Valid Entertainment Expenses

To be eligible for reimbursement, entertainment meals must meet the following conditions:

  • They must be a necessary and integral part of the business meeting (rather than a matter of personal convenience).
  • The purpose or nature of the event should be clearly stated on the reimbursement claim: fundraising events, donor cultivation, solicitation, faculty recruitment, guest speakers and student recruitment are all examples of appropriate entertainment circumstances.
  • A guest list containing the name, title and affiliation must be provided to establish the business relationship to the University of the participants being entertained.

When Expenditures May Be Made

Following are circumstances in which part or all of the costs of meals or light refreshments may be paid by the University.

  • When the University is host or sponsor of a meeting of a learned society or organization.
  • When the University is host to official guests or prospective appointees for positions requiring specialized training or experience of a professional, technical or administrative nature. Note: An official guest shall be defined as a person not otherwise employed or compensated by the University who renders a service to the University or is present at the University at the invitation of or as a guest of the person authorized to approve the expenditure.
  • When meetings of an administrative nature are held which are directly concerned with the welfare of the University. Where meals are involved, they must be a necessary and integral part of the business meetings, not a matter of convenience. 
  • When meetings between faculty or administrators and students are held.

Approval of Expenditures and Exception to Reimbursement Rates

Approval of expenditures for official entertainment must be obtained from the appropriate level of authority prior to incurring the expense. Approval of expenditures and exceptional approval to reimburse at higher rates must be authorized by the appropriate official in UCLA Corporate Financial Services.

Amounts Authorized

Refer to Appendix A of the BUS-79 policy on Entertainment Expenditures for the maximum per person limits for entertainment meals and light refreshments.

A University employee who serves as the official host or participates at the request of the official host and who is on travel status and eligible for per diem must deduct the equivalent allowance for the meal(s) from the per diem claimed that day.

Source of Funds

Expenses for official entertainment may be paid from various University fund sources and are subject to the following general limitations:

  • No alcoholic beverages or tobacco purchases are allowed on State or Federal funds.
  • Exceptional expenses, such as spousal expenses and meal overages, may not be charged to State or Federal funds.
  • Observe restrictions, if any, when using any University funding source. See the attached policies for complete information.
  • The entertainment must be specifically authorized in the contract or grants or by agency policy and to the extent and for the purpose(s) authorized.