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Policy on Receptions

This document contains the definition of a reception and the associated L & S policy on receptions. There are also links to the Accounting Services form associate with receptions and the UW System Financial polilcy on receptions.


A reception is defined in UW System Financial & Administrative Policy as "A gathering of individuals associated with a UW-sponsored event that provides the opportunity for interaction in a setting that is not purely social in nature. Unlike a business meeting, a reception may not have a specific agenda or time frame. Like a business meeting the purpose must be related to or promote the mission of the hosting department." We distinguish between "receptions" (which are work-related but predominantly social occasions) and "meetings" (where formal business is conducted). Reimbursement for meal expenses related to the latter fall under specific guidelines; departments should consult the business office to determine whether reimbursement is appropriate, and if so, how it may be sought.

Campus has established a $12 per person limit in-state, $15 per person limit all other continental US, and $20 per person limit all other locations including international on reception costs. Requests for payment of reception costs must include approval of the department chair or director, a statement or document which substantiates the official business relatedness of the reception, the number of people attending, and original invoices/receipts showing the amount to be paid or reimbursed.

Per UW System Administration travel policy, receptions that are attended primarily by UW/State employees must be held in UW facilities unless an adequate UW facility is not available. Justification for not using a UW facility and approval of the institution controller (Asst Vice Chancellor-Business Services) are required if UW facilities are not used. The justification and approval must be attached to all requests for payment transactions.

From the UW-System Policy website

F. Events attended primarily by the general public –  meetings, conferences, camps and training sessions sponsored by the UW or where the UW acts as the fiscal agent for participation of the general public and professional groups are subject to the following:

  1. Event should be planned and located in such a way that convenience and accessibility for the participants is maximized and costs to them and the UW are minimized. Utilization of campus facilities is encouraged. The services of a UW meeting planning department should also be considered.
  2. The brochure or registration form should indicate the costs, i.e., meals, beverages. breaks, etc., included in the fee. Wine/beer to be served with a meal included at the conference are the only alcoholic beverages which may be included in the conference fee. Registration fees must be charged for meals, beverages, lodging and other non-program­ related costs.  An accounting of the event registration fees collected and expense incurred must be completed and made available upon request.
  3. All registration fees must be paid to the institution and deposited in the State Treasury.

KeywordsReception, UW sponsored event, reception payment form   Doc ID22617
OwnerSandy P.GroupL&S KB
Created2012-02-10 14:27 CSTUpdated2023-04-24 13:18 CST
SitesL&S KB
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