From time to time you might receive a request to make a donation to an outside entity. Donations are not allowed from any accounting sources at The University of Texas at Austin. Another common request is to co-sponsor a function or event being held by another organization. Examples include a conference, a reception and other similar functions. A co-sponsorship is defined as “a specific event where The University of Texas at Austin receives a benefit as well as recognition for the co-sponsorship.” In order to comply with the university’s Co-Sponsorship Procedures, you must ask the outside organization to send a formal request on letterhead and include the following information:
- Amount of co-sponsorship,
- How funds will be used (purpose),
- The benefit of the co-sponsorship to The University of Texas and
- A statement of how the university will receive recognition.
Letters received without all of this information will not be processed or paid by Accounting.
The Dean or his delegate(s) must approve all school entertainment expenses (food, beverages, flowers, etc.) prior to any events. When requesting funds for entertainment, a budget must be submitted to the Dean and copied to the Chief Business Officer. Once the budget is approved, an Official Occasion Expense Form (XLSX) needs to be submitted electronically. As often as possible, you should work with a vendor that is familiar with university policies and can invoice the school. An itemized receipt is required for all reimbursements and payments. PROCards can be used to purchase some food and beverage items at HEB/Central Market stores. The policy governing entertainment and official occasion expenses is defined in the Handbook of Business Procedures, Part 9.1.1. It is strongly advised that you look at the Entertainment and Official Occasion Expenditure Policy Chart in advance to see if your event qualifies.
Entertainment expenditures should be related to one or more of the following purposes:
- recognition or promotion of academic achievement, athletic achievement, scholarship, and/or service to the institution;
- promotion or communication of intellectual ideas and/or exchange of administrative and operational information on the institution’s programs or activities;
- support of institution-sponsored student events and activities;
- recruitment of students, faculty, staff;
- support of a program of continuing education.
An “official occasion” is defined as a reception, luncheon, dinner, or similar event that is sponsored and funded by The University of Texas at Austin and is often hosted by an administrative officer. These functions are normally associated with special programs, university guests, faculty and staff recruitment, or business meetings that span the lunch hour. Examples include conferences, development events (donor receptions, fundraising activities, etc.), planned retreats, staff meetings, and other similar activities.
If alcohol is being served on a campus facility, the Provost Office requires advanced approval. The complete guidelines are here: Guidelines for Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages on Campus. When sending your request to the Provost Office, please make sure you also attach an approved Official Occasion Expense Form.