The Finance Team

The Finance office is based at Douglas House. The contact telephone number is 01223 (4)65291 and mailbox email is

Travel & Accommodation



Staff and students are required to use the most cost-effective form of transport. This includes purchasing the cheapest available tickets (e.g., the appropriate rail saver or super-saver or the cheapest available flight). Wherever possible, business should be arranged so that rail travel can take place in off peak periods.

For car travel, using rail or a hire car for long distance travel where the cost of these is cheaper than the mileage which would be claimed; and only using a taxi where public transport is not available.

Heads of Departments may authorise travel by means other than the cheapest where this in the interest of the University business.

As an exception to the rule above, employees may choose a more expensive form of transport where the chosen method of transport is less harmful to the environment. Typically, this will involve an election to travel by train in preference to car or short haul flight.


We hold various Panther Taxi accounts and run a docket system, please obtain a docket number/slip and taxi account code from the relevant Admin section in your building. Without these you will not be able to book a Taxi.

The white docket slip should be given to the taxi driver, the blue slip should be sent to the finance office with the relevant charge code written on it.

It you are traveling by taxi outside of Cambridge and are unable to use Panther Taxis then please keep all paper receipts. 

We do not recommend the use of UBER.


We have accounts with various University approved travel agents and flights can be booked via a purchase order in liaison with the relevant admin office in your building, please contact them for further information. Before doing so please ensure you have a correct charge code and permission from the budget holder.


Rail tickets can be purchased from the University’s approved travel suppliers via the relevant admin office in your building, if booking rail travel then please allow a 3-week notice period. This system will be practical for planned meetings but for any adhoc travel, you will need to purchase tickets yourself and claim back via an expense claim.

Car Hire

 We have an online booking system for Enterprise Rent a car, which can be used at short notice. Please ensure you have a charge code and permission from the budget holder. Enterprise can deliver to an address of your choice for an additional charge.

Mileage Rates

The University will pay a mileage allowance where employees use their car or motorcycle for business travel. Business travel means journeys which employees make to or from a place they have to attend in the performance of their duties but not any travel from home to a university site.

The rates of mileage are as follows:

Travel by car (irrespective of size) 45p a mile up to 10,000 miles
  25p a mile thereafter
Travel by Motorcycle 24p a mile

If the employee travels direct from home, the mileage should be the lower of:

  • The mileage actually incurred or
  • The mileage which would have been incurred if the journey had started and finished at the normal place of work.

When using a vehicle for business travel the employee must ensure that their personal insurance allows business use of the vehicle.

For travel to destinations served by rail link from Cambridge, mileage claims will be restricted to the lower of the actual mileage claim or the second-class rail fare which would have been payable.


Where possible, accommodation should be booked in advance via the preferred University approved travel agents, please contact the relevant admin office in your building for assistance with this. If this is not possible, then please ask for a pro forma invoice (upfront payment) from the Hotel/B&B well in advance of travel and we can organise payment of the invoice before you travel.

If a pro forma is not possible, then you will need to cover the accommodation yourself and claim back via an expense claim form (see expense claim operating procedures for details of this). Please ensure you do not go over the maximum daily amount as set out by the University here Expenses and Rates. If you do, the Clinical School will need HOD approval for this.

Airbnb are not recommended for use by the Health and Safety office, Procurement and Insurance offices for the following reasons:

  • The accommodation cannot be checked, so there are no safeguards in place
  • There are no guarantees about standards, location and set-up etc.
  • The exchange relies on individual agreements and not contracts
  • As the preferred supplier, Key Travel assume responsibility for those travelling and provide a comprehensive cover in the event of any unexpected emergency or disaster which is not available with Airbnb.

As a department we are concerned about our student’s welfare. We would not be fulfilling our duty of care if Airbnb bookings took place in light of the above.

Purchasing & Contracts



  • A request for goods should be made at your local admin office and the university preferred suppliers should be used wherever possible, please see the list:
  • Please note for all purchases over £1000 you should obtain 3 competitive quotes, please take your quotes along with a charge code and permission from the budget holder to your local Admin officer to request a purchase order.
  • If you need to purchase something but cannot find an appropriate supplier, please contact the Finance Team for further information on the next process.
  • Your local admin officers will then raise a requisition which will be forwarded to the Finance Team for completion into a purchase order.
  • Once the goods are received, they will be receipted by the local admin officer and all delivery notes are forwarded to the finance office for filing.

No goods should be purchased via an expense claim form without prior permission, this could lead to a non-reimbursement of the expense.


This includes self-employed individuals.

Under no circumstances should any contracts be entered into by departmental employees other than the Head of Department and his nominated authorised signatures.

Expense Claims

Expenditure incurred on university business should be claimed for reimbursement using an Expense Claim form. Petty cash must not be used to reimburse individual expenses.

Where possible the amounts an individual will have to advance from their own personal monies should be minimised by the use of a university credit card or by arranging for the supplier to invoice the University directly.

Expense forms can be found online via this link

Online Resources

For further information on the following topics, please visit:

Equipment Purchasing & Monitoring

Equipment should be purchased in line with the University’s guidance (Appendix 1) and then the standard purchasing procedures for the department should be followed.

Once the equipment is within the department it should be added to the department’s equipment database so that it can be tracked.

Each of the various sites updates this spreadsheet themselves and it is all amalgamated together quarterly. We include computers in this spread-sheet.

Computers are kept track of in the above spreadsheet and as part of the staff leavers process, we check what computers/equipment are registered to that person and ask them to remove all the data they need, the machines are then wiped for data protection reasons before being recycled to new staff joining the department.

Software Licences

Software licences should be purchased as per anything else in the department. Please speak to your local administrator to facilitate this.

You will need a budget code and the budget holder’s authorisation.

There is a software spreadsheet to ensure that user licences are up to date and we do not exceed the user to license ratio.

Purchasing for outside the University

Purchasing for non-University business/recharging should be avoided wherever possible, if there should be a need for it, then it should be checked with the Finance Office first.

There can be VAT implications when charging on for a purchase that we have made and it can make the item more expensive.

It is a time-consuming exercise and should be avoided.