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Recognition Awards for Employees and Non-Employees

Accounts Payable

View policy pdf: Recognition Awards for Employees and Non-Employees Policy

For the purposes of this policy, an employee is any person paid through UGA payroll.  Recognition awards must be given under an established written recognition program which has been authorized by the dean or vice president. The recognition awards template should be used to document the required minimum elements of an awards/recognition program; units may add other pertinent elements to the document as long as they do not conflict with the minimum requirements.  Awards must have a business purpose and be consistent across the unit/department. Examples of recognition awards could be “employee of the year” or “outstanding customer service awards.” 

When using institutional fund sources (defined below) for employee achievement or recognition awards, the following guidelines must be followed:

Non-employee/Volunteer Awards

Institutional fund sources cannot be used to purchase award items for non-employees or volunteers.  For example, appreciation awards given to a speaker should be purchased directly through the UGA Foundation. 

Student Awards

Academic awards, other than those specifically designated by the UGA Foundation trust agreement or UGA Endowment trust agreement, may be given to UGA students related to academic achievement.  Award items must be purchased with tuition funds (fund 10500) or student activity fees (fund 13000) where allowed.  Award items for student workers, who are receiving an award as an employee that is part of a documented employee recognition program, should follow the policy section on Employee Awards (above).

Award Recognition Event Expenses

Any institutional fund source that does not have restrictions can be used to pay for award recognition event expenses such as room and audio/visual equipment rental, speaker fees, printing costs, and decorations.   Institutional fund sources cannot be used to purchase food or beverages for the event.  These items may be eligible for reimbursement through the UGA Foundation.

Generally, institutional funds cannot be used to pay an individual’s registration fee for an awards recognition event if the event is solely for employee appreciation or in connection with volunteer appreciation or recognition. However, private fund sources (fund 20200, 20300, 20400, 20500) may be used to pay these registration fees unless the underlying fund agreement restricts it.

Reason for Policy

Thispolicy andtherelatedproceduresconformtotheBoardofRegentsoftheUniversitySystem of  GeorgiaEmployeeRecognitionProgramspolicy.Thispolicy clarifiesinstanceswheninstitutionalfundsourcesmay beusedforachievement/recognitionawards.


Employee Awards 

Award purchases funded by allowable institutional fund sources must be purchased through UGA purchase requests or submitted via UGA payment requests and include a copy of the unit or department’s established/approved awards program documentation.  

Non-Employee Awards 

Award purchases for non-employee awards, including appreciation awards to speakers and other individuals not included on UGA’s payroll, should be made directly through the UGA Foundation (UGAF), and may be made via UGAF check request. These should include proper documentation as noted in the procedure found at 8.13 Cash Awards. 

These purchases should not be made through UGA purchasing processes. 

Recognition and Awards Program documentation 

Record Retention


Number: 0472-09-006 

These records relate to funded research grant proposals and research activity associated with grant funded projects. Examples of records include supporting statistics, demographic data, draft proposals, suggestion revisions, final proposals, forms, protocols, applications, research/activity reports, progress reports, and summary reports. 

Retention:Final research report: PERMANENT; All other records: 7 years after the end of the grant period. 


 Accounting Records 

Number: 0472-03-001 

This series includes bank statements, purchase requests, purchase orders, requisitions, financial reports, accounts payable and receivable records, write-off records, discrepancy, payment schedules, operating statements, year-end projections, reconciliation and expenditure reports, cancelled checks, check stubs, moving expenses records, cost accounting reports, refund/disbursement request records, returned checks, deposit slips, travel records, credit voucher requisition records, cash balances and reconciliations, sales and cash reconciliation records, journal entries, outstanding obligations, refund/disbursement requests, receipts, and invoices. 

Retention: Monthly and quarterly reports: 1 year; All other records: 5 years. 

Related Information

University of Georgia Foundation 8.13 Cash Awards for Employee and Students 

University of Georgia Foundation 8.8 Unique Purchasing and Payments 

Board of Regents Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual: Incentive Compensation and Rewards Policy 

Board of Regents Gratuity Policy 

UGA HR 1.6.14 Service Awards  

UGA IA 1.6.6 Gratuities  

IRS Fringe Benefit Guide 




Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator: Associate Vice President – Finance Division

Policy Owner:  Accounts Payable

Policy Contact:  Jennifer Dunlap

Phone Number: 706-542-0202

Date Issued: 05/01/2020

Last Reviewed/Updated: