Meeting and Entertainment Expenses

At UCSF "(business) meetings" means expenditures for meals or light refreshments and related services (e.g., labor charges, room rental, equipment rental, and similar expenditures) incurred in connection with meetings of employees to conduct official University business. At least one University employee or other individual representing the University must be present at any business meeting that includes non-University persons.

"Entertainment" means expenditures for meals or light refreshments and related services (e.g., labor charges, room rental, equipment rental, decorations, flowers, and similar expenditures) incurred in connection with events that are primarily social or recreational activities in support of the University's mission. These activities must support an underlying University business purpose such as promoting goodwill or cultivating donors. Entertainment usually has a guest-host relationship, in which an official guest or guests attend an event, at the invitation of a UCSF host, for a business purpose. Although administrative meetings might not typically include a guest-host relationship, they too may incur allowable entertainment expenses. In general, entertainment expenses must be cost effective and make the best use of public funds.

Allowable Expenses


              Unallowable Expenses


              Some entertainment expenditures cannot be reimbursed because of the nature of the event or expenditure:

              • Entertainment expenses that are lavish or extravagant under the circumstances
              • Expenses that represent additional taxable income to an employee or student under IRS regulations.
              • Monetary contributions to a political campaign or candidate
              • Entertainment expenses for:
                • Employee birthdays
                • Weddings
                • Anniversaries
                • Farewell gatherings (excluding retirement or an employee with at least five years of service)
                • The purchase of property or services for personal use or for a non-business reason
                • Expenditures using restricted funds that are not permitted under the terms governing those funds
              • When two or more employees choose to go to lunch together to continue their business as an incidental part of the meal, when the meal is reciprocal in nature or when the meeting could have been scheduled during regular business hours.
              • Business meals that are frequent or occur on a routine basis, such as light refreshments provided at weekly departmental staff meetings. This type of expenditure is treated as taxable income by the IRS.

              Exceptional Expenses


              Some occasions and entertainment circumstances are considered exceptional and require both departmental and an additional approval. The circumstances below require approval by the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee.

                Maximum Meal Expenses


                If you entertain guests as a matter of official UC San Francisco business, read the guidelines below for details about the per-person maximum allowable expense for meals.

                The maximum amount per person that can be reimbursed for allowable entertainment occasions varies depending on the type of meal served.

                Meal Type Maximum per person on or after 01/01/16
                Breakfast $27
                Lunch $47
                Dinner $81
                Light Refreshment $19

                These amounts include the cost of food and beverages, labor, sales tax, service and delivery charges. The cost of room rental, room set-up fees, media rental and decorations, etc., are not included in the per-person costs unless these costs cannot be separated by the vendor.

                Fund Source Restrictions


                Alcohol. Only a limited number of funding sources permit the purchase of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. These product purchases may not be charged to federal or state funds.

                Frequency Rules. In order to keep the value of meals provided to employees from being considered taxable income, the meals should only be provided infrequently. UCOP has provided guidelines for providing meals and light refreshments in connection with business meetings, entertainment event, or employee morale- building activity:

                • Meals should be limited to no more than once a month or 12 times per year, per group.
                • Light refreshments should be limited to no more than twice per month, per group.

                        Contracting with Vendors


                        • If your meeting will be at a UCSF location, it may not be necessary to bring Supply Chain Management into the process.
                        • If you are working through a hotel or non-UCSF facility to reserve meeting space and/or food for your meeting and the vendor does not require a contract, then you do not need to bring Supply Chain Management into the process. Simply work with the vendor and have the vendor invoice UCSF for the services performed.
                        • If you are working through a Hotel or non-UCSF facility and a contract is required by the vendor, then you must work with Supply Chain Management, Business Contracts Unit, to have any contract reviewed and approved before proceeding. Start early and ensure you allow sufficient time for Supply Chain Management’s review, potential changes, and negotiation process with the vendor.

                        Documentation


                        • Keep all of your documentation related to the event in one location or folder.
                        • Accounts Payable will require a detailed receipt for all expenses and list of attendees including their titles.
                        • Keep copies of documents before you send them to other departments, vendors, or individuals.

                        Approvals Required


                        All expenses related to meeting and entertainment will require approval from an individual who has been given approval authority and has a signature card on file with Accounts Payable or was granted an “authorized approver” role in MyExpense.

                        Exceptional or Additional Approval

                        Exceptional or additional approval is required for all: employee morale-building and recognition activities; tickets provided to prospective donors, employees or student appointees; entertainment of the spouse or domestic partner of the official host or guest.  Only select individuals throughout the campus have been delegated this authority (Chancellor, VCs, Deans, plus a few high-level other employees). Review the UCSF Travel and Entertainment Approval Matrix to determine who has exceptional approval for your area. Exceptional approvals are submitted to AP/Travel Document Submission using the Supplemental Form for Contracted Facility Rental and Exceptional Meeting & Entertainment Expenses.

                        A Supplemental Form for Contracted Facility Rental and Exceptional Meeting & Entertainment Expenses is also required when using the BearBuy Facility Rental Form for payment of a deposit to a vendor that cannot supply an invoice.

                        Activity Host * Additional Approval **
                        Business Meetings    

                        Meals provided to employees, visitors from other educational institutions, members of the community, medical center visitors, or employees from another work location where there is a valid business purpose for the meeting. The meeting must have at least one employee present.

                        No No
                        Programmatic Activities    

                        Meals provided to volunteers and research subjects (clinical trials).

                        No No

                        Athletic team meals, including training-table meals, game-related meals, and occasional meals provided in accordance with NCAA rules.

                        No No

                        Class, study hall, or other academic-based activities.

                        No No

                        Student orientation programs, commencement exercises, and similar activities.

                        No No

                        Student government meetings, association meetings, or other student meetings.

                        No No
                        Recruitment    

                        Meals provided to prospective employees.

                        Yes No

                        Meals associated with the recruitment of student athletes and scholars.

                        Yes No
                        Employee Morale-Building Activities    

                        Meals provided to employees as part of a morale-building activity, including retirement and recognition receptions, etc.

                        Yes Yes
                        On-the-Job Meals    

                        Meals provided to an employee during work hours as a requirement of the employee’s job (HR policy applies).

                        No No
                        Entertainment    

                        Meals provided to prospective donors.

                        Yes No

                        Meals provided to visitors from other educational institutions, members of the community, medical center visitors, or employees from another work location where the purpose of the activity is social or recreational.

                        Yes No

                        Tickets provided to prospective donors, employees, or student appointees in connection with an entertainment event.

                        Yes Yes

                        Meals provided to a spouse or domestic partner.

                        Yes Yes

                        Cash contributions related to an entertainment event.

                        Yes Yes

                        * Campuses may require the signature of the individual requesting payment in those situations that do not require the host signature. Electronic workflow methods of obtaining host approval are acceptable in lieu of a “wet” signature. Meals also include light refreshments unless otherwise noted.

                         

                        ** Approval as an exception to policy is required for any expenditure that exceeds the maximum per-person rates for meals and light refreshments. Electronic workflow methods of obtaining additional approval are acceptable provided that the approver has delegated authority and budgetary approval over the account being charged.

                         

                        Payments to Vendors & Non-UCSF Employee Reimbursement


                        All payments to vendors must be requested through the BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form. Non-UCSF employee reimbursements must be submitted through MyExpense.

                        The BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form is generally used after the event and shows the story of the event, total expenses, who and how many attendees, funding sources, purpose of the event, type of meeting, date of meeting, etc. However, occasionally, a deposit payable to the vendor is required before the event. If a deposit is required, complete the BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form, explain that this amount is a deposit, complete as much of the form as possible (you will not have a list of attendees before the meeting), attach supporting documentation (invoice, contract, etc.) and send to AP/Travel Document Submission. If a deposit is requested, a final, “closing and reconciliation” BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form is required. The final per person amount should be a total of the deposit and the final expenses (total food/beverage, labor, gratuity, sales tax, delivery, and other fees from the event divided by the attendees). You may need to attach supporting documentation to the BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form. To learn how, see Attaching Documents to the BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form.

                        Payments to Employees & Students


                        All payments to employee and student must be requested through MyExpense using MyAccess Single Sign-on.

                        MyExpense reimbursement request is generally submitted after the event and provides the business justification, total expense, who and how many attendees, funding sources, types of meeting, date of meeting, etc. MyExpense report must be routed to the appropriate authorized approver. Attach supporting documents and/or itemized receipts and list of attendees including their titles for all expenses.

                        Service Levels and Accounts Payable Processing


                        Once the BearBuy Meeting & Entertainment Payment Request Form or the MyExpense report has been approved (approved by authorized, final approver) it will be processed within the published Accounts Payable service level number of days. To follow up on the status of payment, check BearBuy, MyReports or contact the Accounts Payable Helpdesk.