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Open Comment Blog

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  • Open Comment Period: April 27 - May 12, 2017

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Comments May 11, 2017 8:03 am

I'm glad to see a tipping policy; I had instigated such a policy and deducted excess off as personal expense to employee on ER.  Should include statement that tip should never be calculated on sales tax. May 9, 2017 11:20 am

As written the policy may have the unintended effect of more people tipping at 20% since it is a number they will remember. Additionally, suggestion to cap tips paid from state sources at 15% or 18%.  All other fund sources allowable tipping for meals 15% - 20% with a maximum cap at 20% of allowable meal expenses.

Since meal tipping is being addressed perhaps the timing is appropriate to address reasonable and customary tipping in other areas like travel. Suggestion to provide Tips Guidelines as part of the overall travel policy.

An example would be;

Tips Guidelines

The following would be considered reasonable and appropriate:

Skycap: $2 per bag

Porters/bellperson, etc.: $2 per bag upon check-in/check-out

Meals: 15% – 20% (if not included in the charge).

Taxis: customary to tip approximately/up to 15%

Car Service: Tip is included in the negotiated rate. If using a non-contracted service, 15-20% is appropriate May 8, 2017 4:01 pm

I'm glad to see the reference to 'departmental petty cash fund' option for items less than $100  Could you add a statement in this brief mention of petty cash that purchases must comply with the restrictions and guidelines, including using tax exemption letter to avoid sales tax?  Just one more reminder of avoiding sales tax.  Thank you. May 2, 2017 5:16 pm

Most cash purchases made are done so due to immediate need or from off-campus locations.  It is going to be very difficult to comply with this. If no exceptions are made we will have many outraged employees, especially those doing field work. At what point does the amount and cost of processing "paper" justifications (by Units and University Payables) outweigh the savings we realize in maximizing conracted vendors? May 2, 2017 10:45 am

Regarding Section 7.4 - Cash Purchases, this sounds like a new policy and communication of its inception should come from campus and perhaps allow a grace period before full implementation. 

For cash purchases made off campus and off hours, it may be difficult to check whether or not there are existing contracts in place. Also, should the unit head determination that cash purchase serves the best interest of the university be in writing? If the unit head is going to be involved in the process, more reason that communication of inception of this policy should come from campus. 

Is "best interest of the university" defined as least cost to the university? More clarification or example is needed. Thank you. May 1, 2017 3:23 pm

The wording on the maximum 20% tip on business meals will definitely need to be clarified.  As it stands, it is unclear whether this applies to reimbursed expenses or T-card transactions, or both.  As another commenter noted, if a tip on a T-card transaction exceeds 20% (of whatever number it's based upon - subtotal before tax or after tax), what will happen to the overage?  The overage has already been received by the restaurant/server, so will the T-card holder be penalized.  Also, will this be a "to the penny" rule such that if I'm rounding off and the overage is minimal (say, less than 50-cents), would it still be subject to "penalty"? Apr 27, 2017 4:45 pm

Does the unit head's determination need to be in writing?  How is that documented?  

How will one know whether a UI contract is available for the purchase?

Thanks. Apr 27, 2017 3:17 pm

It states that tips in excess of 20% are not reimburseable.  What if a TCard is used? Will the person have to pay back the excess?  Policy should state what will happen if a Tcard is used.  Also, all meals are not tax exempt.  Will it be 20% of the meals plus tax or 20% of the subtotal before tax.  Personnally I tip 20% on the subtotal because I do not tip on sales tax.

As for the cash reimbursements up to $500, I support this, however, we can communicate it to our faculty and staff until we turn blue in the face and we know that it will still happen that they have a purchase that exceeds $500.  If we cannot justify it but we don't want to penalize the faculty and staff is there going to be a one time exception process?  If so, this should be communicated in policy and documented and tracked by payables so that it only happens one time.

It would be helpful if policy stated for best practices cash purchases should be preapproved by the unit business manager/department head prior to the expenditure.  Then we could attach that form to the expense report. Then we would be able to steer the purchase to a PCard or Contract purchase, if applicable. Apr 27, 2017 3:16 pm
The phrasing about the p-card part is pretty confusing - you can use cash instead of a p-card unless you can't use the p-card for the purchase you're making with cash because you can't use a p-card for it...? What's the intended outcome there?