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Accounting 


 

Central Ohio Technical College and Cost Shared Expenditure Policy

 

Introduction

General Information

Alcohol

Business Meals, Tips and Food Served at Meetings

Employee Recognition

Entertainment

Payment for Services

Phone Policy

Professional Dues and Subscriptions

Recruiting Expenses

Guidelines for Direct Voucher

Color Copy Guidelines

Helpful Links

Conclusion

 

 

Central Ohio Technical College and Cost Shared Expenditure Policy

Introduction
As a public institution, the Central Ohio Technical College is held to a high level of accountability for its business practices. Numerous constituencies (including students, taxpayers, alumni, the State of Ohio and the federal government) have an interest in how the college spends its money. Accordingly, every reasonable effort must be made to ensure that funds are used in a responsible and appropriate manner.

The College Expenditure Policy focuses on certain types of expenditures (including those for food, beverages, gifts and employee functions) that require employees to exercise particular caution. To ensure that expenditure decisions are consistent with the college's mission, applicable law and ethical practice, departments must comply with the policies and procedures in this document.

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General Information
DOLLAR LIMITS
- The dollar limits set forth in these policies are maximum limits. Administrators may choose to have more restrictive policies within their own areas, as long as such policies are documented within those areas.

APPROVALS - Throughout this policy there are references to "President approval." This approval may be delegated to another individual. The designee must sign his/her own name, followed by "for: NAME, TITLE."

EXCEPTIONS - Any exceptions must be approved by the President.

ACCOUNT NUMBERS - Except for alcohol, these policies apply to all types of departments, including grant funded. Individual account restrictions must always be kept in mind.

PAYMENT METHODS - These policies apply to all payment methods.

SALES TAX - The college is exempt from paying State of Ohio sales tax. Prior to purchasing items on behalf of the college, contact the Purchasing Office for a Tax Exemption Certificate. The college expends approximately 7% more for the item because of the sales tax. For this reason, personal reimbursements should be minimized, or the employee should provide a tax exemption certificate to the vendor whenever feasible. However, if the sales tax is unavoidable (i.e. business meal), the employee will be reimbursed for the cost of the item as well as the sales tax. Employees are encouraged to use a purchase order when procuring items for the college.

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Alcohol
As a general rule, alcohol should not be charged to the college's accounts. However in certain circumstances, alcohol purchases for business-related purposes (ie., business meals or College events) may be justified. The college has potential liability when alcohol is involved.

These alcohol purchases must be charged to discretionary accounts, and must have the approval of the President. Discretionary accounts are funds which have been donated to a college or administrative area within the college, with only a broad restriction that the funds be used to benefit that particular area. The above approval also certifies that the account listed is an account which has been designated discretionary by a donor.

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Business Meals, Tips and Food Served at Meetings
The college will pay for properly documented meal expenses that fall into one of the following categories:

- Overnight travel meals - Properly documented business meals - Food served at College functions - Food served at non Central Ohio Technical College related functions

The following paragraphs set forth policies for each type of meal. Tips for business meals are allowed. The tip must be reasonable, not to exceed 25%. Alcohol may be reimbursed in accordance with the Alcohol policy. (See section on Alcohol for further details.)

Business Meals
The college may pay or reimburse properly documented meals where the primary purpose is a business discussion. Business meals generally include at least one non-College employee. However, occasional gatherings of College employees may also be reimbursed as business meals. Expenses may be incurred only for those individuals whose presence is necessary to the business discussion.

In addition to an itemized receipt, IRS rules on substantiation of business expenses require documentation of the date, place, business purpose and attendees at the meal. Please note that the documentation requirements apply to all on-campus or off-campus business meals, regardless of payment method.

The college will deny reimbursement for meal expenses that lack documentation or a clear business purpose. Gatherings that are primarily social in nature do not qualify for payment or reimbursement as business meals. However, occasional meals provided as part of a College function may be permitted (see next page).

Food Served at College Functions
College funds may be used to provide food at a seminar, retreat, workshop, orientation or other College related functions. Invoices or Payment Requests for these expenditures should include a brief description of the business purpose of the gathering and all attendees.

At the discretion of the President or Senior Administrator, food may be provided at meetings of College employees. For example, it may be appropriate to provide food at a "working" breakfast, lunch or dinner, particularly when employees are giving up personal time to conduct College business. A formal business discussion must be the primary purpose of the gathering.

Food Served at Non-College Functions
Central Ohio Technical College funds may be used to pay for registration fees for conferences, seminars or other meetings that provide lunch and/or refreshments during the program. However, if a non-overnight program specified that lunch is "on your own", the college generally will not pay for or reimburse that meal. Meals with non-College employees, however, may be reimbursable as business meals if the primary purpose of the gathering is a business discussion.

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Employee Recognition
The college recognizes the contributions of its employees in achieving its overall mission and encourages departments to acknowledge these contributions through programs developed for employee recognition. Such programs include formal award programs, appreciation of service programs and other miscellaneous expenditures. Each of these is described in detail below.

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Award Programs
Award programs may exist at a College-wide level or at the department or unit level. Criteria and amount of the award should be approved by the President's office prior to the selection process. Documentation of each award program should include:

- Purpose
- Eligibility
- Frequency
- Nature of award (cash or non-cash)
- Amount of award
- Related events (luncheons, etc.)

Awards of any value may be given. However, all awards regardless of amount represent taxable income to the individual. Taxable awards must be reported to Payroll for income reporting and withholding.

Appreciation of Service Programs
Occasionally, it may be appropriate to recognize an individual or group of individuals for extraordinary performance in a certain situation relating to their current position or to "thank" them for their service when departing the college (this includes retirement). Expenditures related to such recognition events should be limited to those which are work related and should not include those events which are of a personal nature such as birthdays, wedding or baby showers, graduation, etc. Expenditures relating to such recognition events may be made at the discretion of the President and should be reasonable in light of the particular situation.

Gifts given in conjunction with appreciation of service programs are subject to the same IRS rules as awards. (See previous description for details.)

Miscellaneous Expenditures for Employees
The college may offer support to its employees in the event of the birth or adoption of a child, the death of an immediate family member, or to extend get well wishes to the employee. The acknowledgement may include flowers, a fruit basket or other similar items and should be requested by the department to avoid duplication. If so requested by the family, a charitable contribution may be substituted and made to only named, not-for-profit charities with a public service mission.

The above mentioned expressions of support are considered de minimis fringe benefits from an IRS perspective, and therefore do not represent taxable income to the employee. The value of the acknowledgement may not exceed $100. These types of expenditures require the President's approval.

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Entertainment
The college may pay for expenditures relating to entertainment when the purpose is fundraising, promotion of the college or entertainment for guests of the college by designated College officials. Examples of entertainment expenditures include food, beverages, admission charges, flowers, mementos and other miscellaneous expenses. Expenditures must be reasonable, prudent, appropriate to the occasion and consistent with the Central Ohio Technical College's mission.

Expenditures must have the President's or Senior Administrator approval. See also the "Business Meals" and "Alcohol" sections of this policy.

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Payment for Services
If an employee pays another individual to provide services, the college will not reimburse the employee for these expenditures.

All individuals providing services to the college must be paid directly by the college. Payments to individuals classified as independent contractors are processed by Purchasing and/or Accounts Payable. The supervisor of the Payroll department in consultation with the Human Resource Director will make the final determination between independent contractor and employee status. Payments to individuals classified as employees are processed by the Payroll department.

Individuals must provide their complete name, address, and social security number before payment is issued. If payment request is greater than $100, an invoice or signed statement from the individual stating date, time and description of services rendered is required before payment is issued.

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Phone Policy

Reimburse COTC for Personal Use of Phone
Employees must reimburse the college for any long distance personal calls made on the college's office telephone. Personal use of a college cell phone is to be reimbursed at a flat rate of $.15 per minute. 

Cell Phones
Newark Campus employees are encouraged to obtain approval of their appropriate president’s cabinet member prior to using personal cell phones for College business purposes. Personal cell phone use for College business should be limited to only necessary and immediate business needs. It is the responsibility of the employee's department to monitor phone use and reimbursements for appropriateness. The college has the right to review, question, and limit reimbursement requests of employees' phone bills.

College business calls on an employee’s personal cell service plan within the plan's service area will be reimbursed at a flat rate of $.15 per minute regardless of the service plan's normal air time rate.  A reimbursement request may be used for reimbursement. Requests should indicate "Business calls on personal - (number of) minutes @ $.15/minute" and the period of time, such as "6/1/03 through 6/30/03”.  Reimbursement requests (100 minutes @ $.15 in a specific month) will require a copy of the cell phone bill which identifies the calls for which reimbursement is requested.  The reimbursement will be limited to the total amount of the cell phone plan for that month. Long distance and roaming charges incurred outside an employee’s normal service plan area can be reimbursed at actual costs if actual costs are greater than the $.15 per minute rate. Actual costs must be documented with a copy of the cell phone bill which identifies the calls for which reimbursement is requested.

Wireless Communication Stipend Policy

Central Ohio Technical College or The Ohio State University at Newark may provide a wireless communication stipend to an employee who has a documented official university/college business need for a communication device and continues to meet eligibility requirements as outlined under the Eligibility Requirements section below.

 

The wireless communication stipend is intended to reimburse the employee for the business use of the device. The stipend is not intended to fund the cost of the device nor pay for the entire monthly bill. The assumption is that most employees also use their wireless communication devices for personal calls. Cell phones and other wireless devices should not be selected as an alternative to other means of communication, such as land lines, pagers and radio phones, when such alternatives would provide adequate but less costly service.

Stipend Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the wireless communication stipend, the employee must have a business need, defined and approved by the supervisor, appropriate cabinet member and either the President of COTC or the Dean Director of Ohio State Newark. It should include one or more of the following:

 

·        The employee’s job requires that he/she work regularly in the field and need to be immediately accessible.

·        The employee’s job requires that he/she need to be immediately accessible outside of normal business hours.

·        The employee is responsible for critical infrastructure and needs to be immediately accessible at all times.

·        The employee travels and needs to be accessible or have access to information technology systems while traveling.

·        Access via voice and/or access to information technology systems via a mobile communications device would, in the judgment of the supervisor, render the employee more productive and/or the service the employee provides more effective, and the cost of mobile communications service is therefore warranted. This access may be limited to voice communications or also require access to information technology systems—e.g., e-mail, calendar, Web, etc.

Wireless Communication Stipends

The wireless communication stipend does not constitute an increase to base pay, nor will it be included in the calculation of percentage increases to base pay due to raises, job upgrades, retirement or other compensation increases. The stipend will be itemized on pay stubs, reported on employees’ W-2s and subject to withholding taxes. The determination of the stipend amount covers the employee’s projected business related expenses only.

 

Responsibilities of Employees Receiving Stipend

When a wireless communication stipend has been approved and provided to an employee for the conduct of official business, the employee must comply with the following:

 

·        The employee may select any wireless carrier whose service meets the requirements of the job responsibilities as determined by the supervisor.

 

·        The employee must inform the college/university when the eligibility criteria are no longer met or when the wireless service has been cancelled.

 

·        Management may periodically request that the employee provide a copy of the first page of the phone bill in order to verify that he/she has an active wireless phone plan. Management may also periodically request documentation of substantial business use. At minimum, documentation is required when initially applying for the stipend and each time the stipend is renewed.

 

·        The employee is responsible for all charges on his/her personal wireless plan, including early termination fees. If the employee leaves the position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of his/her wireless plan.

 

·        The employee is personally responsible for complying with international, federal, state, and municipal laws regarding the use of wireless phones and other communication devices while driving. Under no circumstances will COTC or Ohio State Newark be liable for non-compliance.

 

·        The employee does not need to maintain a log for business and personal phone calls if receiving a wireless stipend.

 

Determining the Dollar Amount for the Stipend

·        Project business use to the best of your ability and find a plan that best and most economically meets that use. What number of minutes per month is the employee likely to expend on business-related calls? If the device allows messaging, e-mail retrieval, internet use, etc., what is the likely cost for its other business uses?

 

·        If the employee already has a personal cell phone, there is no requirement to obtain a second phone. Project the costs that would be incurred for business use if the employee began using the current personal phone for business purposes as well as personal use. Consider changing the basic plan if necessary.

 

·        While the following information is provided as guidance for determining the stipend amount, the final stipend amount is ultimately at the discretion of your supervisor and is subject to approval by the President of COTC or the Dean Director of Ohio State Newark.

 

·        The following is a description of different service options to consider as well as some sample stipend amount options. The amounts in this list should be used solely as a guideline and should not be assumed to cover every situation for which cellular services that are needed at COTC and Ohio State Newark. These sample amounts were calculated based on averages of comparable plans from major cellular service providers.

 

Plan

Description

Suggested Monthly Stipend

 

 

 

Voice Only

250 minutes per month

$25

 

500 minutes per month

$50

 

750 minutes per month

$75

 

 

 

Addition of Data

If data needed for email or calendaring purposes addition to stipend, you may request only this amount if all that is needed is data

$50

*** Suggested stipends include a 25% markup to defray the effects of payroll taxes

Establishing the Stipend and Service

Use the Cellular Services Stipend Authorization Form.

See the Travel Policy for reimbursement of phone calls while on travel status.

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Professional Dues and Subscriptions
The college may pay for membership dues to professional organizations and subscriptions to professional journals or newspapers if they are appropriate for the individual's position and duties and if the membership or subscription benefits the college. Mailing address for journals and newspapers must be to the college's property. Departmental coordination of subscriptions is encouraged.

Union dues will not be paid by the college.

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Recruiting Expenses
The payment of recruiting expenditures may occur in one of the following ways:

- Reimbursements to an employee
- Reimbursements to the recruit
- Direct payments to vendors

Recruiting expenditures must be reasonable, prudent and commensurate with the position recruited.

Receipts are required for reimbursement of all recruiting expenses. For meals, IRS rules require documentation of the date, place, business purpose and attendees at the meal (see section on Business Meals for further details). Alcohol may be reimbursed in accordance with the alcohol policy (see section on Alcohol for further details).

When a recruit accepts an offer of employment with Central Ohio Technical College, the guidelines on moving expense reimbursements apply (see Human Resources Moving Expense Policy).

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Guidelines for Direct Voucher

On occasion the college pays vendors directly for goods or services. In these cases, a standard requisition is used to process the request through purchasing within guidelines. Examples of when something may be processed in this manner:

* Honorariums
* Membership dues
* Subscriptions
* Travel/Mileage Reimbursement to Non-Employee
* Awards
* Withholding Payment
* Other Misc (determined by Accounting)

Documentation is required for the college to issue payment for the voucher.  Honorariums and awards should include an explanation of the event and/or description of the business purpose, and a completed substitute W9.

Questions about this form should be directed to Accounts Payable @ 69118. 

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Color Copy Guidelines
The campus has available a color copier for use by faculty and staff. Since the campus is charged from a third party for each copy there is a limited number available to stay within budget for the year. To assist us in staying within budget without arbitrarily cutting off requests each month, we ask that you support the following guidelines:
Promotional material advertising events including Events On Campus, recruitment activities, notification about events, etc. should be approved by the Marketing Department before submitting it to the Services Center.

·        Faculty and staff are asked to limit the number of copies at any one time to ten, primarily focusing on overheads, posters, etc.

Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the appropriate Senior Administrator and/or identification of payment source when necessary. We ask your support of these guidelines to maximize the availability of the copier to all faculty and staff members.

 

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Helpful Links

Central Ohio Technical College Procurement Card Policy

Travel Policy

Purchasing Policy 

Purchasing Forms

Conclusion
When in doubt about any of these policies or procedures, contact Janice Boyce, Accounting Manager at extension 69224 or Lisa Orr, Assistant Director of Business and Finance at extension 69455.  Have questions?  Email
Janice Boyce or Amy White or call extension 49629.

 

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