This page serves as a one-stop information source for FMS topics impacted by the COVID-19. The content is intended to be a first stop for information about financial activities, programs and services impacted by the pandemic and it will be updated regularly as more information and guidance becomes available.
For information about the university's response to the pandemic, please visit the Health Alerts site.
Accounts Payable and Refunds
Accounts Payable Will Call Checks
Effective March 17, until further notice, the Tresidder will call window will be temporarily closed for the disbursement of Accounts Payable will call checks until further notice.
Effective March 10, until further notice, pick up for will call checks at the Stanford Redwood City campus will be available Monday – Friday, from 9 – 11 a.m. View all Will Call pickup information.
Refund and Reimbursement Checks
For reimbursements related to transactions that originated in iProcurement or the return of unused advances, please send payment to:
P.O. Box 20410
Stanford, CA 94309-0410
Banking and Deposits
Please note the following updates with regard to check deposit options during COVID-19 building closures and reduced operations. Departments should seek to ensure that incoming mail is received by appropriate personnel and that deposits continue to be processed into the Wells Fargo bank account in a timely manner. Please consult Fingate Cash Handling & Deposits for a refresher on important control procedures that should continue to be in place.
- Mail-In (preferred option): As an alternative to physically visiting a Wells Fargo branch, FMS now offers a Lock Box mail-in solution for all department checks received. See more information about the mail-in option below.
- Mobile Phone Deposit: Checks may also be deposited using the Wells Fargo CEO Mobile deposit app through your smartphone. See more information about the mobile option below.
- Branch Deposits: The Wells Fargo Tresidder branch is closed, however, most other Wells Fargo branches are open for business. Check times of operation. If you do not have access to your deposit slips, please utilize one of the other two options above.
Alternatively, rather than receiving a check, departments can provide electronic payment instructions to students, customers, donors, agencies, and sponsors. This can replace cash and checks being sent in by mail. Either a wire or ACH electronic payment is acceptable and no transmittal or CASHNet deposit is required. View the overview for wire and ACH instructions.
A "Lock Box" is a separate client mailbox in a bank's processing center that is among many client mailboxes. The bank collects paper checks and back up documentation on behalf of their clients and then makes deposits based on their instructions. Using the Wells Fargo CEO bank portal, department personnel can view images of the checks and accompanying documentation, or access reports to monitor their deposits.
CASHNet deposit information is still required to be forwarded to the Student Financial Services (SFS) Payments Office with this deposit option.
To make deposits via the Stanford Main Lock Box:
- Prepare checks by endorsing them using a stamp, or if you don't have access to your stamp, then write "For Deposit Only to Stanford University" on the back of the check with the appropriate project, fund, and object code included on the front of the check.
- Create the CASHNet deposit or transmittal that you ordinarily would if depositing checks at a Wells Fargo branch. Print a copy of the Cashnet deposit or transmittal form.
NOTE: A separate bank deposit slip is not required for general lockbox deposits.
- Place checks along with the CASHNet deposit or transmittal into a regular letter-sized envelope so that the envelope can fully seal, even if that means splitting the checks up among multiple envelopes. Overnight packages (FedEx, UPS, etc.) cannot be accepted by a Lock Box processor, USPS mail only. Departments will want to be sure that the checks are mailed standard mail and must have correct postage.
Mail the envelope/s by USPS mail to:
PO Box 843899
Los Angeles, CA 90084-3899
- Each document received by Wells Fargo bank will be scanned in color on both sides and available for viewing on their CEO bank portal.
- The Student Financial Services Payments Office will post the deposits as usual from the Lock Box scanned items and reports.
- If you would like access to view the scanned deposits online, contact the Treasury Payments team to be added to the Wells Fargo online portal. CEO access is limited to two users per department.
For more information:
- General Wells Fargo Lock Box information is available on the Wells Fargo website.
For CASHNet users, the Lock Box deposit alternative is recommended.
Mobile Phone Deposit Option
As a secondary alternative, departments may request access to Mobile Deposit by reaching out to the Treasury Payments team and providing an authorized manager's written approval.
Wells Fargo offers a mobile app to deposit checks using the phone's camera, which is compatible with iPhone and Android devices. Once the setup is completed by OOT and Wells Fargo bank, users take a picture of the front and back of each endorsed check and send them to the bank for processing. It is critical that the project, fund, and object code are written on the front of the check.
Once the checks have been deposited, please email the Payments Office letting them know of the deposit and attach a copy of the CASHNet deposit or transmittal.
After the checks have been successfully scanned, please keep them locked in a secure place as they contain bank account information which is considered high-risk data. Checks should be securely kept until a bank reconciliation is completed, after which they may be destroyed by shredding or an equivalent method. More information about mobile deposits can be found on the Wells Fargo website.
For questions about banking and deposits related to COVID-19 measures, please contact the Treasury Payments team.
Group Meals, Events and Gatherings
To reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus, the university has stated that both indoor and outdoor gatherings are generally prohibited per California State order. Gatherings are broadly defined to include an event, assembly, meeting, or convening that brings together people from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors. As described by the State, gatherings “pose an especially high danger of transmission and spread of COVID-19” and consequently there are limited, narrow exceptions to this general prohibition on gatherings.
The guidance outlines when limited, in-person activities are permitted, including:
- Classroom instruction and related university-led academic activities (e.g., office hours, mentoring, advising)
- Necessary university business meetings solely among Stanford employees unable to be conducted virtually
University funds may not be used to pay or reimburse for costs associated with activities that are not in compliance with this guidance. Learn more on the Health Alerts site.
Home Office Equipment
UIT provides general guidelines to assist local units in determining the temporary movement of Stanford-issued office equipment and furnishings for employees. The guidelines allow for free-standing monitors and personal office accessories such as headphones to be taken home temporarily for personal use. In the case where a building may not be accessible, or the needed equipment is not already available, an employee can request that it be purchased. Learn more on UIT's Temporary Movement of Stanford-issued Equipment and Furnishings page.
To foster a healthy work environment and ensure home offices are appropriately equipped for productivity and ergonomics, employees who are required to telecommute may be eligible to purchase or be reimbursed for basic necessary ergonomic equipment recommended by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Learn more on the Cardinal at Work Home office equipment/furnishings page.
If a department or unit determines that it is necessary to purchase office equipment for employees, outside of the Ergonomic Equipment program above, they should first check with the unit's IT support to ensure any equipment purchased is compatible with the unit. If there are no predefined items required by the unit, please refer to UIT's Equipment Recommendations page, which also includes resources from Environmental Health & Safety for ergonomic equipment such as chairs. It will be left to the discretion of the Dean/Vice President of the school or business unit to determine what is a reasonable and appropriate purchase.
This equipment is available through the Amazon Business portal in iProcurement. If an employee wants to purchase any of this equipment, they should follow their department's purchasing process. If they want to purchase directly, they should first check with their manager on reimbursement policies. It's important to confirm the delivery location that the item will be shipped to. Utilize the instructions on Changing Delivery Location to update the address accordingly. Upon payment or reimbursement, the transaction's Business Purpose must include the term "COVID" for reference for financial impact tracking purposes.
UHR has created the Interim Policy for Home Office Equipment Procedures and Information resource to provide background, process and procedural information for managers, financial approvers and human resource managers to ensure the consistent administration of the policy and associated financial activities.
General home appliances or home improvements are considered a personal responsibility of the employee and these expenses may not be incurred using university funds nor are they reimbursable. Examples of non reimbursable expenses include comfort cooling equipment (such as fans or air conditioning units), back-up power systems (such as generators), and solar and battery storage units (such as Powerwalls).
In response to the unprecedented circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, payment networks (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) have postponed some proposed policies, rules, and fee changes which can affect credit card acceptance activities. Learn more in the Payment Acceptance Updates Related to COVID-19 announcement.
The Payroll Services team is committed to supporting the unviersity through timely updates to systems, providing new or updated guidance related to payroll activities and supporting the university through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the key areas of impacts related to Payroll Services.
Visit Payroll Services Updates Related to COVID-19 to learn more about:
- Timekeeping for Health Check
- Caregiving Pay timekeeping guidance
- Quarantine Pay timekeeping guidance
- California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Leave
On March 20, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced interim Form I-9 procedures to defer the physical presence requirement as an accommodation to employers complying with state shelter-in-place requirements. Please visit the Interim I-9 page to learn more.
Postdoc Monthly Fellowships
Postdocs and other fellowship recipients who are enrolled in direct deposit will receive their direct deposits as normal by the last day of each month. An electronic remittance advice will be available from My Axess in the Student Financials Snapshot. For fellowship recipients who are not enrolled in direct deposit and who typically receive their check at their department, checks will be mailed via U.S. Mail to the recipient's current mailing address on file.
Purchasing and Contract Issues
Due to building access restrictions, delivery services such as FedEx, UPS and USPS have been unsuccessful in their attempt to deliver packages to Stanford University. For expected deliveries or until further notice, departments should:
- Contact the shipper directly to confirm delivery instructions to improve the chances of a successful delivery.
- Arrange for other pick up options with the delivery service.
Beginning on March 18, 2020, the following information will be placed on all Purchase Orders (PO):
SPECIAL SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPPLIERS
Due to the impacts of COVID-19 Stanford University will have a reduced workforce which could impact deliveries.: Please verify with the requestor before delivery that they will be available to accept or to schedule a time for deliveries. For further information regarding Stanford's response to COVID-19, visit https://healthalerts.stanford.edu.
Contract and Event Guidance
The contracts team in FMS Procurement Services is committed to helping the Stanford community with contracts issues as a result of COVID-19, including the cancellation or rescheduling of hospitality agreements, such as event, hotel, venue, catering, and restaurant agreements, which have been most impacted.
Due to the potentially large number of agreements cancelled or rescheduled, the contracts team may need to prioritize those agreements that present the greatest risk to the university. In the event the contracts team is unable to assist with changes to the agreement in the necessary timeframe, departments should follow these guidelines for mitigating risk:
Departments should review the terms of the agreement so that they understand their rights. Some agreements have protective terms that, if the department provides sufficient written notice, allow for cancellation with no or limited fees. Alternatively, some agreements allow for rescheduling within a specific timeframe at no cost to Stanford. When negotiating agreements without the assistance of the contracts team, departments should only negotiate business terms (e.g. price, dates, quantity, service to be performed, etc.). Departments should not attempt to negotiate terms with higher risk implications such as intellectual property (IP) rights, indemnification, insurance, data security, etc. If terms with higher risk implications need to be addressed, departments should reach out to the contracts team for assistance.
Department Request to Cancel or Postpone
Departments can try to negotiate with the supplier to cancel or reschedule the event. Typically, it is easier to reschedule with no additional fees than it is to cancel. For instance, departments can suggest rescheduling the event within a certain timeframe (e.g., a year, six months, etc.) either with no penalty or for reduced penalties.
If a supplier is unwilling to cancel the agreement at no cost, departments should ask for an exception due to unusual circumstances. Based on the contracts team’s experience, many suppliers will be flexible in unusual circumstances like efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
When a department reaches an acceptable solution, departments should document the negotiated resolution in an email to the supplier in order to avoid payment disputes in the future.
In order to best protect the university during the COVID-19 response period, the contracts team will be particularly vigilant in reviewing hospitality agreements. What this means is that depending on the terms of the agreement and due to COVID-19 concerns, the contracts team may ask the department if they are sure they would like to move forward.
For More Guidance
If the department is in a situation where the supplier is unwilling to negotiate, they should reach out to the contracts team in FMS Procurement Services and the team will assist in order of priority. For questions about specific transactions, departments should contact the Contracts team.
Tracking and Reporting Financial Impact
Financial impact from COVID-19 is defined as a specific instance of a financial loss or gain directly attributed to the outbreak and/or associated measures taken by the university. Financial impact tracking is essential so that the university can accurately and effectively track COVID-19 impacts, continue to make informed decisions and request available insurance and federal disaster relief funding.
Visit Tracking the Financial Impact of COVID-19 for information on:
- Tracking and Reporting Financial Impact in Oracle and OBI
- Tracking Impacted Time in Outlook
- Tracking through Unit Level Financial Impact Reports (FIR)
Travel Policy and Issues
The Health Alerts Information for Travelers provides the university's latest information regarding travel measures due to the pandemic and the latest information regarding restrictions.
Currently, the university has:
- Suspended all university-sponsored travel, both domestic and international, until at least January 4, 2021. After this date, the university will re-consider the permissibility of travel on a limited basis depending upon specific conditions being met.
- Implemented an exception process for requests to travel during the restriction.
- Restricted individuals who have traveled outside of Northern California from returning to Stanford campuses for 14-days – unless they receive testing at, or after, day 5 post-return and receive a negative result.
- Implemented a new, permanent university-sponsored travel policy stating that university funds may only be used to purchase or reimburse new university-sponsored travel expenses when booked through one of the Stanford Travel booking channels: Casto, Egencia, United Corporate Direct, and Anthony Travel (used exclusively by Athletics). This policy applies to Stanford faculty, staff and students booking airfare, hotel, and/or car rentals. Visitors and guests are not required to use Stanford Travel.
Travel Without An Approved Exception During Travel Suspension
Per the current university policy, travel is currently restricted and is not eligible for payment or reimbursement unless it has been approved in advance through the exception process detailed on https://healthalerts.stanford.edu.
Stanford Financial Management Services’ Business Expense team is unable to process payment or reimbursement for non-preapproved travel and must return any associated transactions to the preparer.
In these instances, rare and limited exceptions will only be granted after considering:
- Whether the requested travel is directly linked to the university’s core mission of research and education;
- Whether the requested travel can be rescheduled;
- Whether or not the work can be fulfilled or conducted in person or virtual; and/or
- The potential long-term consequences to the university of not undertaking the requested travel.
Approval of these exceptions to the current university policy is required from the Dean, Vice Provost, or Vice President of the school/unit and PTA Award owner.
As a reminder, effective June 15, 2020, all pre-approved and applicable university-sponsored travel is required to be booked through a Stanford Travel booking channel so that it may be automatically submitted to InternationalSoS. Learn more about Business and Travel Expense policies.
Travel Cancellations and Waivers
For information regarding previously booked travel plans and expenses that were impacted by COVID, visit the COVID-19 Travel Cancellations and Related Expenses resource, which contains information on:
- Travel Cancellations and Waivers: Airlines
- Travel Cancellations and Waivers: Lodging
- Conference Cancellations and Reimbursements
- How to Manage Expenses Related to Travel Cancellations