Policy: University Promotion Expenses

Human Resources


November 15, 1999 (replaces Policy dated September 1, 1999)


Vice-President (Finance and Administration)


The purpose of this policy is to define and set forth the types of promotion expenses for which payment can be made out of University accounts.


The University is not a business; rather it operates for the benefit of society generally. To fund its operations, the University relies primarily upon grants from government, student fees and fund raising. The University is subject to increasing public scrutiny, and operates in a restricted financial environment.

Accordingly, all promotional expenses must meet not only the normal test of acceptability, but also public perceptions of acceptability. The approach taken by all University departments, both academic and administrative, must demonstrate consistency.


This policy is applicable throughout the University for all expenses paid from funds administered by the University.


The Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Administration) is responsible for providing the guidelines and procedures for the acceptability of promotion expenses. The Controller is responsible for ensuring that these approved guidelines and procedures are followed when claims for reimbursement are processed, and for bringing matters of concern to the attention of the Vice-Presidents and/or the President.

The Controller's Office will scrutinize carefully all promotion expenses submitted for payment. Acceptability will be determined in reference to the letter and spirit of this policy and any supplementary guidelines that may be issued. The policy extends to all expenditures submitted for payment, inclusive of discretionary funds.


(1) University promotion expenses are expenses incurred by designated officials, on behalf of the University, for the purposes of:

a) recruitment of employees;
b) hosting visiting lecturers, researchers, and representatives of organizations or firms external and related to the University. This includes, but is not limited to, members of the Board of Regents;
c) expressions of sympathy in the case of tragedy involving an employee or member of the Board; and
d) business lunches, dinners and receptions.

For the purposes of this policy, designated officials shall include the President, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, Deans, Associate Deans, Chairs of departments, program directors and coordinators, and heads of administrative departments. It is the responsibility of these officials to ensure that no expenses are duplicated.

(2) Expenses incurred shall be modest and reasonable costs. Expenses will have been provided for in the departmental budget or, in the case of academic departments, they must be accommodated within either the Department Chair’s discretionary budget allocation or the Department’s visiting lecturer budget, as appropriate.


(1) Entertainment and promotional expenditures will be reflected in the departmental budget to which they are charged or pertain.

(2) Employees with University of Winnipeg corporate American Express (AMEX) cards should use their AMEX card to pay for entertainment and promotional expenditures wherever possible. AMEX statements may be submitted to the accounting department, up to 20 calendar days from the statement date, for payment of legitimate University business expenses by the University on the employee's behalf. Otherwise, cardholders must make payment personally to American Express. Charges made on the AMEX card remain the cardholder's responsibility.

(3) For payment or reimbursement of University business expenditures, the claim must:
a) have original receipts attached;
b) be coded to the appropriate expense account(s);
c) have Department Head approval; and
d) include the AMEX statement if a corporate AMEX card was used for any of the expenditures.
If an AMEX statement is to be paid directly by the University and it includes personal items, a cheque payable to American Express covering the cost of those personal items must accompany the statement.

(4) For payments made using a credit card, both the credit card receipt and the vendor receipt (if they are separate receipts) must be submitted. Without the vendor receipt, it is difficult to determine the portion of the invoice that is for GST. The University is able to obtain a reduced GST rate, but the actual amount of GST paid is required.

(5) All accounts submitted for reimbursement or payment shall identify the reasons for the occasion, the external representatives involved, and the names and connection of all other persons included. In the case of expressions of sympathy, the reason for the expenditure and the name of the employee or Board member for whom it is undertaken should be included.

(6) It is recognized that grant monies related to research projects can be subject to expense guidelines provided by the granting agency or person. Any promotional expenses incurred in accordance with the guidelines governing such a research project (e.g., bringing together potential research collaborators), will be subject to the approval of the Research Office and the scrutiny of the Controller.

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