CONTENTS

General Policy

The University does not require student organizations to have their financial accounts with the Controller’s Office.  They are, however, required to follow good accounting principles and effective financial control of their funds.

  • Registered student organizations, on-campus living unit organizations, major governing groups, and Associated Students of Michigan State University may request to have a financial account with the Controller’s Office and shall be given an account upon approval of the application by both the Division of Student Affairs & Services and the Controller’s Office.
  • Registered student organizations sponsoring revenue-producing events on campus or in University facilities must have a University financial account and all revenues and expenditures of the revenue-producing event must go through this account unless the revenues are under $50 per day.  The University, through the Division of Student Affairs and Service, reserves the right to review and audit this account.
  • Student organizations, having the right to use University facilities and services, have the option of paying for the use of University facilities and services either by cash or through their University account, if such an account exists.  Certain departments request cash payments in advance. Make sure that you inquire with the department as to the acceptable method of payment.  (The following units will not accept cash:  Physical Plant, Telephone Charges, Mail Processing, Computer Store, Data Processing Charges, and Purchasing.)
  • A signature form designating at least two student officers authorized to expense on accounts, calling for the expenditure of funds from the organization’s University account must be on file with Student Life and the Student Organization Central Business Office (hereinafter referred to as the “SOCBO”)
  • Student organizations and their officers are responsible for any financial obligations incurred by the organization as well as for any overdraft in their University account.
  • The University is not obligated to process authorized expenditures if there is not sufficient funds in the student organization’s University account.  All other authorized expenditures will be processed, unless prohibited by law or applicable University regulations.
  • Student organizations are considered a separate entity from Michigan State University and do not fall under MSU’s tax exempt status.  Therefore, student organizations should not use MSU’s Tax ID or presume they are tax exempt.

 

Student organizations are not automatically tax exempt.  If tax exempt status is desired, it is the responsibility of each organization to file the appropriate paperwork and provide proof of this status to the Accounting Office.  Organizations with national affiliation may check with their national organization to see if they fall under the national tax-exempt number.  Otherwise, forms from the State of Michigan and the Federal Government must be filed.  These forms can be obtained by contacting the State of Michigan Treasury Department, http://www.michigan.gov/taxes, and the Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov.

 

Each organization is liable for their tax filings and tax reporting, with the exception of Form 1099 filings for the organization’s University account.  The University will provide all Form 1099 filings on all applicable purchases funded by a student organization’s University account.  The student organization is responsible for Form 1099 filings on applicable non-University account purchases, if any.

Policies and Procedures for Financial Accounts

 

Procedures related to financial transactions involving the use of a University account (herein after referred to as an agency account) follow.  These procedures have been developed and approved by the Controller’s Office.  The SOCBO can provide assistance with bookkeeping procedures and processing the various E-docs mentioned below.  The Student Life Office will provide by e-mail the monthly operating statement.  If needed, assistance with the reconciliation of this statement can be provided by the SOCBO.

Establishing an Agency Account

 

To request an agency account with the Controller’s Office, BOTH the “Application for Agency Account” and “Authorized Signature” forms must be completed.  These forms can be found at http://studentlife.msu.edu/student-organizations-activities under the University Financial Accounts Section.  Upon completion, forms should be taken to the Student Life Office, Room 101 Student Services Building for review and approval.  After forms have been approved, Student Life will contact the organization so that forms can be picked up from their office and brought to the Accounting Office for account setup.  Forms and at least $50 to establish a balance must be brought to MSU Accounting, Room 360 Hannah Administration Building.

Student Life staff requires at least three (3) class days to review the material.  After the material has been approved by the appropriate staff, one of the following actions should take place:

 

  • If it is a new account or overdrawn account, the student organization must pick up the approved materials and personally take them to the Accounting Office.
  • If the organization is only re-applying for an account with no overdraft present, the Student Life staff will automatically send the forms to the SOCBO and the MSU Accounting Office (see Renewal of Account).

 

Organizations must have all officers who are authorized to sign listed on the application form.  A minimum of two officers are required.  After the Accounting Office has approved the accounting request, a Cash Receipt e-doc will be initiated and submitted for the deposit of funds.  After e-doc has been submitted a Cash Receipt Cover Sheet will be provided to the organization.  This sheet along with funds must be taken to the Cashier’s Office, 110 Administration Building for the completion of deposit.  An account number will be assigned after verification of deposit has been made.

The approval and establishment of a student agency account does not:

 

  • Automatically entitle the organization to the use of all University services.
  • Place the organization under the University’s tax-exempt umbrella.
  • Make the University liable for any of the organization’s actions.
  • Grant the organization the right to use the University’s payroll system.

 

Changes to Application Form and Authorized Signature Form

 

E-docs calling for expenditure of funds cannot be processed unless at least two authorized

Signatures are on file with the SOCBO.  (See “1. E.”).  Both the Application

Form and Signature Form must be updated each time there is a change in Advisors or

Person’s authorized to sign for the organization. These forms must be updated through the

Department of Student Life.

Forms should be reviewed, updated and submitted to the Department ofStudent Life, during the annual registration process.

Application and Authorized Signature forms can be found at

 http://studentlife.msu.edu/student-organizations-activities under the University Financial

Accounts Section. Upon completion, forms should be taken to the Student Life Office for review

and approval.  Student Life may require approval from the current Advisor or one of the currently

authorized signers before accepting new Application and Signature Forms. (Contact the SOCBO

with any questions). Approved forms will be forwarded to the SOCBO and then the Accounting

Office.  Note: All authorized signers must also be listed on the “Application for Agency Account”.

 

Deposit of Funds

 

To deposit money into an agency account, a Cash Deposit receipt e-Doc must be

generated by the SOCBO.  The receipt can be requested either in person,

at 101 Student Services Building, or by email, using a valid MSU email account.

By E-mail 
E-mail the completed deposit receipt, E-Cash Deposit Form, to stuorgs@vps.msu.edu, with the following subject field, CASH DEPOSIT.  The Central Business Officer will generate the Cash Receipt e-doc and return this document to you via email attachment, within one to two business days. Retain a copy of this document for your records.  Take the Cash Receipt Cover Sheet along with cash and checks to the Cashier’s Office, Room 110 Administration Building.

In Person

Bring a completed deposit receipt, Cash Deposit Form, to the SOCBO, 101 Student Services Building.  The Business Officer will generate 2 copies of the Cash Deposit Receipt e-doc. Retain one copy for your records. Take the Cash Receipt Cover Sheet along with cash and/or check(s) to the MSU Cashier’s Office, Room 110 Administration Building.

Deposits should be delivered to the MSU Cashier’s Office within 1-2 business days of obtaining the Cash Deposit Receipt.  Their office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Deposits made through the last business day of a month will appear on that month’s operating statement.  Sufficient funds must be on deposit to cover all charges incurred during the month to avoid an overdraft.

 


Distributing Funds

 

Funds can only be distributed from an account in one of the following ways.  Cash may not be directly withdrawn from an account.

 

Disbursement Voucher (DV) E-docs

 

Types of payments include, payments to off campus vendors, refunds to the organization,

reimbursement for expenditures incurred by members of an organization, withdrawals of

funds, etc.  Only one person or vendor can be paid on a disbursement voucher E-doc.

Expenses must be documented via the Student Account Voucher Form with the

appropriate documentation attached.

 

Student Account Voucher  (.pdf)

 

The Student Organization will prepare and submit the voucher to the SOCBO.  The SOCBO will review and route the voucher to MSU’s Accounting Office for approval and payment.  All payment requests made to the SOCBO must be submitted by an authorized signer with a valid MSU NETID.  Note:  Reimbursements to an authorized signer must be submitted by a different authorized signer on file with the Student Life Office.  Receipts (to reimburse individuals) and invoices (for payment of services) must be submitted along with the voucher.

 

For payments that must be made within one to three business days, the following options are available:  1) A check can either be prepared for pick up at the Accounting Office, 360 Administration building after 4 PM on the day indicated by the SOCBO, or 2) a check be prepared and mailed to the payee.  There is a $15 service charge for special handling, which will be expensed to the organization’s account.  Request for a rushed check (special handling) must be selected on the e-doc when submitted to the SOCBO. NOTE: For amounts greater than $500.00, the organization’s advisor must sign the document. 

 

Paying another Campus Department or Organization

 

Many University service units will bill organization accounts internally by moving funds from one account to another through an e-doc. The SOCBO will assist with determining the proper e-doc.

An Internal Billing document is used when moving funding between agency accounts.

The Distribution of Income and Expense or the Internal Billing document is used when transferring funds to a non-agency account from an agency account. 

NOTE:  While transfers between student or non-student agency accounts are acceptable, University departments MUST obtain Dean’s Office authorization to donate departmental funds to Student accounts.  These donations must be initiated with the Internal Billing e-doc.

A department may also support a student organization by transferring charges in the following manners:

 

  • TRANSFER OF EXPENSE: Organization incurs the expense/charge against their Student Account.  Upon confirmation of charge (issued check, processed e-doc), provide the reference detail to the supporting department so they may transfer the expense to their account via Distribution of Income and Expense e-doc.
  • REIMBURSEMENT TO STUDENT:  An officer of the student organization may pay for the supply or service and provides all appropriate receipts (store receipts, credit card statements, etc) to the department to be reimbursed. Note: Payment must meet established University policies for reimbursements.  All questions should be directed to the reimbursing Department.
  • DIRECT PAYMENT TO VENDOR:  Department may pay for an expense on behalf of the student organization.  Payment must meet established University policies.  All questions should be directed to the Department.

 

Service Fee

 

Student organization agency accounts have historically been charged a monthly service fee of $5.00. ASMSU is covering the $5 monthly service fee for RSO agency accounts for the 16/17 academic year.  These fees partially cover the costs of services that the University renders.  Such services include, but are not limited to, the monthly preparation of operating statements detailing all transactions (see “Monthly Operating Statements”, pg. 7), account administration and maintenance, the payment of expenses through the University’s payment system, and the ability to use certain University service centers.  Such fees are automatically charged to an organization’s account each month (even if there has been no activity in the account).

Any organization maintaining an agency account with the University will be assessed a $20.00 charge if such organization’s account reflects an overdraft (negative) balance at the end of any calendar month.  The balance at the end of any calendar month shall mean the actual balance (not including encumbrances) reflected on the organization’s account.  The organization is required to immediately deposit into their account the greater of $50.00 or the amount of the overdraft and overdraft fee (see “Deposit of Funds”, pg. 4).  Failure to do so will result in a financial hold on authorized account signers.  The Controller’s Office reserves the right to increase either of the above fees without prior notice.

 

Account Termination

 

At all times the University reserves the right to close or expire a student agency account at its discretion.

 

Financial Hold

 

A financial hold will be placed against the officers (currently on file in Accounting) of any group that has an overdrawn balance in its account.  The hold will be issued immediately following the occurrence of the overdrafts.  If the overdraft remains unpaid, the hold will remain in effect for future registrations.

Services by the Physical Plant Department

 

Requests for opening or closing buildings or other Physical Plant services are approved and processed by the Student Life staff, Room 101 Student Services Building, 355-8286.  Groups must have a University account to pay for Physical Plant Services. 

 

Requisitions and Purchase Orders

 

Purchases from outside vendors are made through the Purchasing Department, via a Purchase Order prepared by the SOCBO, 101 Student Services Building.  For information regarding requisitions and purchase orders, contact the SOCBO at stuorgs@vps.msu.edu. 

Monthly Operating Statements

 

A Monthly Operating Statement of Account, reporting activity on the account for the previous calendar month, will be e-mailed to a valid MSU NETID on file with the Department of Student Life.  If the statement is not received, contact the Department of Student Life, 355-8286.  The statement will provide a means of checking your treasurer’s records against those of MSU Accounting.  If a discrepancy is noted or any other account balance questions arise, an officer of the organization should call the SOCBO at 355-7535 promptly.  

Issuing Gifts and Prizes

 

Student organizations should follow Section 44 of the MSU Manual of Business Procedures in regards to gift cards and non-cash gifts. It can be found at:

 

http://ctlr.msu.edu/COMBP/mbp44EBS.aspx

 

Generally, gift cards and non-cash gifts may not be purchased for employees. An exception will be made for infrequent, low dollar (not to exceed $75) gift cards.

 

Gift cards include retail cards, cards for MSU goods and services, VISA or other debit-style cards and Spartan Cash.  Non-cash gifts include tangible personal property and include plaques, flowers, clothing, art, and household goods.

 

When submitting vouchers to pay for gift card/prize purchases, the name of the recipient(s), address, and NET ID should be attached to the voucher before the reimbursement will be paid. For single and accumulative prizes of $600.00 or greater per person, during a calendar year, the social security # of the individual also needs to be obtained and submitted with the voucher.

 

Please keep in mind when giving out gift cards that giving smaller prizes means more prizes to more people.

 

Closing an Account

 

To close an unneeded account, contact the SOCBO to request a refund of any remaining funds from the account. (See “Distribution of Funds”, pg 5).The SOCBO will submit the Disbursement Voucher, as well as send an E-mail request to Accounting (accounting@ctlr.msu.edu) asking that your account be closed.  E-mail should provide account name, number and the e-doc number of the Disbursement Voucher that has been submitted to remove any existing funds.  Account will NOT be closed until ALL FUNDS have been removed.