Hospitality Expenses (II.A.1)

Volume ­­II: Business and Finance
Chapter A: Accounting, Budget and Expenditures
Responsible Executive: Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Responsible Office: Comptroller’s Office
Date Issued: November 1, 2003
Date Last Revised: November 1, 2022

Table of Contents

Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates


Policy Clarification






Comptroller Staff


Campus Specific Questions




Fort Wayne: Vice Chancellor of Financial and Administrative Affairs


Financial and Administrative Affairs Staff

Northwest: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration



West Lafayette: Comptroller


Comptroller Staff


As a public institution, Purdue University is held to a high level of accountability for its business practices. Numerous constituencies (including students, taxpayers, alumni, the state of Indiana and the federal government) have an interest in how the University spends its money.  Accordingly, all faculty, staff and other individuals authorized to do business on behalf of the University must make every reasonable effort to ensure that Hospitality Expenses they incur and/or approve are legitimate and in compliance with the requirements of this policy and its associated operating procedures.

Hospitality Expenses are allowable only when they meet all the following criteria.

  1. Appropriate to the occasion and reasonable in amount.
  2. Tied to advancing one or more of the three pillars of the University’s mission: learning, discovery, and engagement.
  3. In compliance with applicable funding source requirements and University policies.
  4. Properly documented.

The Operating Procedures for Hospitality Expenses provide further information on determining appropriate types of hospitality (including for events with remote participants), posting to appropriate funding sources, and non-allowable Hospitality Expenses. Advanced written approval from the applicable chief business officer (Fort Wayne and Northwest) or Comptroller (West Lafayette and Polytechnic Statewide), or their designee, is required in some instances, as described in the operating procedures, and is recommended when circumstances are ambiguous. Any Hospitality Expense that does not meet the requirements of this policy and its associated operating procedures or that is exorbitant, abusive or unreasonable will become a personal liability for the faculty or staff member(s) who incurred the expense.

Within the parameters of this policy, departments or organizational units may specify more restrictive standards.

Awards, prizes, and other types of recognition or appreciation given in conjunction with an event must meet the requirements of the policy on Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition (III.B.5) and its associated operating procedures.

Use of Sponsored Funds for Hospitality Expenses

Individuals using sponsored program funds to pay for all or a portion of Hospitality Expenses are required to educate themselves and consult with Sponsored Program Services on the rules of the sponsor. The University is not obligated to cover Hospitality Expenses that are not allowable on sponsored program funds or denied by the sponsor. If the expenses meet all conditions of this policy and the associated operating procedures, the University may choose to cover them.


This policy establishes a framework for allowable Hospitality Expenses in order to ensure good stewardship of the University’s resources.


All colleges, schools, departments, organizational units, faculty and staff are affected by this policy.


There are no exclusions to this policy.


Comptroller (West Lafayette)

  • Administer this policy.
  • Review and act on requests for exceptions to this policy or designate this responsibility.
  • Maintain Operating Procedures for Hospitality Expenses.

Chief Business Officers (Fort Wayne and Northwest)

  • Administer this policy.
  • Review and act on requests for exceptions to this policy or designate this responsibility.

Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors

  • Ensure allowable Hospitality Expenses are within the available resources of the unit.

Faculty, Staff and Others Authorized to Conduct Business on Behalf of the University

  • Comply with this policy.
  • Collect all necessary receipts and complete reimbursement requests.
  • Ensure that Hospitality Expenses have been documented to include the purpose of the event, the location, date, type of attendees (alumni, donors, etc.) and number of attendees.

Business Managers

  • Review Hospitality Expenses to ensure compliance with this policy.
  • Forward requests for prior approval and/or exceptions to this policy to the applicable campus business officer with written justification.
  • Ensure Hospitality Expenses are allocated to the appropriate funding source/account.
  • If non-allowable Hospitality Expenses are found, initiate recovery of the expenses from the individual(s) involved.


All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Some terms may only be referenced in the Operating Procedures for Hospitality Expenses. Refer to the central Policy Glossary for additional defined terms.

Hospitality Expenses
The provision of food, beverages, activities or events for the purpose of promoting and furthering the mission of the University. The Procedures for Hospitality Expenses provide further descriptions of allowable Hospitality Expenses.

General Fund Accounts
Accounts used to record income and expense for general operating funds. The funding source is typically state appropriations and student fees.

Other Unrestricted Funds
Funds used to record income and expenses for the income-producing funds within the University. 

Gift Accounts
Accounts used to record income and expense for gifts received from donors.

Auxiliary Services Accounts
Accounts used to record income derived from fees charged to external parties for goods and services (e.g., Intercollegiate Athletics, Housing and Food Services).

Student Organization Grant Allocations
Allocation of funds to undergraduate, graduate and professional registered student organizations to support their activities, events, travel and services.

Sponsored Program Accounts
Accounts used to record income and expense for activities sponsored by external organizations. Sponsors may be federal agencies, state agencies, industry, etc.


Controller Resources page (links to the operating procedures and FAQs)

Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition (III.B.5)

Purdue Research Foundation SDIP Guidelines



November 1, 2022: Significant changes were made to the policy to allow more flexibility. Separate operating procedures were established to support the policy.

November 18, 2011: Policy number changed to II.A.1 (formerly II.1.1).

November 1, 2003: This policy is the first to formalize guidelines for hospitality expenditures.

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