Finance & Accounting
BPM-217 Incidental Expenses
Revised August 01, 2004
When there is a documented business reason, expenditures of University-administered funds can be made for items listed below with approval from the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee, unless others are specified in the following sections.
The justification must be documented, and receive appropriate approval. The request to be approved should state the date or time period of the expenditure(s), the estimated amount(s), and the justification. A copy of the approved request should be filed with the source documentation for the expenditure.
Except where specifically provided by University policy, neither University assets nor its processes should be used to pay for non-University expenses. If this does occur the employee(s) responsible must reimburse the University within 30 days of the transaction. The employee(s) may be subject to discipline whether or not they made reimbursement.
For example, if employees take up a collection to buy a personal gift, they may NOT deposit the funds with the University and pay for the gift from those funds by Purchasing Card, voucher or any other University method. Instead, the purchase must be made with the funds collected or with an individual's personal credit card, check, etc.
When a purchase or payment includes both a personal portion and a University portion, the payment can be made through University processes if the University portion is more than 50% of the total cost and it is more efficient for the University to process in this manner. The employee must reimburse the University for the personal portion at the same time the University portion is processed for payment.
Each campus may institute more restrictive policies regarding unallowable expenditures than those that appear below.
Each purchase must be a suitable expenditure for the specified funding source and appropriate within the scope of any donor or other restrictions on the use of the funds.
NOTE: Grants may have special requirements. Expenditures from grant funds must comply with all grant restrictions. (See Business Policy Manual Section 210).
The University frequently has relationships with non-University entities in which the University
administers funds on behalf of the entity. In such cases, the University has an agency relationship with the entity. All expenditures of University-administered agency funds must be made in accordance with standard University policies governing the expenditure of funds, and agency requirements, whichever are the more restrictive. An exception may be made if there is an agreement between the agency (and/or its funding source) and the University, that agency policies shall prevail. The agreement must be approved by a University official with authority to make such contracts.
At times there are legitimate purposes for expenditures for alcoholic beverages related to the promotion of the interests of the University. A statement explaining how this expenditure benefits the University must be shown on each transaction that requests payment of, or reimbursement for, alcoholic beverages.
Flowers may be purchased with University-administered funds for official University events or public relations activities. Purchase of flowers with University-administered funds for other purposes is allowable only when there is a legitimate business purpose for the expenditure. The expense must be fully documented with an original receipt, a stated business purpose and the identity of the event, meeting, or individual and their relationship to the University.
When it is in the best interests of the University, and when approved by the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee, the purchase of flowers with University-administered funds is allowable as personal gifts to employees, or employees' families, e.g. to express congratulations, concern or sympathy, or to recognize a personal event such as a birthday, provided the source of funds is unrestricted non-operating funds or restricted funds approved for this purpose.
Personal Convenience Items
Purchase of personal or convenience items with University-administered funds for lunch rooms, common areas, or public areas, may be allowed with approval of the Dean, Director or Department Head with responsibility for the area.
Items of a personal or convenience nature and without a public purpose may not be acquired with University-administered funds. Examples of unallowable items include, but are not limited to: electrical appliances, refrigerators, microwaves, food, coffee pots and mugs, and decorative items for non-public work areas.
University-administered funds can be used for decorations of commonly accessed public areas and exterior grounds when approved by the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee. Use of University-administered funds for decorations for departmental offices and work areas is not allowed.
University-administered funds may be used for holiday parties or similar social events when there is a documented business reason and approval is provided by the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee.
University-administered funds may be used to send greeting cards for external public relations purposes only, such as to donors, community leaders, and friends of the University, with the prior approval of the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee.
Use of University-administered funds for events for recognition purposes is allowed on a limited basis.
University expenditures for farewell or employment anniversary receptions are allowable for full and part-time employees who retire, resign, or transfer internally, or have achieved a significant employment milestone. Departments or campuses may establish a minimum number of years of service before University funds may be used for the event. Use of University-administered funds for such receptions must have the approval of the Dean, Director, or Department Chair. Receptions for Deans, Directors or Department Chairs must have the approval of their administrative superior.
Retirement gifts are addressed in Business Policy Manual Section 216 (Awards, Gifts and Prizes). See Awards to Employees, Certain Achievement Awards, under Length of Service.
Events involving students and the community are allowed, when and where the students and/or community's involvement has made a significant impact on the University. Approval for such expenditures must come from the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dean, or designee.
University-administered funds are not to be used for personal related events, such as birthday or
wedding anniversary celebrations.
Charitable Contributions or Events
Contributions to outside charitable organizations are allowed only when it is in the best interests of the University and with the prior approval of the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee, provided the source of funds is unrestricted non-operating funds or restricted funds approved for this purpose.
When it can be determined that the fee to attend an event (e.g., purchase of a table or tickets to attend a reception or banquet) exceeds the actual cost of the meal, and the excess represents a charitable contribution, the fee is subject to the requirements of the preceding paragraph.
Auxiliary enterprise operations may make non-monetary contributions, of nominal value to charitable organizations when the operation determines there is a business benefit from doing so and with the prior approval of the operation's chief administrative official or designee.
Donations of equipment to outside organizations or to individuals are generally not allowed. All surplus property must be disposed of in accordance with the University's surplus property policies and procedures.
Political contributions are not allowed. This includes the expense of advertising in political programs and admission to attend political fund raising events.
The University may provide uniforms, laboratory coats, or other job-related articles of clothing to personnel who have a business need for them.
When it is in the best interests of the University to do so, University-administered funds may be used to purchase personal clothing for employees with the approval of the President, Vice President, Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Hospital Chief Executive Officer, or designee.