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Honorarium Payments Policy

Effective Date:  
April 12, 2013

Last Updated:   April 12, 2013

Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Business and Finance

Policy Owner:
  • Associate Vice President for Accounting and Business Services

Policy Contact:
  • Dennis Miller
Policy Contents

   Policy Statement
   Reason for Policy
   Who Should Read this Policy
   Policy Text
   Related Information
   Additional Contacts
   Revision History


An honorarium may be paid to an employee or a non-employee as an expression of gratitude for a personal service provided by the individual on behalf of the University. Such services typically involve a one-time or brief service such a guest lecture or other speaking engagement performed on a voluntary basis. The payment of an honorarium is entirely at the discretion of the University, which is not obligated legally or by tradition to make to such payments. Payments for more than nominal amounts or for services performed over an extended period of time should be treated as services that the University would be required to pay as an additional job, in the case of an employee, or as an independent contractor fee for service, in the case of a non-employee.

Departments may establish more restrictive procedures, if desired.


This Policy establishes the standards and the circumstances and occasions for making honorarium payments funded by the University. The Policy conforms to the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury Regulations.


Any employee who incurs honorarium expenses on behalf of the University; the members of the Leadership Team, supervisors and Business Managers who supervise an employee incurring honorarium expenses charged to the University.


An honorarium payment may be authorized to acknowledge a gratuitous, short-term University service performed by an individual with a scholarly or professional standing. The payment of an honorarium should be infrequent (i.e., the same individual should not receive an honorarium on a regular basis) and for activities where the University is under no obligation to make the payment.

 The types of activities for which an honorarium may be paid include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • A lecture or short series of lectures.
  • Participation in a seminar or workshop as a guest speaker or panelist.
  • Participation in a University-sponsored program review.
  • Conducting a peer review.
  • Performing a music recital or other creative activity.
  • Appraising an article or manuscript to be submitted for publication.

The payment of an honorarium should not be made in lieu of travel expenses incurred by the individual in performing the services. See Travel and Entertainment Policy

Non-Honorarium Activities

Honorariums do not include payments made for the following activities covered under other University policies:

In addition, any service payment made in response to a contractual arrangement (e.g., a speaker agreement) would not be paid as an honorarium. See Forms.

Honorarium Limit

The payment of an honorarium to an employee or non-employee is limited to $1,500 per event or activity. Exceptions to this amount require approval by the President or applicable Vice President, Vice Provost, or Dean. See Authorization.






USF Confilct of Interest Policy
USF HR Service and Merit Award Information
USF Independent Contractor Policy (under construction)
USF Non-Cash Gifts, Awards, and Incentives Policy
USF Addtional Pay Policy
USF Purchasing Card Policy
USF Travel and Entertainment Policy




Banner System The enterprise information system used to record the business activities of the University. The core system suite is made up of the Advancement, Finance, Financial Aid, Human Resources, and Student modules, and includes additional functionality in document management, job scheduling, reporting, and workflow.
Business Manager A University employee, designated by the President, Vice President, Vice Provost, or Dean who is the financial manager for the University account(s) being used for the expense. This may include the President, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, or the Deans.
Honorarium A nominal amount paid to either an employee or a non-employee in recognition of a short-term service performed by the individual. Such payments are made entirely at the discretion of the University as an expression of gratitude for services received that legally or traditionally do not require the payment of a fee.
Concur Reporting System The University’s on-line system for payment requests, expense reimbursements, cash advance requests, and reporting
Purchasing Card A bank-issued Visa credit card with a standard single transaction limit of $1,000 and a monthly credit limit of $2,500. This card may be used for small dollar, business-related purchases. Cards may be used for honorarium expenses when authorized by a Business Manager or supervisor.






Accounting & Business Services Frank Wasilewski  415.422.2402  fmwasilewski@usfca.edu
Disbursement Services Dennis Miller      415.422.2102 millerd@usfca.edu
Payment Request Emmy Moore     415.422.6731  moore@usfca.edu





EPAF On-line form used to originate payroll payments in the Banner System Accounting and Business Services
Payment Request Used to initiate payment requests in the Concur Reporting System  Accounting and Business Services
Speaker Agreement Contract used to engage a guest speaker Accounting and Business Services



  • Obtains approval for honorarium expenses in accordance with this Policy and other University policies.
  • Obtains documentation to substantiate honorarium expenses for submission to the Concur Reporting System with Payment Request.
  • Prepares EPAF in connection with an employee honorarium payment.
  • Reviews and certifies that all honorarium charges are correct.
Business Manager
  • Authorizes honorarium expenses.
  • Ensures budgeted funds available for expenses.
  • Reviews and approves charges in Concur Reporting System and the Banner System, as appropriate.
  • Ensures all honorarium expenses are business-related and in compliance with this Policy.
  • Ensures that any honorarium payment disbursed to a third-party is documented in advance as provided in Appendix A.
President, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, and Deans
  • Reviews requests to pay honorariums as an exception to this Policy for departments under his or her supervision.
  • Ensures all honorarium payments made under his or her division are in compliance with this Policy





  • 04/12/2013  - First publication of Policy.


Appendix A - Sample Statement to Individuals Who Decline an Honorarium