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Entertainment, Business Meeting, and Other Events Expense Guide

The information provided in this guide will assist a UCSC faculty or staff member in hosting or arranging a UCSC-sponsored social or recreational entertainment, business meeting, or other event. Special requirements and restrictions may apply in certain situations. In these cases, the UC Expenditures for Entertainment, Business Meeting, and Other Occasions Policy should be consulted for a complete explanation of expense rules and requirements.  Questions may be directed to entertainmenthelp@ucsc.edu.

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  • Before You Start

    Event Basics
    An event expense is incurred when meals, light refreshments and/or related goods and services are purchased using University funds in connection with a social or recreational activity, business meeting or other event. Event expenses require authorization from an Event Expense Certifier (EEC) in accordance with UC Business Finance Bulletin: BUS-79 – Expenditures for Entertainment, Business Meetings, and Other Occasions. Expenses may be paid directly to a vendor (Purchase Order), recharged by other campus units (Recharge), or paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed (Reimbursement).

    Every UCSC-hosted event or activity must:

    1. Have a direct, substantial University business purpose
    2. Must be paid from an allowable funding source
    3. Must occur on an infrequent basis per group, organization, or committee. Meals or light refreshments may be provided to non-employee students on a more frequent basis.
      • Payment or reimbursement for meals is limited to no more than once a month, or twelve times a year
      • Payment or reimbursement for light refreshments is limited to no more than twice per month
    4. Be reasonable in cost given the purpose of the event from the perspective of an objective third-party observer
    5. Not result in an employee or student receiving a taxable fringe benefit under IRS regulations
    6. Not involve making a contribution to a political campaign or candidate
    7. Have an Official Host (UCSC employee or other individual serving as the University's principal representative) attend for entertainment, employee morale, recruitment, and student outreach events
    8. Have at least one University employee or other individual representing the University at business meetings

    Business Event Examples (Host not required) Social/Recreational Event Examples (Host required)  

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  • Allowable Expenses (Standard-level Approval Required)

    Allowable event expenses are meals or light refreshments provided to guests or employees. These expenses must be approved by a standard-level Event Expense Certifier (EEC), and must not exceed the per-person maximum spending rates. Per-person spending rates are calculated from the event's food and beverage expenses only, supplies are not included. Top-level Event Expense Certifier (EEC) approval is required if per-person expenses exceed spending rates. Consult with your divisional business office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures.

    Per-person Spending Rates

    • Breakfast (7:00 am - 11:00 am): $27.00
    • Lunch (11:00 am - 4:00 pm): $47.00
    • Dinner (4:00 pm - 11:00 pm): $81.00
    • Light Refreshments: $19.00

    Meal/Light Refreshments

    • A meal is a catered, restaurant-provided, or self-prepared breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
    • A light refreshment consists of coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, pastries, cookies, crackers, chips, fruit or similar items.

    Important

    • If a reception before a meal includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres, the combined charges for the reception and the meal should be treated as a single event for purposes of calculating per person costs.
    • The costs of room rental, room setup fees, media rental, and decorations are not included in the per-person costs unless those costs cannot be separated by the vendor.

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  • Allowable Expenses (Restricted: Top-level Approval Required)

    Top-level Event Expense Certification (EEC) from a senior campus officer is required if events involve any of the following:

    Employee Morale Events Alcohol Served or Consumed (including donated) Tickets or Cash Contributions Spouse/Partner/Family Invited Per-Person Maximum Rates Exceeded

    Employees in the following senior campus officer position titles are delegated authority by the Chancellor to serve as Top-level Event Expense Certifiers (EEC) and may certify (i.e. approve) top-level and standard-level event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses:

    Top-level Event Expense Certifiers (EEC) - Senior Officers that have Delegated Authority

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  • Unallowed Expenses (Exceptions Not Permitted)

    Expense payments or reimbursements are not allowed under any of the following conditions:

    • Lavish or extravagant expenses under the circumstances.
    • Restricted fund source requirements do not permit the expense.
    • Represents taxable income to an employee or student for the expense.
    • Contribution expense to a political campaign or candidate.
    • Purchase of property or services for personal use or a non-business reason.
    • Occurs frequently or on a routine basis.
      • Payment or reimbursement for meals is limited to no more than once a month, or twelve times a year.
      • Payment or reimbursement for light refreshments is limited to no more than twice per month.
      • Meals and light refreshments that are provided by an employer to its employees on a frequent or routine basis are treated by the IRS as taxable income and therefore are not reimbursable under University policy.
      • Exception: Meals or light refreshments may be provided to non-employee students on a more frequent basis.

    Business meeting expense payments or reimbursements are not allowed under any of the following conditions:

    • When the meeting could have been scheduled during regular working hours.
    • Two or more employees go to lunch or dinner together to continue their business as an incidental part of the meal, or as an act of reciprocity for a previous business meal taken together.
    • Note: In general, the University will not pay for or reimburse costs for meals taken with individual colleagues at the same work location unless the participants were unable to accomplish the business purpose during working hours.

    Expenses for any of the events listed below will not be paid or reimbursed with University funds under any circumstance:

    • Farewell gathering honoring an employee departing to take a position as a UC employee at another UC location.
    • Retirement or farewell gathering honoring an employee with less than five years of service.
    • Birthday, wedding or anniversary expenditures are not allowed.

    Important: Exceptions to these requirements are not permitted.


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  • Overview

    Events and related expenses must be reported and authorized. Four methods are available:

    1. Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF)
      Event reporting, dining services paper recharge form, and out-of-pocket reimbursements
    2. CruzBuy Food & Entertainment Form (F&E)
      Purchase order
    3. CruzBuy UCSC Catering Recharge Form
      UCSC Catering Services online recharge form
    4. Meal Expense Tracker (MET)
      Online form to assist units in calculating an accurate per-person meal cost when multiple requisitions are needed.

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  • Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF)

    The Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF) is an electronic form that serves as the payment form for out-of-pocket reimbursements and Dining Services recharges. Authorized ERF's are sent to Financial Affairs for policy reporting requirements and payment disbursements. Divisional and/or departmental requirements may include additional steps and approvals from what is referenced in this guide; consult with a Business Manager or Event Order Approver (EOA) for clarification.

    Creating and Accessing

    ERF's are created and accessed from the Financial Affairs Dashboard, which is a centralized webpage for Financial Affairs' processes and information. An ERF may be created before or after an event occurs. Once created, an ERF is assigned an ERF number. This number should be used when communicating about the specific ERF.

    Completing and Submitting

    ERF's progress through three statuses:

    1. In Progress: Add, edit, and update event information and expenses. An ERF begins in this status. You may maintain and edit an In Progress ERF for many weeks or months.
    2. Submitted: Locks form electronically. An ERF is now ready to be reviewed, printed and authorized:
      • Pre-Event Approval and Review - Refer to a Business Manager or Event Order Approver (EOA) for divisional/departmental pre-approval and review processes at this point. Do not send any pre-event approval items to Financial Affairs; only post-event.
      • Post-Event Authorization and Processing - Submit authorized ERFs to Financial Affairs (mailstop: Accounting) for processing. All submitted ERF's must have event expense information that does not exceed approved amounts. Be sure to include any Required Supporting Documentation.
      • Update ERF as Necessary - An ERF can be sent back to 'In Progress' for updates and edits at any point in the 'Submitted' step. Subsequent re-submit revisions may require the ERF to be re-printed and new approvals given.
    3. Closed: ERF has been reviewed and payments processed by Financial Affairs. Notification via email to the form creator will be sent when processing is completed.

    Checked In/Checked Out

    Since the ERF is an electronic form that multiple people can access, a checked in/checked out system is used. When accessing an ERF, it is checked out to you, meaning no one else can access it. When you are done, you must check in the form, which makes it available for others to then check out.

    Read Only Access

    Individuals must have access to an ERF to edit it. Review Access and Permissions below for details of to whom and how this access is granted. If an individual does not have access to edit an ERF, they will be presented with a Read Only view. This is identical to the submitted view, and has large 'Read Only' banners added between sections. The Read Only view is available for ERFs that are in the Submitted status. In Progress ERFs do not have a Read Only view.

    Access and Permissions Editing Fields

    When an ERF is In Progress, all fields may be edited. All fields within an ERF that is either Submitted or Closed are locked (may not be edited), except for the PO Number field, Recharge Actual (Post) amount, and Reimbursement Actual (Post) amount. Values within these three field types may be updated within a submitted ERF.

    Deleting/Cancelling ERF's

    This feature will allow users to cancel (delete) an ERF that has been created in error. Once an ERF has been canceled it cannot be recalled. Attempting to bring up an ERF that has been canceled using the "Look up by Number" tool on the Dashboard will result in a message indicating that the ERF number entered is not valid. If, at a later date, a determination is made that the ERF was actually needed, a new ERF will need to be created.

    Please do not use the ERF cancelation feature to Close an ERF; that will still be done by the FAR Office upon successful receipt of the complete form.

    How To Cancel an ERF:

    • The ERF must be open and In Progress. If you have already submitted the ERF, you will need to select "Open/Edit Form" to return it to the In Progress state.
    • Click the "Cancel ERF" button at the top of the form.

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  • CruzBuy Food and Entertainment (F&E) Form

    The CruzBuy Food and Entertainment (F&E) Form is used to create, process and approve Purchase Orders for events. Access the F&E Form within CruzBuy by clicking on the Food & Entertainment link under Commonly-Used Forms.

    Event reporting requirements
    If multiple transactions are involved in procuring food for a single meal expense, an Expense Tracking Number will be required to be referenced on each transaction for that meal. An Expense Tracking Number is ONLY needed when there are multiple CruzBuy requisitions, or requisitions combined with reimbursements/recharges being used for a meal’s expenses.

    The options for Expense Tracking Number assignment are:

    • CruzBuy Requisition Number: If the meal purchase includes multiple CruzBuy Requisitions, the number of the first Requisition processed can be used as the Expense Tracking Number. This is the recommended option if all meal expenses are being ordered through CruzBuy (on multiple Requisitions).
    • ERF Number: If the meal purchase includes a reimbursement or recharge transaction, an ERF must be completed to process those transactions. The ERF Number can be used as the Expense Tracking Number. (Note that at the unit’s discretion, an ERF can continue to be required for CruzBuy-only expenses as well.)
    • Meal Expense Tracker (MET) Number: The new optional Meal Expense Tracker tool will track meal costs and transactions. The MET Number can be used as the Expense Tracking Number for any multiple transaction situation.

    Your divisional and/or departmental requirements may include additional steps and approvals; consult with a business manager or EOA for clarification.


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  • CruzBuy UCSC Catering Recharge Form

    The CruzBuy UCSC Catering Recharge Form is used to create, process and approve Campus Catering Recharges for events. Access the CruzBuy UCSC Catering Recharge Form within CruzBuy by clicking on the Recharge - UCSC Catering Request link under Commonly-Used Forms.

    Event reporting requirements

    • If multiple transactions are involved in procuring food for a single meal expense, an Expense Tracking Number will be required to be referenced on each transaction for that meal. An Expense Tracking Number is ONLY needed when there are multiple CruzBuy requisitions, or requisitions combined with reimbursements/recharges being used for a meal’s expenses.
    • An ERF is needed if any out-of-pocket reimbursements, or additional Dining Services recharges are processed for the same event.
    • Your divisional and/or departmental requirements may include additional steps and approvals; consult with a business manager or EOA for clarification.

    Recharge (University Catering Services): Entertainment Reporting Form Process.
    1. An EOA, Event Host or Coordinator starts with requesting a price quote from Catering Services (via web form/email).
    2. Catering Services: Confirms availability and sends an event agreement to the Event Host or Coordinator
    3. Event Host or Coordinator: Logs into CruzBuy and selects the “Recharge – UCSC Catering Request” form to create recharge for catering services;
      • Requester follows the instructions in the University Catering “Getting Started” document.
      • UCSC Catering provides requester with an event agreement via fax
      • Requester reviews event agreement to ensure that all event information is correct, signs, and scans the event agreement for attachment to the CruzBuy Recharge form;
      • Requester follows instructions to fill out form, entering the dollar amount as a NTE (not to exceed);
      • Requester attaches event agreement and any other applicable information to requisition;
      • Requisition is submitted;
      • The order routes to unit org approver, and food and entertainment approver for approval;
      • After FOAPAL check, order will route to UCSC Catering Approval folder;
      • UCSC Catering will receive an email notification that a recharge requisition has been submitted and is pending in the UCSC Catering approval folder;
      • Order will be visible to all University Catering approvers in this folder and can be assigned by any approver in that folder. Once assigned, only assignee (approver) will be able to take action on the catering event order.
      • University Catering Approver places order on “Hold” (this can only be done once the order is assigned to an approver) and enters notes in “hold” comment box, if desired.
    4. Catering Services: Executes event order per terms of agreement (changes to agreement must be approved through email)
    5. Event Occurs
    6. Event Host, Coordinator, or EOA: Reviews CruzBuy order to determine if there are material changes in the information originally provided, and attaches supporting documentation (guest list, host certification, any additional approvals) to requisition(including original itemized receipts).
    7. Catering Services Reviews final event recharge total.
      • If the event total comes in less than the CruzBuy requisition NTE amount, University Catering requisition approver reduces the requisition recharge NTE amount to reflect the actual event charges and approves the requisition.
      • If the event total exceeds the requisition NTE amount the University Catering Approver will return the CruzBuy recharge form and create a CruzBuy comment informing the requester the requisition total requires a NTE amount modification to reflect the actual recharge and event total. This return process sends the requisition back to the requester and will require going through the unit Org approval and unit F&E approval process once more for full disclosure of the actual total recharge amounts. Once the re-submitted requisition comes back into the UCSC Catering Approval folder, and matches the event charges, the requisition will be approved by University Catering and create the recharge in Banner.

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  • Bulk/Quantity Purchases

    Bulk Purchases Requirements
    To simplify planning and/or take advantage of favorable pricing, supplies of non-perishable food, beverages, and related items may be accumulated in connection with event and business meeting functions. The following requirements apply to bulk/quantity purchases:

    • Bulk purchases are limited to the amount that will be used within the fiscal year
    • An inventory record for each quantity purchase (e.g. beverages, nonperishable food and supplies) must be maintained by the responsible department/unit.
    • Bulk purchase use may be reported on an inventory equivalent department-developed form, or on an Inventory Record for Quantity Purchases Form (BUS-79)

    Bulk Purchases
    Bulk purchases may be acquired through either of the following methods:

    • For reimbursements: Complete an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF) with the following information:
      • Event Date: Select the date of bulk purchase
      • Event Location: Select 'On-campus'
      • Meal Type: Select 'Bulk'
      • Participants #: Estimate how many people supplies will be used for.
    • For purchase orders: Complete a CruzBuy Food and Entertainment (F&E) Form with the following information:
      • Event Date: Select the date of bulk purchase
      • Event Location: Enter 'Bulk'
      • Meal Type: Select 'Bulk Food Purchase'
      • What is the Per-Person Cost? Enter 'Bulk'.

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  • Required Supporting Documentation

    The following are required supporting documentation that must be attached to payment or reimbursement requests:

    Reimbursement Receipts
    Expenses of $75.00 or more per occasion must be supported by original itemized receipts, or acceptable electronic receipts. Submit itemized receipts with applicable payment requests. If only selected items are being reimbursed, clearly circle or highlight the reimbursement expenses. If any receipts were sent to FAR for early reimbursement processing before the final signed ERF is submitted, copies of receipts do not need to be submitted again. Photocopies of receipts are not an acceptable substitute for original receipts. Consult with your divisional business office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures (e.g. requiring receipts regardless of the amount) for the reimbursement of the expenses authorized under UC BFB BUS-79.

    Missing Receipts
    Obtain a duplicate receipt from the vendor. If a duplicate receipt cannot be obtained from the vendor, submit a statement with the applicable payment request explaining why the receipt was not provided and include a certification that the expense amount claimed is the amount actually paid. Obtain approval from an authorized expense approver. Depending on the expense involved, additional information may be requested.

    Recharge Receipts
    Expenses of $75.00 or more per occasion must be supported by original on-campus dining services (excluding Catering Services) itemized receipts. Submit itemized receipts with applicable recharge requests. Currently, only Catering Services is processed through CruzBuy. For all other on-campus dining establishments, a signed copy of the ERF is brought to the establishment at the time of purchase, a receipt is received for the purchase, and physically kept with the original signed copy of the ERF, and submitted to FAR together. Consult with your divisional business office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures (e.g. requiring receipts regardless of the amount) for the reimbursement of the expenses authorized under UC BFB BUS-79.

    Guest List and/or Event Flyer
    Submit a guest list or the equivalent that includes Name, Title and Affiliation. Provide a flyer or announcement for open-invitation and large scale events. For large scale events, general populations of invited guests may be provided. Guest lists can be attached or entered directly within the ERF. For multiple event dates, clearly note the event date for each guest list. If the event was publicized online, for example on Facebook, a screenshot may be provided.

    Email Authorizations/Certifications
    If approvals were given by email, attach email to either the CruzBuy requisition or ERF form as needed.

    Direct-Billed Purchase Orders
    If any Purchase Order invoices were sent directly to your department for billing, send this original invoice to FAST/AP, noting the PO number at the top.

    Expense Reporting Requirements:

    • Food/beverages expense reporting: Include food, beverages, sales tax, gratuity, labor, service and delivery charges
    • Supplies expense reporting (optional): Include any non-food meal expenses if required by your divisional business office. Amounts entered are not included in per-person spending amounts.

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  • Overview

    Events and related expenses may be paid or reimbursed by the following methods:

    1. CruzBuy Requisition
      Event expenses may be paid for by creating a CruzBuy requistion for either Purchase Orders or UCSC Catering orders in CruzBuy.
    2. Recharge (Dining Services)
      Event expenses for on-campus dining services, not including UCSC Catering, are paid for by an ERF recharge.
    3. Reimbursement (out-of-pocket expense)
      Event expenses may be paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed by completing an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF). Before making an out-of-pocket purchase, be sure to review Unallowed Expenses.
    4. Pro-Card (Authorized Units Only)
      Certain units and individuals have been granted a specific exemption to policy, and may use a UCSC Pro-Card for entertainment expenses.

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  • Purchase Orders

    Event expenses may be paid for by completing a Food & Entertainment Purchase Order, or a UCSC Catering Recharge in CruzBuy:

    • Create Requisition: Use the F&E Form within CruzBuy.
    • Attach Documentation to Requisition: Attach guest list and any required additional approvals.
    • Complete Requisition: The requisition will be approved and processed in CruzBuy.
    • Track Expenses: Track Expenses: For meals involving multiple CruzBuy requisitions, or requisitions combined with reimbursements/recharges, an Expense Tracking Number must be assigned to each component document to ensure accurate per-person meal cost calculation. (Note that if an event involves multiple meals, but all expenses for all meals are on a single CruzBuy requisition, no Expense Tracking Number is required.)
    • Post event: Review Purchase Order, revise if needed and attach Host Certification if required.

    UCSC Catering Recharge (CruzBuy) is used for Campus Catering Services.

    • Reserve Services: To reserve and schedule Catering Services, follow the Getting Started guide.
    • Complete a UCSC Catering Recharge Form to process payments and approvals for the recharge.
    • Follow above instructions on attaching documentation and tracking expenses.

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  • Recharges

    Event expenses for on-campus dining services (not including CruzBuy UCSC Catering charges) are paid for by completing an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF). ERF's are required to be revised if actual expenses exceed pre-approval not-to-exceed amounts. Your divisional and/or departmental requirements may include additional steps and approvals; consult with a business manager or EOA for clarification.
    Use the appropriate recharge process:

    Dining Services (Entertainment Reporting Form) Paper Recharge is used for campus dining establishments aside from Catering Services.

    • Report Expenses: Enter the expense information into the event's ERF as a recharge expense.
    • Bring ERF to Establishment: When making the recharge 'purchase' at the dining establishment, bring a printed and authorized (signed) copy of the ERF to leave with the establishment.
    • Process ERF: Process the ERF as normal.
      • Expenses of $75.00 or more per occasion must be supported by original on-campus dining services (excluding Catering Services) itemized receipts. Submit itemized receipts with applicable recharge requests. For events that total expenses are under $75.00, the actual requested reimbursement amount is required to be entered or handwritten in the 'Actual (Post)' field within the ERF.
      • Consult with your divisional business office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures (e.g. requiring receipts regardless of the amount) for the reimbursement of the expenses authorized under UC BFB BUS-79.

    Note: An ERF is accepted as payment by the following Dining Services establishments:

    • Banana Joe's
    • Rachel Carson/Oakes Dining Hall
    • College Nine/Ten Dining Hall
    • Cowell/Stevenson Dining Hall
    • Crown/Merrill Dining Hall
    • Oakes Café
    • Owl's Nest Café
    • Perk Coffee Carts
    • Porter/Kresge Dining Hall
    • University Center/Terra Fresca

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  • Reimbursements

    Event expenses may be paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed by completing an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF). Before making an out-of-pocket purchase, be sure to review Unallowed Expenses. ERF's are required to be revised if actual expenses exceed pre-approval not-to-exceed amounts. Consult with your Divisional Business Office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures for the reimbursement of the expenses.

    Note: Effective 4/13/15 the time period allowed in which to submit a meeting/entertainment expense reimbursement form to avoid the possibility of the reimbursement being considered taxable income to the person being reimbursed, has been reduced from 60 to 45 days from the date of expense incurrence or payment. The change was made to better align UC policy with IRS regulations related to the taxability of an employee expense reimbursement.

    • Report Reimbursement: Create an ERF and enter information for the reimbursement expense, as well as FOAPAL and payee information detailing from where and to whom the payment will be made.
    • Receipts: Expenses of $75.00 or more per meal must be supported by original itemized receipts, or acceptable electronic receipts. Photocopies of receipts are not an acceptable substitute for original receipts. For more information, see: Required Supporting Documentation. If only selected items are being reimbursed, clearly circle or highlight the expenses to be reimbursed. If any receipts were sent to FAR for earlier reimbursements before the final ERF is submitted, copies of receipts do not need to be submitted again.
      • If total meal cost is under $75.00 a receipt is not required. Enter the actual amount to be reimbursed in the "Actual (Post)" field either by typing or handwriting the amount.
      • Consult with your divisional business office, as each division may establish more restrictive procedures (e.g. requiring receipts regardless of the amount) for the reimbursement of the expenses authorized under UC BFB BUS-79.
    • Submit Payee Setup 204: If this is the first time the payee will be receiving a reimbursement (i.e. UCSC non-payroll payment), they must complete and submit a Payee Setup 204.
    • Authorization, Processing and Payment: Submit an authorized (signed or provide email certifications) printed ERF to FAR (mailstop: Accounting) for processing, along with original itemized receipts (requirements above). After an authorized ERF is received by Financial Affairs for processing, payment will be processed and disbursed to the payee(s).

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  • Pro-Card (Authorized Units Only)

    Certain units and individuals have been granted a specific exemption to policy, and may use a UCSC Pro-Card for entertainment expenses.

    • Report Expenses: Enter the expense information into the Entertainment Reporting Addendum (Travel/Pro-Card) form.
    • Obtain EEC approval: Have the form signed by the appropriate EEC.
    • Submit: Attach form to Pro-Card statement, have statement approved, and mail to: FAST/AP Office.

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  • Funding Source Requirements

    Unless specifically allowed under a sponsored award, federal funds may not be used to purchase entertainment.

    Federal or state funds may not be used to pay for:

    • Events requiring "top-level" approval
    • Events that include the serving of alcoholic beverages

    Contact your divisional business office to obtain more information about funding sources allowing for the payment of entertainment expenses.


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  • Overview

    Several people may be involved in approving the validity of an event along with the payment or reimbursement expenses.


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  • Official Host

    Event Host
    An official host is a University employee or other individual who is representing the University at an entertainment, employee morale, recruitment or student outreach event. The host may not certify event expenses and cannot be the same person as the Event Expense Certifier (EEC).

    • The event organizer (e.g. individual making hotel arrangements, ordering food, etc.) is not a host unless he or she is physically present at the event and serves in the capacity of official host
    • Entertainment, employee morale, recruitment, and student outreach events require an official host

    Host Responsibilities
    The Official Host is required to complete the following:

    • Attend the event and certify that all expenses were incurred for a substantial and official University purpose
    • Confirm the number of attendees at the event and that event reporting is accurate and complete

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  • Event Order Approver (EOA)

    Event Order Approver (EOA)
    An Event Order Approver (EOA) must be certified by the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) Office. Once certified, an EOA has delegated authority to commit funds and approve meal and refreshment orders placed through CruzBuy or University Catering, and/or recharges for Dining Service establishments. EOA's are responsible for the following:

    • Ensuring that either a top-level or standard-level order complies with University and campus policies and verifies that required information (who, what, when, where and why) has been provided on applicable payment and reimbursement requests
    • Consulting with the Host (if applicable), Event Expense Certifier (EEC), and others (i.e., Budget Approver, Research Analyst, or Principal Investigator) to obtain necessary information to submit a valid order
    • Advising the Host and EEC about policy or procedure issues
    • Ensuring that post-event documentation is accurate and submitted to the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) Office

    Note: It is recommend that departments have at least one person certified as an EOA. However, the position is not mandatory and this role may be filled by an EEC.


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  • Event Expense Certifier (EEC)

    Event Expense Certifier (EEC)
    An Event Expense Certifier (EEC) has delegated authority to authorize the following. To maintain proper separation of duties, an Event Expense Certifier (EEC) cannot serve as an event host.

    • Authorize the validity and appropriateness of event or meeting expenses
    • Authorize the use of specified funds for the procurement and purchase of meals, refreshments, and other entertainment expenses
    • Authorize payments for meal/refreshments and related expenditures for orders placed through CruzBuy, University Catering, and/or recharges for Dining Service establishments
    • Authorize reimbursements for (out-of-pocket) requests

    Important: Expenses requiring top-level approval may only be approved by a Top-level Event Expense Certifier (EEC).


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  • Delegation of Authority Restrictions

    Delegation of Authority Restrictions
    The following restrictions apply to the approval of event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses:

    • An Event Expense Certifier's authority is limited to expenses paid using a funding source to which the approver has explicit delegated authority to expend.
    • An Event Expense Certifier cannot approve the validity and appropriateness of the event or meeting expenses of an event or meeting hosted by someone to whom he or she directly reports.

    Contact your divisional business office to obtain more information about any unit-specific requirements related to obtaining advance approval of event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses.


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  • Before you start

    The Event Order Approver (EOA) receives official, delegated authority from an authorized Event Expense Certifier (EEC) to approve meal and refreshment orders placed through CruzBuy or from University Catering Services, or to pre-approve purchases that will be reimbursed.

    1. This authority does not extend to approving the actual meal and refreshment expenses incurred.
    2. Only an Event Expense Certifier (EEC) may authorize payment of expenses.
    3. A prospective EOA must receive training and obtain certification by passing a proficiency test administered by the Accounting Services Office before he or she may receive a delegation of authority to approve orders.
      • The test measures proficiency in applying key UC entertainment policy provisions applicable to procuring, paying and accounting for event and meeting meal and refreshment orders.

    Note: An Event Expense Certifier (EEC) automatically has the authority to approve meal and refreshment orders.


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  • Eligibility requirements

    An individual in one of the following job positions who does not already have delegated authority to approve event and meeting meal and refreshment orders is eligible to receive a delegation of authority to serve as an Event Order Approver:

    • Business manager or equivalent
    • Department manager, unit manager, or equivalent
    • College Administrative Officer, Associate College Administrative Officer, or Coordinator for Residential Education
    • Director (Non-MRU)
    • A professional-level employee with a PPS grade of "K" or above who is a direct report of the relevant EEC
    • A professional-level employee with a PPS grade of "J" or lower with the explicit approval of the relevant authorized senior campus officer and the Campus Controller; refer to: EOA eligibility by nomination process.

    Note: This authority may be limited by a maximum dollar amount per event or other restriction(s).


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  • EOA special designation request

    In addition to the positions specifically identified in 'EOA eligibility', a professional-level employee with a PPS grade of "J" or lower, meeting the following criteria may be nominated to serve as an Event Order Approver (EOA) to approve event or meeting meal or refreshment orders up to the limited, maximum-dollar per event authority.

    1. Submit an EOA_Special_Designation_Request with the approvals of the following two individuals:
      • Relevant senior campus official with delegated authority to certify top level event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses.
        • This official is accountable for ensuring that the individual receiving the delegation is competent and empowered to ensure the successful exercise of the authority
      • Campus Controller, who will consider the following factors, taken together, in making a determination:
        • Satisfactory knowledge of relevant entertainment related UC and UCSC policies
        • Effectiveness of the position as a key control point in the departmental entertainment expense approval process
        • Strength of the reporting relationship to departmental manager(s) responsible for ensuring the validity and appropriateness of entertainment and business meeting meal and refreshment expenses
        • Importance of the position in facilitating departmental operations
    2. Successfully obtain EOA certification

    Whether an EOA is selected by job position or nomination, the same responsibilities and proficiency requirements apply.

    This authority may be rescinded at any time by the relevant senior campus official, Campus Controller, Campus Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor, or Chancellor.


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  • Responsibilities

    A certified Event Order Approver (EOA) is responsible for performing the following duties related to approving an event or meeting meal or refreshment order:

    • Ensuring that either a top-level or standard-level order complies with University and campus policies, including requirements associated with serving alcoholic beverages at a UCSC-hosted event or meeting.
    • Consulting with the Event Host, Event Expense Certifier (i.e. budget approver) to obtain the information necessary to submit a valid order, particularly for orders that will require “top-level” expense approval.
    • Advising the Event Host and Event Expense Certifier about policy or procedure issues related to the order.
    • Ensuring the order is submitted through CruzBuy or to University Catering Services.

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  • Obtaining certification

    Follow these steps to obtain Event Order Approver (EOA) certification.

    • Complete the Delegation of Authority - Entertainment Form.
    • Obtain the signatures of the top-level or standard-level Event Expense Certifier (authority holder) and the prospective EOA (authority recipient) on the form
    • Distribute the form as follows:
      • Original is retained by prospective EOA
      • Copy is provided to Event Expense Certifier
      • Copy is provided to Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) Office, mailstop: Accounting Office
      • Copy is provided to divisional or departmental business office, as required by divisional policy
    • The prospective EOA will be notified of training and proficiency testing dates and times by the FAR Office.
      • Training sessions occur over two four-hour sessions held on different days
      • Attendance at the first day's training is optional - online materials will be available soon for self-study
      • Attendance at the second day's training, which includes testing, is mandatory
    • Enroll in the desired training session(s)
    • Within a few working days of taking the examination, the FAR Office will evaluate the test and notify the prospective EOA of his or her certification status. If needed, the prospective EOA may retake the examination after further study.

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  • Proficiency requirements

    A certified Event Order Approver (EOA) must be able to properly apply all policy requirements governing the ordering, payment, and accounting for event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses. An EOA is expected to possess current knowledge covering the following policy requirements:

    • Allowable and unallowable event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses
    • Spending rate limitations
    • Authorization and approvals, including those requiring “top level” aka “exceptional” approval
    • Receipts and documentation requirements
    • Allowable funding sources that may be used to pay for event and meeting meals and refreshments
    • Events that include the serving of alcoholic beverages
    • Post-event accounting and reporting
    • Forms used for reporting event, meeting meal and refreshment expenses

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  • Suspension or revocation of certification

    Event Order Approver (EOA) certification may be suspended or revoked by the EOA’s supervisor, Campus Controller, or the Director of Procurement Services for violating any of the following requirements:

    • Failing to obtain and review the supporting information necessary to determine the appropriateness, validity, adequacy of funding, and reasonableness of meals and refreshment expense order requests.
    • Knowingly placing an event or meeting meals and refreshment order for an event or meeting in which any of the meal or refreshment expense is not allowable.
    • Knowingly placing a meal or refreshment order for an event or meeting in violation of fund restrictions or spending rate. Note: Per person spending limitations may be exceeded when appropriate authorization has been given.
    • Failing to supply proper and complete information and documentation supporting the procurement of event or meeting meals and refreshment goods and services.

    The suspension and revocation process is as follows:

    First violation The EOA and supervisor will receive a warning informing them of the violation
    Second violation The EOA’s certification will be suspended for one month
    Third violation The EOA’s certification will be permanently revoked

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  • Rescinding authority

    Follow these steps to rescind the authority of an Event Order Approver or Event Expense Certifier:

    1. Prepare a memorandum addressed to the recipient of the delegation informing the recipient that his or her authority to approve or certify event and meeting meals and refreshments has been rescinded.
    2. Send the rescinding memo to the recipient.
      • Retain a copy for departmental or divisional records
      • Send a copy of the memo to Financial Accounting and Reporting, mailstop: Accounting Services Office.

    Note: A rescinding memo is also required whenever the delegated individual (EOA or EEC) will no longer be performing his/her function. For example, when that individual transfers to another campus unit or terminates his/her employment.


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  • Before you start

    1. The following individuals play a key role in the event and meeting meal and refreshment expense certification process.
      • Event Order Approver (EOA)
      • Event Host
      • Event Expense Certifier (EEC)
    2. University policy differentiates between two different types of entertainment expenses, each of which requires a different level of campus official to approve.
      • Top-level certification is required for expenses requiring “exceptional approval” or “additional approval” according to UC policy.
        • An expense requiring “exceptional approval” involves a cost that exceeds the per-person spending limit.
        • An expense requiring “additional approval” involves a cost incurred with one of these types of events:
          • When alcohol is served or donated for an event. See Alcoholic Beverage Policy for UCSC Sponsored Events for more information.
          • Employee morale building event, such as a retirement event or holiday gathering
          • An event in which the spouse, partner, or family member of the host or a guest attends
          • Event in which tickets to a sporting, theatrical, or cultural event are included
          • Participation in an event sponsored by a non-profit organization in which a cash contribution is included as part of the meal or registration fee.
      • Standard level certification is required for all meal and refreshment expenses not requiring “top-level” certification.
    3. The authority to certify top-level expenses may only be delegated by the Chancellor to the positions specified in “Top Level Authority” section below.
      • This authority may not be further redelegated.

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  • UCSC Officials Authorized to Approve Expenses Requiring Top-Level

    Employees in the following senior campus officer position titles are delegated authority by the Chancellor to serve as Event Expense Certifiers (EEC) and may certify (i.e. approve) top-level and standard-level event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses:

    • Campus Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor
    • Campus Vice Provost
    • Vice Chancellor
    • Dean
    • Associate or Assistant Chancellor
    • Assistant Campus Provost
    • University Librarian
    • Director, UCO/Lick Observatory
    • Director, SLV

    Note: Only Top-Level Certifiers or authorized Standard Level Certifiers may delegate authority to an EOA to approve orders and commit funds.


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  • Standard level certification authority

    Unless explicitly restricted in the official delegation of authority, a senior campus officer with top level certification authority may redelegate limited, maximum-dollar per person authority to certify (i.e. approve) standard level event and meeting meal and refreshment expenditures to an individual in one of the following positions:

    • Associate or Assistant Dean
    • Associate or Assistant Vice Chancellor
    • Associate or Assistant University Librarian
    • Associate or Assistant Vice Provost
    • Department Chair
    • College Provost
    • Director (non-Multicampus Research Units), including Executive Director
    • College Administrative Officer (CAO)
    • Associate College Administrative Officer (ACAO)
    • Coordinator of Residential Education (CRE)
    • College Program Coordinator (CPC)
    • Divisional Business Manager reporting directly to a senior campus official position listed above
    • A professional-level employee, such as departmental manager or , with the explicit approval of the relevant authorized senior campus officer and the Campus Controller.

    Note: Standard level certifiers cannot redelegate their approval authority.


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  • Delegating expense certification authority

    Follow these steps to delegate Event Expense Certifier authority.

    1. Ensure that the recipient of the delegation holds one of the eligible positions listed in either Top level or Standard level certification authority.
    2. Complete a Delegation of Financial Authority – Entertainment Order and Expense Form
    3. Print the form
    4. The authority delegator reviews and signs the form.
    5. The signed form is sent to the recipient of the delegation.
    6. The recipient of the delegation reviews and signs the form.
      • The recipient retains the original copy of the form
      • A copy of the form is provided to the authority delegator and to Financial Accounting and Reporting Unit, mailstop: Accounting Services

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  • Special delegations

    The Chancellor has delegated authority to an Associate or Assistant Vice Chancellor to certify top-level event and meeting meal and refreshment expenses, but the authority becomes effective only with the explicit approval of the relevant Vice Chancellor. This authority may not be further redelegated.

    A Coordinator for Residential Education (CRE), or College Program Coordinator (CPC), may be delegated authority to approve standard-level student event meal and refreshment expenses by the relevant, authorized College Administrative Officer or Associate College Administrative Officer. This authority may not be further redelegated.


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  • Rescinding authority

    Follow these steps to rescind the authority of an Event Order Approver or Event Expense Certifier:

    1. Prepare a memorandum addressed to the recipient of the delegation informing the recipient that his or her authority to approve or certify event and meeting meals and refreshments has been rescinded.
    2. Send the rescinding memo to the recipient.
      • Retain a copy for departmental or divisional records
      • Send a copy of the memo to Financial Accounting and Reporting, mailstop: Accounting Services Office.

    Note: A rescinding memo is also required whenever the delegated individual (EOA or EEC) will no longer be performing his/her function. For example, when that individual transfers to another campus unit or terminates his/her employment.


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  • Account Codes

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  • Campus Business Policy References

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  • Where to get help

    Assistance is available for your event and meeting-related questions from the following sources:


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