format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Deposit Cash and Checks

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 funds 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.

Stanford provides multiple options for the receipt and deposit of incoming funds. Safeguarding checks is easier than safeguarding cash, and electronic payments are the safest of all, so always encourage payment via electronic transfer when possible. Rather than receiving cash or a check, departments can provide electronic payment instructions to individuals or organizations paying Stanford. 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.

Beginning February 26, 2024, the Deposits and Receipts Manager system is available to users of the (former) Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits website and the Mobile Deposit Correction Tool. This consolidated application now accessed through Oracle Financials makes it easier to claim deposits and other incoming funds along with correcting mobile app deposits in one place. For a summary of changes, visit the New Deposits and Receipts Manager System news page.

Money that schools and departments receive may be restricted 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 Topic Overview: Merchant Services Program.

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 Topic Overview: Incoming Wire Transfers and ACH Payments.

Payment Services receives and processes Travel Card personal expense refunds, returns of unused advance funds, and refunds towards an Accounts Payable invoice. See Claiming reimbursements deposited by Payment Services below.

Travel Card (TCard) reimbursements are processed through the Expense Request system. See How To: Return Personal Expenses Charged to the Travel Card.

Purchasing Card (PCard) reimbursements are deposited by department through either the mobile app and branch deposit methods below. See How To: Handle Personal Expenses Charged to the PCard.

While departments managers may facilitate the development and implementation of their department procedures for handling cash and checks, please refer to the Cash and Check Handling Checklist for minimum recommended procedures.

Types of Acceptable Checks

Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars and drawn on any U.S. bank to be deposited by mobile app or remote desktop deposit. Checks that cannot be processed in the J.P. Morgan Access Mobile Deposits app or by desktop deposit include checks drawn on Canadian or other international banks, or checks made payable in foreign currencies. Please deposit these at a Wells Fargo branch. 

The following types can be processed in the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Access Mobile Deposits app and at a Wells Fargo Bank branch:

  • Personal checks
  • Business checks
  • U.S. Treasury/government checks
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Cashier's checks
  • Domestic money orders 
    • Accepted from the U.S. 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.

Process Same Day

Cash and check receipts should be deposited as 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 a cash and check log. Be aware of stale dates printed on checks. Even if no stale date is printed, checks automatically expire within 180 days. See How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts.

Preparing and Endorsing Checks

Ensure check information is complete and meets deposit requirements. 

  • Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars and drawn on any U.S. bank. The check or money order should be made payable to Stanford University or any version of the official name: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior 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.
  • 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. Handwritten endorsements are acceptable. 
    • An endorsement stamp with this information may be ordered by submitting a support request to OOT. When ordering a new endorsement stamp, please include the name, department, and mailing address in the support request to expedite processing. 
  • Endorsement stamps or deposit slips that feature the location code 10001 should not be used and should be destroyed. 
  • Endorsement stamps featuring the Wells Fargo account number can only be used on checks that will be deposited at Wells Fargo branches or through dedicated location code desktop scanners. The Wells Fargo account number endorsement stamp cannot be used on checks deposited using the J.P. (JPM) Morgan mobile app because it will cause the deposit to fail. 
  • High volume depositors can request a universal stamp for check endorsements that does not include the bank account number. 

See How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts.

Using PTAE and PFOs

Depositors should verify that the Project, Task, Award, and Expenditure Type (PTAE) or Project, Fund/Award, and Object Code (PFO) 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 deposit on the Deposits and Receipts Manager system. To identify the correct PTAE/PFO, 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 payer should reissue the check made payable to Stanford University.

Non-Sponsored Receipts

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.

International Banks

For checks drawn on international/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 and provide a receipt. It may take six to eight weeks for the check to be processed by the international 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.

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.

Support

Department managers can facilitate development and implementation of their own departmental procedures for handling cash and checks.

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.

Department depositors can use the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Access mobile deposits application for check deposits (including money orders). JPM offers a mobile app to deposit checks using a cell phone or table device that support app downloads. See Learn About System: JP Morgan Access Mobile Check Deposits.

JPM Access Mobile Deposits App Process and Considerations

  • Set up: 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: J.P. Morgan Access Mobile Deposits.
  • Types of checks: 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.
  • Deposit deadline: 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.
  • Deposit corrections: If Oracle Financials is unable to process a deposit due to an invalid PTAE/PFO that needs correcting,the depositor will be notified via email with instructions to follow the How To: Correct Invalid PTAE/PFO Check Deposit Information Using Deposits and Receipts Manager
  • View deposits: The depositor may access their account through the J.P. Morgan 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.).
  • Maintain access: JPM mobile app users must log into the application every 90 days in order to avoid their account from being automatically and permanently deleted. A check deposit is not required. In the event that your account is deleted, you will lose the ability to deposit checks from your mobile device and access to your deposit history. To obtain a new User ID, you will need to submit a support request. For more on access, see Learn About: J.P. Morgan Access Mobile Check Deposits.

Certain deposits cannot be processed through the JPM mobile app. Refer to Topic Overview: Types of University Receipts for more information.

Cash deposits must be made in person at any Wells Fargo branch. Check deposits at a Wells Fargo branch is considered a secondary option for depositing checks. The depositor should confirm hours of operation at the Wells Fargo branch before visiting.

Branch Deposit Process and Considerations

  • Bank use: In-person branch deposits for cash and checks (including money orders) may be made through a Wells Fargo Bank. J.P. Morgan Chase branches cannot accept checks or cash deposits for the university.
  • Wells Fargo account: To access the general deposit Stanford account number with Wells Fargo, see the general Wells Fargo Bank page.
  • Deposit process: For step-by-step instructions on cash and check processing, see How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts.
  • Deposit deadline: 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.
  • Depositing Cash Receipts in Excess of $10,000: Any cash payments over $10,000 (not including charitable donations, e.g., donor gifts) must be reported to the university's tax department using IRS Form 8300 and sent to Tax Compliance.

Claiming Branch Deposits

When employees 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, Task, Award, and Expenditure Type (PTAE) or Project, Fund/Award, and Object Code (PFO), including to 5xxxx series expenditure type codes. 

The Deposits and Receipts Manager system allows users to locate and claim branch cash and check deposits from the Oracle Financials home page, Navigator menu. 

Note: The Deposits and Receipts Manager currently does not accept expenditure codes beginning with 48 and 58; salary codes are also restricted.

Department depositors who have been set up by the Office of the Treasurer (OOT) with a dedicated location code use Wells Fargo (WF) remote deposit tools, such as desktop scanners and the WF Vantage portal (formerly called CEO). 

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.

For assistance with dedicated location codes, submit a support request to OOT.

Employees who travel on behalf of Stanford and have to reimburse the university for personal expenses on their TCard or unused advance funds should send their checks to Payment Services. Payment Services receives and processes Travel Card personal expense refunds, returns of unused advance funds, and refunds towards an Accounts Payable invoice. 

For reimbursement instructions, see How To: Return Personal Expenses to TCards and How To: Return Unused Advance Funds

Claiming the receipt

Payment Services maintains the Unidentified Checks database that lists unidentified checks specifically for Travel Card personal expense refunds, returns of unused advance funds, and refunds towards an Accounts Payable invoice. The Unidentified Receipts database currently does not accept expenditure codes beginning with 48 and 58, salary codes are also restricted. 

Departments that identify a check in the database should submit a support request to get assistance from Payment Services. In addition, if a check is mistakenly sent to Payment Services that is not to reimburse a TCard charge or return a fund advance, please submit a support request.

Employees who expected incoming checks should review the Deposits and Receipts Manager system in Oracle to see if deposits have already been made through OOT or other departments. A search can be initiated to include the date range the deposit might have been made, the posted date range, and/or the amount range.

To learn more on how to identify and claim, see How To: Claim Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits

If a check has been mailed to Payment Services (see above), department depositors should submit a support request to get assistance.

Unclaimed Receipts

Incoming receipts such as check deposits that have not been claimed for two years or more will be transferred to the General Fund. Claims may still be made by submitting a support request to OOT with documentation to show award ownership, amount and date of receipt and the GL information (Project, Task, Award, Expenditure Type or Object Code) to book the receipts.

Once claimed, posted receipts should be reviewed in Oracle OBI reports at least once per month (
OBI dashboard on Revenue and Fund Management Reporting and OBI dashboard on Consolidated Expenditure Reporting).

Checks returned by Stanford's depositing bank (e.g., for insufficient funds and 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.

Reporting

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.

Last Updated: May 16, 2024