managing group funds
- A Treasurer or financial officer who maintains accurate records of income and expenses. These records are subject to review by University officials.
- Either a campus Agency Account or an off-campus bank account to raise funds on campus or receive funds from a campus department.
- Registered student organizations are required to have a financial account to raise funds on campus. CSI can assist your organization with on or off-campus financial accounts in the following ways:
Registered student organizations may open a financial account on campus through CSI. This account, called an Agency Account, has a $35 annual fee. Although it differs from a typical bank account in that you have no checkbook, it may be used as the organization’s general operating funding for all income, expenditures, and campus recharges.
benefits of an agency account
- It is required to reserve campus facilities.
- Most campus departments require it to recharge for services (e.g., audiovisual equipment, catering, security, stage, tables, chairs, etc.).
- Donations to your group may be tax-deductible for donors when deposited into a special gift account which requires an agency account (with a 6% University assessment). To learn more about Gift Accounts, contact CSI at email@example.com.
- It provides access to financial services on campus.
- It is required for campus funding resources to transfer grant funds.
- You have a University account which departments can bill directly (recharge) for services.
- You can utilize services of campus department for which you cannot write a check or pay cash (e.g., audiovisual equipment, catering, security, stage, tables, chairs, etc.)
- You do not have to pay the full rental fee for campus facilities in advance.
- You are eligible to raise funds by working for departments (such as University Dining Services) because they can credit your account.
- You may also be eligible for funding from on-campus programs which are designed to transfer funds only to an on-campus account.
Each bank has varying requirements for opening or updating bank account information. CSI can provide a letter of verification for your organization that confirms status of your student organization and identifies officers with signature authority that are listed on your Registration Application Form. To secure a letter, complete the Letter of Verification Request Form. This letter can be used to open an account or update signature authorization on an existing account.
Student organizations often assume that once they have received an EIN/Tax ID#, they are non-profit/charitable organizations or have tax exempt status. This is not correct. Student organizations must follow state and federal guidelines regarding tax exemption. Tax donations to student organizations are not tax deductible for donors, unless they are made to the University for the group through a gift account set up as part of your agency account. For more information, contact the Center for Student Involvement.
If you wish to have a tax exempt status, your group needs to submit a 501 (c)(3) application to the IRS.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity or organization. If your group wants to open a bank account you will need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN in various ways. For information or to apply online, go to http://irs.gov.
For more information see our ‘How to Apply for an EIN number‘ handout.
Keeping financial records
Student organizations using campus facilities to raise funds must keep complete and accurate records showing the means by which funds were raised, the amounts spent, and the ways in which funds have been or will be used. Records should include ledgers, receipts, contracts, canceled checks, group checkbook and/or passbook. For assistance, schedule an appointment with a CSI Advisor. These records must be kept current and available. CSI reserves the right to inspect or audit the group’s financial records at any time.
CSI may conduct a financial review if irregularities are found, or if there is reason to believe that the funds have not been used for reasons clearly stated on your fundraising application. If misuse of funds is alleged, a detailed University audit may be conducted. The organization will be charged with the cost of the detailed audit if misuse of funds is demonstrated. Additional record keeping requirements may be imposed by CSI when appropriate.
benefits of accurate financial records
- Assist your organization in budgeting and keeping track of funds,
- Help document that funds have been handled properly, and
- Provide essential information regarding income and expenses to give future officers and members a head start in planning.
- Prepare your group for an audit.
When handling cash or checks, your group must make every effort to ensure that all forms of currency are collected, transported and deposited into your organization’s account successfully in a secure and timely manner. Create reasonable and reliable procedures for your group so there is no ambiguity regarding the responsibilities of students handling group proceeds.
CASH HANDLING TIPS
- Each group should have two designated persons responsible for handling cash and checks, to provide protection for both the organization and the individuals. They must maintain accurate records verified by both and be responsible for reporting receipts to the organization regularly or on demand.
- Have an easily readable and retrievable system for recording how much money is received, from whom, on what date and for what purpose.
- Keep funds in a code or lock protected cash box until you are able to make a deposit. Do not carry around group money in your wallet or backpack. Do not leave cash/checks in a group office, a place where people congregate, or unsecured in a personal residence. Deposits should be made within two business days. Do not delay deposits for more than a few days waiting to accumulate all income. Deposits should be clearly identified for future reference.
- Student organization leaders should become familiar with the Agency Account Policies for Student Organizations to ensure full compliance with all related policies.