Entertainment Best Practices

General Guidelines for EVCP Control Unit Entertainment Processing

The campus website for entertainment provides useful information and resources. Please familiarize yourself with the systemwide Entertainment Policy BUS-79 (PDF, 421KB). Your understanding of these requirements will help ensure an accurate and speedy payment/reimbursement process.

Entertainment Planning

Pre-Approval for Entertainment Expenses

Pre-approval is required for any per-person meal costs >150%, and those requests should be restricted to donor-related events. The request for payment/reimbursement of such expenses must include a compelling written justification as to why the higher costs were unavoidable and necessary to achieve a valid University business need. Exceptional entertainment requests that are more than 200% of the standard limit require the approval of the Chancellor and are also subject to pre-approval review. The EVCP office will review these requests before submitting them to the Chancellor for her signature. Please note that you will be responsible for non-approved expenses that exceed these limits.

If you anticipate the per-person cost will exceed the 150% threshold, submit this pre-approval google form and attach the estimate or proposal plus other supporting documents.

Allow at least 2 weeks before the event or contract signing to obtain the pre-approval.

Calculating Per-Person Costs

These amounts include the cost of food and beverages, labor, sales tax, service and delivery charges.

The cost of room rental, room/equipment set-up fees, media rental, and decorations are not included in the per-person costs unless these costs cannot be separated by the vendor.

Per-person meal limits cannot be combined - a dinner directly followed by a reception uses the dinner meal limit.

Here is a google sheets template you may copy and use to calculate per-person costs for events. For more complex or invoices that are difficult to interpret, feel free to reach out to evcp-finance@berkeley.edu for assistance.

Maximum Allowable Expenses Per-Person by Meal Type

When an entertainment expense exceeds the per-person maximum, the entertainment is considered exceptional. Exceptional entertainment cannot be charged against State and Federal funds.

MealMaximum - 100%150%200%
Breakfast $31 $47 $62
Lunch $54 $81 $108
Dinner $94 $141 $188
Light Refreshments $22 $33 $44

Submitting Entertainment Expenses

Examples of Entertainment Expenses that Require EVCP Office Approval

  • Entertainment for Dean or Vice Chancellor events (Dean or VC hosts the event).
  • Entertainment above Dean or Vice Chancellor's delegated authority.

Deadline for Submitting Expenses

All expenses must be submitted within 45 days. Any reimbursements submitted after 45 days will be handled as taxable income to the employee being reimbursed.

Submission Process for Entertainment Reimbursements

Please generate an ENT report in the reimbursement system and have the host sign it (or sign it electronically as host in the system). Email the signed report with all supporting documentation as attachments to evcp-finance@berkeley.edu. This SPA account cannot sign DocuSign envelopes.

We will review the documents for policy compliance, secure the necessary approval signatures, and email the fully signed ENT report back to you as a DocuSign envelope. You should then upload the approved documents into the reimbursement system and have your department approver approve it.

Submission Process for Vendor Payments and Event Planner Card Expenses

Please use the most updated forms for submission.

EPO & EPC Expense Form (PDF, 97KB)

Campus Regional Services Forms & Procedures

For vendor payments related to Entertainment, please start by submitting all documentation as attachments to evcp-finance@berkeley.edu. This includes the form signed by the host, with additional department head signature if the expenses require exceptional approval. This SPA account cannot sign DocuSign envelopes. We will review the documents for policy compliance, secure the necessary approvals, and email the signed report back to you as a DocuSign envelope. You can then send the completed and signed documentation to CSS via BearBuy or attach to the procurement card transaction in BFS.

What to Include on the Form

• A clear and succinct business purpose. You should always be able to explain how the University benefited from any expense it paid. A good way to explain the business purpose is to answer why the event happened. Just saying ‘research,’ ‘attend conference’ or ‘donor meeting’ is usually not sufficient. You do not need to include confidential details, such as donor names, but you should give some specifics.
• Full Name, Title, and Affiliation of each guest. For open events, indicate how many guests were invited or planned for. If there are more than 25 guests, please number the guest list.
Screen capture of guest list with numbering and affiliation highlighted
• Per-person cost (for a list of what to include in this calculation, and current standard limits, please refer to page 25 of theBUS-79 policy.) If there are multiple vendors/reimbursements for the same event or meeting, the per-person cost must reflect combined expenses for the entire event/meeting.
• If alcohol is served at the event, please make a note on the form. This is not an exceptional circumstance but the funding source does get reviewed.
• Brief statement of justification for any exceptional circumstances (spousal attendance, over per-person limit, employee morale-building).
• Brief statement of justification for delayed submissions (later than 45 days past invoice date for vendor payments, or past 45 days of event for reimbursements).
• Payee and/or Host signature.
• Chart string information.

Entertainment Account Codes / Type of Activity

Please see Entertainment Account Codes page from the controller's office to understand how different activities are coded (e.g., Business Meeting vs. Social Activity).

Lost Receipts

You must submit itemized receipts along with the Entertainment Purchase Order in order to receive reimbursement for entertainment expenses. The receipts must identify both food and beverage charges. 

If the receipt is lost, a Certificate of Lost/Missing Receipt form (PDF, 91KB) must be filled out, signed and attached as supporting documentation.

Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to set up some time to chat with you.


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