Best Practices - Finance

Student Organizations - Finance

Student organizations are responsible for establishing controls surrounding their financial processing.


  • Prepare budget at beginning of term
  • Set realistic targets; budgeted income should equal or exceed expenses
  • Document assumptions used to determine budgeted income and expenses
  • Format should be consistent with financial reporting format
  • Obtain approval of the final budget from management and board

Financial Reporting

Restricted Current-use Gifts Processing

Establish New Funds

  • Obtain written terms signed by the donor
  • Review gift terms by school finance office
  • Review gift criteria for FASB 117 flag
  • Review gift for gift vs. grant criteria
  • Review Chart Security Maintenance Application (CSMA) new fund request form for accuracy
  • Timely submission of documents and forms to Central and RSO for fund set up
  • Maintain donor terms in central school/tub file
  • Distribute gift terms to departments responsible for spending

Safeguard Check Receipts

Petty Cash

University Policy
The purpose of a petty cash fund is to provide cash to business units sufficient to cover minor expenditures. The use of petty cash funds should be limited to reimbursement of staff members and visitors for small expenses, generally not to exceed $50, such as taxi fares, postage, office supplies, etc. Wherever possible, local units should use the PCard instead of petty cash.

Risks commonly associated with petty cash

PCard Best Practices

PCard Policy
The Purchasing Card (PCard) program was implemented in 1997 as a cost effective method to purchase and pay for small dollar transactions. The intent was to pay vendors faster and reduce University administrative costs.

Risks commonly associated with PCard:

  • Inappropriate use of the PCard, including non-University business purchases
  • Incorrect financial accounting for transactions

Cardholders should:

Account Reconciliations

Reconciliation is the process of comparing the local unit's financial transactions to the general ledger. Reconciliation reduces the risk of inaccurate financial reporting. Local units should reconcile all transactions each month including payroll, web voucher, PCard, accounts receivable, cash receipts and journals. Monthly reconciliations should be documented and reviewed and approved by local unit management.