Policy 7103 — Entertainment Expense Policy

Policy section:
Section 7100-7199 Purchasing, Claims and Reimbursement
Policy number:
Entertainment Expense Policy
Approved By:
The President
Approved date:
November 12, 2013
Effective date:
December 1, 2013
Administered by:


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for entertainment expenses.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all employees and to all sources of funds administered by the University including, but not limited to, departmental budgets, RTEs, PDRs, departmental special funds, expendable endowments and research grant accounts.

3.0 Definitions

‘Signing Authority’ means the person authorized to approve expenditures from an account to which an entertainment expense is being charged.

‘Claimant’ means the person submitting the claim for reimbursement of an entertainment expense.

4.0 Approvals

4.1 General Requirements

All entertainment expenses must be approved by a person with signing authority over the account to which the expenses are charged.

All claims for reimbursement of entertainment expenses must be countersigned in accordance with the University’s Counter Signature Policy # 8000.

5.0 Responsibilities

5.1 Employee

The employee incurring an expense is responsible for ensuring that the expense is for University purposes; is reasonable; and is in accordance with this policy, with applicable granting agency guidelines, and with the terms of the specific award covering the expense.

5.2 Signing Authority

The Signing Authority is responsible for ensuring that the expense is incurred for a University purpose and is charged to an appropriate account.

5.3 Countersigner

The person countersigning a claim is responsible for ensuring that the expense is for a University purpose.


6.0 General

Reasonable costs for food, beverages or other appropriate entertainment provided to others for University purposes will be reimbursed in accordance with this policy.

7.0 Entertainment of Guests

Expenses for entertainment in an employee's home, or at a restaurant or similar establishment, such as the University Club, are eligible when a guest of the University is being entertained.

Hospitality expenses must be paid by the most senior Dean, Department Head, Director or Vice-President responsible for sponsoring the event when other University employees are in attendance.

7.1 Inclusion of Spouses

When the spouse accompanies a guest being entertained or when the entertainment is in a private home and involves the spouse of the host, then spouses of employees may be included in the group for which expenses may be claimed.

7.2 Restaurant Entertainment

The per person meal per diem for restaurant entertainment is 2.5 times the meal per diem specified in the policy for Canadian travel.

A reasonable gratuity paid may be claimed, as long as the expense is still within the specified allowances.

In the case of a single guest without a spouse, reimbursement may be claimed for up to five persons.

In the case of multiple guests, or a guest with a spouse, reimbursement may be claimed for up to the greater of six persons or twice the number of guests and guests’ spouses.

7.3 Home Entertainment

When a meal is served, submitted receipts will be reimbursed to the lesser of a) the number of persons in attendance times the meal per diem specified in the policy for Canadian travel and b) the maximum claim that could have been made if the entertainment were in a restaurant.

When a meal is not served, submitted receipts will be reimbursed to an amount equal to one-half of the amount that would have been reimbursed if a meal had been served.

8.0 Entertainment of Students and Alumni

Expenses of receptions and functions, the primary purpose of which is to entertain students or alumni, will be reimbursed provided the expenses are reasonable.

9.0 University Sponsored Events

Receptions and functions, other than those organized by the Department of Human Resources and those covered by sections 7 or 8 above, must have the nature of the event, the expected attendees, and the budgeted expenses approved in advance by the appropriate Vice-President.

The Entertainment Expense Claim form is designed to be used in obtaining this pre-approval.

10.0 Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages may be included in claims covered by sections 6 through 9 above.

However, whenever alcoholic beverages are served, non-alcoholic options must always be available.

Alcoholic beverages served on the University campus must be arranged through Event Services to ensure compliance with University policies and the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act.

11.0 Other Entertainment

11.1 Coffee Service

Coffee, juice and muffins may be claimed for meetings held on campus that will last several hours.

Meals and refreshments for meetings held on-campus during meal times may be claimed only if the meeting could not have been reasonably scheduled for another time.

12.0 Foreign Currency Guidelines

In translating expenses paid in foreign currencies, the rate to be used should be as follows:     

  • i) for cash payments, the rate paid when the foreign currency was purchased
  • ii) for credit card purchases, the rate used by the credit card company to convert the purchase to Canadian dollars, and
  • iii) when it is not clear how the purchases were made or what rates were used, Financial Services will use the following currency exchange tool (http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/) using the average rate during the time of travel.


13.0 Department Entertainment

Costs relating to private departmental entertainment, such as Christmas parties, retirement or "going-away" functions, and end-of-year parties will not be reimbursed except for University sponsored events approved in advance by a Vice-President or the President.

14.0 Events Supporting Other Organizations

Tickets for banquets and other similar events supporting organizations other than the University are not eligible expenses unless they are approved by the President or the Vice President Advancement and are allowable under Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) charity guidelines.

Please note that support for any type of registered political party event is not allowed under CRA charity guidelines

15.0 Exceptions

At times, special circumstances may arise that warrant exceptions to this policy. Any exceptions must be pre-approved in writing by the appropriate Vice-President or the President.


16.0 Timing of Claims

All entertainment expense claims must be submitted for reimbursement within 45 days from the date the expenditure was incurred. Timely reporting is important a) to ensure that charges are recorded against departmental accounts and research grants in the correct accounting period and while an account or grant is still open and eligible for charges, and b) to avoid personal interest charges on credit cards (which are not an eligible expense).

17.0 Claims Procedure

Entertainment expenses must be submitted to Financial Services on a completed and approved expense report, accompanied by original receipts which show the nature of the expense and proof of payment. Credit card receipts alone will not suffice.

If original receipts for major costs are lost and duplicates are not available after a reasonable attempt to obtain them, a written explanation of the circumstances must be provided by the claimant.

The completed expense report must be signed by the Claimant, and approved in accordance with section 4.0, certifying that the expenses claimed were incurred in performance of the Claimant’s University duties. All Expense Reports are subject to review by Financial Services.

18.0 Reimbursement

Reimbursement will be in Canadian dollars.

19.0 Partial Reimbursements

If the University is reimbursing the claimant for only a portion of an expense and the claimant requires the proof of payment to make another claim, the proof of payment will be returned to the claimant with a notation on it of the portion reimbursed by the University.