Can an expense claim be reimbursed if the expenses were incurred over one year ago?
The GTFM’s Key Principles outlines that, “all expense claims should be submitted for reimbursement on a timely basis, and it would be unreasonable to expect reimbursement after more than one year after the related expenses have been incurred”
Best practice, as outlined in the Completing your Claim section of the GTFM is to, “submit your expense reimbursement claim as soon as you have completed your trip, at the latest within three working weeks following completion of travel or other activity for which expenses were incurred. Timely reporting is very important to ensure that charges are recorded against departmental accounts and research grants in the correct accounting period and while a grant is still open and eligible for charges, and to avoid personal interest charges on credit cards (which are not eligible expenses).”
Should a claim be submit for expenses that are more than one year old, as with all instances not covered by the GTFM or in unusual circumstances, the decision to reimburse is at the discretion of the Approver, who should consider the following:
- The reason provided by the claimant as to why it was submitted late.
- Are the expenses as per the funding source still eligible? Are there funds available?
- Can the reasonability and business purpose of the expense still be verified?
- If an exception is to be made, what is the justification?
- If approved, the timeline precedent that may be set for the Department/Division
If the Approver decides to reimburse, the justification should be documented and attached to the claim, should the claim be questioned by internal or external auditors at a later date.