Last Modified: May 20, 2022
The University of Alabama is a public institution with stewardship responsibility for public funds. This policy is provided to promote effective administration of revenue generation throughout the University.
Authority and Responsibility
Student Account Services (SAS) has been delegated the authority by the vice president for Finance and Operations and treasurer to:
- Approve the establishment of all campus revenue generating operations and activities prior to implementation.
- Develop and disseminate related University revenue generating policies and monitor for compliance.
- Assist in assuring that the generation of revenue is managed and controlled in a manner consistent with applicable institutional policies, laws, regulations, and guidelines.
Establishing/Modifying a Revenue Generating Operation
Any department intending to begin the generation of revenue must first receive approval from the Associate Director of Accounting and Merchant Services, regardless of the proposed tender types/funds. Complete a Request to Establish a New Revenue Generating Operation Form and return it to SAS. Any department wishing to modify an existing revenue generating operation must also receive approval. Changes may include:
- An additional revenue source.
- Change in method of customer contact (e.g., telephone, in-person, web, mail, etc.).
- Change in tender types accepted (e.g., checks, credit cards, etc.).
These requests should be made by the business manager of the associated college or operation. Complete a Request for Additions or Changes to An Existing Revenue Generating Operation form and return it to SAS. Once PCI training for credit card operations (if applicable) has been completed and approval has been given, approved changes to existing revenue generating operations may be implemented.
As with all UA contractual agreements, revenue generating contracts between the University and external entities must be signed by the Associate Vice President for Finance or the appointed designee. Individual departments are not authorized and may not enter into contracts with external entities for revenue generating purposes for or on behalf of the University. Web based click-through agreements (“I Agree”) constitute a legal agreement. Any department wishing to enter into such a contract should contact SAS for guidance before agreement occurs.
All revenue generating methods and third-party vendors must be approved by SAS. Because technology changes rapidly, it is not possible to list specific vendors that cannot be used. All third-party vendors should be submitted to SAS for review and approval prior to engagement. Once a request is made, SAS will review the vendor to determine whether or not the vendor is suitable and let the department know of the decision.
Department heads and/or business managers are responsible for ensuring that proper safekeeping facilities are available and that proper procedures are in place to protect the University’s funds until they are deposited with SAS. Departmental procedures should incorporate the following:
- Establish proper separation of duties to create a system of checks and balances.
- Limit personnel who have access to the funds.
- Establish an appropriate form of accountability (e.g., register tapes, ticket accountability, controlled receipts, web activity report, etc.) to ensure that UA’s assets are
appropriately managed and accounted for.
- Verify the accuracy and reliability of accounting data and other management information via reconciliation of the department’s receipting records (e.g. cash transmittal with
official UA receipt) to the University financial accounting records.
- Establish a refund process (e.g., refund methods, timeframe to request a refund, expected processing time, etc.) and policy.
- Deposits must be made at least once per week.
- Secure the funds in a locked, restricted access area.
- Safeguard Personally Identifiable Information (PII). See the Office of Information Technology’s Security Webpage and The University’s Credit Card Security Policy for further information. Personal checks, credit card cardholder information (card number, security code, expiration date), and social security numbers should not be imaged, copied, or retained. Campus wide IDs may be retained if necessary, to do business; however, they should be securely maintained.
- Establish procedures that address controls needed for refunds, voids, and adjustment to transaction (e.g., separation of duties and appropriate documentation).
- Ensure that established policies and procedures remain effective through periodic reviews and updates.
- Establish a secure method of funds transfer to SAS, unless authorized by SAS for direct deposit. Campus Mail is not to be used to transfer cash, checks, or credit card numbers.
Funds may be delivered to SAS via departmental staff. UAPD may be able to assist with delivering large deposits.
Acceptable Forms of Payment
- Check or Money Order – All checks should be made payable to The University of Alabama unless an exception is approved by SAS. Abbreviations such as “U of A” and “UA” are also
acceptable. Upon receipt, checks should be stamped “For Deposit Only”. No postdated checks are to be accepted. Checks taken on an international bank may require processing for collection. If a foreign check is received, bring the check separately to SAS.
- Cash – Cash payments should be immediately receipted, and funds locked in a secure location until the deposit is completed. When the cash deposit is delivered to SAS, the cash will be verified by a SAS representative in the presence of the individual making the deposit and a receipt for cash will be issued to the department immediately. In the event of a large cash deposit, an appointment should be made with SAS in advance. Receipts for dropped off deposits or deposits with no cash will be emailed to the department.
- Credit Cards – With authorization from SAS, a revenue generating operation may accept payment by credit cards. The University of Alabama Credit Card Policy identify the requirements that must be followed.
Receipting of Payments
All in-person cash transactions require that a receipt be given to the customer immediately. Receipts can be generated by the department’s automated system, point of sale system (i.e., cash register) vending system receipts (i.e., parking, copies, etc.), web e-commerce applications, or may be prepared manually. For payments received through the mail or by telephone, receipts issuance is not required but initial control and separation of duties are required.
Balancing of Funds
Departments must balance funds collected daily by comparing total funds collected to the daily receipt totals. Any difference (overage/shortage) discovered during the balancing process must be documented and reported to the appropriate official. The department head or financial manager should establish procedures to assure that funds are balanced with appropriate documentation and approval.
Temporary Safekeeping Services
SAS will secure any funds overnight for a department, either on-site or in an outside banking facility. Temporary safekeeping should be used in instances where the deposit preparation is not complete. Contact SAS to establish a night deposit/safekeeping arrangement at least two weeks in advance.
A department that has a valid reason for needing to make change, (i.e., change for athletic events, parking, or admission tickets) can request a permanent or temporary change fund. The request should be made by the department head or business manager of the associated college or operation by completing a Departmental Change Fund Request Form, and sending it to SAS.
The following requirements apply:
- Check cashing from change fund monies is prohibited.
- Purchases cannot be made from a change fund, even if the fund is subsequently reimbursed.
- The designated custodian is responsible for the safekeeping of the fund. The fund must be segregated from all other funds maintained by the department.
- The custodian of permanent change funds and the departmental approving official will be asked periodically to physically count the cash and document the counts.
- In the event that the department needs to change custodians of a permanent fund, a Transfer of Change Fund to a New Custodian must be completed and submitted to SAS.
Banking and Depositing of UA Funds
All funds collected are to be deposited intact. Collected funds are to be deposited through SAS between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm (CDT), unless authorization has been given by SAS to directly deposit to a bank account approved by the Board of Trustees. Departments are not authorized to open their own accounts with any bank.
Receipts totaling $500 or more per day must be deposited on a daily basis. While daily deposits are preferred, small amounts of less than $500 may be deposited on a weekly basis (if a secure place exists within the department for safekeeping). Deposits must be made at least once per week. Note, credit/debit card settlements follow these same depositing/recording requirements.
This policy applies to all University of Alabama departments and foundations under affiliation agreement with UA, and the associated employees involved in any way with the revenue generating activity. All individual departments’ procedures established for the generation of revenues must be developed within the parameters of these overarching policies.