General principles

The principle of the Expenses Policy is to ensure that staff continue to be reimbursed for all necessary expenditure reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties. In all our spending as a co-op we aim to be cost effective and to minimise our environmental impact.

The amounts in this policy are not intended as limits to be spent up to, but guidance for reasonable maximum expenses.

Below are also some guidelines if you are making purchases on behalf of the company.

If you are claiming for personal expenses (food, travel, etc.) then you are also advised to keep records as you are personally liable to be able to prove this expenditure to HMRC.

Submitting an expense claim

If you are using a company card

All Members are entitled to their own company card. Please contact Finance to organise getting a card.

Each Member’s card has a limit of £1,000 per month, apart from the members of the Finance Circle. If you are purchasing items costing more than this please contact the Finance Circle who will purchase them on your behalf.

When purchasing, it is imperative that you share the receipt with Finance in a timely manner. Ensure that the billing address is listed as the Agile Collective office, and this displays on any invoices:

Makespace Central, 21b Park End St,
Oxford OX1 1HU, UK

If there’s an option to include a VAT number please use: GB131789989

If you are not using a company card

If you do not have a company card, Finance Circle will purchase this for you on your behalf.

If you used your own card to purchase something for work purposes, you will need to claim this back. Send an email to accounts@agile.coop attaching the receipt for the expense.


Expenses should be submitted as soon as possible after they have been incurred, certainly within the month following expenditure.

Please send a digital or image of the hard copy to the Finance Circle via accounts@agile.coop so that it can be logged for our records.

For purchases on behalf of the company original receipts must accompany all claims.

Credit card slips or statements are not preferred as evidence of business expenditure.

A VAT receipt must include the name and address of the retailer, the retailer's VAT registration number, the date of the purchase, details of what goods or services have been purchased and the VAT inclusive value of those goods or services in sterling. A VAT registration number consists of nine digits.

Logging a rechargeable expense for a Project

In some cases, we incur rechargeable expenses on a project. This will almost always be for travel, accommodation, or licence fees.

We will recharge for project expenses at the beginning of the month along with billing for project work.

To log an expense, go to Harvest expenses under Timesheet and then “Add expense”. Assign a client, project, date, amount and category to the expense.

We are all responsible as a team for logging our expenses, it is not just up to project managers to do this, but they should ensure that expenses are logged correctly by the end of the month in the same way as project hours.

Help with expenses

If you have a problem in completing your expense claim, please contact the Finance Circle.


Wherever practicable, audio conference facilities and video conference facilities should be used as an alternative to travelling. As far as possible, please use off-peak trains and/or book ahead for fixed-price peak tickets.

Going into the office

If you regularly work from home, travel expenses from home to a workplace will only qualify for tax relief if the journey qualifies as travel in the performance of the duties of the employment, and the duties required are not able to be completed from home. See GOV.UK guidance for details.

If you are travelling to the office for a specific business purpose, that cannot be done at home, then you can claim this as an expense. Otherwise, this is considered ordinary commuting, which is not claimable as an expense.

If you are unsure, please contact Finance Circle about covering the expenses of your travel to the office.

Modes of transport

When travelling, bikes or public transport should normally be used where available.

Travelling in UK or EU

For travel within mainland UK and to/from European destinations, rail, car or coach are the preferred modes of travel over air. Proposed exceptions to this should be raised for wider discussion.

Significant savings can be obtained by specifying outward and/or return journeys at time of booking.

Upgraded travel

Upgraded travel, i.e. above economy, is not appropriate for journeys of less than four hours. For longer journeys upgraded travel may be justified for business needs and, in very exceptional circumstances, on health grounds. A request should be made to the Members in a timely fashion stating the reasons for the upgrade.


Minicabs or taxis can be taken for business purposes if it is the most cost effective means of transport. A final destination must be specified for all bookings. Travel by minicab or taxi is not ordinarily appropriate for journeys over 40 miles.

Black taxis are more expensive than minicabs and they should only be booked as a last resort. Where taxis are hailed the cost can be recovered through an expenses claim.

Ineligible travel expenses

You are expected to meet the full cost of all journeys between your home and your normal place of work.

Mileage claims

It is possible to claim for business mileage costs:

Miles per tax year Car Motorcycle Bicycle
Up to 10,000 miles 45p 24p 20p
Over 10,000 miles 25p 24p 20p

Although there is no direct relationship between fuel purchases and business mileage, where possible please submit a VAT fuel receipt with your claim in order to allow Agile Collective to recover VAT on mileage.

Overnight accommodation


If you have to stay away from base overnight, the company will pay for the cost of a standard single room with bathroom facilities.

The cost of the room should not normally exceed the following limits:

Cost per night (excl. VAT) Cost per night (incl. VAT)
Room only £90 £110
Bed and breakfast £105 £130

Group accommodation

If there are several workers staying in the same location overnight, we recommend looking at group accommodation options. For any subsistence costs incurred during your stay, you may claim up to £20 per day, per person.

Private accommodation

In circumstances where it is economical, workers may stay in private accommodation with family or friends. You may claim up to £20 per night (including breakfast).

Travel outside the UK

See HMRC's list of rates for international travel.

Payments and claims

Bills for accommodation and any other expenditure incurred in the hotel (such as telephone calls and meals) must be paid for at the time of departure. Details of all valid expenses should be included on an expenses claim.

Ineligible accommodation expenses

Items such as mini bars, bar bills, newspapers, hotel “videos” and gym fees are personal, cannot be claimed as business expenses and must be deducted from hotel bills, together with any associated service and taxes.

Subsistence whilst away from the office or staying overnight

Employees can charge small subsistence costs such as snacks, tea/coffee or lunch to the company when travelling to meetings away from the office. When staying overnight, the company will reimburse the actual cost of relevant meals on presentation of receipts, up to the limits (including VAT and service) below:

| Length of time away from regular place of work | Meal Limit (incl. VAT & service) | | ---------------------------------------------- | -------------------------------- -------- | | Over 5 hours | £5 (+£10 if travel is ongoing after 8pm) | | Over 10 hours | £10 (+£10 if travel is ongoing after 8pm) | | Over 15 hours | £25 |

The above are not limits but rather guidelines but every effort should be made to make reasonable expenses that allow employees to eat healthily.

Office equipment and expenses

Computer equipment

Agile Collective will purchase any computer equipment and associated peripherals (mouse, keyboard, headset, webcam, etc.) required by an employee to do their job.

Computers should be purchased with a 3 year extended warranty and are expected to last at least 4 years.

Any computer purchases should be discussed with the Technical Circle prior to purchase to ensure it meets any requirements needed for the role.

Home working equipment

Agile Collective will purchase the following home office equipment for use by home workers:

These must be requested from the Finance Circle so that they can be included in the asset / equipment register. Agile Collective will own any item purchased under this Policy but you will be responsible for taking good care of them.

Agile Collective office equipment

The Oxford Office Working Group are responsible for purchasing equipment for the Agile Collective office. The Finance Circle must be notified of all equipment purchases so that they can be included in the asset register.

Mobile phones

Members are entitled to a mobile phone as outlined in the mobile phone policy.

Hospitality and entertainment

Hospitality for meetings

Tea, coffee and soft refreshments should only be provided for meetings where the meeting needs to be for two hours or longer or when entertaining a person or organisation from outside Agile Collective. No alcohol can be provided.

Entertaining business contacts

We recognise that it may be necessary to provide hospitality to business contacts from external organisations or subsidiaries. The level should be appropriate and not exceed £50 per head (including VAT and service); claims above this level will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Staff entertainment

Any staff entertainment must be approved in advance. The entertaining should be appropriate.

Christmas parties and annual events

It is recognised that at certain times of the year a social occasion may be appropriate. Annual events such as Christmas parties are tax deductible as long as all employees are invited and it costs under £150 per head. Anything above this can’t be claimed as a business expense, so bear this in mind when using the company card.

The event organisers are responsible for collating expenses and sharing this with finance in a timely manner.

Other entertainment

Any other staff entertainment should be for an appropriate business purpose and not exceed £25 (including VAT and service) per head. Examples of appropriate business purposes may include drinks after a major contract win, an end of series party or ad-hoc team drinks to reward exceptional effort. Occasional team building events might be considered appropriate.

Away days and conferences

When staying overnight, workers may pay for and claim back the cost of a drink before dinner and drinks with dinner within reason. Any other alcoholic refreshments are at the delegates’ own cost.

You don’t need to get approval for total spends below £1,000. This amount would include any travel and accommodation costs necessary, in line with our travel and accommodation policy.

Above that, we ask that you check with the Finance Circle first. While times are good and we have plenty of cash in the bank, this will be approved; if we are going through a period of turbulence, then there may need to be a delay while we tighten our belts to get through it.

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