Receipts are cash or checks for deposit to the university. Stanford departments receive a wide variety of receipt types. This resource provides examples, exceptions and further details on these types of receipts. Refer to Topic Overview: Deposit Cash and Checks for more information on depositing.

Schools and departments may generate income by selling products or by providing services that relate to the primary research and educational missions of the university. Income-producing activities that are not related to Stanford's primary missions have serious tax ramifications and require written permission from the Provost. Refer to important compliance information on Unrelated Business Income for more information. School and department income is processed using Stanford CASHNet and deposited directly to a Wells Fargo branch, mailed to the general deposit lock box or deposited remotely using a scanner and the Wells Fargo bank portal called “CEO” or by using the Wells Fargo mobile deposit application (app) on a smartphone. Submit a support request to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT) to determine the most efficient process for the department's needs.

Examples of Designated Income Receipts Include Payments for:

  • Sale of publications, class notes, syllabi, photocopies, audio or video tapes or software
  • Special student fees (e.g., lab fees, course fees, placement fees, executive education fees, etc.)
  • Fees for admission to public events (e.g., box office receipts for drama, music or athletics)
  • Fees for use of specialized department equipment or services (e.g., external use of service centers)
  • Fees for participation in a corporate affiliates program
  • Fees for access to libraries or other university facilities
  • Registration fees for workshops, symposia or conferences

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • Sales and Use Tax: Many income transactions involving the sale of tangible property (as opposed to services) require the payment of state sales taxes which must be paid even if the department fails to collect them. Refer to Topic Overview: Sales and Use Tax at Stanford for more information.
  • Facility Rental Fees: It is against Stanford policy to charge rent or use fees for facilities belonging to Stanford without proper written approval. Fees may be charged for services provided such as audio/visual equipment and cleanup.
  • Selling to Other Departments: If a department is providing products or services primarily to other Stanford departments, a service center should be established by requesting a new Service Center. Refer to Service Centers information on the DoResearch website for more information.
  • Checks Made Payable to Individuals for Professional Services and Honoraria: An honorarium or consulting check made out to an individual is that individual's personal, taxable income. If the individual wants to donate the fee to Stanford, they should endorse the check to Stanford University. In this case the check is processed as a gift from the individual payee, rather than as income from the original payer.
  • Industrial Affiliate Income: Supported by corporate membership fees, industrial affiliate programs are designed to facilitate the relationship between academia and industry. Although all affiliate income is non-tax-deductible to the payer, and is therefore technically not a gift to Stanford, these payments are still processed through Gift Processing using the Affiliate Income Transmittal Form. Before receiving any affiliate income, units should have previously applied for and received approval from the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) under the Dean of Research. Refer to the Research Policy Handbook, Section 13.4: Establishment of Industrial Affiliates and Related Membership-Supported Programs for more information.
  • Depositing Cash Receipts in Excess of $10,000: 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.

Money received from sponsoring agencies in support of sponsored research projects, contracts or agreements, require special care and are handled by the Office of Research Administration. Refer to Sponsored Receivables Management for more information. They should not be deposited to the university’s general account.

Examples of Sponsored Project Receipts Include:

  • Contract payments
  • Grant payments
  • Program income when the program is a sponsored program/project
  • Payments related to clinical trials

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • Distinguishing Gifts from Grants: To determine whether a check is a gift or part of a sponsored agreement, review the Dean of Research resources:
  • Institutional Allowances: Institutional allowances are payments to the university which are intended to compensate for some of the expenses associated with administering a sponsored grant.
    • Institutional Allowances from Non-Government Agencies are considered gifts and are processed as gifts through the Office of Development.
    • Institutional Allowances from Government Agencies are processed using Stanford CASHNet or the Department Transmittal form and depositing the receipts to Wells Fargo, 2nd floor, Tresidder Memorial Union as designated income into a designated income fund specifically for recording institutional allowance payments.
  • Sponsored Program Income: Sponsored projects occasionally receive income related to the project, but from sources other than the sponsor (e.g., for service fees, sales of commodities, usage or rental fees or fees from participants at a conference or symposium). This income, when earned as part of a federally sponsored project, is referred to as “Program Income.” It is highly sensitive and must be reported to the sponsoring governmental agency for further reporting to Congress. Before receiving any program income related to a governmental sponsored project or grant, obtain prior approval from the sponsoring agency and contact your OSR representative for guidance. For more information about Program Income, visit the Program Income on the Dean of Research website.

Receipts are considered gifts (refer to Topic Overview: Gifts for more information) when the payment is from an outside entity in support of a school or departmental program, with no deliverables (e.g., the donor receives nothing in return other than an acknowledgement). Refer to Topic Overview: Record Gifts to determine the proper method to process and record the gift, receipt or payment. 

Payments that represent reimbursement to the university (Non-salary and non-student aid) are generally processed in Stanford CASHNet and deposited with Wells Fargo.

Examples of Reimbursement Receipts:

  • Refund for a cancelled order
  • Payment for damages to university property when the payment is for the exact amount of replacing or repairing the damaged item
  • Refund for overpayment (non-salary, non-student aid)
  • Rebates
  • Payments from an individual for personal use of university phone
  • Third-party reimbursement of travel expenses charged to a university account

Exceptions and Important Notes

Review How To: Process Miscellaneous Types of Receipts for details regarding the special attention needed to process and deposit the wide variety of receipts at the university.

  • Salary and Sick Leave Reimbursements to Stanford: When an employee has been erroneously overpaid wages, or is reimbursing Stanford for sick leave pay, there are complex tax considerations. These reimbursements are handled by payroll and should be initiated via a HelpSU request
  • Student Aid Payment Reimbursements to Stanford: In the event of student aid (stipend) overpayment, a student administrator should process a correcting transaction in the Graduate Financial Support (GFS) system, causing the amount to show as a receivable on the student's account. The check for overpayment can then be processed through the university payments office
  • Reimbursements related to transactions that originated in iProcurement: For reimbursements related to transactions that originated in iProcurement (e.g., receipts from vendors or other direct payees), deliver the reimbursement check via U.S. mail to Payment Services
  • Personal Expense Reimbursements: Reimbursement to Stanford from individuals should be very limited. Neither students nor employees should be using university phones, postal services, supplies, etc., for personal use on a regular basis. When this does occur, the amount reimbursed to the university should be for the actual expense incurred


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