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Guidelines for reimbursement of expenses supported by the Software Sustainability Institute

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Guidelines for reimbursement of expenses supported by the Software Sustainability Institute

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Guidelines for reimbursement of expenses supported by the Software Sustainability Institute

Expenses supported by the Software Sustainability Institute will be paid by the University of Edinburgh and are subject to the Expenses Policy thereof. Please refer to the Policy here for details.

The purpose of this document is to summarise the official expenses policy of the University of Edinburgh (UoE) policy and to recommend best practices in order to reduce the workload of all parts involved in the expenses process.

This document is intended primarily for SSI Fellows and other people supported by the SSI outside the Fellowship Programme, called SSI Visitors. When there are differences between the process for Fellows and the process for Visitors, this will be indicated.

From 31 August 2022 the University of Edinburgh has adopted a new finance and HR system, called People & Money. While the University offices involved with the finance processes summarised in this document are getting used to the new system, we are experiencing longer than usual times for processing and paying our Fellows and Visitors.

We are striving to keep the process as fast as possible and to minimise inconvenience. We apologise in advance if, in any case, we might result less quick and efficient than we would like.

When in doubt please write to fellows-management@software.ac.uk (for SSI Fellows) or to finance@software.ac.uk (for SSI Visitors).

In this document you will find information about:

  1. Expenses claims
  2. Invoicing
  3. Advance booking
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1. Expenses claims

Read an overview of rules, how to submit an expense claim, what to claim, and download the form below. 

  • Please make an effort to be tidy and clear. It would be helpful if you could note all individual expenses along with providing backup to each expense.
  • Please attach all necessary documents required including receipts, bank/card statements (where needed), signed claim form or any other document you feel is necessary. This will reduce the time it takes for processing a claim.
  • Detailed instructions can be found in the official policy.
  • Only actual incurred costs, supported by proof of payment, can be reimbursed.
  • No per-diem is used.




  • Reasonable expenses incurred in pursuit of University (which, in this case, means the Software Sustainability Institute) business will be reimbursed. Certain items of expenditure are subject to specified limits and conditions, as set out in the official policy.
  • Before deciding your travel, please go through the University of Edinburgh Sustainable Travel Policy which explains how we can minimize our carbon footprint.
  • Travel should normally be by the cheapest means of transport. Business class is sometimes permitted for trains. Business or first class are not permitted for flights.
  • Taxis are permitted.
  • AirBnB is allowed but discouraged. Please double check the Policy or with your SSI contact.
  • Alcohol will not be reimbursed.
  • We cannot book travel insurance on your behalf.
  • Equipment and subscriptions that support online activities is supported; note this does not cover the purchase of computers, laptops, tablets, monitors or printers.
  • Limit paying through cash as much as possible.
  • For SSI Fellows, see also Eligible expenses for SSI Fellowship funds.
  • For each item claimed, a detailed payment receipt must be provided.
  • When purchasing goods or services from VAT registered business, a VAT receipt must be provided.
  • Credit or debit card receipts are not sufficient on their own. An accompanying itemised receipt is necessary.
  • Hotel booking confirmation is not accepted as proof of payment, even if it does show an advance payment. Instead, a VAT invoice subsequent to the stay should be obtained and provided.
  • Likewise, online order confirmation is not accepted as proof of payment, even if it does show an advance payment. Instead, a VAT invoice should be obtained and provided.
  • A statement of your credit card/bank account should be present in the following cases:
    • For hotel bookings
    • For Non-GBP reimbursements
      • For payments done in another currency and to be reimbursed in GBP
      • For payments done in any currency but to be reimbursed in a non-GBP account
  • SSI Fellows should submit their expenses claims on lowFAT (https://fellows.software.ac.uk/).
  • Other visitors should email their claim to finance@software.ac.uk.
  • Expenses claims must include the completed and signed form and the accompanying receipts as a PDF file - ideally one only PDF file. Paper receipts should be scanned and attached.
  • Any original paper receipt should be stored safely as it might be requested to be posted for audit purposes. If all receipts in the claim are native digital, there will not be a request for paper originals.
  • When possible, please try to group all expenses related to one event in one single submission.
  • If non-GBP, indicate the currency beside the listed cost in the claim form’s table.
  • We should avoid using cash for a foreign or a non-GBP payment, it is preferred if these transactions are done through account transfer or credit/debit cards. You must provide both the detailed payment receipts and the relevant part from your bank/card statement with the conversion (if applicable).
  • If you don’t have a GBP amount from your bank statement, please indicate the foreign currency (as appearing on the receipt). Do not attempt to do your own conversion.


  • In certain cases we can book larger items of travel for you, such as long-haul flights.
  • There are limitations to our capability of booking travel for you, due to the admin overheads that this process generates.
  • If you would like to discuss your case, email fellows-management@software.ac.uk
  • You will be required to send an invoice to the SSI if you have to be paid for a service provided by you directly to the institute and if you are not claiming an expense that you have paid for to someone else e.g. an honorarium for a lecture. In this case invoicing the SSI (the University of Edinburgh) must undergo the following steps:
    • Agreement of the amount
    • Set-up a supplier
    • Complete employment status questionnaire (an SSI staff member will contact you to sign it)
    • Raise a PO
    • Receive an invoice