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Section 7: Non-Payroll Disbursements

Memberships Paid by University Funds

Effective Date:

08/24/10

Approved By:

Lenora Chapman, Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:

03/26/13

For Assistance Contact:

Assistant Controller

Assistant Vice President & Controller

 

PURPOSE/SCOPE

This guideline describes policies and procedures related to:

  • The authorization of membership fees as an allowable expense using university funds; and

  • The administrative processes for documentation and payment of authorized membership dues.

Departments may establish more restrictive procedures with respect to memberships at the discretion of the department head. A major consideration in securing a membership shall be the cost of membership in relation to the benefits the University expects to derive from an individual's membership. Administrators are asked to make responsible choices when using university funding for such purposes.

AUTHORITY

As a public institution, The University of Texas at San Antonio must make the most efficient and effective use of funds entrusted to it by various constituencies when making expenditures for those purposes and must be able to demonstrate compliance with applicable laws and rules. Additionally, the university must ensure that expenditures support the institutional mission and that the expenditures are not made for a private purpose.


UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES

Table of Contents

A. Business and Professional Organization Memberships

Business and professional organizations include:

  • Those established to promote universities and colleges, such as accrediting agencies;

  • Organizations of institutional service agencies and administrative officers;

  • Scholarly societies; and or

  • Community organizations

Institutional rather than individual memberships shall be obtained whenever possible, as the former often allow participation by several or alternate employees. Individual memberships shall be purchased only if particular circumstances warrant an exception; the decision to grant an exception shall be based on an evaluation of the benefits to the University and the relationship to the job responsibilities of the employee who will be designated as the member. In no case should more than one institutional membership in any organization be purchased on the campus.

Although allowable, the cost of UTSA's membership to business, technical, and professional organizations must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) prior to being allocated as a direct cost of a sponsored program.

Department heads are delegated authority to approve use of university funds to join professional organizations that promote the advancement of education and research, enhance the professional standing of faculty and staff, and / or facilitate favorable community relations.

Memberships for students may be allowed if there is a quantifiable benefit to the university (e.g. discounted registration for a conference that the university is paying for the student to attend.)

B. Memberships to Secure Periodicals and Online Access

Departments may purchase a membership in an organization to secure its periodicals if the periodicals cannot otherwise be secured. Such periodicals will become the property of the University rather than of an individual, and must be made available to all department faculty, staff, and students.

Although allowable, the cost of UTSA's subscriptions to business, professional and technical periodicals must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) prior to being allocated as a direct cost of a sponsored program.

C. Warehouse Club Memberships

Memberships to warehouse clubs that provide access to discounted goods may be reimbursed, however the membership card should be used solely for institutional and not personal purchases.

D. Social, Private Club or Entertainment/Recreational Memberships

Social, private club or entertainment/recreational memberships to include airline clubs are generally not allowed. In rare circumstances these memberships may be approved if the business purpose can be established and the President's approval is obtained in advance. The Provost is authorized to approve these memberships for college and academic personnel. The Vice President for Business Affairs must approve any membership involving the President. The authority to approve social memberships cannot be delegated. This approval is obtained through completion of a Business Expense Form.

1. Funding Source

Typically, such expenditures are paid from an official occasions account. Such memberships shall not be paid with state (E&G), designated tuition, student fees or federal funds. Membership dues for any civic or community organization, country club, social or dining club are unallowable as a direct cost of a federal grant or contract per OMB Circular A-21.

Payments for entertainment expenses incurred in connection with the use of a social membership are reimbursable in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Business-Related Hospitality and Entertainment Expenditures administrative guidelines.

2. Reporting Non-Business Use

Payment of membership dues for any club organized for a social purpose must be included in an employee's income to the extent that the payment is not related to a business purpose. In order for a portion of the club dues to be excluded from an employee's income as a working condition fringe benefit, the employee must substantiate and document the specific business purpose for that portion of the club dues. For each monthly statement the employee must substantiate the business purpose of business-related charges and indicate any personal charges.

Personal charges are the responsibility of the employee and should be remitted directly to the club. Dues related to the personal use of the club will be included in the employee's income on a pro rata basis. If this is not done monthly, the Payroll office will request annually prior to the last month of the calendar year.

  • The Controller's Office will calculate the value of the employee's non-business use based on the information reported. The employee will be informed of the amount, and the portion of the dues allocable to non-business use shall be treated as additional compensation to the employee and included in the employee's income, subject to withholding for income and applicable employment taxes.

  • If the employee terminates his or her employment with the University or becomes ineligible to use the membership, any dues paid by the University related to non-business use must be reported by the employee to the Controller's Office before the termination or ineligibility status becomes final.

E. List of Approved UTSA Institutional Memberships

The following is a current listing of approved UTSA Institutional Memberships paid from central funds on behalf of the entire campus:

NOTE: This list does not include institutional memberships that may be paid from departmental funding.

  • American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE)

  • American Council on Education (ACE)

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

  • Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU – formerly known as NASULGC)

  • College (Entrance Examination) Board

  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

  • Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC)

  • Engagement Scholarship Consortium

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

  • Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR)

  • National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)

  • San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAED website doesn't list us as a member)

  • Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

  • Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)

  • Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE)

  • Texas Diversity Council

  • Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA)

F. Miscellaneous Information

    1. When approving new or renewal memberships, the approving authority is responsible for evaluating the request to ensure that University funds are not being used to join organizations that are duplicative in function and membership or to renew memberships that are no longer worthwhile, and for designating those employees who will participate in the affairs of the organization concerned.

    2. Each year during the budget development cycle, the Vice President for Business Affairs authorizes certain institutional memberships to be paid from centralized university funds on behalf of the entire organization. The current list may be obtained by contacting the Controller's Office.

G. Processing Payments

Payment for allowable institutional memberships should be made by the university directly to the association through established procedures; in some circumstances, reimbursement to the employee may be allowed upon proof of payment - invoice and/or detailed receipt.

1. Payment Voucher (VP2)

Use the VP2 when paying for services or merchandise that has been billed and complete the following fields:

    1. Goods and Services Begin/End Date: enter the first day of the membership in both fields (the begin and end dates should be the same). This is important.

    2. Voucher Description: include the name of the Membership – especially if the voucher is seeking reimbursement for prior payment made by the employee;

    3. Invoice Number: enter N/A if an invoice number is not provided.

    4. Comments: This field prints on the check stub and in lieu of an invoice number, should include the member ID, member name as applicable, and or other information that will allow the vendor to correctly tie the payment as intended.

    5. Check Distribution: Enter the letter T (recommended).

      NOTE: Entering the letter T indicates that you have attached a copy of paperwork that should accompany the check to be sent to the vendor.

    6. Separate Check: Enter the letter X (recommended).

      NOTE: Entering the letter X indicates that you are requesting that the payment for the voucher should not be combined into one check with other documents; quite often a check serves as payment for multiple voucher documents and this is a way to ensure the vendor will properly credit the department.

2. ProCard

The ProCard may be used for:

  • Business and Professional Organizations (use Object Code 1301) when the organization allows payment by credit card; and / or

  • Memberships that allow access to periodicals or online access (use Object Code 1407);
    when the amount charged does not exceed $5,000 and or other prescribed limits. See the UTSA Financial Management Operational Guideline (FMOG) Procard Program for more information.

The ProCard should not be used for Social club membership expense. Instead use the VP2 document in DEFINE. The "invoice number" line should include the member account number followed by a slash and the month & year for dues.

EXAMPLE: 232X/June 2009 dues. (Object Code 1302)

NOTE: You must have prior approval to pay such dues as indicated elsewhere in this guideline. The completed, authorized Business Expense Form (BEF) must be provided to Disbursements & Travel services before the VP2 will be final approved for payment. Because these dues are often paid monthly, under "Goods and Services Begin/End Date" enter the first and last day of the month.


DEFINITIONS

Term Description

Business and Professional Organizations

Clubs organized for business purposes only, such as business leagues, professional organizations and trade associations, are not considered entertainment or recreational organizations. If related to the employer's business, payment or reimbursement of dues is excludable to the employee when the employee is performing duties for the employer that are related to the professional organization's focus or mission. Examples of these organizations include bar and accounting associations, state CPA associations, school business officers, or public service organizations. IRS: Reg. §1.274-2(a)(2)(iii)(b); Reg. §1.274-2(b)-2

Entertainment and Recreational Organizations

Payment of membership dues for any club organized for a social purpose must be included in an employee's income to the extent that the payment is not related to a business purpose. Examples of clubs organized for a social purpose are private dining clubs, country clubs/golf and athletic clubs. In order for a portion of the club dues to be excluded from an employee's income as a working condition fringe benefit, the employee must substantiate and document the specific business purpose for that portion of the club dues. Dues related to the personal use of the club will be included in the employee's income on a pro rata basis. IRC §274(a)(3)

Personal use

Use of a social club or other facility for purposes unrelated to the conduct of official University business.

REFERENCES/LINKS

RELATED FORMS/WORKSHEETS

  1. Business Expense Form

REVISION HISTORY

Date Description
03/26/13

Under section E, added 'Engagement Scholarship Consortium.' 

06/28/12

Added the Inter-University Program for Latino Research to the approved institutional membership listing.

03/07/11

Updated link in References/Links section to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions".

12/22/10

Membership dues for any business and professional organization or periodical must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) prior to being allocated as a direct cost of a federal grant or contract.

11/17/10

Published guideline, which replaces Administrative Memorandum No. 6.4 dated January 1, 1991.


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