Handbook of Business Procedures
9.1.2. OTHER REIMBURSEMENTS
Expenses that do not pertain to travel or entertainment may be reimbursable expenses for faculty or staff if the expenses have a business purpose for the university. For travel or entertainment expenses, please see:
The remainder of this section discusses reimbursements that are not related to travel or entertainment.
Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for purchases of goods, materials, and/or services does not exempt the university, its officers, or its employees from the purchasing laws, rules, and guidelines of the university, the state of Texas, or Statewide Procurement Division (SPD).
Routine purchases of goods or materials and services must be processed on a purchase order or by using the procurement card (Procard). Purchases made from personal funds that require reimbursement should be reserved for emergency circumstances, must not cost over $5,000, are subject to review by the assistant vice president for procurement, contracts, and payment services, and may be rejected.
All office supplies must be purchased through Today’s Business Solutions due to a contractual agreement with the university; therefore, faculty or staff will not be reimbursed for such items.
Due to ownership, warranty, and licensing issues, all computer hardware and software purchases must be purchased using the Procard or a purchase order through POINT Plus; therefore, faculty or staff will not be reimbursed for such items. A one-time exception may be requested from the assistant vice president for procurement, contracts, and payment services under extenuating or emergency circumstances, and may be rejected. If Texas sales tax was charged, it will not be reimbursed.
Applications purchased for university-owned tablets, such as iPads, from online stores such as the iTunes Store are allowable reimbursements for faculty or staff but the applications must be business-related. For more information, refer to 7.7.6. Purchase and Payment Methods For Technology Purchases. The accounts used must allow this type of purchase and should be coded as object code 1842. The Procard may also be used to purchase applications and will not require an exception.
Allowable reimbursements to faculty or staff include reference books and materials, memberships, subscriptions, and registration. Faculty or staff must use a Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate when making purchases on behalf of the university. If Texas sales tax is charged, it will not be reimbursed. To obtain this exemption certificate, please follow instructions set forth on the Office of Accounting’s Administration Services Web page.
Reimbursements for reference books and materials under $5,000 are allowable reimbursements. Reference books and materials should be coded as object code 1409, and library books should be coded as object code 1850. Object code 1850 is reflected as a capital expense in the university’s Annual Financial Report and should only be used if the purchase is to support a professional, academic, or research library that has the characteristics as defined below. If reference books and materials cost more than $5,000, the reference books and materials must be purchased on a Procard or a purchase order through POINT Plus.
A library book is generally a literary composition bound into a separate volume and identifiable as a separate, copyrighted unit. Library reference materials are information sources other than books. This includes journals, microforms, audio/visual media, computer-based information, manuscripts, maps, documents, and similar items which provide information essential to the learning process or which enhance the quality of academic, professional, or research libraries. Changes in value for professional, academic, or research libraries may be reported on an aggregated net basis.
A professional, academic, or research library normally has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Checkout procedures and policies exist and are used
- Equipment assigned to libraries typically remains under central security for on-premises use
- Existence of the library helps the entity fulfill its mission
- Individual item costs and supplemental information is generally contained in a supplemental database
- Information is housed in a centralized location
- Internal controls are in place in lieu of central property management
- Physical security measures are in place to protect the assets
- The value is material to the organization
- Volumes assigned to libraries are typically available to employees, students, and other individuals for checkout or use
Professional, institutional, or social club memberships are allowable reimbursements for faculty or staff only if they pertain to the person’s job duties and benefit the university. The account number used must allow these types of purchases and should be coded as object code 1301 for professional and institutional membership or object code 1302 for social club dues. Otherwise, the vendor must be paid directly using a Procard or a *Define VP2 or VPE payment document. Purchase orders are not required for memberships. For social memberships, approval from the provost or the president is also required. For additional information on professional and institutional memberships, refer to the Provost’s Institutional Memberships and Dues for Professional Organizations page
Social Club Membership Approval Letter Sample for Academic Departments approved by Dean*
Social Club Membership Approval Letter Sample for Deans approved by Provost*
Social Club Membership Approval Letter Sample for Administrative Departments and Vice Presidents approved by President*
Professional license fees are allowable reimbursements for faculty or staff only if the payment of licensing fee relates to the university’s functions, and the department receives an adequate return for the payment. Departments may consider the following factors to determine an adequate return for the payment:
- If the employee works full-time or part-time
- If the employee uses his or her professional credentials in working outside the confines of state employment
- If the employee’s professional credentials are required or merely useful in performing his or her job duties
Departments must retain documentation on file that shows how the payment is directly and substantially related to the university’s functions and how an adequate return on the payment is received.
The account used must allow these types of purchases and should be coded as object code 1753. As an alternative to employee reimbursement, the vendor may also be paid directly using a Procard or a *DEFINE VP2 payment document. Purchase orders are not required for professional license fees.
Subscriptions to magazines or newspapers are allowable reimbursements for faculty or staff only if the subscriptions pertain to the person’s job duties and benefit the university. However, the subscription cannot be delivered to the person's home address. The account used must allow these types of purchases and should be coded as object code 1407. Otherwise, the vendor must be paid directly using a Procard or a VP2 payment document. Purchase orders are not required for subscriptions.
Registrations for conferences or workshops are allowable reimbursements for faculty or staff and should be coded as object code 1275, but these expenses will only be reimbursed after the event has occurred. Otherwise, the vendor may be paid directly for registration using a Procard or a VP2 payment document with a copy of the completed registration form as supporting documentation.
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