While all individuals involved in financial transactions play an important role in stewarding university funds, department depositors play a critical role in ensuring the university’s funds are deposited both timely and appropriately. This page covers the types of deposits, deposit methods, and best practices with depositing cash and checks for the university.
In efforts to continuously improve the processes and systems that make up the Stanford financial ecosystem, Financial Management Services (FMS) is rolling out enhancements to how cash and checks are deposited. By Nov. 23, 2022, the CASHNet system will be replaced for this type of transaction activity.
For more information on the cash and check replacement project, check out the news page Cash and Check Deposit Enhancements for updates and detailed guidance.
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.
Separation of Duties
Separation of duties is a crucial internal control that helps safeguard Stanford assets. No singular 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 Topic Overview: Fraud Prevention for further details.
Stanford provides multiple options for the receipt and deposit of incoming funds. Departments receiving cash or checks on a regular basis should submit a support request to Cash Management to determine the best method of processing.
- Electronic payments: Rather than receiving a check, departments can provide electronic payment instructions to individuals or organizations paying Stanford. This can replace cash and checks being sent in by mail. Either a wire or ACH electronic payment is acceptable. Email your deposit confirmation to @email. View Topic Overview: Incoming Wire and ACH Instructions.
- Mobile Phone Deposit: Checks can be deposited using the Wells Fargo CEO Mobile deposit app through a smartphone. See more information about the mobile option below.
- Mail-In: As an alternative to physically visiting a Wells Fargo branch, FMS offers an interim Lock Box mail-in solution for all department checks received. See more information about the mail-in option below.
- Branch Deposits: Check times of operation of your local Wells Fargo branches before your visit. Deposit slips for checks are required for this method. Email your deposit confirmation to @email.
Mobile Phone Deposit Option
Wells Fargo offers a mobile app to deposit checks using the phone's camera, which is compatible with iPhone and Android devices. Departments may request access to Mobile Deposit by submitting a support request to the Treasury team and providing an authorized manager's written approval.
Once the setup is completed by OOT and Wells Fargo bank, users will 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, promptly email the Payments Office to let them know of the deposit details and attach a confirmation of the 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.
See the step-by-step instructions on the updated Mobile Deposit Application page.
More information about the Wells Fargo application can be found on the Wells Fargo website.
Interim Mail-In Option
CASHNet deposit information is still required to be forwarded with this deposit option.
To make deposits via the interim Lock Box:
- Prepare checks by endorsing them using a stamp, or if you don't have access to your stamp, 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 deposit slip or transmittal form 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 it 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, so use USPS only. Departments will want to be sure that the checks are mailed via standard mail and must have correct postage.
Mail the envelope(s) by USPS 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.
- Promptly email your deposit details and back-up documents to @email.
- The Office of the Treasurer 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, submit a support request to the Treasury 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.
The university encourages 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.
Departments should use Stanford CASHNet for online deposit preparation prior to making a deposit. For information on using CASHNet.com, refer to How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts. Department personnel should submit a 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 five to 10 business days.
Request Payment Alternatives to Cash
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.
Safeguarding checks is easier than safeguarding cash, and electronic payments are the safest of all so always encourage payment via electronic transfer. For smartphone access to deposit checks, submit a support request for Mobile Deposit Access.
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 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, please request the check to 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. For guidance, submit a support request to Cash Management.
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 Office of the Treasurer 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 USPS as indicated in the section on sponsored research below. Checks must be in a second sealed envelope inside the ID envelope.
Policies and Procedures
Department Managers should facilitate development and implementation of their own departmental policies and procedures for handling cash and checks.