Expenditure Policy Update

Feb. 20, 2020
Being good fiscal stewards, we share a collective responsibility to exercise good judgment to ensure we use university funds in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Take NOTE: University provided meals for “recurring meetings” for just employees are no longer allowable. Think of a standing staff meeting, employee workgroup meeting, etc.

OSU updated the Expenditure Policy and the Rewards and Recognition Policy.  The new versions are now in effect.  The policies include a wide range of financial topics including meals, alcohol, recruiting expenses, employee recognition, entertainment, membership dues, and gifts.

Meals (Expenditure Policy p.5)      The new policy has more strict and clear guidelines on which meals may be provided. Please read this section carefully before ordering any payment for food or drink. "Provision of food and beverages for gatherings of university employees on a daily, weekly, monthly, or similar recurring basis, or payment for meals associated with one-on-one meetings of university employees, is prohibited." Business meals with non-university employees must have a business purpose and meet other requirements, and require additional documentation. ***

Alcohol (EP p. 4)      All alcohol purchases must be charged to a gift fund or conference earning fund. Per person alcohol limit is now $25.00 (was previously $20.00/person).

Spouses, partners, children, and guests (EP, p. 3)     Meal and entertainment expenses for these individuals should not be charged to university funds. Some minor exceptions allowed.

Acknowledgement/support of employees (EP p. 5)      Limitations on expenditures for employees for events such as births, death, or illness. Generally limited to non-cash gifts up to $100.

Reward and Recognition      This policy applies to both formally approved reward programs and ad hoc awards in response to specific accomplishments. Awards with monetary value are limited to one time per year. Cash or non-cash awards of $100 or more require approval from the Dean. See "Employee Non-Cash Reporting Form"

Additional scrutiny        Besides those listed above, the University has identified expense types that warrant additional scrutiny, including recruitment-related expenses, professional memberships, telecommunication and "gift" expenditures. Be sure to understand the policy and consult your fiscal officer or the service center if needed.

Other important points:

• The definition of "business purpose" has been expanded to emphasize that it must include detailed justification, and, who, what, when and why. Lack of a clear business purpose is a major cause of payments being held up in processing.

• If a unit/department requests to have a more restrictive policy the business purpose and justification must be pre-approved by Business & Finance using the "policy waiver" process. Please consult Jesse Buxton for any such request.

• All cash awards, including gift cards, are taxable. Non-cash items are taxable if they cumulatively exceed $100 in a calendar year. New reporting requirements apply. See "Employee Non-Cash Reporting Form" NEWS Article

*** (NOTE in day-to-day terms: expenditures for office meals cannot be done with the same group for the same purpose on a schedule. It’s okay on an annual or semi-annual basis- as in a yearly planning meeting and a staff appreciation lunch around the holidays- for example)