Policy Manual

Guidelines for Specific Types of Expenditures

Consultants: Payments to outside consultants or consulting firms are permitted. Payments of consulting fees to individuals are allowed if the individual meets the criteria to be classified as an Independent Contractor. (Refer to the checklist on: http://info.gcsu.edu/intranet/forms/documents/Business_Finance/Independen_Contractor_Form030310.doc.)

Contributions: No Foundation funds may be donated to organizations external to the University except where a contribution is made in lieu of flowers for funeral services or in honor of an individual important to the University.

Dues & Membership Fees: Dues and fees for institutional memberships in organizations related to University affairs should be paid from State funds when possible. Dues and fees for individual membership in University related or professional organizations may be paid from Foundation funds.

Dues and membership fees for individual membership in civic service or private clubs may be paid from Foundation funds where such memberships are deemed necessary for business purposes. However, where any portion of those facilities is used for personal activities, a pro-rata share of the dues or membership fees will be reported as income to the employee in compliance with IRS requirements. No dues or membership fees for private country clubs or similar organizations may be paid from Foundation funds, with the exception of membership for the University President at the local country club.

Certification fees or fees for licenses to practice a profession related to the University or Foundation may be paid upon approval of the appropriate dean or vice president.

Employee Incentives & Awards: Employee incentives and awards are permitted, as long as they meet legitimate goals for encouraging employees to do their best work for the University. Incentive programs are those which occur over a period of time to provide incentives for a group of employees and establish procedures for measurable criteria and monitoring. Incidental employee recognition awards are non-recurring and are designed to reward employees for exceptional performance in one-time or unusual circumstances.

Incentives/awards activities must receive prior approval from the appropriate dean or vice president and must address procedures for ensuring adequate IRS reporting. All cash awards, including gift certificates, regardless of amount, will be treated as taxable income to the recipient in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations and a Form 1099 – MISC will be issued. See also "Gifts."

Employee Meals: Meals for employees may be paid from Foundation funds in the following circumstances:

  • entertaining official guests
  • on-campus "working" meals where it is necessary to gather a group of people at a meal time. This should not include regular staff and/or departmental meetings.
  • recruiting new employees
  • faculty/staff receptions and orientations
  • retirement functions

Only reasonable amounts will be reimbursed. Expenditures above an amount which is reasonable, taking into consideration location and alternate available facilities, will require individual approval by the appropriate dean or vice president. Requests for reimbursement must be accompanied by a receipt for the meal, which includes the date, amount and place. The request must also include a full explanation of the purpose of the meal and the names and affiliation of the attendees. Descriptions may be generalized for groups larger than twelve participants.

Entertainment: Normally, reimbursement for entertainment will be limited to meals, refreshments and travel. Other entertainment reimbursement must be approved IN ADVANCE by the appropriate dean or vice president, and the Executive Director of the Foundation (see "Employee Meals", above, and "Spouse Meals" and "Travel,").

Flowers: Flowers may be purchased for the following:

  • University organized public relations and fund raising activities
  • Student orientation, student/parent receptions, and departmental graduations or awards ceremonies
  • Faculty/Staff receptions
  • Funeral or illness of employees and "friends" of the University and death of an immediate family member of an employee

The requests for reimbursement must be fully documented, including the identity of the meeting, event or individual and the relationship to the University.

Fund Raising Activities: Alumni and public relations expenses incurred in the course of organizing and conducting activities for the purpose of raising funds or creating "good will" for the University may be paid. Expenses may include meals incurred in the course of official duty, refreshments, entertainment and travel subject to the provisions of sections related thereto. No funds may be used to specifically benefit a particular donor except for those permitted for recognition purposes (see "Gifts," below).

Gifts: Gifts to employees are allowable only under approved "Employee Incentives/ Awards" (above), or in the case of an employee retirement. The cost of such gifts should not exceed $150. Special IRS rules apply for retirement gifts, although such gifts are not generally taxable compensation to the employee. Gifts for employee special occasions, such as birthdays, bridal and baby showers and gifts, cannot be paid from Foundation funds. Such gifts and occasions are personal in nature and should be paid by the individuals involved.

Gifts to donors and "friends" of the University (including donors and "friends" who are also employees) are limited to fund raising/cultivation objectives. The cost for such items should be reasonable.

Guest/Host Expenses: Foundation funds may be used to bring official guests of the University to campus. Costs of transportation, lodging, meals and necessary miscellaneous expenses are included (see "Travel," page 6). University employees, students or relatives may not be considered as an official guest of the University for the purpose of expense reimbursement, although they may act in the capacity of University host.

University faculty or staff, acting in official capacity as a University host, may be reimbursed for expenses incurred within reason. Allowable expenses for hosting an official guest may include employee and employee spouse meals, entertainment at home, and miscellaneous expenses associated with the hosting responsibilities.

Requests for reimbursement must include the amount, date and place of the expenditure, with accompanying receipts. All employees and guests must be identified and the reason for the visit and hosting responsibilities explained.

Holiday Greetings: Reasonable expenditures for holiday greetings to University donors, friends and alumni are permitted.

Moving Expenses: Payment of a reasonable amount of expenses for moving a new employee of the University is permissible. Approval and reimbursement of such expenses shall be made in accordance with University guidelines (http://info.gcsu.edu/intranet/bus_fin/4_fiscalServices.html#a40700). The reimbursement of moving expenses will be treated as taxable income to the recipient in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations and a Form 1099 – MISC will be issued.

Office Furniture/Equipment: Expenditures for office furniture and equipment should be made from State funds. However, the Foundation may approve expenditures for such items in unusual circumstances. Requests must receive advance approval and must include an explanation for the request.

Office furniture and equipment will be transferred immediately to Georgia College & State University. Requests must contain full documentation of the item and provide the contact name for use by Materials Management/Purchasing.

Office Decorations: Expenditures for these items should be limited. This category includes plants, flowers, pictures, lamps, other appropriate accessories, and Holiday decorations. Excessive, repeated or extraordinary requests for reimbursements for these items will not be approved.

Office Functions: Each vice president and dean may create a Foundation account to receive gifts from faculty/staff which may be used for funding activities and programs related to morale and community building within his or her unit or area.

The requests for reimbursement must be properly documented, including a complete detailed description of the activity and the persons or groups attending the event.

Office Refreshments: It is expected that those who work in each University office will be personally responsible for office coffee, bottled water and other similar routine refreshments. Foundation funds will only be used to purchase coffee, bottled water, etc., for offices with extensive contact with the public.

Personal Services: All personal service expenditures must be made through the University employee payroll and charged to a sponsored project. This includes expenditures for salaries (full time, part-time and temporary), salary supplements, extra compensation, and benefits.

Political Contributions: No contributions to political candidates are permissible. Expenditures for legislative advocacy must be limited as permitted under IRS guidelines.

Public Relations Activities: Activities include dinners and community affairs organized and presented by external, non-profit organizations. Admission charges for employees officially representing the University at public functions may be paid from Foundation funds. The request for reimbursement must be properly docuincluding a complete, detailed description which conveys the purpose and benefit to the University.

Refreshments: Expenses for refreshments for University-related functions are appropriate expenditures where they are related to:

  • sponsored meetings or events where the purpose for the event is directly related to business;
  • faculty/staff retreats, workshops, orientation and receptions;
  • University sponsored public relations and fund raising activities; or
  • student orientation, student/parent receptions, and departmental graduations or awards ceremonies.

Spouse Meals: The cost of including an employee spouse in entertaining official guests, recruiting faculty and staff, and in fund raising or public relations activities may be reimbursed from Foundation funds where the attendance of the spouse is necessary to the business purpose of the activity.

Supplies: Expenditures for supplies should include only those items needed on a non-recurring basis or cannot be paid with State funds. Items needed on a recurring basis should be funded from State resources.

Travel: The Foundation does not reimburse travel expenses on a per diem basis. Employees will be reimbursed for all reasonable travel expenses on an actual cost basis within the limits set forth in these guidelines. Travel expenditures should be reimbursed from State funds where possible.

Regardless of whether such travel expenses are reimbursed through State or Foundation funding, use and submission of the University's Travel Authorization form is required. All requests for travel reimbursement from the Foundation must be accompanied by the University form and original receipts for expenses incurred.

Guidelines for travel expenses are as follows:

Air Travel: Must be by coach class and discount fares should be sought.

Automobiles: For the use of personal automobiles, employees will be reimbursed at the same rate per mile as that used by the University for reimbursement from State funds.

Food: Employees shall be reimbursed for meal expenses at State-approved levels in accordance with University policies while traveling "away from home" on business. The cost for meals with prospects, donors, volunteers, and other business related individuals (not colleagues) are considered entertainment (see "Employee Meals," and "Entertainment," page 3).

Other: Not all expenses are reimbursable. The following are examples of personal expenditures which will not be reimbursed even though they may be incurred while on official University business: laundry, pay movies, babyexpenses, formal clothing, and other items that are strictly personal.

Overnight Accommodations: Employees are encouraged to stay in reasonably-priced motels or hotels and government or corporate rates must be obtained where possible.

Unallowable Expenses: The following expenses will not be reimbursed from Foundation funds:

  • Fines and penalties
  • Late charges
  • Gifts for faculty or staff, other than retirement or employee incentives or awards as previously described
  • Personal telephone calls
  • Loss/Theft of personal property
  • Membership fees in airline clubs
  • Campus Parking Permits
  • Personal meals with coworkers or family members
  • Birthday parties, wedding and baby showers and gifts, and other similar occasions
  • Cellular phone expenses for employees, except for reimbursement for necessary business calls made from a personal cell phone when traveling
Revision Approved: Finance Committee, June 11, 2010

Board of Trustees, June 24, 2010
Policy Adopted: June 19, 1998