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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: FISCAL B-9

SUBJECT: REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL, ENTERTAINMENT, AND OTHER EXPENSES

POLICY

All requests for employee reimbursement of travel, entertainment, or other business related expenses are subject to the independent review and final voucher approval by an administrative superior. This policy applies to all funds, except where prohibited by law. (References)

PROCEDURE

The Office of Administration and Finance is responsible for the dissemination of guidelines and procedures to be followed to all divisions of the University. See the General Office Procedures Guide (GOP), Section 6.3 Travel Reimbursements.

APPROVAL AUTHORITY

Travel, entertainment, and other business-related employee reimbursable expenses will be approved as shown below:

If reimbursement is submitted by: Then the voucher must be approved by:
President Chancellor or designee (Entertainment, travel, and other business-related employee reimbursable expenses)
 
Associate Vice President of University Advancement
Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs
Vice President for Administration & Finance
Director of Athletics
Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action
and other direct reports
President
 
Deans
Associate Provost
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Senior Director of Libraries
Senior Director of Academic & Student Technology Services
Director of Assessment
and other direct reports
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
 
Director of Administrative Technology Services
Director of Business Services
Budget Director
Comptroller
Director of Facilities
Director of Capital Projects
and other direct reports
Vice President for Administration and Finance
 
All other employees As appropriate, Administrator, Director, Deans or Supervisor with signature authority.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

ENTERTAINMENT

Use of university funds for entertainment shall be restricted to occasions that can be demonstrated to be of clear benefit to the university and shall be limited to those whose attendance is deemed necessary to that benefit.

In every case, the entertainment reimbursement must be approved by the official in higher authority than the highest ranking person of the sponsoring group who is in attendance at the event. All reimbursements to the President, whether considered entertainment-related or not, will be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor or designee.

Entertainment expenditures must be documented to show the following:

  • If a small group is being entertained (ten or fewer), the names of all persons attending will be shown in the description. For large groups, only name or names of the honored guests will be shown along with the number of persons attending.
  • A statement must be included indicating how the entertainment benefited the University of Houston-Victoria and clarifying the relationship of the persons in attendance to the particular aspects of the University's programs or activities which will be benefited. (Titles, committee name, field of interest of person being entertained, reason for visitor being on campus, etc.)
  • The time, date and place of entertainment.
  • If alcoholic beverages were served, the time that alcohol was served is also required, since employees may not consume alcoholic beverages during normal business hours. Refer to UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.02 for additional requirements.

Itemized receipts for entertainment expenses are required for reimbursement to faculty or staff members. If payment is to be made to a vendor, the original invoice is required.

Reimbursement will not be made for entertainment, travel or other business expenditures unless the documentation is complete. Reimbursements that cannot be properly documented or justified will not be paid, and the individual must bear the cost of the expense.

No entertainment expenses can be charged to contracts or grants with the University unless such entertainment is specifically authorized by the terms of the contract or grant.

Entertainment expenses may not be paid with designated tuition funds except for events that primarily involve students (e.g., commencement, student recruitment, student job fairs, etc.) and for prospective employee business meals.

COMMON ENTERTAINMENT CATEGORIES

Prospective faculty and staff: It is the policy of the University to invite prospective faculty and staff, and on occasion both candidate and spouse, to visit the University. Travel and other reasonable expenses for such activities will be reimbursed.

Official guests of the University: The University is not normally expected to reimburse official guests for travel and related expenses, except when guests travel to the University on specific invitation. However, it is recognized that entertainment of guests is essential. Examples of official guests would include: visitors from other universities, individuals interested in University programs or issues, guests invited to assist in the development of new programs (both paid and non-paid consultants), and business and community leaders from Victoria, the Gulf Coast region, and the State at large. The relationship between the visitor and the University faculty and staff attending the function for their areas of responsibility must be clearly documented in the description.

Receptions: Receptions for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University held by the President and other designated campus senior officers shall be paid as entertainment.

Conference, workshops, meetings, seminars, etc: In the case of conferences and workshops conducted by the University which are supported by income from registration fees, all expenses, including entertainment, must be covered with the revenue produced by the event.

Meal and/or refreshment expenses for other group meetings which are not self-supporting and limited to University personnel must have specific prior administrative approval. Appropriate documentation shall be provided to administration, indicating that the workshop or conference is essential to the operation of the University and that provision of meals and/or refreshments will expedite the proceedings of the conference or workshop. Approval of the expense or reimbursement request will be considered evidence of prior administrative approval.

Business Meals: Business meals are considered a form of entertainment in which a University employee discusses component university business with another System employee from a different department and/or non-employee over breakfast, lunch or dinner. The business meal must be considered an ordinary and necessary expense and meet the directly-related or associated test, as described in IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses. Business meals may not be considered lavish or extravagant under the circumstances. Refer to UHV Policy F-4, Meal Expenses for One Day Trips, for specific provisions. (References)

TRAVEL

The University has been delegated authority by the Chancellor for approval of travel vouchers for employees of the University. The Office of Administration and Finance is responsible for the dissemination of guidelines and procedures to be followed by all divisions of the University.

All travel must be for official University business. A UHV Travel Request Form must be approved by the traveler's supervisor and certifying signatory for the cost center Foreign travel requests must be approved by either the Provost if an academic or student area or the Vice President for Administration and Finance if an administrative area and the President. All foreign travel requires that the traveler complete the Export Controls and Travel Embargo Form and then submit it along with the travel request to the Office of Contracts and Grants for review. Upon completion, the office of Contracts and Grants will forward both documents to the Travel Specialist in Finance for signature. The Chancellor, or designee, must approve travel requests for the President.

When an employee's travel is funded by a grant or contract with guidelines more restrictive than the State or University travel guidelines, the grant guidelines take precedence.

All travel and reimbursements from state-appropriated funds must comply with the Texas State Comptroller TexTravel website provided by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Complete campus guidelines may be found in the UHV Administrative Policies and Procedures Index F, Travel

OTHER BUSINESS EXPENSES

Other business expenses can include employee reimbursement for the purchase of goods or services necessary for ongoing operations. For example, this can include miscellaneous office supplies, small tools, copy services, etc. Reimbursement can only be made from local funds; state funds cannot be used. Grant funds may be used if the grant provides for that type of purchase. Itemized receipts are required for reimbursement and the voucher must include the purpose or intended use of each purchase. Purchasing guidelines must be followed regardless of whether an employee requests reimbursement or the university makes payment directly to the vendor providing the goods or services. Note: Reimbursements for beverages or foods for internal business meetings are considered entertainment reimbursements and are subject to entertainment guidelines.

PAYMENT METHOD

Payments to employees for reimbursement of travel, entertainment and other business related expenses incurred on behalf of the University must be made by direct deposit.

References

  1. UH System Administrative Memorandum 03.A.02, Entertainment Expenditures
  2. UH System Administrative Memorandum 03.A.03, Business Travel
  3. UHV General Office Procedures Guide (GOP) Section 6.3, Travel Reimbursements
  4. UHV Policies and Procedures Index F: Travel
  5. UHV Purchasing Manual
  6. UHV Travel Request Form
  7. Texas State Comptroller Textravel website
  8. Export Controls and Travel Embargo Form
  9. IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses

 

Approved by:

Signature Obtained
Philip Castille, Ph.D.
President

09/20/13
Date


Next review date: September 2016
Origination: Finance Department

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