Accounting and Finances
Giving Money to Outside Groups
Purchases and Reimbursements
Student Organization Account Numbers
Student organizations are assigned an account number by the controller's office. You should include this seven-digit number on all invoices submitted and on all correspondence with the Office of Graduate Student Life. Contact our office if you don't know or don't have an account number.
Generally, funds received by an organization, whether gifts or revenues generated from activities, are deposited in the organization's University account; expenses are paid out of this University account. Student organizations must maintain their own financial records and are required to submit an annual financial report detailing income, receipts and expenditures. The treasurer should always have an accurate record of the funds in the organization's account.
To aid treasurers with their record keeping, an account statement (equivalent to a bank statement) may be accessed monthly by the treasurer. The current treasurer's name and correct e-mail address should be on file in the Office of Graduate Student Life to ensure that access to the account information is provided. If you have any questions about your statement, contact Lily Secora.
Giving Money to Outside Groups
University funds, including fees collected by the University from all students as a condition of enrollment in the University, can be used only for purposes integrally related to student activities at the University. Such funds should not be used to make grants to organizations outside the University, thus rendering the University, in effect, a conduit for the transfer of funds. Included in this restriction is the understanding that local University chapters of national organizations (e.g. Amnesty International) cannot forward either University funds or funds raised with University resources. (See the Graduate School's Guidelines for Fundraising: Humanitarian Relief Efforts for more information.)
Purchases and Reimbursements
There are four ways to access the funds in your organization's University account: student life departmental credit card, reimbursements, Interdepartmental Invoices (IIs) and cash advances.
Departmental Credit Card
Student groups can use the departmental credit card to purchase food and supplies for use for student organization events. The amount of the credit card charge will then be taken from the student group project grant account. For further information on the use of the department credit card please contact Mary Ellen Trapold at firstname.lastname@example.org or (609) 258-3028 at least two weeks in advance of your event date (or earlier depending on the vendor).
In some cases where using the departmental credit card is not possible (e.g. buying from warehouse clubs, supermarkets, craft stores, vendors that don’t take credit cards) please use the Student Voucher form for reimbursement.
Reimbursements are handled using vouchers. All vouchers must be prepared in advance and submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Life with original receipts for Assistant Dean Secora's approval.
If the person being reimbursed is an enrolled student, complete a Student Voucher Form (pdf). If the person being reimbursed is a post-enrolled graduate student or staff member, use the Non-Student Voucher Form (pdf). Both forms may be found on the Accounts Payable website. Fill out the forms online, then print them and bring or mail them to 111 Clio Hall c/o Mary Ellen Trapold for Dean Secora's signature.
All requests for reimbursement must be accompanied by original receipts. The controller's office will not pay invoices without documentation (bills or receipts). Please allow two weeks or more for the controller's office to process invoices into checks.
Please note: Purchases made with a student's personal credit card for amounts greater than $300 require prior approval from Dean Secora for reimbursement.
Organizations with a University account number (i.e. University departments or other student organizations) are paid using an Interdepartmental Invoice (II). The II transfers funds (e.g. for payment for services, co-sponsorship of programs, etc.) from your account into the account of the other department. The charges will show up as debits on your monthly account statement. II s are available on the Accounts Payable website and require Dean Schreyer's signature for processing. Some departments, such as Building Services, bill your account directly through the controllers office. Such charges will appear on your organization's monthly account statement. It is best to settle billing arrangements at the same time you contract for services or funds.
If you have already prepared a budget for your event and require cash-in-hand to purchase specific supplies, you may request a cash advance. Requests should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Life at least three weeks before you need the cash.
To request a cash advance, submit a written budget for the event with a letter requesting a specific amount of money advanced to you. Include a copy of an invitation, flyer, poster or other announcement for the event. The Office of Graduate Student Life will process your request and forward it to the treasurer's office.
If you receive a cash advance, you must document your spending with the cashier's office in New South. After your event, submit your original receipts plus any remaining cash to the cashier's office. If you spent more than the original advance, prepare a student voucher for the amount you overspent (remember to obtain Dean Schreyer's signature before going to New South). If you fail to account for the cash advance by submitting original receipts, the advance will be considered personal income and taxed accordingly.
Purchases Over $2,500
For all purchases over $2,500, the purchasing office requires three bids from different vendors. The assumption is that you will go with the lowest bid. However, if there are other special circumstances (such as one company can promise delivery by a particular date and the other cannot), you are allowed to go with a higher bid. The reason for not going with the lowest bid must be explained on the purchase order. In special cases where only one source is available, or the product is unique in some way, a Sole Source form must be submitted explaining why bids were not available.
Paying Student Workers
Any students who are paid for work done for an organization (such as a student DJ) are paid through the University's web-based Time Collection system. Contact the Office of Graduate Student Life to make arrangements for paying student workers.
Paying a Speaker, Performer or other Non-student
If the check is being issued directly to a non-student as payment for some service (speaker's honoraria or paying a performer or DJ), federal law requires that the University obtain the Social Security number and address of the person, which must be included on the invoice in order for the controllers office to process a check. Please plan ahead, as it takes three weeks for the controllers office to process invoices into checks.
Paying a Company
Checks can be issued to pay for services from companies. Federal law requires that the University obtain either the company's tax identification number or a person's Social Security number and address. This information must be included on the invoice in order for the controllers office to process a check. Please plan ahead; it takes three weeks for the controllers office to process invoices into checks.
Outside Checking Accounts
Except for groups with established, pre-existing accounts (i.e. Graduate College House Committee, Lawrence Committee and Butler Committee), Graduate School regulations do not permit graduate student organizations to maintain checking accounts with outside banks.
Lawrence and Butler Committees: Money from the Graduate School budget is transferred into your University account at the beginning of each academic year. These funds do not normally transfer from year to year, so if you don't use the funds, you will lose them.
To access the funds (e.g. Graduate College house dues) in your University account, follow the procedures outlined above for requesting reimbursement using original receipts. Submit your receipts, a voucher and a summary of expenses by event (if requesting reimbursement for several events at one time) to the Office of Graduate Student Life for processing. The treasurer's office will then prepare and mail you a check which you can deposit in your outside account.
Deposits to organization accounts (ticket sales, members' dues) are made through the treasurer's office in 3 New South. Prepare a deposit form (pdf) in advance and bring the form and money directly to the cashier's office in 3 New South, and send a copy of the deposit form to our office in 110 Clio Hall. Deposits will be reflected on the organization's next monthly statement.