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Allowable Business Expenditure Chart

Allowable ExpenditureseVA ExemptPcard (Transactions under $5000)Standard Purchase OrderFunding SourceApproval Needed
Cost of placing ads in newspapers and other media forms for faculty and classified position employment, drug studies, clinical research studies, research projects, and procurement advertisements (ads must meet universityIdentity standards Fund SourceHuman Resources (Classified employee recruitment only)
Targeted at prospective students with accurate and objective information on programs and services
YesYesYesState or LocalVice President of University Relations
Used to induce students to attend by exaggerating or extolling the institution's virtues
YesYesYesLocalVice President of University Relations
All other advertising/marketing expenditures, including promotional items that could be considered gifts (e.g. mugs,key rings,portfolios, water bottles, t-shirts,etc). Design must meet VCU identity standards http://www.identity.vcu.eduYesYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Purchases for promotional items for students or prospective students(Design must meet VCU identity standards or LocalAuthorized Approver
Provided such purchases comply with the University's policy regarding alcohol use at University functionsNoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Purchasing and payments for servicesNoYesYesAny Fund SourceDirector, Planning & Design
Audio-Visual, Television, and Photographic Equipment
Not on contract and greater than $10,000NoYesYesAny Fund SourceManager, Media Support Services
Bottled Water
Water CoolersNoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Water Coolers when healthy water is not available in the building, as determined by VCU Environmental Health & SafetyNoYesYesStateEnvironmental Health & Safety
Individual serving-sized - Distribution to/consumption by employeesNoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Individual serving-sized - Emergencies or for safety and/or health reasonsNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Individual serving-sized - Business meals or catered eventsNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Individual serving-sized - Information/Training Sessions or events involving prospective students or non-employeesNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Individual serving-sized - Intensive/Substantive training sessions involving only employeesNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Individual serving-sized - Information sessions or other events involving employeesNoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Departments should consider the most eco-friendly (i.e. sustainable) approach in providing business meals/refreshments. All recyclable containers should be placed in the appropriate bin for recycling.
Consulting Services
Payments for servicesNoYesYesState or LocalVice President, Finance & Administration/Provost (only if using E&G Funds)
Contributions & Donations
For activities directly related to the University's missionNoNoYesState or LocalPresident
Employee Business Meals
All meals must be for bona fide business purposes and should include at least one non-employee. Meals involving employees only require Vice President, Vice Provost, Dean, or Executive Director approval for State funds. NoYes (exception for meals required)YesState or LocalDean/VP required for State funds
Tipping (server gratuity) on all business meals is limited to 20% on the total bill regardless of funding source.NoYes (exception for meals required)YesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Employee Recognition Expenditures
Employee recognition expenditures, such as food, flowers, and gifts (not to exceed $100) must be commensurate with employee’s years of service. Gifts are considered taxable compensation and the department must report to Payroll Services. These expenditures are typically for retirement receptions or when long-standing employees leave the university. Raffles are not considered an appropriate form of employee recognition. Gifts over $100 in value require Vice President, Vice Provost, Dean, or Executive Director approval.
Employee recognition programs must be utilized for current employees.
NoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
EZ Pass
EZ Pass may be purchased and used for University related business purposes onlyNoYesYesState or LocalDirector of Procurement Services
Facilities Requirements.
Payments for service, portable electric heaters, window air conditionsNoYesYesAny Fund SourceExecutive Director, Physical Plant Department
Renovations/Construction/Repairs/ImprovementsNoYesYesAny Fund SourceFacilities Management
Office plants (to include plant maintenance) when they are located in common/public areas and aid in the professional appearance of the office or buildingNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Flowers for public events (e.g. graduation, at the dais/podium for seminars/ banquets, table centerpiece)NoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Flowers/plants to non-employees may be purchased for bona fide business purposes provided the recipient is identified, the individual’s relationship to the University is stated and the reason is clearly documented.NoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Note:Except as specifically provided for in Allowable Expenditures "Funeral Expenditures", flowers/plants shall not be purchased for employees'  immediate family or relatives.
Fundraising Activities/Development
Purchasing and payments for servicesNoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
Funeral Expenditures
Funeral attendance travel expenses for one employee selected by the Authorized ApproverNoNoYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Flowers, meals or contributions in lieu of flowers for the death of an employee are allowed up to $100 (Recipients may include the employee’s spouse, parents, children, or siblings)NoYes (exception for meals required)YesLocalAuthorized Approver
Purchased for the University’s Service Awards Program by Human ResourcesNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
To non-employees may be purchased for bona fide business purposes provided the recipient is identified, the individual’s relationship to the University is stated and the reason for the gift is clearly documented. Note: Gifts shall not be purchased for employees’ immediate family or relatives.NoYesYesLocalAuthorized Approver
To employees - See Employee Recognition ----------
Home Internet
Home Internet service for employees requires a clear documented business justificationNoYesYesGrant (Specified in grant)Authorized Approver (Annual Approval Required)
Incentives such as gift cards and other items (i.e. prizes) given to persons participating in various studies (i.e. clinical research studies, research projects, and surveys). View Compensate a Research Participant.NoYes (except Gift Card purchases)YesAny Fund SourceAuthorized Approver
Legal Services
External Legal ServicesNoNoYesAny Fund SourceVCU Office of the General Counsel
University departments are required to use an officially licensed VCU manufacturer when ordering items bearing the University's trademarksNoYesYesAny Fund SourceAssistant Director, Business Services
Professional organizations with direct benefit to the UniversityYes (dues only) Yes YesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Social organization with clearly established and documented business purpose NoYesYesLocalPresident or President's Designee
On Line Auctions
(e.g.eBay) provided funds are transferred to an escrow account and not released to the seller until the purchaser has received and inspected the good and determine that they fulfill the purchaser's requirements NoYes YesAny Fund SourceAuthorized Approver
Parking Tickets
Parking Tickets issued to non-employees No Yes Yes Local Authorized Approver
Public Art
Public Art (including portraits) that is purchased, gifted, or loaned. View University Public Art Policy. No No Yes Local Authorized Approver
Radioactive Materials
Radioactive Materials No No YesAny Fund Source Office Manager, Enviromental Health & Safety
Signage (exterior, interior, specialty) No Yes YesState or Local Signage Manager, Physical Plant Support Shops
Sponsorships up to $1000 for a table at a professional organization’s meeting/event that is directly related to the University’s mission or LocalVice President of University Relations
Sponsorships over $1000 such as the aforementioned table, speakers, program, printing, and recreational events (e.g. golf tournament) (except to individuals)YesLocalVice President of University Relations
Over $2000NoYes (except to individuals)YesLocalVice President
Store Memberships
Departmental memberships at club discount stores can be only used for University related business purposes onlyNoYesYesState or LocalDirector of Procurement Services
Subscriptions to news journals, periodicals and magazines when the subscription is necessary to fulfill ones professional responsibilityNoYesYesState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Telecommunications Services
Purchases and payments for servicesNoYesYesAny Fund SourceDirector, Telecommunications
Wireless Communication Device Services. View University Wireless Communication Device Policy.NoYesYesState or LocalVice President, Finance & Administration
Tuition/Seminar Fees
Tuition for courses at other educational institutions may be reimbursed only if similar educational opportunities are not offered at VCU. See Human Resource Policy on Education and Training Opportunities.NoNoNoState or LocalAuthorized Approver
Two-way Radios
Purchases and payments for equipment and servicesNoYesYesState or LocalChief of Police, VCU Police
Requires form from Parking & TransportationNoNoYesAny Fund SourceParking & Transportation and Vice President, Finance & Administration