While all individuals involved in financial transactions play an important role in stewarding university assets, department depositors play a critical role in ensuring the university’s assets are deposited both timely and appropriately. This page covers the types of deposits, deposit methods, and best practices when depositing cash and checks for the university.
As we approach winter close, there are important deadlines for deposits to be processed for the 2023 calendar year. See the Winter Closure Information news page for details.
Receipt of money that schools and departments receive fall into specific categories that determine how they are processed or deposited. Refer to Topic Overview: Types of University Receipts for more information.
When schools and departments are planning to accept credit or debit cards for payment of goods and services, either online or in person, refer to the Topic Overview: Merchant Services Program.
Types of Checks
Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars and drawn on any U.S. bank. The following types can be processed in the JPM mobile app and at Wells Fargo Bank:
- Personal checks
- Business checks
- U.S. Treasury/government checks
- Traveler’s checks
- Cashier's checks
- Domestic money orders
- Accepted from the US Post Office, Western Union, MoneyGram, and American Express
- Not all money orders can be accepted via mobile deposit. If a money order is marked with “mobile deposit prohibited”, for example, please visit a Wells Fargo branch to deposit.
Note: Checks that cannot be processed in the mobile app include checks drawn on Canadian or other foreign banks, or checks made payable in foreign currencies. Please deposit at a Wells Fargo branch.
Travel Card (TCard) reimbursements are processed through the Expense Requests System. See How To Return Personal Expenses Charged to the Travel Card.
Purchasing Cards (PCard) reimbursements are deposited by departments through either the mobile app or branch deposit methods below. See How to: Handle Personal Expenses Charged to the PCard.
Stanford provides multiple options for the receipt and deposit of incoming funds. Departments receiving cash or checks (including money orders) on a regular basis can submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT) to determine the best method of processing.
- Mobile app deposit: Checks can be deposited through the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Access mobile application which is compatible with Apple and Android mobile devices. See more information about the mobile option below.
- Branch deposit: Cash deposits should be made in person at any Wells Fargo branch and is considered a secondary option for depositing checks. The depositor should confirm hours of operation at the Wells Fargo branch before visiting. See more information about the branch option below.
- Electronic payments: Stanford uses Wells Fargo Bank for incoming wires and ACH payments. Rather than receiving cash or a check, departments can provide electronic payment instructions to individuals or organizations paying Stanford. View the Topic Overview: Incoming Wire and ACH Instructions.
Dedicated location codes: Depositors who have a dedicated location code use the Wells Fargo (WF) mobile application and tools, such as desktop scanners and the WF Vantage portal (formerly called CEO). See Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit App for information on how to use the WF mobile app for this purpose.
For assistance with cash and check deposits or electronic payments, submit a support request to OOT.
Mobile App Deposit: J.P. Morgan (JPM) Access
Department depositors can use the J.P. Morgan Access mobile application for check deposits (including money orders). JPM offers a mobile app to deposit checks using a cell phone or tablet's camera, which is compatible with Apple and Android devices. To request access to the mobile app, submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT). For information on how to set up an account and use the app for deposits, see Learn About System: JP Morgan Access Mobile Check Deposits.
Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars and drawn on any U.S. bank. When checks are received, they should be immediately endorsed on the back with "For Deposit Only to Stanford University”, and recorded in a department check receipts log. An endorsement stamp with this information may be ordered by submitting a support request to OOT. When ordering a stamp, please include to whose attention it will be mailed to (name/department) and the mailing address in your request.
The monthly deposit deadline is 7 p.m. PT for mobile app deposits on the last business day of the month to be recorded in the month end report.
If Oracle Financials is unable to process a deposit due to a PTAE/PFO that needs correcting, the depositor will be notified via email with instructions to follow How To: Correct Invalid PTAE/PFO Check Deposit Information Using the Mobile Deposits Correction Tool.
The depositor may access their account through the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Access website to view previously deposited checks on the long-term deposit archive (up to 10 years) and manage deposits that require user action (e.g., duplicate checks, returned checks, etc.).
Types of checks
Checks that are eligible for mobile deposits are personal checks, business checks, government/treasury checks, and cashier’s checks. Domestic money orders are accepted from the US Post Office, Western Union, MoneyGram, and American Express. Not all money orders can be accepted via mobile deposit. If a money order is marked with “mobile deposit prohibited”, for example, please visit a Wells Fargo branch to deposit.
Certain deposits cannot be processed through the JPM mobile app. Refer to Topic Overview: Types of University Receipts for more information.
In-person branch deposits for cash and checks (including money orders) may be made through Wells Fargo Bank. Pre-printed deposit slips for checks and cash are not necessary.
Note: J.P. Morgan Chase branches cannot accept checks or cash deposits for the university.
Ensure check information is complete and meets deposit requirements. All checks must be endorsed with “For deposit only to Stanford University”, on the back. A stamp with this information may be ordered by submitting a support request to OOT. When ordering a stamp, please include to whose attention it will be mailed to (name/department) and the mailing address in your request.
To access the general deposit Stanford account number with Wells Fargo, see the general Wells Fargo Bank page.
The monthly deposit deadline is 5 p.m. PT for branch deposits (or local branch closing time) on the last business day of the month to be recorded in the month end report.
To learn more about cash and check handling, see How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts.
Note: Department depositors with dedicated Wells Fargo location codes must use a preprinted deposit slip with their assigned location code on it when depositing checks at Wells Fargo branches.
Claim Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits
After deposits are made through the branch, they will need to be claimed on the Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits website to enter the correct accounting codes and submit the transaction to Oracle Financials. When staff deposit checks or become aware of deposited funds that belong to their department, it is their responsibility to ensure the funds are properly identified, claimed, and booked to the correct Project, Fund and Object Code. See Topic Overview: Claim Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits for details.
While department managers can facilitate the development and implementation of their own department procedures for handling cash and checks, please refer to the Cash and Check Handling Checklist for recommended procedures.
The check or money order should be made payable to Stanford University. If the check is not made payable to Stanford University, you will need to request a new check with Stanford included on the payee line of the check.
Unendorsed checks should not be sent through interdepartmental mail. When checks are received, they should be immediately endorsed on the back with "For Deposit Only to Stanford University,” and recorded in the department check receipts. A stamp with this information may be ordered by submitting a support request to OOT. It is recommended that mobile app and branch check depositors request a new universal stamp for check endorsements that does not include the bank account number. When ordering a stamp, please include to whose attention it will be mailed to (name/department) and the mailing address in your request.
Depositors should verify that the project, task, award (PTA) and expenditure type/object code are appropriate for the account before making a deposit. Listing an incorrect PTA will cause a delay in processing and require further action on your part to claim the receipt from the URBD website or the Mobile Deposit Correction Tool. To identify the correct PTA, consult with your department budget or finance officer. If a check intended for Stanford University is made payable to an individual, it may be refused for deposit by the bank and have a complicated impact on tax reporting for Stanford and the individual. In the event that this happens, the payor should reissue the check made payable to Stanford University.
Safeguarding checks is easier than safeguarding cash, and electronic payments are the safest of all, so always encourage payment via electronic transfer when possible.
Non-sponsored project receipts made via cash may be hand-delivered to the appropriate office as indicated in their processing instructions. Contact the Department of Public Safety (650-723-9633) to set up a police escort if the amount is substantial or additional safety precautions are appropriate.
Checks for non-sponsored project receipts may be sent to the correct department through interdepartmental mail after the check has been endorsed. See Contacts for Non-Sponsored Funding by School and Department. Sponsored receipts should be sent by USPS. Checks must be in a second sealed envelope inside the main envelope.
For sponsored projects, see How To: Process Sponsored Project Receipts.
For checks drawn on foreign banks in either USD or a foreign currency, take the endorsed check with the appropriate PTA printed on the front to a Wells Fargo Bank branch. A teller will accept the check, explain the foreign collections process, complete a Collection Item Receipt form, and provide a receipt for the check. It may take six to eight weeks for the check to be processed by the foreign bank and substantial fees will be deducted from the final deposit amount. For these reasons, foreign check acceptance is discouraged in favor of an electronic transfer of funds. For guidance, submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer.
Process Same Day
Cash and check receipts should be deposited soon as possible, preferably on the same day they are received. During any interim period between receipt and deposit, cash, and checks should be secured in a cash box or other locked container with copies of sequentially numbered receipts listed on the cash and check log to validate the total cash and checks that should be available. Be aware of stale dates printed on checks. Even if no stale date is printed, checks automatically stale-date in 180 days.
Storing/Disposing of Checks
After the checks have been successfully scanned on the mobile deposit app, 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.
For assistance with cash and check deposits, submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer.
For assistance with historical transaction support for deposits prior to November 23, 2022, including CASHNet data, submit a support request to Student Financial Services.
Checks returned by Stanford's depositing bank (e.g., for insufficient funds, stop payment) are sent to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT), which posts it to the returned check account. Subsequently, OOT charges the depositing unit via journal entry for the value of the returned check and sends an image of the check back to the unit. It is the responsibility of the depositing unit to collect any outstanding amounts. The common return reasons are:
- Stop payment - the account holder who originally wrote the check has revoked their authorization
- Non sufficient fund (NSF) - there were not enough funds in the account to pay the check
- Account closed - the account holder’s bank account that was associated with the check is closed
- Return to maker (RTM) - depositor should contact the account holder (maker) who wrote the check to find out why it was returned.
- Stale dated - the check is past the expiration date as set by the check issuer. It is valid only if deposited within a set time frame.
For assistance with check returns, submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer.
Any cash payments over $10,000 (not including charitable donations, e.g., gifts) must be reported to the university's tax department using IRS Form 8300. This includes cash equivalents such as cashier's checks and traveler's checks, money orders, or any other method of payment in which the payer is not specifically identified.
Financial reports should be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure all receipts are credited to the correct account. Auditing Best practices with regard to auditing include the use of sequentially numbered receipts and scanned copies of the check and backup documentation into a check log mechanism such as a spreadsheet or document to track check receipts. The date, name of person receiving the check, amount, and check identifying information such as name of remitter, bank name, purpose (if given), and last four (4) digits of the account number should be captured. Copies of all checks, transmittal forms, and backup documentation should be kept by the department and filed with the respective receipt for reconciliation of reports with the amount submitted.
Separation of Duties
Department depositors are critical in ensuring the university’s funds are deposited both timely and appropriately. The university has established a set of practices to help address the inherent risks, support department deposit needs, and ensure depositors have the resources to act prudently to protect Stanford from financial, operational, or regulatory compliance harm. Access to cash and checks should be restricted to individuals with appropriate responsibilities included in their job descriptions.
Separation of duties is a crucial internal control that helps safeguard Stanford assets. No singular person should be responsible for the entire cash or check receipt process. The responsibilities for receipt, custody, depositing, recording, and reconciliation of cash and check receipts should reside with at least two different individuals whenever possible. Suspected fraud or misappropriation of funds should be reported to department management, Cash Management and the Internal Audit Department (650-725-0074) as appropriate. Review the Topic Overview: Bank Fraud Prevention and Admin Guide Policy 3.5.1: Financial Irregularities for further details.