Catering Information for Faculty

HFC Hosting Procedure

Effective 4-1-16

Henry Ford College recognizes its responsibility to be a good steward of the public trust. Accordingly, members of the Henry Ford College community are held to the highest standards of stewardship for the funds that are placed in their trust. Individuals should employ the highest standard of care in disbursing College funds.

Additionally, we must comply with Internal Revenue Service rules which prohibit the tax-free treatment of lavish or extravagant meals or entertainment. Excessive expenses could lead to tax penalties, additional taxable income to the employee, and required reimbursement to the institution under IRS rules.

HFC Hosting

Host Expenditures are reasonable expenses for meals, snacks, beverages within the conduct of necessary business activities that provide a benefit to the College through the establishment of goodwill, promotion of programs, or creation of opportunities in which the mission of the College may be advanced.

Where reimbursement for official reception/entertainment is from a grant or contract, the employee must receive prior approval from the appropriate grant approver to establish that all anticipated costs will be allowable for reimbursement in accordance with grant/contract terms.

As a general rule, when possible, catering should be handled through the College catering options (Café or 5101) or with an approved College vendor. Allowable expenditures by College personnel for events must be reasonable, appropriate and justifiable.

The following information must accompany approved hosting events. Please see required

Hosting Expense Form.

a. List of participants – Identify business relationship of each participant (a sign-in sheet can be used for this requirement). If the number of participants is over 20 and a sign-in sheet is not appropriate, please provide a description of the events and categories of participants attending.

b. Receipts – If internal catering option is not used for hosting event; receipts must include name of vendor/establishment, address, date of event and detailed listing of expenditures.

c. Documentation – Documentation confirming business purpose of the event (including agendas, fliers, email notification etc.).

d. Approval (When Required) – Please list the appropriate approver – President or Vice-President.

e. For Grants/Contract charges - Written approval from the appropriate grant approver to establish that all anticipated costs will be allowable for reimbursement in accordance with grant/contract terms.

Examples of Allowable Expenditures – Pre-Authorization is required by the Department Manager or Associate Dean for the area sponsoring the event. (Additional VP approval is optional)

  • Costs in the entertainment of students including food for Commencement, Convocation and Student Orientation activities.
  • Formal recognition or recruitment of students.
  • Expenses incurred for groups, task forces, workshop participants and other persons who are not employees of the College department sponsoring the function. The total number of students/ non-employees’ participants must be 50% or more of the group composition.
  • Reasonable and appropriate refreshments for working advisory committees.
  • Costs of meals and refreshments for all officially scheduled receptions or conferences provided that such expenses are directly related to the goals or objectives of the program for which the funds have been appropriated.
  • Meals at formal training and working sessions are authorized if it is necessary that employees remain at the working or training site. Refreshments for breaks may also be provided at these training sessions, providing that they are College sanctioned.
  • An annual College-wide ceremony recognizing length of service and retirees.
  • Direct costs relating to the operation, functioning and promotion of programs and conferences in which a fee is collected from participants of the programs, courses, seminars and conferences.
  • Special events open to the public (alumni, etc.) in which a fee is collected from participants of the specific event to cover these expenditures.
  • Food and associated expenses for visiting officials and/or dignitaries are reimbursable. It is expected that expenditures for this purpose will be reasonable and appropriate.
  • Reimbursement is approved for the cost of an official luncheon or dinner which an employee is required to attend; where such meal is scheduled as an integral part of an official proceeding or program related to College business and the employee’s responsibilities.
  • Any case in which a federal or other non-state-funded grant project budget has specific provision for payment for meals or refreshments for any group or groups attending meetings, workshops, seminars, training sessions or similar functions; funds may be expended for that purpose. This is limited to the amount specified in the approved grant.

All other requests deemed appropriate, and not mentioned above, must be pre-approved by the President or appropriate Vice-President. Examples include:

  • Expenses for retreats may be reimbursable. A retreat is defined as a meeting of College employees, held away from the normal work environment in which organizational problems and procedures are discussed.
  • Internal meetings during lunch in which internal employees are the only ones present.
  • Committee meetings in which only internal employees are included

Examples of Personal Expenses – No College funds are to be used

  • Coffee or other beverage service for office staff.
  • Water service/filtered water for staff.
  • Christmas gifts or Holiday meals for employees.
  • Gifts, cakes or other refreshments for employee celebratory events (birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc...).
  • Department/office lunches, pizza, water or small food items provided to staff members and employees – pre-approval by appropriate Vice President required.
  • Refreshments for a departmental meeting or function.
  • Donations to charities.
  • HFC-branded shirts not required for specific programs (prior approval required for College approved).
  • Charges for alcoholic beverages.

In situations where items are inappropriately charged to the College, it is expected and required that personal reimbursement be made.

The above guidance applies to all payment mechanisms, including direct invoice from provider, purchasing card (PCard), petty cash and direct reimbursement.