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Entertainment and Other Expenses Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
62.51 Vice President, College Services and Strategy Director, Financial Services Executive Council 2011 May 10, 2021 May 12, 2021 May 2026
  1. Purpose
    1. A The purpose of this policy is to set out guidelines and boundaries for NSCC employees who have a requirement to entertain, plan team meals, student celebrations/events, purchase supplies, purchase office decor and/or to buy gifts for recognition purposes for individuals both internal and external of the College.
    2. The following guidelines will assist in making decisions surrounding such expenses and will ensure that the College demonstrates financial accountability whilst recognizing the need for various expenses that will support the initiatives and goals of the College as it moves forward.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all employees of NSCC unless certain collective agreements state otherwise.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Electronic Expense Reimbursement System (E-claims) E-claims is the system utilized to reimburse employees for eligible travel, entertainment and other expenses.
Entertainment expenses Expenses incurred for entertaining stakeholders, or potential stakeholders while on official college business.
Executive members President and Vice-Presidents.
Expense report Report submitted by an employee for reimbursement of college expenses through the E-claims system.
Other expenses Non-entertainment and non-travel related expenses incurred by an employee for college business.
Request Authorization Electronic pre-approval request in E-claims for out of province travel and technology purchases.
Senior Leadership Forum (SLF) Directors, Deans, Principals, Associate Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and President.
  1. Policy
    1. Approval of Entertainment and Other Expenses
      1. Entertainment must be arranged at reasonable cost, involving individuals at a number appropriate to the significance of the event. Acceptable purposes for entertaining normally involve an NSCC guest, visitor, group of students or stakeholders.
      2. Only SLF members responsible for the budget can incur or approve entertainment expenses without prior approval up to a maximum of $1,000 (pre-tax). An expenditure in excess of $1,000 (pre-tax) requires documented pre-approval from an executive member.
      3. It should be noted that a staff member cannot approve a reimbursement or expense that directly benefits them personally.
    2. Meals
      1. Meals with college stakeholders, guests, governors, alumni, prospective employees, professional colleagues and donors are acceptable when the strategic directions of the organization are being discussed. As noted above, SLF members who are responsible for the budget, can submit meal receipts for college business purposes, without prior approval for up to a maximum of $1,000 (pre-tax). In excess of this amount, documented pre-approval is required from an executive member.
      2. When tipping, a reasonable gratuity is defined as approximately 15%. Gratuities exceeding 18% with a difference between an 18% gratuity and the actual gratuity of greater than two dollars, will not be reimbursed. In cases where the gratuity exceeds the allowable threshold, the allowable gratuity to be reimbursed at 15%.
    3. Catering and Meetings
      When a college business meeting has a duration that includes the lunch hour, catering expenses are reimbursable with the budget manager/supervisor documented approval. The approval of the expense report submitted using E-claims (or invoice, if the charge is invoiced directly to the College) will be taken to be evidence of approval.
    4. Overtime Meals
      When a non-union employee is requested by their budget manager/supervisor to work at their regular work location for a minimum of 3 hours of overtime following their scheduled hours, a meal may be claimed when a receipt is provided. The approval of the expense report submitted using E-claims (or invoice, if the charge is invoiced directly to the College) will be taken to be evidence of approval.
    5. Alcohol
      For certain functions, meals or events, alcohol may be appropriate as long as the dollar value signing authorities are maintained (as noted above) AND documented pre-approval is granted by an executive member.
    6. Employee and/or Student Events
      Expenses associated with employee and or student events which are complementary and specific to a department, school, campus or other employee group, will be reimbursed with documented pre-approval from the SLF member responsible for the budget, so long as the event fosters a sense of community among faculty, staff and students, and its purpose is to directly benefit the College.
    7. Personal Events
      The College disallows expenditures of a personal nature such as holiday celebrations, office parties, birthday celebrations, wedding celebrations, baby showers, attendance at theatrical and athletic events, and political fundraising events. Under special circumstances, documented pre-approval can be sought from an executive member.
    8. Gifts
      Gifts are defined as items given without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Gifts that form part of entertainment, hospitality or gifts that show a token of appreciation of modest value must have documented pre-approval by a member of SLF with appropriate signing authority. If gifts of significant value (over $100 (pre-tax)) are contemplated, then documented pre-approval from an executive member is required.
    9. Other Expenses
      1. Flowers, gift baskets and greeting cards
        1. Staff funds and collections must be used for the purchase of flowers, gift baskets or greeting cards for special occasions for an employee or group of employees.
        2. The purchase of flowers, gift baskets or greeting card will only be reimbursed in the case of retirement or an employee departure, illness requiring hospitalization, and in the death of an employee or immediate family member.
      2. Donations
        Unless documented pre-approval is obtained from an executive member, donations to charities are not a reimbursable expense.
      3. Personal space décor
        It is not acceptable to use college funds to make purchases for an employee’s personal workspace. Personal workspace refers to an employee’s office or cubicle. Pictures, plants, vases, mirrors and other decorations should not be expensed to the College, however common space décor may be purchased with SLF documented pre-approval. Items acceptable for reimbursement, which would be purchased for an office or cubicle, must be supported with reason for why the item will improve or benefit the employee in carrying out their work, for example, a desk lamp.
      4. Computer Hardware / Software
        All information technology components which include but are not limited to computer desktops, servers, iPads, laptops, monitors, printers, hard drives, memory, videoconferencing units, computer software, software licenses, memory sticks or memory cards must be first approved by a Manager of Digital Innovation and Technology or the Director of Digital Innovation and Technology, unless purchased through the Technology Service Desk portal.
      5. Office Expenditures
        Staff members are encouraged to use the existing office supply agreement listed on Connect. Office supplies expenditures submitted for reimbursement should be on an exception basis only.
    10. Non-Reimbursable Expenses
      A listing of non-reimbursable entertainment and other expenses has been prepared as a guideline for individuals claiming entertainment and other expenses; however, this list does not include every non-reimbursable item, and employees must use reasonable judgment and care when making their purchase (exceptions may be made from an executive member documented pre-approval).
      1. Clothing
      2. Club dues
      3. Credit card interest and fees
      4. Golf fees / ski passes
      5. Movies
      6. Personal entertainment
      7. Political fundraising events
    11. Reimbursement of Expenses
      1. Employees must complete and submit an expense report using E-claims to be reimbursed for entertainment and other expenses. E-claims and resource materials can be found on Connect.
      2. All expenses permissible under this policy require a clearly stated NSCC business purpose and must be reasonable and prudent in nature.
      3. The expense report must be approved by the employee’s budget manager/supervisor, and then it will automatically flow to the Manager of Administrative Services or a Central Finance Manager for review and approval.
      4. Copies of detailed receipts and proof of payment must be submitted with the expense report. Credit card receipts alone will not provide adequate support.
      5. For all expense items submitted, employees must include details in the description field for each item listed in the expense report. Substantiation should include the purpose of the expenditure, names of participants, timeline, etc.
      6. Should an employee use their college purchase credit card for payment of entertainment and other expenses, they must provide substantiation of the event or meal as outlined in the College Purchase Card Policy on Connect.
      7. Paper claims will be on an exception basis only and must be pre-approved by the Finance Department prior to submission.
    12. Fraud Policy and Procedures
      The College’s Fraud Policy on Connect emphasizes that fraudulent activity includes inaccurate reporting of financial information for personal advantage. The College retains the right to audit entertainment and other expenses. The payment of entertainment and other expenses does not represent final approval.
  1. Policy Supports

47.02 Employment Service and Retirement Recognition Procedure (login required)
62.61 College Purchase Card Policy (login required)
62.71 College Travel Card Policy (login required)
76.21 Fraud Policy (login required)