This document serves as the guide for all Commonwealth Campuses in regard to fiscal policies and procedures for Student Government Association accounts. This manual is intended to guide the campuses from the use of traditional bank accounts to IBIS; creates a uniform standard across all campuses.
The Student Government Association Fiscal Policy and Procedure Manual was created in August of 1967 and has been revised in 1980, 1988, 1999, and most recently in 2016.
The amount of funds budgeted for financial support of recognized student organizations shall be determined by the Board of Trustees on an annual basis, upon the recommendation of the President after consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Student Fee Board, and the Chief Student Affairs Officer at the Commonwealth campuses. In addition, a student initiated fee is collected at all campuses from registered students during the fall and spring sessions. At selected campuses a summer fee may be collected. The use of the student initiated fee funds must be in accordance with the University's Student Fee Board Handbook and the individual campus allocation committee policies and procedures.
The Student Government Association (SGA) and all affiliated student-run organizations at each campus are authorized to maintain both allocated and non-allocated accounts within Penn State University Integrated Business Information System (IBIS). The allocated account (01-089-50 XX) Fund 10010 is to be used for all monies allocated by the University and the transfer from the University must be directly recorded in this account. The non-allocated account (01-089-50 XX) Fund 36140 is to be used for all non-allocated monies generated through dues, fundraisers, donations, etc.
- Solicitation activities shall be defined as
- Donations without products or services being rendered
- Activities that raise funds through direct sale of merchandise or service for the benefit of non-University charitable organizations
- Recognized student organizations and University-affiliated student organizations desiring to solicit funds for non-University charitable organizations that they deem worthy of support may do so subject to the following restrictions:
- All charities will require verification of their existence to the satisfaction of the University;
- All solicited proceeds must be deposited promptly within the Student Government Association;
- The University will take appropriate precautions to protect soliciting groups and potential contributors from undue outside pressure from professional fundraisers. (please refer to University Policy Manual, Policy AD06 - Community Charity Solicitation of University Employees, Policy AD26 - Sale and Service of Food and Beverages at University Locations, and Policy AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations for more information).
- Solicitation in the resident halls is subject to additional restrictions found in the Policies and Rules for Student Organization
- Solicitation activities shall be restricted to recognized student organizations and residence hall house/area governments and must be conducted on behalf of charitable organizations.
- Solicitation activities by recognized student organizations (other than house or area governments) must comply with University policy and meet all University requirements to be approved by the area government.
- Solicitation activities shall be restricted to areas in the commons buildings or the dining facilities approved for activities, programs, and meetings.
- Solicitations shall be restricted to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Any eligible soliciting group must register for the use of facilities with the area government and area Residence Life Office using the "Terms and Conditions for Reservations and use of Common Area Spaces and Residence Hall Complexes" form found in the area Residence Life Offices at the Commonwealth Campuses. This process must be completed a minimum of six (6) business days prior to the event.
- Solicitation in residence hall buildings that takes place door-to-door or in dining facilities or the snack bars is prohibited.
- Solicitation in non-residence hall campus locations is subject to the following additional restrictions and is authorized by the Office of Student Affairs at Commonwealth campuses:
- Solicitations shall be conducted only at authorized locations.
- All solicitation by recognized student organizations must be scheduled in advance.
- At all locations, solicitors for a specific activity must be active members of the recognized student organization conducting the solicitation. Non-University interest must be sponsored by a recognized student organization
Two signatures are required for all transactions. There are six (6) authorized signatories:
- Organization President
- Organization Vice President
- Organization Secretary
- Organization Treasurer
- Chief Student Affairs Officer
- Chief Student Affairs Officer Designee
In all cases, the signature of one organization office (1, 2, 3, or 4 above) and once campus administrator (5 or 6 above) are required for all transactions.
The following funds must be deposited into the allocated account (01-089-50 XX 10010);
- Allocated funds from Central Student Affairs at University Park
- Lump sums allocated by Student Initiated Fee
- Grants from the University for special projects
- Establish cost centers for each allocation in the SGA general fund account. The budgeted allocation should agree to the allocation voted on in the SGA minutes. Expenditures for this allocation should be recorded against the cost center to ensure that the expenditures do not exceed the allocations.
The following funds must be deposited into the non-allocated account (01-089-50 XX 36140);
- Fundraising money
- Create a section for the SGA Club (fundraising) accounts that requires cost centers for each club and annual agreement by each club to the balance for their club cost center. Establish cost centers for each club or organization in the SGA, non-allocated account.
The organization Officer or Treasurer Designee (can be a club member) will complete a Deposit Accountability Form (Exhibit "B").
When the organization officer or treasurer makes a deposit, a University prenumbered receipt will be written and given to the organization representative as discussed in Policy FN01 - Processing Cash Revenues and Procedure CR2032 - Processing and Controlling Prenumbered Receipts at Non-University Park Locations.
When tickets are used for an event where a fee is collected, they must be prenumbered for accountability. In these cases, a Ticket Accountability Form must be completed. Please use ticket request form found in Exhibit "A".
If Student Organizations receive a monetary gift, first contact your Development Office. If they don't need to be deposited through Development than they should be deposited into 01-089-50 XX 36140.
Food related sales required prior approval from Housing and Food Services or the Director of Business Services. Merchandise sales using Penn State images or names must be approved by Penn State Licensing prior to the sale.
Student dues must be deposited into 01-89-50 XX 36140. Each campus may make their own policy regarding group deposits.
All or a portion of parking fines, as designated by the Director of Student Affairs, in consultation with the Chancellor and Campus Financial Officer, must be deposited into 01-089-50 XX 36140. SGA stipends are paid from parking fine money. Any remaining funds may be used to enhance student programs.
See Policy FN01 - Processing Cash Revenues and Procedure CR2005 - Depositing Cash Revenues for full details.
All expenditures of the SGA funds, including both restricted and non-restricted funds, are controlled by the SGA Treasurer. However, the oversight and the responsibility for the proper use of these funds ultimately rests with the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
Manual Recordkeeping - Maintain a manual expenditure spreadsheet for each allocation and the associated expenses. The allocations of the individual sheets should be reconciled to the SGA general fund budget total in IBIS. The expenditures on the sheets should be totaled and agreed to the SGA general fund expenditure total for the year.
Use Excel spreadsheets to achieve the objectives described for manual recordkeeping.
Each allocation must be voted on by the SGA committee. The votes must be recorded in the SGA minutes, and that the allocations be deducted from the total SGA budget, unless included in other SGA Bylaws or Guidelines.
The organization Treasurer will prepare the Expense/Reimbursement Request Form (Exhibit "C").
See the Risk Management website for full details pertaining to contracts and agreements.
All suppliers of goods and services must provide the organization with an itemized invoice (or statement or account) for goods delivered or services rendered. These invoices must accompany the Expense/Reimbursement Request.
See Policy BS09 - Initiating Purchases from Vendors Outside the University for full details.
Anyone wishing to be reimbursed for a purchase made with personal funds on behalf of a student organization must submit an itemized receipt from the vendor along with an Expense/Reimbursement Request Form. The actual goods or services purchased will determined whether the reimbursement should be processed via IBIS or ERS.
Student Organizations should submit an Expense/Reimbursement Request Form with itemized backup to the SGA Treasurer. Requests may take up to 14 days to process. Organizations may indicate on the form whether the check should be mailed directly to the vendor or to the SGA Treasurer's office or designated area for pickup.
Student organizations receiving goods or services from another University department will be billed via the IDCC process. Expense/Reimbursement Request Forms, particularly the signature section, should still be completed. The department providing the goods/service should initiate the IDCC.
In the event a student organization is charging a department or another student organization for a service (such as an advertisement in the student newspaper), an IDCC should be initiated.
The ERS process is nearly identical to the SRFC process, with the exception being that students are not able to process travel reimbursement requests at this time. The reimbursement requests will be processed by an employee of the Student Affairs/Student Activities office rather than the SGA Treasurer.
Student organizations planning an event that involves travel should seek more information from the Student Affairs/Student Activities staff regarding transportation options, financial planning, and travel policies. All recognized student organizations must register their travel experience with the University a minimum of 48 hours prior to their departure. This includes both domestic and international travel experiences. The University guidelines regarding travel can be found within the Penn State Travel Policy.
When requesting reimbursement for meals, students should include a list of attendees along with their receipt. It is also important to note that alcohol is not a reimbursable expense, so it will not be included in the expense report.
Mileage for travel to and from a student organization event is allowed if the student uses a personal vehicle. Alternatively, students may wish to submit receipts for fuel and rental car expenses.
All travel reimbursement requests and receipts for an individual must be turned in to Student Affairs/Student Life at the same time. Only one ERS report per person/per trip is allowed and it may only be submitted after the trip has taken place.
If a department wishes to request a purchasing card for Student Government use, they should contact their Financial Officer (FO) for further instructions. SGA purchasing cards are held to the same policies, rules, and guidelines regarding purchases a regular staff cards. SGA purchasing cards may be used for goods, services, and travel but must be issued to an employee. If the cardholder is considered a travel arranger, the employee must submit all receipts through ERS under their name. The Financial Office will need to set separate spending elements
If one student organization wants to transfer money to another student organization, an IDCC should be processed rather than using the Redistribution of Actuals Across Cost Centers (RACC) function within IBIS. An IDCC allows the SGA Treasurer or Designee to make detailed notes about why the money is being moved and creates a permanent record in IBIS that is accessible to all budget reconcilers.
Penn State is now offering an option for student organizations wishing to seek financial support from the community. Eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found a Let's Grow State (see Policy AD90 - Crowdfunding Solicitation Policy for full details.)
The spirit of the Student Government Association (SGA) funding is to create a vibrant community and contribute to the creative, social, and educational atmosphere on each campus. The process for requesting funding varies from campus to campus but additional information can be found by contacting the local SGA officers or Student Affairs/Student Life staff.
The University allows a wide range of goods and services to be purchased with general funds. The Payment Decision matrix gives examples of those items, as well as additional guidance regarding the proper purchasing procedure. Additional information about general funds vs. donor funds is outline in Policy FN10 - Other Business Expenses and Activities. All purchases must be in compliance with the University Policies and Rules for Student Organizations.
The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area, as well as performing an annual audit that is submitted to the Assistant Controller.
Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management, and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.
- Documents subject to a Legal Hold (see AD35, Legal Hold). A legal hold will remain in effect until it is released in writing by the Office of General Counsel.
- Documents under audit or review, either internally or externally. The retention period extends until released by the Corporate Controller's Office. The Financial Officer will be notified regarding any accounts which are under audit; the Financial Officer will be responsible for contacting the department.
Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this procedure, please contact the Financial Officer - Student Affairs.
Date Approved: 5/9/2018
Most recent changes:
- Revision 4 - 5/9/2018 - Student Activities Fee was changed to Student Initiated Fee. This procedure underwent a total rewrite.
Revision History (and effective dates:)
- Revision 3 - 8/18/1999
- Revision 2 - 8/4/1988
- Revision 1 - 7/1/1980
- Original - 8/4/1967