Claiming expenses

From time to time, some of us spend our own money at work. Most often, this is for things like:

  • train fares for unexpected travel
  • refreshments purchased for meetings with clients
  • stationery/materials, especially for workshops or events

dxw will always pay expenses which are:

  • necessary: We only expense things we need in order to be able to complete our work
  • proportionate: The total expense should be proportionate to the work at hand. In general, we try to avoid spending lots of money. For example, unless you have a good reason, don’t get a cab to a meeting when you could get a train

Wherever possible, it’s best to check that expenses can be reclaimed before incurring them.

How to claim expenses #

We create expenses using Xero. There’s an Expenses section on the page after you log in where you can see details of your expenses. If you’re claiming for something new, you can go straight to the form.

To create an expense, you add all the receipts related to it to Xero, and submit them together as a claim. If you don’t have receipts, you’ll need to talk to the People team.

The details needed from each receipt #

You’ll need the following details from each receipt to fill in your expenses claim:

  • receipt from: The full company name of the seller
  • date: The date on the receipt (i.e., the date the expense was incurred, not the date you’re adding it)
  • reference: The invoice or receipt number, or some other unique identifier
  • total: Leave this as 0.00: Xero will calculate it for you.
  • copy of receipt: Just above the Total field, you should see a small file icon. Use this to upload a photograph or scan of your receipt. If you upload a photograph, make sure it’s legible.
  • description, quantity and unit price: Add the the description of the line item on the receipt. If that text is not very descriptive, though, consider elaborating. Add the quantity and the price of an individual item.
  • account: See below.
  • tax rate: The tax rate will be set automatically from the account you select, however you must check that it is correct. Check your receipt to see what VAT, if any, was charged. If you cannot see a reference to VAT, select No VAT in this field. It is very important to get this right as this data feeds directly into our VAT returns.
  • products: If the expense relates to a particular area of work (at the time of writing: Agency, Hosting or Citrulu), select the applicable product. If not, leave it blank.

Choosing an expense account #

Each item on a receipt needs to be allocated against a specific expense account. This is so that we can tell how much we spend on categories of things. If you have a receipt or invoice with a large number of items that all fit in a single account, it’s fine to total them up and add that as one line.

If you’re not sure what account type to use, please ask. Do not use General Expenses unless there is definitely no other account that is suitable.

Account types #

  • 325 - Direct Expenses: A cost that is part of producing work that we are contracted to provide; for example, stock photography or fonts. This does not include incidental expenses (like travel) or contractors (which have their own account, and cannot be expensed)
  • 326 - Direct Expenses (Hosting): As above, but for hosting contracts. For example, an SSL certificate.
  • 400 - Advertising & Marketing: Costs that are part of marketing or advertising our services; for example, sponsorships
  • 420 - Departmental Meeting: This should be used for refreshments bought for staff, including meals etc as long as they are consumed in the course of working. This includes evening meals when working late.
  • 424 - Entertainments: This should be used for any entertainments you provide to clients or other stakeholders. Claims in this category are scrutinised particularly carefully. Given the obvious potential for abuse it is particularly important that these claims are necessary and proportionate.
  • 429 - General expenses: This is the account to use if there is nothing else that fits. Please check before using it.
  • 461 - Printing and stationery: Stationery is hopefully self-explanatory. Printing here would include business cards or headed paper, but would not include flyers or brochures, which should go under 400 - Advertising & Marketing.
  • 463 - Software and consumables: Software does not include hosted applications - only software that we are licensing for use on a local machine. Consumables is a catch-all for items which have little or no resale value; for example, mugs or low-cost computer peripherals.
  • 489 - Telephone & Internet: You may expense a portion of your telephone bill if you have made calls or used data on a personal device.
  • 493 - Travel: Business-related travel

Last updated: 9 May 2023 (history)