Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 10/22/2016



Please see current Fiscal Policy Manual for current policies


Refreshments, meals, or affiliated supplies (ie paper plates, cups, etc) at unit functions can be paid with University funds when the activity meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Training or workshop lasting at least two hours
  2. Unit staff retreat held away from the normal work location with a written agenda and in a private room
  3. Employee working meal with required attendance where business is conducted during the meal period (as documented in meeting agenda) and location is not at a restaurant (unless in a private room)
  4. Employee meal provided at worksite during an overtime period that is two or more hours beyond the end of employee’s work shift and when duties prevent the employee from taking a meal break (must be clearly documented)
  5. Refreshments or meals for a Department Student Organization and/or Recognized Student Organization when engaged in an educational activity.

University funds cannot be used to pay for employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled unit meetings.

Use of the employee working meal option by a unit should be infrequent.

The request for payment on non-travel meals or refreshments must:

  • Document the purpose of the function, agenda, names of the attendees, and why that time of day requirement (if a meal).
  • Include the average per person cost on the first line of TEXT in the Banner document and  may not exceed the current OSU per diem.  The cost includes the price of the meal, delivery, and tip.
  • Use account code 28611 Refreshments and Food – Departmental to process invoice payments or reimbursements.
  • Use account code 28502 Overtime Meal Allowance to process invoice payments or reimbursements for employee meals provided during an overtime period.

NOTE: Meals and refreshment costs cannot be paid with Petty Cash funds or a departmental purchasing card.

For additional information see:
FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests
FIS 410-29 Meals on One Day Trip
Fiscal Policy 56.100 Non-travel Meals, Refreshments and Hospitality Expenses