While not new, we'd like to renew your familiarity with our policy for Cash Disbursements - Employees. This policy specifically provides guidelines for payments to employees. The specifics are applicable whether an employee works for the state or the foundation.
The Foundation functions under an "Accountable Plan." The term "Accountable Plan," was developed by the IRS to set forth rules, define legitimate expense reimbursements and requires submission of original documentation. The Foundation's Accountable Plan can be viewed here.
It is a critical part of the Foundation's fiduciary responsibility to manage funds according to a donor's stated desire as well as meet generally accepted accounting principles.
Please pay particular attention to the areas highlighted below. In recent months we have seen a lack of adherence to policy. We'd like to draw your attention to these areas and advise you that the USM Foundation will be adhering strictly to our published guidelines and items in question will be returned.
Flowers and memorial contributions - the limit for expenditure in this category is $75, including delivery, taxes and other charges. It is acceptable to send flowers as an expression of sympathy or concern related to hospitalization of or a memorial for an employee and family (see policy for definition of family.) Memorial contributions to charitable organizations are also acceptable in lieu of flowers. Contributions/flowers for the purpose of congratulatory notices, birth of a child or wedding are not allowable.
Gift Certificates/Gift Cards - as defined by the IRS, are considered cash equivalents and therefore are taxable income to the employee or recipient. The USM Foundation cannot pay for cash equivalents. Requests of this nature will be returned.
Personal Gifts - Funds held by the USM Foundation should not be used to purchase per- sonal gifts, such as those for Secretary's Day, Boss' Day, a new baby, wedding, etc. These items provide a personal benefit to the recipient. Thus these are not expenditures made for a business purpose and violate the Foundation's Accountable Plan.
Staff Meetings, Luncheons, etc. - USM Foundation funds may be used to pay expenses for bona fide staff meetings, luncheons, etc. A clear and specific business purpose should be supplied along with a list of attendees. There are some situations that allow USM Foundation funds to be used for events related to retirement. Events such as these should be pre-approved by USM Foundation and authorized by the Dean or Vice President. The USM Foundation cannot pay for gifts. Reimbursements for birthday or other personal celebrations are not allowed.
If you have any questions about an item for reimbursement or disbursement, please do not hesitate to send an inquiry to us. As always your assistance is greatly appreciated.