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Charity Expense Claim

  • 109 posts
  • # 103610

Hi All

I have an issue which has 2 sides to the argument, and both have very strong cases - I am looking for some ideas from you all, the experts, as to how you would deal with it.

I deal with a charity for a local school who run many events throughout the year.

To ensure that the supplies for these events are in place, the committee members buy the supplies out of their own pocket and make an expense claim.

A member of the committee has submitted an expense claim for over £100 and stated that they have lost the receipts.

What would you do?  I personally don't feel that the charity can pay that high an expense claim without any back up, but also feel that it is unfair for the committee member to be out of pocket.

Advice gratefully received.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

  • Member
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  • 495 posts
  • # 103643

That's difficult!  

Can they itemise the full list of expenses with some sort of proof for pricing - maybe a price list from the vendor?

It should be possible to get other committee members to vouch for the goods provided - it may have been minuted which would help.

I think that you would need either the committee and/or the trustee's to sign off the expense as a special item due to the lost paperwork, it is then down to them if that feel the money claimed was spent reasonably (not saying it wasn't - but a certain amount of back covering needs to be done to justify the spending).

As long as the expense was in line with the expectation for the event in question, it should be possible to get a written statement of spending signed off so the person can be reimburst - but also, the committee should look to have a limit on what can be reclaimed in such circumstances so that everyone knows the financial risks they may be taking.  School charities being essentially run by volunteers (school parents/carers) the niceties of 'no paperwork = no claim' may be lost on some.

If the expense was NOT in line with expectations then the committee need to know that and ask questions, so again, referring the whole matter back to them for verification makes sense.


I'm sorry for the person who is out of pocket, but can't they do a little hunting and find some of the paperwork?

  • Member PM.Dip
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  • 742 posts
  • # 103644

Hi Sandra


Thats a diffficult one. My gut recreation is that because the amount is over £100 that the person probably hasnt lost the receipt but probably bought whatever it was with shopping items of their own, which they don't really want to have to send in with the claim form. (fully understandable), the moral being make sure that you ask for a separate receipt for the items for the charity (some shopes are great-others not so good). I think you defineately need whoever makes the decision to say that for the future a separate receipt is needed. 


As to the case in hand, you need someone to make a decision. Maybe, but I dont know how legal it would be if they have got a mixed receipt they could create a copy just blanking out the other items, (just for your records), but im not sure how that would stand up. It may work with the proviso that if their was an enquiry that the original was then needed. (or could the shop produce a copy, if it could be proved when and where purchased?


As I said Im guessing, but think with that amount, they do need to show something.


Best of luck


Kind regards 



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