Travel & Entertainment

Frequently Asked Questions

Connexxus is a secure Web portal for booking University business travel which automatically applies UC negotiated rates

The UC Accounting Manual for Disbursements (D-371-16) governs the level of approval, and method of procurement for non-payroll transactions, including consultants, honoraria, memberships, and moving expenses, among other things.

While we don't have a systemwide contract with Costco, Walk-In Purchase Orders are accepted at the local store for goods (Memberships are not paid with a Purchase Order; see below for details) with the following procedures:

  • Visit the Membership Counter prior to shopping. Costco will require your department have a Business Membership. To set that up, Costco may require paper documentation proving you work for the UC (that could be in the form of a paystub, website print-out, or directory listing), and may require to see your Driver's License to prove you are who you say you are. Cards may be issued to the indivudal names, not the UC department.
  • UCSB has a signed a fairly benign Master Contract with Costco, where any dept on the attached Department List can purchase off the Agreement.
  • UCSB limits the membership to the Business card priced at $55. Executive Memberships are NOT allowed, and Costco no longer provides "Corporate" accounts. These will be standard accounts that are just paid by UCSB.
  • Memberships are restricted to up to 6 cards per account. Each $55 includes just 2 cards.
  • Once you have the membership, you may execute Walk-In PO's in Gateway.
  • Take your printed out Walk-In PO to the Membership counter, and walk away with your product(s). Costco will provide you with an Invoice, that you would send over to Accounts Payable.

To pay invoices, please write your Gateway Walk-In PO # on the invoice, and send the product invoices to
Membership invoices ($55) cannot be paid on a purchase order, but should be processed on a Membership Form 5 directly to Accounts Payable. Please contact Accounts Payable for membership questions.

You must use a Purchase Order in Gateway.

Authorizing Signature

The following excerpts from UC Policy G-28, Travel Regulations, outline the requirements for the Authorizing Signature.

A. Approval of Travel Expense Claim (G-28 pp 8)

"The authority to approve travel expense claims must be documented by a signature authorization form on file with the Campus Controller’s Office (or the Medical Center Controller, where appropriate) or by an electronic signature authorization. The travel expense claim should not be approved by a person who reports directly or indirectly to the traveler. Persons delegated the authority to approve travel shall not approve their own travel. In addition, travelers may not approve the travel of a near relative, e.g., spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, etc."

Traveler’s Signature

The following excerpts from G-28 outline the requirements for the Traveler’s Signature.

c. Certification of Travel Expenses (G-28 pp 42-43)

"The traveler must either sign or provide an electronic equivalent on the travel expense claim certifying that the amounts claimed are a true statement of the expenses incurred on official University business and that the original of all required receipts has been submitted, whether scanned or faxed. Internal departmental expense claim forms are not an acceptable alternative for obtaining the traveler’s signature on the travel expense claim (or electronic equivalent), unless approved as an exception to this policy."

"Submission of the travel expense claim under a traveler’s electronic authorization will be considered certification that the traveler incurred the expenses being claimed. In accordance with IRS regulations, an electronic signature must:

  • Identify the traveler who is submitting the electronic form;
  • Authenticate and verify the submission; and
  • Be the final entry in the submission."

In an attempt to accommodate situations where it is not possible for the Traveler to submit the expenses in Concur and the Traveler cannot sign the Travel Certification Form, UCSB has identified the following alternate options:

Option 1. The traveler can submit original receipts with their original wet signature on each receipt.

Option 2. The traveler can send an email from their account that includes copies of receipts and the statement below:

"I, (NAME OF TRAVELER), certify that the above is a true statement, that the expenses claimed were incurred by me on official University business on the dates shown, and that I have attached original receipts for each expense as required by University policy.”

Guest Traveler Reimbursement Worksheet

Only individuals issued a formal delegation of authority to sign contracts can sign written contracts for goods and services. This includes travel and entertainment contracts (food, catering, hotels, and other event-related services). Click here for a list of those with delegation for the campus. Submit your contract through Gateway on a Contract Request Form, or better yet, ask your vendor if they will accept payment or a purchase order without requiring a signature!

Contracts issued on behalf of the Regents are only valid if signed by a delegated official of the state. If you sign a contract for the University, you are taking on personal risk

Certain University hosted or sponsored events may include alcohol, but be aware of some strict rules around serving and buying alcohol. The university's use of funds for entertainment must be compatible with our stewardship responsibility and must have a strong ethical component. We should be able to show that our entertainment expenses are necessary and in the best interest of the public.

Here are some common questions:

What funds can be used to pay for alcohol?

- Federal and State funds cannot be used to pay for alcohol. Generally gift (or opportunity) funds can be used. Check with Accounting to see which of your department accounts may be used.

Who can serve alcohol at our UC event?

- The best option is to hire a catering company with an ABC license to serve. All servers must be ABC certified, be 18 or over if serving alcohol is incidental to the overall services (such as serving food), while bartenders strictly serving drinks must be 21 and over. Anyone serving cannot consume alcohol while working the event. An excellent way to reduce the risk exposure that alcohol consumption creates for the University is to transfer the responsibility of providing and serving the alcohol to a licensed and insured hotel, restaurant, or caterer. 

Can we use UC students to serve alcohol at our UC event?

- No.

Is the campus ABC certified?

- No; the UC is not ABC certified, and does not have an campus-wide alcohol license. While certain single-use permits can be granted by the Chancellor, such events must meet the mission of the University and be planned and approved well in advance.

Can we sell alcohol at a UC event?

- No; this is outside the mission of the University and not allowed. Note, UC-operated food facilities (such as The Club) do have a limited liquor license.

Is UC insured for liquor liability?

- Not typically or automatically; please check with Risk Management for further questions.

Anything more I should know about selling or serving alcohol on campus or at a UC event?

- Yes! There are more rules for serving alcohol here:

Many campuses have been receiving requests from employees for reimbursements of meal expenses associated with working from home during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. It is important to remember that employees who are working from home are not on travel status as defined in Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, Travel Regulations, as “the period during which a traveler is traveling on official University business outside the vicinity of their headquarters or residence.” Because employees who are working from home are not on travel status, they are not eligible for meal reimbursement.

Similarly, requests for reimbursement of meals taken at home (or delivered) during a Zoom business meeting or employee morale event are not reimbursable under policy. Per Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79, a business meeting requires an in-person host, and is intended for on-premises and/or in-person meetings of employees. None of those factors would occur, for example, if an employee is reimbursed or provided a meal for consumption at their own home during a Zoom meeting or event with colleagues.

Campuses can reimburse or provide meals for non-employees that are associated with on-line donor cultivation events. Similarly, campuses can provide a meal to a non-employee guest who is attending a University-sponsored meeting or event. And, students who are not employees and participating in a remote student-related programmatic activity can be provided a meal voucher if attending the on-line event. Campuses have the discretion whether to provide meal gift cards in these situations.

If you have any questions, please call David Won at (510) 587-6043.

View Guidelines for Reimbursement of Meals Provided for Remote Meetings

  1. To process a direct bill with hotels, departments should reach out to the hotel in question directly to work out the direct bill agreement.
  2. Then please process the direct bill on the Direct Bill Payments (External) worksheet, and email the completed form to
  3. When completing the expense report for the traveler, add the lodging expense with the receipt details, but record $0.00 as the amount since it was direct billed and will not be reimbursed to the traveler.
  4. In the comments for the lodging expense, please note that it was direct billed so that it is clear for Accounting.
You may also reference our Knowledge Base article, "How to Process a Hotel Direct Bill," for instructions.