Official Occasions and Purchasing

Official occasions
  • University policies: 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. See Part 9.1.1 of the Handbook of Business Procedures (Financial and Administrative Services).
  • Does your event qualify? What expenses are allowed? See the Entertainment and Official Occasion Expenditure Policy Chart.
  • School procedures
    • Thee dean or his delegate(s) must approve all official occasion entertainment expenses (food, beverages, flowers, etc.) prior to the events.
    • When requesting funds, 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) must be submitted electronically.
    • Itemized receipts are required for all reimbursements and payments.
    • PROCards can be used to purchase some food and beverage items at HEB/Central Market stores.
    • Serving alcohol: see Part 9.1.1 of the Handbook of Business Procedures (Financial and Administrative Services).
  • Co-Sponsorships: 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.” See Part of the Handbook of Business Procedures (Financial and Administrative Services). To get a request processed by Accounting, the outside organization must provide a formal request on letterhead including the following information:
    • Amount of co-sponsorship
    • How funds will be used (purpose)
    • The benefit of the co-sponsorship to The University of Texas
    • A statement of how the university will receive recognition.
  • Donations: Donations are not allowed from any accounting sources at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Cash-handling: Chair or head of a department or office that accepts cash or checks for any purpose is responsible for assuring that proper procedures for handling and accounting for cash are followed. See Part 6 of the Handbook of Business Procedures (Financial and Administrative Services).

All purchases must be pre-approved by principal investigators or the dean. Purchases of work-related item made with personal funds are not allowable by university standard purchasing procedures. Notify the dean’s office if you need to purchase furniture for your office or office supplies.

PROCard (Procurement Card) Rules: The procurement card may be used for purchase of goods or business services up to the maximum single transaction limit on the individual card (default is $999, the maximum is $4500). Some examples of allowable purchases include office supplies, research supplies, printing, duplicating, repairs, conference registration fees, and computer supplies. Food items can also be purchased using the PROCard but only at any HEB/Central Market stores. You can find a list of disallowed purchases and vendors on the Purchasing Office website.

These are the rules for PROCard usage adopted by the card holders at the school:

  • Complete a PROCard request form (XLSX)
  • One form per vendor — no exceptions. If you’re buying food and non-alcoholic beverages, an Official Occasion Expense Form form must also be submitted along with the PROCard request.
  • PROCard will be used for same day purchases. Whoever checks the card out must return it on the same day along with receipts. Exceptions will be granted in rare occasions. Check with the card holder well in advance.
  • The person listed as requesting the card must be the person picking up the card. Please do not pass the card around from person to person.
  • Plan well in advance to submit your PROCard requests. Sometimes card holders are not at their desks for last-minute requests. The card will only be handed out by the card holder (or whom they assign in their absence) to the person who made the request. Allow at least 24 hours before you can pick up the card.
  • When actually making the purchase, remind vendor that the university is tax exempt. Also, look at receipt to make sure no tax was charged. It is easier to correct the error right at the store than having to go back for the credit.