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Accounts Payable Division of Administration & Business Affairs

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Business Hospitality Expenses

At Sacramento State, "hospitality" is the provision of meals (catered or restaurant) or light refreshments (beverages, hors d’oeuvres, pastries, cookies), entertainment services, promotional items, gifts, awards and service recognition. Hospitality includes expenses for activities that promote the University to the public, usually with the expectation of benefits accruing directly or indirectly to the University.

The University’s hospitality policy governs the manner and extent to which the University and its auxiliaries may provide hospitality at meetings, events and occasions that promote the University’s mission. The Hospitality Policy ADM-0111 applies to all hospitality expenses incurred by the University, the University Foundation at Sacramento State (Foundation), University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), University Union, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) and Capital Public Radio. The Auxiliaries and departments may choose to implement more restrictive policies.

The approving authority is responsible for determining whether a hospitality or gift expense is appropriate and compliant with policy and [procedures], and for evaluating the importance of the event in terms of the costs that will be incurred, the benefits to be derived from such an expense, the availability of funds, and any alternatives that would be equally effective in accomplishing the desired objectives.

Approving Official
The University employee who has been granted authority, by the CFS Delegation of Authority process, to approve the use of funds. The approving official must be the supervisor or above of the official host. The approving official cannot directly benefit from the business hospitality expense. (e.g. participated in the refreshments or meal.


  • What is the allowable per-person maximum for hospitality? Breakfast=$40, Lunch=$50, Dinner=$85, Light Refreshments=$40
    • When a hospitality expense exceeds the per-person maximum provided in the chart above, the hospitality is considered exceptional. Exceptions require a written justification for the overage and the approval from a Vice President, or the Auxiliary Organization Executive Officer. This authority may not be delegated any further. The approved justification must include why adherence to the policy was unavoidable and necessary to achieve a University business purpose.
    • There will be a $20/person cap for alcohol, and the total of all food and drink, including tax, gratuity, and service charge for meals, as noted in the hospitality policy, still applies.
  • Is an original receipt required? Yes. If purchased using a Sacramento State ProCard, only an itemized receipt is required (proof of purchase, but not proof of payment). If, however the purchase is paid by personal credit card, check, cash, or other personal means (non-Sacramento State paid), then an itemized receipt (proof of purchase) and a payment receipt (proof of payment) are required. An itemized receipt or invoice must include the merchant or provider name, a detailed list of the service(s) or item(s) purchased, date, and amount of expense. Handwritten receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, and/or credit/debit card transaction receipts cannot be used as proof of purchase.
    • If an itemized receipt or invoice is unavailable, include a signed certification statement to be reviewed and approved/authorized by the approving official for this hospitality expense.
  • Do I always need to submit an attendee list? An attendee list is required including participant names, their titles, and affiliation to the University. For a large function with 100+ participants, it may not be feasible to provide a guest list; so, a copy of the flyer, invitation, or announcement, may be provided in lieu of a guest list. Examples of large events are guest lecture receptions, Kaleidoscope, parent/student orientation weekends, graduation receptions, department open houses, etc.
  • What are allowable funding sources for hospitality? Please review Appendix A in Hospitality Expense Procedures, ADM-0111.
  • Who can approve exceptions to the Hospitality Policy? In order to ensure that the approval of hospitality is entirely independent, individuals with delegated approval authority shall not approve the expenses of a person to whom they directly report. The approving authority is the next highest level. Approval for a missing itemized receipt, or invoice, is delegated to the approving official. Approval is delegated to Vice Presidents when a hospitality expense exceeds the per-person maximum. For all other exceptions, the President may make a limited exception to the hospitality policy and procedures. The purpose for the exception must be documented and signed by the President.
  • What should a hospitality statement of justification include? The justification must include a description of the event and the related business purpose. It must also explain why the meal was a necessary and integral part of the meeting or event.