What is a “Business Purpose?”

The “business purpose” of an expense is the detailed description the university requires from purchasers any time university funds are spent. This description is used to help categorize an expense and explain why the expense was necessary. Details to create a business purpose are requested on all SOFO forms. Without a complete business purpose, your payment or funding request may be delayed, so it’s a good idea to be thorough when completing these fields!

What are the Elements of a Complete Business Purpose?

For a business purpose to be considered adequate, it needs to answer these questions:


Participated in a meeting? Received a prize? Went on a trip? How many people attended? What were their names?


Was purchased? For what event or conference?


Are the dates of the event or trip?


Is your conference or tournament? What’s the name of the venue where you held an event?


Are these items needed? How does the expense relate to WFU and your organization?

For example:

  • Golf balls for use by Men’s Golf Club while participating in tournament held in Chapel Hill, NC on 4-15-2017.
  • Decorations for Halloween Party sponsored by Student Government in the Barn on October 31, 2017.