1263.1 - Paying for Business Entertainment Expenses Procedure


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Finance Procedure 1263.1 - Paying for Business Entertainment Expenses



This procedure details the allowable methods of paying for Business Entertainment Expenses, documentation requirements, and the methods through which Alcohol may be procured. A requisition may be required if payment is to a business, if the cost exceeds $5,000 or if an advance payment is required.

Scope of Applicability

This procedure applies to all employees (faculty, staff, employed students, Senior University administrators) and non-employed students.


Forms and Instructions

Allowable Payment Methods

Business Entertainment Expenses may be paid for through the following methods:

  • Purchasing Card (P-Card) - allowed only for Business Entertainment Expenses which do not include Alcohol and do not exceed $5,000. 
  • Travel & Expense (T&E) Card - allowed for Business Entertainment Expenses which do not exceed $5,000.
  • Requisition - if the event exceeds $5,000 or requires advanced payment.

Events which require a contract may also be paid for on the P-Card or T&E Card if the purchase had been reviewed and approved by Purchasing Services. Events which exceed $5,000 may also be paid on the T&E Card if reviewed and approved by Purchasing Services. Business Entertainment Expenses paid for out-of-pocket may be submitted for reimbursement in Concur Expense.

Documentation Requirements

Business entertainment expenses must be documented (substantiated) to meet requirements of the federal tax code (see section below), and prudent business practices. To meet these standards the expenses must be documented to show:

  • Identification of the persons or group being entertained. If a small group (eight or fewer individuals) is being entertained, the names and total number of all persons attending must be shown.
  • A statement as to the reason for such business entertainment. Indicate how the business entertainment benefited the University and clarify the relationship of the persons in attendance to the particular aspects of the University's programs or activities (titles, committee names, field of interest of person being entertained, reason for visitor being on campus, etc.).
  • The place of entertainment. The location must be provided. Receipts for business entertainment expenses are required for reimbursement to employees. If payment is to be made to a vendor, the normal invoice or statement of costs is required. If payment is made on the P-Card, T&E Card, or out-of-pocket, a copy of the credit card receipt and the itemized receipt is required.  If the itemized receipt is not available, a Missing Itemized Receipt Affidavit form must be completed and submitted.

If Business Entertainment Expenses are paid for by P-Card, this documentation must be included with the transaction reconciliation in Works. If Business Entertainment Expenses are paid for by T&E Card or out-of-pocket, this documentation must be included on the Expense Report in Concur. Concur will require that attendees be added to the expense and that the total cost be itemized.

Reimbursements are made for business entertainment expenses when the documentation is complete. If appropriate action cannot be taken to properly document the expense, the employee must bear the cost of the business entertainment.

Purchases of Alcohol

All purchases of alcohol must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Purchases must be funded by an allowable funding source as detailed in Finance Policy 1263 - Policy on University-Related Business Entertainment Expenses.
  • Purchases of alcohol must also adhere to the policies and standards detailed in the University Alcohol Policy.
  • Alcohol may only be purchased from and distributed by a third-party vendor such as a professional caterer, bartender, or food & beverage establishment, with proper licensing and liability insurance.  This requirement includes Business Entertainment events held both on-campus and off-campus.
  • Alcohol may not be purchased for Business Entertainment events from a package store, convenience store, grocery store, or other vendors except for those detailed above.
  • On occasion, Alcohol may be purchased as a gift to individuals not affiliated with the university.  These gifts should be modest in nature and appropriate to the recipient and their relationship with the university.  Alcohol may never be given as a gift to employees or students.

Related Requirements

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax Email
Business Entertainment Policy Purchasing Services - Services 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@unc.edu
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Article ID: 131447
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Fri 8/27/21 12:05 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Travel and Payment Card Services Manager
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
12/09/2021 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
08/03/2021 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
08/03/2021 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
08/03/2021 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/07/2010 12:00 AM