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Reimbursable Business Expenses
Procedure No. 4-14
Issued 7/2009

University business activities may necessitate expenditures for business meals and refreshments to the participants, including employees, guests, and/or students.

Any reasonable and proper expenses incident to travel incurred by non-state employees may be reimbursed and charged to contractual services. This provision is intended to cover candidates for a position, members of student groups representing the University, non-paid advisory boards or committees, and other groups of private citizens appointed by the Board of Trustees or the President.

The following University guidelines are for reimbursement of business meals / refreshments when the employee is not in travel status. For employees in travel status, please refer to Business Procedure 4-30. These guidelines cover University funds only.

The University is held to a high level of accountability for its business practices. Accordingly, every reasonable effort must be made to ensure that funds are used in a responsible and appropriate manner. Timely and complete reimbursement requests are the responsibility of the employee. For all reimbursements, a detailed receipt is required. The names of participants, their departments, and headquarters (for employees) must be included on or attached to the receipt. Additionally, the business purpose of the meeting/activity must be stated on the reimbursement request or the receipt.

Alcohol

Alcohol is expressly prohibited and will not be reimbursed with University funds.

Types of University Funding

The following fund sources are covered by this procedure:

State Funds (appropriated 02 funds)

Institutional Funds (local funds 29 & 41 funds)

Business Meals Using Grant / Project Funds

The maximum business meal amounts and other guidelines of this policy apply to grant / project funds, as long as the business meals are in compliance with the terms of the grant or contract and the project budget. Check with Grants Fiscal Administration for additional information.

Submitting Reimbursement Requests

Reimbursement procedures require adherence to existing Procurement Policy. Authorized reimbursements should be submitted with appropriate documentation.

Exceptions

Occasionally, facts and circumstances may justify exceptions to restrictions on certain expenditures. Exception requests must be sent to the Controller's Office for review and determination.

Maximum Allowable Amounts for Business Meals

Allowable maximum amounts for business meals are divided into two categories: meals for employees only and meals for employees and guests. All business meals (non-travel status) are subject to the policies and guidelines contained in this policy.

Employees Only (when allowed, in accordance with all guidelines in this policy)

Breakfast

$15.00 per person

Lunch

$25.00 per person

Dinner

$40.00 per person

Employees and Guests (Recruiting, Visitors, Alumni Relations, etc., as explained later in this policy)

Breakfast

$20.00 per person

Lunch

$40.00 per person

Dinner

$60.00 per person


Notes:

  • Northern Illinois University is tax exempt and it is the responsibility of the individual to request tax exemption.
  • All rates are exclusive of taxes and tips.
  • These rates apply to restaurants, caterers, and University-operated food service.
  • Refreshments, which may be served during breaks or other appropriate times at certain events and activities (usually all day events), are subject to the same maximum allowable amount as the breakfast amounts listed above. Refreshments typically include such items as coffee, tea, bottled water, other non-alcoholic beverages, and light fare such as bagels, crackers and cheese, and cookies.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES

Business Meals and/or Refreshments When Participants are Employees Only (Including Student Employees)

Following are categories of common University business meetings, activities, or events where meals and refreshments may be provided when participants consists of only University employees . Information on allowability and funding limitations is provided for each of the categories. Business meals and/or refreshments provided at events and activities attended by University employees only, cannot exceed the "Employees Only" amounts listed in the above table.


1) Business Meetings, Employees from the Same Headquarters (see Note) - Meals and refreshments for business meetings attended by employees from the same headquarters are generally unallowable .

Note : Headquarters is the location where an employee's duties require him/her to spend the largest part of working time and where travel normally begins and ends. (See Travel Regulations for additional information.)

  • Allowability/Funding : Unallowable , unless timing for holding the meeting is important and the participants are only available for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meeting. When allowable, allowable only from Institutional funds.

2) Business Meetings, Employees from Different Headquarters - Meals and refreshments for business meetings attended by employees from different headquarters are allowable.

  • Allowability/Funding: Allowable from State and Institutional funds

3) Training Workshop - Lunch may be provided in conjunction with an all day training workshop attended by employees. Additionally, refreshments may be provided in conjunction with a half-day or all day training session attended by employees.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable from State and Institutional funds.

4) Off-Campus Planning Retreat - Meals and refreshments may be provided when the meeting is an approved off-campus planning retreat.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable only from Institutional funds.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES AND GUESTS

Business Meals and/or Refreshments When the Participants Include Employees and Guests

Following are common business meetings, activities, and events for University employees and guests when meals and/or refreshments may be provided. Examples of guests include, recruits, visiting faculty, members of external organizations, visiting dignitaries, or prospective donors. For the purposes of this policy, University students are considered guests.

1) Business Meetings Involving Employees and Guests - Meals and refreshments may be provided for University business meetings involving employees and guests.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable from State and Institutional funds.

2) Employee Recruiting and/or Guests Performing a Service - Meals and refreshments may be provided for employee recruiting or for guests performing a service, when appropriate.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable from State and Institutional funds.

3) Employee Recognition Activities and Events - Meals and refreshments may be provided for official University or department employee recognition activities such as honoring faculty or staff for years of service, retirement, special achievements, leaving the University, picnics or holiday receptions. These activities usually involve only employees, but occasionally guests and/or students may be included as participants.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable only from Institutional funds.

4) Honoring a University Guest or Visiting Dignitary - Meals and refreshments may be provided for a function such as a reception or luncheon to honor a visitor, guest, public official, or dignitary. Attendees can include employees, occasionally students, and guests.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable only from Institutional funds.

5) Student Recruitment - Meals and/or refreshments may be provided for a student recruitment activity or reception. The participants in these activities may include students, employees and/or guests.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable from State and Institutional funds.

6) Student Activity - Meals and/or refreshments may be provided when the activity or event includes both students and employees, and is a student activity, such as a department-sponsored student orientation reception or a field trip.

  • Allowability/Funding : Allowable from State and Institutional funds.