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I work in the cybersecurity profession as an analyst / engineer. Keeping well informed of news in the cybersecurity industry is important to what I do. I subscribe to several what I would consider reputable and high quality publications targeted for professionals in the cybersecurity profession. I have found their analysis of threats, vulnerability reporting, and information security trends in general to be very helpful in performing my job.

So far, I have been paying the subscription fees out of pocket. Several colleagues also subscribe to these publications and shared my opinion these are reputable and useful. An example would be this publication.

Given these publications enable me to better perform my job by keeping me informed of industry happenings, would it be appropriate to ask my company for reimbursement on my costs?

How can I best convince management for reimbursement?

  • don't forget to claim them as a deduction on your tax returns if the company says no – mgh42 Jul 4 at 0:44
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It's probably appropriate.

Write up a small proposal, with a breakdown of the costs, that includes what publications, why you want them, why you think it's useful, and that you'd like to start a small library in the office for them.

Maybe they'll pay for you to get personal copies, maybe not. I reckon that they'd be fine with picking up the tab for an office copy.

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    Focus on the minuscule costs and great benefits this will bring to the company and include something in your proposal about them being tax deductible, if that's appropriate to your locale. – Justin Jul 3 at 8:01
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    I think the important part of this is office copy. The company might decide to take out a subscription to make the publication available for all staff, but I think it might be a bit much to ask them to pay for your own personal publications. – Smock Jul 3 at 12:14
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I think phrasing may turn out to be important here. 'Reimbursements' will typically be looked at on an individual basis. Some companies offer budgets for personal professional development, evaluated yearly on the basis of a 'growth plan' that you write and get approved by your manager. Recurring costs for learning materials could be fit in there.

If your company does not have that kind of budget, then you'll need to write a proposal. A 'team library' is probably the most cost effective and thus the easiest to get approved. Ask your colleagues for input, and plan:

  • What publications, what costs? How are you going to store and manage them? Who will be responsible?
  • Include a little budget for one-time purchases of books and manuals?
  • Who gets to charge to that budget? Just your team? Is there an overlap with other teams? Should other teams be able to charge against your budget?
  • Who gets to use the 'library'?
  • How much budget do you want, and how do you evaluate that the budget is used effectively?

If you can demonstrate that you can achieve a lot on a minimal budget AND that it will result in a negligible amount of extra work, then you can probably get something permanent going that the whole team benefits from.

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Yes, it's almost certainly a business expense. You should expect to be able to submit these subscriptions for reimbursement as you would other expenses.

If your company has an expense policy, double check that publication subscriptions are not explicitly excluded. If your company doesn't have a policy, it might be worth checking with the expense-processing or accounting team to save yourself the time of submitting a reimbursement.

If you think the subscriptions are reimbursable given your company's policy, submit your receipts for reimbursement. If you can, update the subscription to charge a company card instead of your own to avoid reimbursements in the future.

If you're unsure how to submit expenses, or if the subscriptions will be reimbursed, ask your manager for help. He/she will be able to answer your question best.

  • The chances of getting that expenses claim approved would be pretty slim unless somebody with a budget has approved it in advance. – Simon B Jul 3 at 22:50

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