format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Types of University Receipts

Receipts are the total amount of money the university has received. Receipts refer to the state or act of receiving goods or income, meaning providing goods or services after receiving payment. Receipts also refer to money received during a specific period. For example, “the program’s receipts for the semester have increased”, meaning program income has gone up. Stanford departments receive a wide variety of receipt types including cash and checks.

Depending on the type of receipt, there are potentially different steps required to record the deposit appropriately in Stanford’s financial systems and/or processes for depositing the funds. This resource provides examples, exceptions, and further details on these types of receipts. 

When receipts are sent directly to the Office of the Treasurer (OOT) and they are unable to match the receipt (check, ACH, or wire) with valid remittance details (such as a PTA or recipient department), the receipt is posted to a central account until it can be claimed. See the Fingate pages for cash and checks or wire and ACH payments for details on depositing or claiming these types of receipts.

Beginning on February 26, 2024, the Deposits and Receipts Manager system was launched to replace the former Unidentified Receipts and Branch Deposits website. This consolidated application in Oracle will make it easier to claim branch deposits and incoming electronic payments, along with correcting mobile app deposits in one place. For a summary of changes, visit the New Deposits and Receipts Manager System news page.

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 that span beyond just the activity itself and require written permission from the Provost. Refer to important compliance information on Unrelated Business Income for more information.

Methods to receive designated income: Departments may accept payments for designated income from products and services through the Merchant Services program (credit cards, ecommerce digital wallets through Stanford CardinalPay), electronic fund transfers (wires and ACH), cash and checks. Note: While there are a variety of other platforms and methods of transferring money, both real currency and crypto currency (such as Venmo, Zelle, Bitcoin), the university cannot accept these types of payments through these platforms due to the incompatibility with Oracle Financials.

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 Examples that are not considered Designated Income
  • 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.)
  • Event Admission fees for  public events (e.g., box office receipts for drama, music or athletics)
  • Equipment or service fees for external use of specialized department equipment or services (e.g., external use of service centers)
  • Facility or library access fees
  • Registration fees for workshops, symposia or conference
  • Participation fees for corporate affiliates program
  • Institutional Allowances from Government Agencies
  • 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.
  • Donations of honoraria, professional service fees, and/or Industrial Affiliate Income should be treated as a gift (see section on this page).

Process and Considerations for Managing Designated Income:

  • 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.
  • 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 and sent to Tax Compliance. 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.

Funds received from sponsoring agencies in support of research projects, contracts, or agreements, require special care and are handled by the Office of Research Administration.

Examples of Sponsored Receipts   Examples that are not considered Sponsored Receipts
  • Contract payments
  • Grant payments
  • Program income: When the program is a sponsored program/project (e.g., for service fees, sales of commodities, usage or rental fees or fees from participants at a conference or symposium). See more considerations below
  • Payments related to clinical trials
  • 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 (see Gifts)
    • Institutional Allowances from Government Agencies are processed as designated income (see Designated Income)

Process and Considerations for Managing Sponsored Project Receipts:

  • Distinguishing Gifts from Grants: To determine whether a check is a gift or part of a sponsored agreement, review the Dean of Research resources:
  • 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 page on the Dean of Research website.
  • To deposit these receipts, refer to Sponsored Receivables Management for more information. They should not be deposited to the university’s general account. See How To: Process Sponsored Project Receipts.

Receipts are considered gifts 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). To determine the proper method to process and record the gift, receipt, or payment, see Topic Overview: Record Donor Gifts

  • 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.
  • 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 as designated income (see Designated Income).
  • 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.

Payments that represent reimbursement to the university (non-salary and non-student aid) are processed in different ways.

Examples of Reimbursement Receipts:

  • Refund for a canceled 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 charges on a PCard or TCard
  • Third-party reimbursement of travel expenses charged to a university account

Process and Considerations for Managing Reimbursement Receipts:

  • 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), submit a support request.
  • 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.

Process for Claiming TCard Reimbursements, Returned Advances, and AP Invoice Refunds

Payment Services maintains an 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. Departments that sent a check for one of these purposes should submit a support request to get assistance from Payment Services to claim the deposit to a PTA.


  • 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 tax considerations that require special handling of the repayment. These receipts should be handled by the Payroll department within FMS. See How To: Adjust for Employee Overpayment.

  • External Financial Aid Payments: Deliver payments where an external agency has chosen the specific student to whom the aid should be awarded to the Financial Aid Office. See How To: Process Miscellaneous Types of Receipts
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Student Aid Reimbursements: 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 as a payment to the student bill. See How To: Process Receipts for Graduate Stipend Overpayments.

  • Student Payments: The Student Financial Services (SFS) Payments Office accepts payments for university bill charges and IT service telephone charges. Payments are received through a central Stanford student payment system. Contact the SFS Payments Office by submitting a support request regarding matriculated student payments.

Special attention is needed to process the following types of miscellaneous receipts..

Surplus Property Sales

When a department has a piece of working equipment that is of salable quality and no longer needed by any campus department, Surplus Property Sales (SPS) should be notified. SPS will make an attempt to locate a buyer for the equipment. See How To: Process Miscellaneous Types of Receipts.

Patent and Software Licensing Fees

Contact the Office of Technology Licensing for royalty and patent payment questions when patents are held by Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing. Contact Stanford University Press for copyright payment questions when copyrights are held by Stanford. See How To: Process Miscellaneous Types of Receipts.

Last Updated: May 7, 2024