The university advocates for payment by electronic transfer such as wire or Automated Clearing House (ACH) for receipt of payments. Cash or checks are still acceptable forms of payment and the following instructions are designed to aid schools and departments receiving cash or checks for deposit.
All receipts must be deposited into a university lock box or bank account either by using remote desktop deposit, mobile deposit, mailing to the general lock box or depositing in person at a bank branch. Processing and depositing instructions vary depending on the type of receipt (designated income, sponsored projects, gifts, etc.). The topics below detail the guidelines and current best practices for properly depositing these types of revenue receipts.
To streamline posting to the general ledger and reconciliation for these deposits, department level online access to CASHNet and staff setup is strongly encouraged. CASHNet should be used in lieu of manual transmittals and branch deposits if at all possible.
Departments should use Stanford CASHNet for online deposit preparation prior to making a deposit at a branch or mailing to a lock box. For information on CAHSNet.com and how to get access, refer to How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts. Department personnel should submit this support request for initial set-up for online department access to Stanford CASHNet. Once this form is submitted, the Payments Office will then contact the requester to arrange set-up of the Department's Stanford CASHNet account. This process will take 5 to 10 business days.
CASHNet is not necessary for mobile or desktop deposit since the General Ledger (GL) posting information is captured with the deposit detail. To request mobile deposit access, submit a support request.
Financial reports should be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure all receipts are properly credited to the correct account. The use of sequentially numbered receipts or other log mechanisms are recommended. Copies of all checks, transmittal forms and backup documentation should be kept by the department and filed with the respective receipt or verification for reconciliation of reports with the amount submitted.
Segregation of Duties
Segregation of duties is a crucial internal control that helps safeguard Stanford assets. No one person should be responsible for the entire cash receipt process. The responsibilities for receipt, custody, recording and reconciliation of cash receipts should reside with different individuals whenever possible. Report any suspected fraud or misappropriation of funds to department management, Cash Management and the Internal Audit Department (650-725-0074) as appropriate. Review the Topic Overview: Fraud Prevention for further details.
Departments receiving cash or checks on a regular basis should submit a support request to Cash Management to determine the best method of processing.
Request Payment Alternatives to Cash
Safeguarding checks is easier than safeguarding cash, and electronic payments are the safest of all so always encourage payment via electronic transfer.
When checks are received they should be immediately endorsed on the back with "For Deposit Only to Stanford University.” The appropriate project, fund and object code (for revenue transactions) or project, task, award and expenditure type (for expenditure credit transactions) should be recorded on the front of the check. All checks should be made payable to Stanford University. If a check intended for Stanford University is instead made payable to an individual, it can be refused for deposit by the bank and have a complicated impact on tax reporting for both Stanford and the individual. In the event that this happens, please request the check be reissued to Stanford University instead.
For checks drawn on foreign banks, take the endorsed check with the appropriate PTA printed on the front to Wells Fargo Bank. A teller will accept the check, explain the foreign exchange 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. Contact Cash Management for guidance.
Process Same Day
Cash and check receipts should be processed as soon as possible, preferably on the same day they are received. In any interim between receipt and deposit, cash and checks should be secured in a cash box or other locked container, with copies of sequentially numbered receipts 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.
Checks returned by Stanford's depositing bank (e.g., for insufficient funds) are sent to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT), which posts it to the returned check account. Subsequently, the Student Financial Services (SFS) Payments Office 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. Access to cash and checks should be restricted to individuals with appropriate fiscal responsibilities included in their job descriptions.
Do not send unendorsed checks through interdepartmental mail. Non-sponsored project receipts may be sent to the correct department through interdepartmental mail after the check has been endorsed. Sponsored receipts should be sent by U.S. Mail as indicated in the section on sponsored research below. Checks must be in a second sealed envelope, inside the ID envelope.
Do not send cash through interdepartmental mail. Non-sponsored project receipts made via cash may be hand-delivered to the appropriate office as indicated in the processing instructions. Contact the Department of Public Safety (650-723-9633) to set up an escort schedule if the amount is substantial or additional safety precautions are appropriate.
Policies and Procedures
Department Managers should facilitate development and implementation of their own departmental policies and procedures for handling cash and checks.