University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services (FS)

Guidelines & Procedures

Hospitality Guidelines

(The related board of governors approved policy can be found under "Policies & Reports" at


To provide assistance to financial managers, department heads and deans in determining the categories and level of expenditures that can be incurred with respect to hospitality expenditures and to set forth the related procedures and approval processes.


Within this guideline, the use of terminology such as department head, dean and college are considered to also refer to director, head of administrative unit and administrative unit/division.


As a publicly funded institution, the university is accountable for its actions, for effective and efficient stewardship of its resources, and for ensuring that these resources are deployed or leveraged in the best way possible.

The university recognizes that hospitality expenses, where the primary purpose relates to the business of the University of Saskatchewan, may, on occasion, be incurred in carrying out its teaching, research and service activities.  For most departments, these expenses are expected to be minimal.  Hospitality expenses could include the provision of food, beverages, social and recreational activities for the purpose of hosting university guests, prospective and current staff, students, benefactors or stakeholders (i.e. a visitor(s)).

The number of visitors being hosted and the number of university employees attending should be kept to a minimum number appropriate to the purpose of the event. 

Supporting documentation for reimbursement claims and/or direct charges must include the name(s) of the visitor(s) and/or the name(s) of the company or agency the visitor(s) represent(s), the purpose of the function, the name(s) of university employees and/or the name of the university committee/department, and the number of people in attendance at the function.


Hospitality related to teaching, research and service activities, as defined by the University of Saskatchewan, covers a variety of situations.  The following list includes a brief description of the most common categories of hospitality related to the business of the university and the applicable account code to be charged:


When a university employee, in the performance of their duties/responsibilities, invites an individual(s) external to the university (i.e. a visitor(s)) to a breakfast, lunch, dinner, event, or celebration.  Examples include:

Charges for "Entertainment" are to be coded to account code 70631.

Public Relations/Fundraising

When a university employee hosts an event that relates to the performance of their duties and their public relations/fundraising responsibilities.  This category of expenditure may only be incurred/approved by an authorized individual at the dean or associate vice-president level or higher.  The examples cited under "Entertainment" are also appropriate for public relations/fundraising activities.  Other specific examples include:

Charges for "Public Relations/Fundraising" are to be coded to account code 70632.


When a university employee hosts an event that relates to recruitment of prospective faculty, staff, or students.  Of the examples listed under "Entertainment", hosting at a restaurant, at home or at a university facility are typical expenditures.  Other recruitment costs to be charged to this account code include travel, accommodation and meal expenses, for interviewees.

Charges for "Recruitment" are to be coded to account code 70633.

Staff Appreciation/Recognition

When a university employee (department head or dean) hosts an event for the purpose of staff appreciation or staff recognition.  As a guide, this category of expenditure, in total, should not exceed $60.00 per person per year (May 1 - Apr 30) from all sources, excluding university functions such as retirement banquets, long service awards dinner, employee appreciation picnic, etc.

Note: This does not need to be tracked on a per person basis but rather can be managed in total for all staff (e.g. for a staff of 10 the total for the year should not exceed $600.00).

Note: Gifts (flowers, etc.) given to staff for special occasions or in sympathy would also be coded to "Staff Appreciation/Recognition." (Gifts should be tokens of appreciation of modest value.  Gift certificates are considered the same as cash and therefore, because of income tax implications, cannot be given.)

Note: Only the department's portion for the cost of these events should be recorded in UniFi (e.g. If a retirement event is being funded partially by the department and partially by staff contributions, the staff contributions cannot be deposited to the fund being used to record the department's share.  This is in keeping with the university's "Use of University Property and Services" policy  that states: "No personal purchases may be charged to university funds or made using university procurement and payment processes even if the intent is to reimburse university funds." )

Charges for "Staff Appreciation/Recognition" are to be coded to account code 70634.

Working Lunches

When a meal or refreshments are served at a meeting related to university business.  Generally, these are meetings at which only university employees will be in attendance but there may also be occasions when a visitor(s) participates in these meetings in an advisory or consultative role.

Note: Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at working lunches.

Charges for "Working Lunches" are to be coded to account code 70635.

Per Person Per Event Dollar Limit Guide Table

The types of funds that can be charged with respect to the various hospitality expenditure categories and the level of expenditures that can be incurred are set forth in the following table:

 Hospitality Category

Account Code

Per Person
Per Event
Dollar Limit


 Research, Trust & specific Restricted Funds
(Acct Prof
 Exp Fund)
(Dean & Sen
Admin Exp)

Public Relations/





















The "per person per event dollar limit guides" in the following row of this table apply to the three
hospitality categories (Entertainment, Public Relations/Fundraising and Recruitment) listed above.

   - at one's home

   - at a restaurant

  Use "Lunch" Per Diems

1.5X Applicable Per Diem

3X Applicable Per Diem

Staff Appreciation/ Recognition 70634 Applicable
Per Diem
Yes Yes NO NO Yes
Working Lunches 70635 Applicable
Per Diem
NO Yes NO NO Yes
  1. The "Per Person Per Event Dollar Limit Guide" includes gratuities and the cost of alcoholic beverages.
    (Note: Given the university's affiliation with the Faculty Club and Boffins, the "Per Person Per Event Dollar Limit Guide" for ‘Staff Appreciation/Recognition' and ‘Working Lunches' hospitality-related expenditures is 1.5X (one and one-half times) the applicable per diem.)
    For College or departmental meetings which are held off campus, the maximum for working lunch meeting is 1.5X (one and one-half times) the applicable per diem, (no alcoholic beverages allowed). This additional per diem is to provide flexibility in managing the catering and room rental implications.
  2. Giving due consideration to Alcohol Server Liability and Host Liquor Liability (which includes purchasing alcoholic beverages for someone else's consumption) and the fact that the university is a public institution, the quantity of alcoholic beverages provided at an event/occasion should be reasonable and reflect prudence and good judgment and be defensible to a reasonable and impartial observer.
  3. Unrestricted Funds - generally include fund numbers that begin with a "1" or a "2" unless prohibited by the terms of reference for the fund (e.g. APEF) or involve contracts with a third party.  (Conversely all funds that begin with a "3", "4", "6" and "8" are restricted funds.)
  4. For research, trust & specific restricted funds, these categories of expenditures may be incurred only if permitted by the terms and conditions of the grant, award or contract.  (Note: Continuous research is included in the definition of research funds.)
  5. In total, ‘Staff Appreciation/Recognition' expenditures should not exceed $60.00 per person per year (May 1 - Apr 30) from all sources.

Key Points regarding Hospitality:

  1. Expenditures must be incurred in performance of teaching, research and service activities.
  2. Expenditures must be for valid university business purposes and are to benefit the University of Saskatchewan.
  3. Any personal benefit must be incidental. If some personal benefit is deemed to be received by an employee(s), the whole expenditure will be viewed as a personal benefit and will not be considered an allowable expenditure. 
  4. All reimbursement claims and all direct charges / transfers must be approved by the individual's supervisor.
  5. Expenditures for a spouse(s)/partner(s) of the visitor(s) or a university employee(s) must be approved at the dean or associate vice-president level or higher.
  6. Expenditures associated with attendance at political fundraising events are not reimbursable.

Procedure Summary

a) Preparation

The supporting documentation for all hospitality expenditures must include the following information:

Reimbursement Claims

Direct Charges / Transfers

b) Approvals

c) Processing

Reimbursement Claims


For additional assistance please contact:

Phone: (306) 966-2000