Overview: Processing University Receipts

This overview describes the process for properly depositing monetary receipts (cash and checks) received by schools and departments. Processing / depositing instructions vary depending upon the type of receipts.

On this page:

  • General Instructions
    • Internal Controls
    • Payment Guidelines
    • Cash and Check Handling Policies, Procedures and Checklists
  • Types of Receipts (Cash and Checks for Deposit to Stanford)
  • Processing Instructions by Receipt Type
    • Designated Income
    • Sponsored Project Receipts (including Clinical Trials)
    • Gifts
    • Reimbursements to Stanford University (Non-Salary Related)
    • Other Payments to Stanford (including Salary-Related Reimbursements)


General Instructions

Internal Controls

  • Departments should use Stanford CASHNet for online deposit preparation. For information on CAHSNet.com and how to get access, see Overview: Online Preparation of Department Deposits Using Stanford CASHNet. You can request access for your department by submitting the online Stanford CASHNet Request Form.
  • Financial reports should be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure that all receipts are properly credited to the correct account. The use of sequentially numbered receipts or other log mechanism is 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.
  • Segregation of duties is a crucial internal control that helps safeguard Stanford assets. No one 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.
  • Individuals should report any suspected fraud or misappropriation of funds to their unit's management, Office of the Treasurer (650-723-3954) or the Internal Audit Department (650-725-0074) as appropriate. See Overview: Preventing Fraud

Payment Guidelines

  • Encourage payment via check rather than cash, since safeguarding checks is easier than safeguarding cash.
  • Checks should be immediately endorsed on the back with "For Deposit Only to Stanford University" upon receipt. 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. In the event that a check intended for Stanford is instead made payable to an individual, it can have a complicated impact on tax reporting for both Stanford and the individual.
  • Checks drawn on foreign banks – take the endorsed check with applicable PTA printed on the front to Wells Fargo; a teller will accept the check, explain the foreign exchange process, complete a Collection Item Receipt form, and provide a receipt for the check.
  • 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 check. Even if no stale date is printed on the check, checks automatically stale date in 180 days.
  • Checks returned by Stanford's depositing bank (e.g., for insufficient funds) are sent first to the Office of the Treasurer who posts it to the returned check account. Then the Student Financial Services Payments Office 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 U.S. Mail as indicated in the section on sponsored research below. Checks must be in a 2nd sealed envelope, inside the ID envelope.
  • 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 below. Contact the Department of Public Safety 650-723-9633 to set up an escort schedule.
  • Units which receive cash or checks on a regular basis should contact Office of the Treasurer at 650-723-3954 to determine the best way of processing these receipts (e.g., establishing a lockbox, if appropriate).

Cash and Check Handling Policies, Procedures and Checklists

Department Managers should facilitate development and implementation of their own departmental policies and procedures for cash and check handling. Reference Cash and Check Handling Checklists provided by the Office of the Treasurer.

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Types of Receipts (Cash and Checks for Deposit to Stanford)

Receipts — monies paid to or donated to Stanford — generally fall into one of five categories or types of payment. These categories determine how the receipts are processed.

  1. Designated Income Generated by Schools and Departments

    Schools and departments may generate income by selling products or services, provided the product or service is related to the primary research and educational missions of the University; income-producing activities that are not related to Stanford's primary missions require written permission from the Provost. See important compliance information on Resources: Unrelated Business Income.

    Many income transactions require the payment of state sales tax, which must be paid even if the department fails to collect the tax. See important sales and use tax guidelines.

  2. Sponsored Project Receipts

    Receipts from sponsoring agencies in support of sponsored research projects, contracts or agreements, including clinical trials, require special care and are handled by the Office of Sponsored Research.

  3. Gifts

    Receipts of cash or checks are considered gifts when they are from an outside entity and are given in support of a school, department, or the University and the donor receives nothing other than an acknowledgment in return, i.e., Stanford provides no goods or services to the donor.

    For information on processing non-cash gifts, see Administrative Guide Policy 4-1-1: Gifts to the University, and Policy 4-2-1: Receiving and Processing Gifts.

  4. Reimbursements to the University (Non-Salary Related)

    Cash or checks paid to the University are considered non-salary reimbursements when they represent:

    • repayment for expenditures made by the University on behalf of someone else
    • repayment of erroneous payments (other than wages or stipends) made by the University
    • payment for damages to University property when the payment is for the exact amount of replacing or repairing the damaged item
    • refunds on previously paid expenses
    • reimbursements to the University for personal expense originally charged to a University account
  5. Other Types of Receipts

    Some types of receipts do not fall precisely into the categories of designated income, sponsored project receipts, gifts, or non-salary reimbursements, and therefore may have special processing considerations and/or instructions. Some types of receipts require different processing procedures because of accounting or compliance issues.

    • Examples include:
      • Repayment to the University for payroll overpayment
      • Reimbursement to the University for sick leave pay
      • Reimbursement of student-aid overpayment
      • Externally awarded financial aid
      • Patent or software licensing fees
      • Travel advance adjustments
      • Payment for purchase of surplus property
      • Checks paid to individuals for professional fees or honoraria, and endorsed to Stanford University
      • Income to an academic service center for services performed for an individual or non-Stanford entity
      • Administrative and service fees paid to Stanford for non-University programs (programs sponsored by an outside entity such as conferences or symposiums)
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Processing Instructions by Receipt Type

Type of Receipt Processing via Support Resources
Department or School Income Wells Fargo, Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd Floor Departmental Deposits: CASHNet User Guide
Sponsored Project Office of Sponsored Research How To: Process Sponsored Project Receipts

New Gift Transmittals using the Gift Transmittals system (include the Gift Transmittal ID on the check)

Deliver payment and backup documentation to Stanford Office of Development the same day it is received

How To: Initiate New Gift Transmittal
  • See Step 4 for delivery instructions
Reimbursements to Stanford (Credits Related to Transactions Originating in iPO or Expense Requests) Travel and Reimbursement Contact Financial Support Center (3-2772)
Reimbursements to the University (Non-Salary) Wells Fargo, Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd Floor How To: Process and Deposit Department Receipts
Reimbursements - Salary / Sick Leave Payroll How To: Adjust for Employee Overpayment
Other Types various How To: Process Miscellaneous Receipts
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