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Certain Event Management

Merchant Services (MS) has contracted with Certain to provide an online event registration solution for the university. Individual departments in schools or affiliate organizations may request access to this service. Departments can generally build events themselves or ask professional services to build events for them with additional cost. Departments also have full access to Certain online help documents, tutorials and the support help desk.

Cvent, a new third-party event management platform, will be rolled out in July 2023 for Certain event users and Certain will sunset by October 2023. For more information, see the Stanford Transitioning from Certain to Cvent for Events Management news page. If you need assistance to export and save your historical event data from the Certain event platform, contact Certain Support at @email.

Certain enables departments to utilize the following software features:

  • Design and deploy a conference, symposium or other event website using templates, free-form design tools or copies of archived events.
  • Deploy event registration pages to collect a variety of standard and custom event registrant information, including travel and hotel booking integration.
  • Securely conduct online payment processing, including management of refunds to customer credit cards. Additionally, track offline payments (e.g., mailed or onsite payment by check or cash).
  • Manage event production tasks, such as printing of name tags, place cards and sign-in sheets and distribution and tracking of mass communications with registrants.
  • Manage event resources such as equipment, room capacities and hotel room block inventories as well as event budgets and expenses.
  • Access free online training to learn the power and capabilities of the Certain Registration Application.
  • Access toll-free customer care to facilitate rapid deployment of the event registration site.
  • Access Professional Services to assist with Event Builds.

To learn more about the capabilities of Certain, visit the Certain website.

The cost for departments to use Certain under Stanford's negotiated contract is detailed in the following table.

Fee Categories Paid Events Free Events
Details Timing
Per Registrant* Fee $4 per registrant regardless of paid or free event (effective as of September 2021) Monthly iJournal to event PTA by MS Same as paid events
Card Processing Fee 2.5 to 3.0 percent on total event revenue  Monthly iJournal to event PTA by MS None
Stanford Merchant Services Fee  0.8 percent on total event revenue  Monthly iJournal to event PTA by MS None
Professional Services** Fee
$125 per hour Department pays the fee directly to the provider None

* Certain defines an event registrant as an individual who has completed all required registration fields for an event and is reported as completed in Certain. Fees are not refunded due to registrant cancellation.

** Certain has a professional services organization that can assist with your event builds. Submit a Support Request to learn more.

To use Certain, you must complete a Certain Account Application form and submit a Support Request. Allow up to 3 business days for MS to review your request and create a subaccount of the Certain master account, which you manage.

  • All event personnel with access to payment card information must complete the annual PCI awareness training. Submit a Support Request for enrollment.
  • All accounting reports and reconciling of the event must be reviewed monthly.

To add, modify or delete user access to a Certain account or reset a user password, submit a Support Request

  • Electronically: Departments shall require customers to purchase event tickets through the customers’ personal devices. At no time will a department staff enter card information through the Administration Registration function of Certain using the university-owned device (e.g., computer, tablet or smartphone).
  • On-site or face-to-face transactions: Departments can borrow loaner terminals from MS. Please complete the loaner terminal application form and submit a Support Request . Upon receiving an application, MS will reserve the terminal(s) subject to availability and coordinate the delivery schedule with the department.
  • Checks and cash: Please refer to the Cash Handling Policy for guidance.
  • Person-to-person payment methods, such as PayPal or Venmo: These are not permitted to be used for ticket sales.

Within Certain software, you can issue a refund for a transaction settled up to 90 days from the transaction date or 90 days after the event ended date, whichever is longer. Please contact Certain Support for refund assistance.

If the refund is performed outside of Certain due to various reasons (such as expired card or software bug), record all refund transactions in Certain for revenue reconciliation purposes.

MS is responsible for booking the monthly event revenue and fees for any credit/debit card payments using the PTA provided in Certain. It is the event owner’s responsibility to ensure the revenue and fees posted to their account match what is recorded in Certain. Submit a Support Request if there are any discrepancies. 

The following is an overview of the revenue and fees posting process along with a list of reports that you can run for reconciliation:

  • Registrant can pay via credit or debit card
  • Event owners may issue refunds in Certain

  • MS runs the Consolidated Event Revenue and Registrant Reports in Certain for the journal month

  • MS calculates the associated fees
  • MS creates four separate iJournals for each event and posts them in Oracle for the journal month (the fourth day of the monthly close)
    • Revenue journal: Default booked to expenditure type/object code 46630 (misc revenue) unless otherwise specified in event details
    • Registrant fee journal: Charged to expenditure type/object code 58502
    • Card Processing fee journal: Charged to expenditure type/object code 54350
    • PCI fee journal: Charged to expenditure type/object code 58502

  • Event owners review Certain reports and compare with Oracle reports to validate journaled amounts. The following items can cause unreconcile items:
    • Refunds over 60 days and up to 180 days can only be processed through CyberSource by Merchant Services. 
    • Chargeback disputes will not be automatically adjusted in Certain.
An image showing Certain and Oracle reconciliation: In the Certain box, 'for your events, run the "Payment and Refunds By Type and Day Report" located under "Reports/Aanlyze" in Certain; In the Oracle box, 'for your event, work with your finance department or accountant to retrieve the "Credit Card Revenue & Fees iJournals" in Oracle using PTA

Certain has a portfolio of on-demand training available on the Help & Support tab after you log in to your Certain account. You can also contact them for email support.

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2023


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