Claims and Reimbursements

Claims and Reimbursements

The University pays travel allowances to staff travelling overseas and within Australia on University business and has a travel policy to provide guidance to all staff.

Advance or Substantiation (NOPF form)

Staff may request advance payment for travel or participant payments.

In instances where a University credit card can’t be used, staff can apply for an advance using the non-order payment request form.

Advance can be paid to staff up to 85% of estimated costs. No further advance will be provided until the original advance payment is substantiated.

Advance claim form (please open the spreadsheet below and select advance in sheet named "Step 1 - Form"):

How to substantiate an advance

Staff are asked to substantiate an advance with original tax invoices and receipts within one month of expenditure incurred. It’s important to note, an EFTPOS docket or credit card authorisation slip does not satisfy this requirement.

For research participant advance substantiation, researcher will need to request participants to sign-off an acknowledgement stating funds are received. The only exception is when participant details cannot be disclosed due to state/federal legislation or due to relevant University policy.

  • Step 1: complete a Non-Order payment request form (please select “Substantiation” after opening the spreadsheet on “Step 1” sheet)
  • Step 2: obtain approval from a delegated staff member for the claimed expenditure
  • Step 3: forward the claim to the accounts payable team for processing.

In acquitting the advance, you must clearly identify and certify that any costs claimed have been paid from the advance and not charged to your University credit card.

End of financial year reconciliation

At the end of 30th June, any advance requiring substantiation that has been outstanding for more than four months from the date of expenditure incurred, will be included in the staff's payment summary as a reportable fringe benefit from a taxation perspective.

The only exception to this is when the Manager (Accounts Payable) is provided with a sufficient explanation why the advance remains unsubstantiated.

Once recorded on your end of year payment summary, this amount is taxable in the hands of the employee and is irrevocable.

Per diem (NOPF form)

Per diem is a daily allowance paid to staff to cover all meals and minor incidentals while travelling on approved University business. A per diem can be claimed for approved University business-related domestic and international travel by completing Non-Order Payment Request form (please open the spreadsheet and select Per-Diem in sheet named "Step 1 - Form"):

Per diem can be claimed:

  • only if requested prior to undertaking the travel
  • where the duration of the travel is no more than 30 days
  • for longer travel periods, a University credit card will need to be used or a travel advance obtained.
  • note: Australian Taxation Office treat per diem allowances greater than 30 days as a living away from home allowance which is taxable at the highest marginal rate and must be shown on an individual’s payment summary
  • incurred outside the Sydney metropolitan area (outside a 50km radius of Macquarie University)
  • only when there is a possibility that a travel-related cost will occur.

What does a per diem cover?

The per diem is to cover the cost of:

  • meals
  • minor incidental expenses, such as:
    • low cost incidental transport eg taxi fares up to $20 (note that individual taxi fares in excess of $20 may be claimed at the end of the travel on production of receipts. The amount reimbursed will be the difference between the actual fare and $20.)
    • laundry
    • telephone or internet
  • sustenance other than meals (eg snacks).

The payment of a per diem is intended to ensure that an employee neither loses nor gains financially by receiving a per diem payment.


A per diem can be used for conference travel but it must be reduced for all meals that are included at the conference and/or in the accommodation (eg breakfast).

Where meals are not included in the conference, a copy of the conference program will need to be supplied. Where this is not provided it will be assumed the conference includes all meals. If all meals are included only an incidental conference rate will be available.

Multiple purpose trips

A per diem is only payable if no part of the trip is excluded under the exclusions listed below eg if a person is travelling for outside studies program (OSP) then the whole trip is excluded and other forms of funding must be used (eg travel advance or reimbursement).


A per diem cannot be claimed for any of the following:

  • the cost of accommodation and conference registrations (these are to be paid on a University credit card before travelling or by reimbursement upon return)
  • OSP expenses
  • personal or private travel
  • a cost which is not likely to occur
  • travel when the traveller has a University credit card, except if it can be substantiated that credit cards are not readily accepted in an area, in which cases a travel advance is to be obtained
  • the same period of travel for which a travel advance has been claimed
  • same-day domestic travel which is more than 50km from Macquarie University.  If meals are included on the flight, a per diem for the meals may not be claimed and the per diem rate will need to be reduced.  If meals are provided at a meeting, the per diem rate will need to be reduced.

Travel Policy will provide further information and per-diem rates.

Reimbursement (NOPF form)

Funds spent on behalf of the University can be reimbursed through accounts payable department by completing Non-Order Payment Request Form:

  • Completed form needs to printed, signed off by claimant then request a staff member to certify the claim. This will then need to be signed off by a staff with appropriate delegation, normally claimant’s immediate manager
  • Please scan completed and signed form together with all receipts attached in one PDF file. This file can be sent to Accounts Payable department for payment
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