accommodation, taxi fares on University business, etc. 
  3. Low Value Expenditure is defined as non-contracted expenditure up to and including AU$10,000 ex GST per transaction.