Knowledge of financial policies and procedures are an important part of leading an undergraduate student organization. Because student groups are formally recognized by the University, they are required to adhere to the University's policies and procedures governing financial transactions. These transactions are processed by the Office of Finance & Treasury, which provides services for the entire University community.
Our role in ODUS is to serve as a bridge between Finance & Treasury and student organizations. We can answer questions, provide clarification of the policies, and guide you through the financial side of leading a student org.
Reimbursements for Princeton students are processed through Concur, the University's travel and expense management system. Please see this document for instructions on requesting reimbursement. Note that students may not request reimbursement on behalf of one another.
Reimbursements for individuals unaffiliated with the University are not processed through Concur. Instead, they will use the Guest Reimbursement Request form. This form is used to document travel reimbursements, incidental, and out-of-pocket reimbursement requests for guests. The form should be filled out and signed by the guest, scanned, and sent to the student organization along with receipts for the expenses for which they are requesting reimbursement.
The first step in the payment process is determining whether or not the vendor or guest is already in the University's financial system. If they are not, we will have to add them. Therefore, at least two weeks before your event, please email email@example.com with the following information:
- A brief description of the event
- The reason you are bringing this person/vendor to campus and the service they will be providing
- The person/vendor's name
- The person/vendor's email address
We will then begin the process of adding your guest/vendor to the system (if necessary) and send you the relevant forms to initiate payment.
Please note that students may not pay a vendor or individual out of pocket for services rendered and expect reimbursement from the University (e.g., paying a photographer and submitting an expense report in Concur). If such a reimbursement request is submitted, it will be denied.
Per University policy, students may not hire other students for services without first consulting the ODUS office. Invoices or submitted retroactively (without prior consultation) will not be paid.
Transferring or Receiving Funds from Other University Departments
A journal is used to transfer funds between University entities (incl. student organizations, academic departments, Dining Services, etc.). Journals are used to credit or debit University departments and student organizations. Journals may only be initiated by University administrators.
Below are examples of journal transfers you may encounter:
- Dining Services charges for catering a receiption
- Building Services charges equipment rental and setup
- Public Safety charges for late-night event staffing
- An academic department paying for a performance at a holidy party
- Projects Board transferring event funding to a group
- When student organizations are charged by a University department for goods or services rendered, the group should provide the billing department their chart string (15XXX-Q0001) in order to execute the charges.
- Financial transactions between student organizations should be executed using a journal. If you would like to transfer funds from one student organization to another, please email ODUS Program Coordinator, Jeanne Laymon.
We believe that there should be no financial burden associated with being a member of a student organization. To this end, ODUS has a credit card dedicated specifically to student organizations. Please note that this card may be used for purchases that can be made online or over the phone. The card may not leave the ODUS office.
Student groups can use this card for purchases if they abide by the following policies:
- Students must make an appointment on the ODUS Credit Card WASS calendar at least one business day in advance.
- Receipts or invoices must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org within two weeks of the date of purchase. Online purchases automatically generated after purchase can be emailed during your appointment. Paper receipts must be scanned and emailed.
- Due to the limited amount of space in our office, only two group members may come to the scheduled appointment.
- All shopping must be done before your appointment. If a shopping cart cannot be saved, you must have a detailed list prepared. In the event you are purchasing plane tickets, please have a site and flight number ready.
- A point of delivery must be established for all purchases. The ODUS office is not an acceptable delivery address.
Failure to abide by any of the policies listed above will result in your group's loss of credit card privileges.
Princeton University is recognized as a non-profit, educational 501(c)(3) institution, and as such is exempt from sales tax on most purchases. Sales tax is a substantial expense for the University and all efforts should be made to obtain appropriate tax exemptions and to avoid incurring sales tax.
The University is registered under the Federal Tax Exempt number 22-73-0009F.
The Office of Finance & Treasury has created this page on Sales Tax Exemptions. It includes a list of states wherein we are tax exempt as well as a sales tax certificate. Currently, 27 states do not require Princeton University to pay state sales tax on all or most purchases of goods and services used in that state.
Deposits are funds that are transferred directly to your student organizations accounts. Unlike donations, these are not tax-deductible (i.e., they are not gifts) and the organization or individual will not receive a letter of acknowledgement from the University. Examples of deposits include:
- Payment for services (e.g., a middle school pays your group for performing)
- Corporate sponsorship of an event (e.g., an organization gives your group a $300 check for food and prizes at an event)
- Student organization dues. If your group collects dues, they must be deposited into your group account as organizations are not permitted to hold onto cash.
Cash and checks are accepted only at the Financial Service Center on the 7th floor of New South.
Deposits can be made using a departmental deposit slip obtained either on the 7th floor of New South or online.
Donations & Fundraising
Individuals and organizations may make donations to your student organization via check only. All donations are processed by Gift Records in the Office of Development to ensure the donor receives the appropriate recognition for a gift made to Princeton University. Gift Records also prepares all paperwork needed for the donor's tax records. Donations should be sent directly to Gift Records at the address below. Checks should be made out to The Trustees of Princeton University and your group's name should be included in the memo line.
PO Box 5357
Princeton, NJ 08540-5357
It can take up to one month for donations to be processed and for them to be deposited into your student organization account. If, after that time, you have questions, please contact the ODUS office.
Student organizations must receive written authorization from the Office of Development before soliciting alumni for donations. See this document for Development contact information and instructions on how to solicit.