Foreign Activity Operations Guide

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Establishing Foreign Bank Accounts

In some cases, the scale of a project may necessitate establishment of a local bank account in the name of Stanford University to facilitate payments and business transactions in the foreign country. However, it is often difficult to summarily open bank accounts in foreign jurisdictions, and may conditionally require some form of corporate registration. The Cash Management group, Office of the Treasurer, should always be notified prior to the opening of a foreign bank account to manage Stanford University funds. Although not always possible, notification of at least six months prior to the account being needed is preferred.

Recommendations for managing foreign bank accounts include:

  • Establishment of clear responsibilities and policies for managing local bank account(s). This should include procedures regarding deposits, withdrawals, payments / transfer of account funds and closing of account/s at the end of the project.
  • Stanford University account signatories must include:
    • A local account signer who is a University employee or agent designated in writing. There may be more than one local account signer. It is strongly discouraged that non-Stanford employees be account signatories;
    • University Controller or his/her designate; and
    • School or operating unit financial officer located at Stanford home campus.
  • Authorized signer records and other associated bank documents should be kept on file locally and with the Cash Management group, Office of the Treasurer.
  • Monthly reconciliation of transaction activities must be maintained for project records and be provided to the Financial Management Services on a timely basis.
  • Commingling of University monies with personal funds is prohibited.