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To ask an auditor a question, please visit our "Ask an Auditor" page here. An auditor will promptly provide answers and guidance for you and your unit, which will be listed below:




Hello--I am trying to build a case in my college that the "business purpose" on a Concur/Procard expense report for a grant expense must be more extensive than just "for research." Official guidance from University Financial Services has stated, "For typical, routine research-related items, a stated business purpose beyond “research” is not needed for most charges." Because grant activities are so varied, I don't consider any expense to be typical or routine. Can you assist in supporting the need for something beyond "research" as a sufficient business purpose? Thank you.



University of Internal Audit notes that documentation of a clear business purpose is required when using university funds so that an approver, reviewer and/or impartial third person may reasonably conclude and agree that the expenditure supports or advances the goals, objectives and mission of the university. As such, a proper business purpose must adequately describe the expense to demonstrate that it is necessary, reasonable and appropriate.* When all of the following requirements are sufficiently provided, the business purpose of “research” may be adequate in some cases. However, requiring a qualifier (such as a grant number or name) would help prevent charges to the wrong cost center and may aid in identifying unrelated charges.

University Financial Services’ published guidance for Concur/ProCard expense reports requires that “all documentation must support the propriety of the transaction and contain the following information”:

  • Vendor Name
  • Detailed listing of purchase, including item description, quantity and price
  • The total dollar amount of the purchase
  • Transaction date
  • List of attendees (when necessary)
  • Business purpose/explanation for purchase that adequately describes the expense*

For Concur travel expenses, "The business purpose needs to be added to the additional information field or the Comment field" to provide the business purpose of the transaction. Uniform Guidance: Additionally, Uniform Guidance states that such documentation must provide the ability to trace funds adequate to establish the use of such funds according to terms and conditions of the award.

  • 200.302 Financial management. "including records documenting compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award, must be sufficient to permit the preparation of reports required by general and program-specific terms and conditions; and the tracing of funds to a level of expenditures adequate to establish that such funds have been used according to the Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award."



Per UKHC Policy A01-030, it appears I would not be allowed to attend group meals provided by multiple sponsors of a conference.  Can someone clarify for me if the meals provided at a conference (for which an admission fee is paid) are covered by this policy?



My understanding is that you will be attending a conference at which one or more meals are being provided to all attendees as part of the conference programming and are included in the registration price.

In such instances, the travel policy (full policy attached) actually assumes the employee WOULD be participating in the meals, as it stipulates “Meal per diem cannot be claimed for meals included in registration fees or otherwise provided at no cost to the traveler as part of the event.”

Conversely, meals that are paid for by one or more sponsors that are not a part of the conference programming for all attendees (e.g., typically off-site and/or involve only a smaller, select group of attendees) may fall into the category of “unauthorized gifts” that are prohibited by the UKHC policy.


If you need further assistance or require guidance tailored to your specific organization, please feel free to contact Internal Audit directly, at or call 857-257-3126