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Finances

 

Guidelines

Point Park University encourages all student organizations to become financially self-sustaining, and every student organization should develop a plan to be fiscally responsible. In order to assist student organizations achieve this goal, the Office of Student Activities has created the following guidelines.

Budgeting

A budget is a detailed statement of estimated income and expenses that can be a very helpful way of keeping track of the student organization’s funds and planning for the future. The budgeting process will vary from one organization to the next depending on the organization and its history and needs.

A Budget Can:

  • Refine goals
  • Compel members to use funds efficiently and appropriately
  • Provide accurate information with which to adjust, analyze, and evaluate programs and activities
  • Help allocate resources for events, programs, or activities

Some Questions to Ask when Beginning the Budgeting Process

  • How much money does our student organization have already?
  • Do we need additional funds?
  • What types of resources does our student organization have at our disposal to raise money or cover costs?
  • Will we need to fundraise; if so, what sort of fundraising activities can we do?

Preparing A Budget

  • Prepare an outline of all of your organization’s scheduled and/or potential activities
  • Record already available funds
  • Estimate income, including known and potential sources (dues, fundraising proceeds, USG, etc.)
  • Estimate expenses (advertising, rentals, printing, supplies, food, etc.)
  • Remember that the budget should be flexible enough to account for possible overlooked or unanticipated expenses, events, etc.
  • Estimated income must be equal to, or exceed, estimated expenses; if not, adjustments must be made to the budget

See Sample Budget Form

Managing A Budget

  • Once approved, it is the responsibility of the treasurer, fellow officers, and student organization members alike to closely manage and make progressive changes to the budget
  • One way to manage the budget is to create a minimum balance policy
  • Set additional general policies that will help to achieve your student organization’s financial objectives.
  • Keep an accurate and up-to-date account of all transactions, as well as backup documentation such as receipts, invoices, memos, emails, etc.
  • When the budget period is ending, as a group, reflect on your progress from the previous semester or year to see what changes will need to be made in the year(s) to come

See Sample Record of Income and Expenses
**Adapted from the ACPA Advisor Manual

Sources of Funding

Student organizations have a number of potential sources of funding, and the most common are discussed in this section.

Solicitation

Student organizations wishing to solicit off-campus businesses for material donations (prizes, materials for programs, etc.) must coordinate these activities with the Office of Student Activities. Organizations are not permitted to solicit businesses for monetary donations or corporate sponsorship. The exclusive right of a single sponsor to be the sole supporter of any student organization or organizational program is prohibited.

Fundraising

Fundraising is an excellent way to earn the money necessary to support a student organization and plan events while simultaneously helping to bring members closer together. Often times, student organizations have big plans and ideas for excellent programs and services, but do not have the resources to make these plans possible. In order to succeed, fundraising is often necessary and important to help with the success of the programs. Fundraising events can be a lot of fun for all involved, but students should remember to always be professional, reliable, legitimate, and appropriate. This should be a group effort, getting as many people involved as possible who will aid in bringing members closer together and producing an excitement for the organization felt group-wide.

An important key to successful fundraising is to be creative and to always keep your goal in mind. In order to keep members excited about your fundraising efforts, it is important that all members know what the raised money will be used for. Otherwise, the members may lack motivation and not put as much energy and effort into the fundraiser as is necessary. It is extremely important to make sure that the money you are raising is going to a legitimate cause, so the members of the community will feel good about giving and know exactly how they are helping.

When considering a fundraiser, remember to follow all University policies and procedures. For more information, reference the Student Organization Manual and the Student Planner and Handbook.

Fundraising Ideas!

  • Bake Sale
  • Car Wash
  • Recycling Drive
  • Talent Show
  • Marathon
  • Candy Sales
  • Community Clean-Up
  • Cleaning or Errand Service
  • Dog Walking or Pet Care Service
  • Golf Tournament
  • 50-50 Raffle
  • Speed Dating
  • Karaoke Night
  • Basket Raffle
  • Singing Christmas Cards (or Valentine’s Day)
  • Spaghetti Dinner (or other type of dinner event)
  • Drive-In Movie
  • Best Beard Contest
  • Game Tournament
  • Catalog Sale
  • Discount Cards
  • Mystery Dinner Theater
  • Bingo
  • Holiday Cards
  • Pumpkin Carving Contest
  • Chinese Auction

Student organizations wishing to conduct raffles must meet the requirements as stipulated in Pennsylvania State Law. For more information, visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s website. Organizations who meet these requirements must also obtain written permission from the Student Activities Office.

Recognized student organizations may not sell items or raffle tickets door-to-door in the residence halls or in faculty/staff offices.

USG

The United Student Government (USG) has funds available for student organizations to utilize for programs and events that benefit the entire student body. For more information about petitioning these organizations for funding or co-sponsorship of your program or event, please contact these organizations directly.

United Student Government
717 Student Center
412-392-3850
usg@pointpark.edu
http://pointparkusg.com

Student Organization Accounts

Recognized student organizations are not permitted to have off-campus bank accounts. Student organizations found to have an off-campus bank account risk losing their University privileges as a recognized student organization.

Student organizations are encouraged to have a University account, which is essentially a line within the University’s budget. University accounts offer the following benefits:

  • Record of income and expenses paid and received through the University
  • Ability to have goods and services purchased from campus vendors such as Printing Services and Food Service (Aramark) billed directly to the account
  • Security of the group’s money
  • Ability to rollover student organization funds from year to year

University Budget Account Number

A University budget account number (budget line) is a holding account that acts as a bank account for a student organization. Below are the requirements a student organization must meet before it can acquire a budget account number:

  • Be in good standing with USG and the Office of Student Activities.
  • Have a Point Park University faculty or staff advisor willing to take responsibility for the account; the Director of Student Activities is unable to be that person. The designated University faculty or staff advisor is the only person permitted to directly access the student organization’s funds.
  • Do not have any records of misused funds.
  • Have an initial deposit of $100; this cannot be Student Activity Fee money from USG.
  • Contact the Director of Student Activities once all of the requirements are completed for review and final approval. Once you receive final approval the Director of Student Activities will set up your account with the Business Office.

Depositing funds

Once a student organization has a University budget account number, funds can be deposited into the account.
Note: A student organization that has obtained funding from a source such as USG may access that funding only through a purchase of services or goods. The allocated money will not be deposited or transferred into the student organization’s account. For more information, see the section Purchasing and Payment.

  • Download the Cashier Deposit Form from the website under Student Club Financial Guidelines. This is an Excel file, and the form must be completed on the computer as follows:
  • Date - Enter the date in which the deposit will be made in a mm/dd/yy format.
  • Name of Department From – Enter the name of the student organization.
  • Contact Name, Email, Phone Extension – Enter the name, email, and phone number of the person to be contacted if there are any questions about the deposit.
  • General Description of Deposit – Briefly provide an overall description of the deposit, such as Scrapbooking Club Member Dues.
  • Separately list the amounts to be deposited and indicate cash, check, or money order. If checks are to be deposited in the aggregate, attach an adding machine tape showing all checks added together, along with the total; this should only be done when there are a large amount of checks. In this case, it is suggested that the group keep a record of the individual checks.
  • Fund # and Budget Account # - Enter the 3-digit fund number and 13-digit budget account number that was assigned to student organization (together this is the group’s University budget account number). DO NOT enter dashes or spaces; the form auto-formats the numbers.
  • Description – Enter a brief description of each amount; be specific -- include name of person who paid the money or wrote the check and what money will be used for. DO NOT use the term “miscellaneous”.
  • Student ID # – Do not use this column
  • If more space is needed, use additional forms(s).
  • Print 2 copies of the form, one for Student Accounts and one for the student organization’s records.
  • Student Accounts Signature – The Student Accounts representative who accepts the group’s deposit will sign on this line on both copies.
  • Depositor Signature – The person making the deposit signs on this line on both copies.
  • Bring both copies of the Cashier Deposit Form, along with the funds to be deposited, to the Student Accounts Office located in the Student Financial Services Center on the first floor of Thayer Hall. Student Accounts will verify the total of the deposit, sign both copies of the Cashier Deposit Form, and return one copy to the depositor for the student organization’s records.

Purchasing and Payment

Student organizations that hold meetings or events often need to make purchases or pay for services related to the meeting or event. This section discusses some common types of purchases and methods of payment student organizations have available to them, along with options, procedures, and appropriate forms that need to be used. Keep in mind, there may be other options as well, but the ones discussed here should be explored first.

In order for student organizations to be able to make a purchase or be reimbursed for one, the organization must have funds in their University account and/or have been approved for funding through USG or a University department.

All forms must be fully and accurately completed; follow all instructions. All requests must be submitted in a manner that allows for sufficient time for processing of the request by the University and the vendor, including vendor shipping, handling, and delivery time.

All University policies and procedures must be followed throughout the purchasing and payment process, and the University reserves the right to require a particular purchasing option or payment method, regardless of the funding source, in order that University policies and procedures are followed. Failure to follow any policy or procedure may result in the delay or denial of a purchase or payment.

See Student Organization Request for Reimbursement Form; Student Organization Purchase Request Form; Check Request Form

Type of Purchase

Options

Purchase supplies or food; purchase or rent equipment; off-campus print/copy services

Note: See policy regarding purchases Over $1,000 from a single vendor

  • Reimbursement
  • Check Request
  • Advisor advance (cash only purchases)
  • University credit card
Conference registrations, travel (not University van), membership fees, off-campus advertising
  • Check Request
  • University credit card

Services such as catering, DJ, band

Note: A contract for services is required; this may be a written, itemized invoice or estimate of costs

  • Check Request

Honorariums for speakers

Note: A contract for services is required; this may be a written, itemized invoice or estimate of costs

  • Check Request for non-Point Park faculty/staff
  • University payroll for Point Park faculty/staff (stipend)
 University department services such as van transportation, print/copy services, catering
  •  Student organization account billing

 

Sales Tax

Student organizations may not use the University’s state sales tax exemption certificate. However, if the University is making a purchase for a student organization, the tax exemption certificate should be utilized by the staff or faculty member making the purchase.

To be exempt from paying sales tax as a non-profit organization, a student organization must apply for non-profit status through the IRS and sales tax exemption through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit here or here.

Purchases Over $1,000 from a Single Vendor

In addition to any forms specified in this section of the manual, purchase over $1,000 from a single vendor may require a University Purchase Requisition form. Student organizations must check with their advisor, the Office of Student Activities, or the Office of Student Affairs prior to purchasing or ordering the item(s). Payment may be refused for any purchase over $1,000 in which a University Purchase Requisition form is required.

Proof of Purchase

In financial transactions, supporting documentation is always required; this can be in the form of an invoice, original receipt, contract, email, or similar document.

The documentation should always include:

  • Date of the purchase or event
  • Name of the person or business supplying the goods or services
  • If the person or business is supplying a service (catering, speaker, DJ Band, etc.)
    • Employer ID Number (EIN), Tax ID Number (TIN), or Social Security Number (SSN)
    • Address
    • Phone Number
  • An itemized list of goods being purchased or services being rendered, along with the cost

Special Note: In order for the University to issue a check for payment of services, a TIN, EIN, SSN, or similar identification number is required. However, in today’s world , where identity theft is a concern, there are people who need to be paid but are concerned about releasing this information. If you encounter such a situation, contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance.

Reimbursement

This option may be available for student organization members who need to be reimbursed for a purchase made with their own personal funds on behalf of a student organization.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account and/or USG

Forms Required:

Student Organization Request for Reimbursement, Check Request Form

Processing Time:

Completed Check Request forms with all required signatures submitted to the Business Office by Friday afternoon will result in a check being available on the following Wednesday.

Procedure:

  • Every individual who requires reimbursement completes a Student Organization Request for Reimbursement form; see form for more information and instructions.
  • Attach proof of purchase documentation supporting the request.
  • Submit the Reimbursement form and supporting documentation to the student organization treasurer.
  • The student organization treasurer completes a Check Request Form for every individual to be paid, attaches the completed Student Organization Request for Reimbursement form and supporting documentation, and obtains the appropriate signatures. For more information, such as instructions for completing the form and where to submit, see the section regarding the Check Request Form.

Check Request

This option may be available for student organizations that need a check issued for payment of a purchase, deposit or payment of services for a non-University department or employee, or payment of event registration fees, membership dues (such as for a professional organization), etc.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account and/or USG

Forms Required:

Check Request Form

Processing Time:

Completed Check Request forms with all required signatures submitted to the Business Office by Friday afternoon will result in a check being available on the following Wednesday.

Procedure:

Download the Check Request Form from the website under Student Club Financial Guidelines. This is a .pdf fill-in form that may be completed by hand or on the computer as follows:
  • Wire Transfer/Check Request Form – Check only the “Check Request Form” box. Wire transfers are not an option.
  • Bank account if other than general operating account – disregard this field.
  • Make Check Payable To – Enter the name of the person or business to which the payment is being made. The payee may not be Point Park University, any of its departments, staff or faculty. The payee must be willing to accept a check as the form of payment. Checks will be issued under the name of Point Park University.
  • Amount – Enter the total amount to be paid.
  • Date Needed – Enter the date the check is needed; if there is no specific date, you may enter “Next check run.”
  • Mail Check or Hold for Pickup – If you would like the Business Office to mail the check to the payee, “x” the Mail Check box. If you would like to pick up the check in the Student Activities Office, “x” the Hold for Pickup box and enter extension 4735 to pick the check up in the Student Activities Office, or 3851 to pick the check up in the Student Affairs Office.
  • Purpose of Check – Enter a brief description of the reason for the check, including the name of your club; Examples: 2011-12 membership dues for NPPA; Dance for dreams catering deposit for 3-11-12 event; conference registration fees for Globe. Please list the same details as on your deposit form in the description section.
  • Address – Enter the full address of the business, organization, or person to which the check is made payable; if this is a reimbursement for expenses, no address is required (see Reimbursement section); if this is a business or organization, this should be the address on the attached invoice or estimate.
  • Social Security No. – Enter the Social Security Number of any person to whom you are paying an honoraria or fee for service; enter the Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) if the payee is a business or organization. This is only required the first time the University makes payment to this person, business, or organization.
  • Description of Services… - This line may be used for any additional information you would like the Business Office to know about this transaction.
  • Charge to Budget Account Number(s) – All funding sources will enter their budget account number including all leading and ending zeros, and the amount to be charged to that number. The total of the amounts listed on all six lines must equal the amount of the check.
  • Originator – The student organization treasurer signs; also print the name if the signature is not legible.
  • Originator Phone Extension – Enter the student organization treasurer’s phone number.
  • Department Director – All University staff/faculty with budget authority over the budget account numbers supplied on this form must sign; use the bottom blank area of the form if necessary to accommodate multiple signatures.
    • Student organization advisor for purchases funded by a student organization account
    • Director of Student Activities
    • USG treasurer if the purchase is funded by USG
  • Attach documentation supporting the request; see Proof of Purchase section
  • Disregard the remaining fields on the form.
  • Submit the completed Check Request Form with all required signatures and documentation to the Student Activities Office; in cases involving a USG budget account number, submit to the Student Affairs Office.

Advisor Advance

This option may be available to student organizations that need to pay cash for a purchase.
Special Note to Advisors: By requesting and accepting a Travel Advance, you authorize the Payroll Office to deduct the entire amount of the advance from your salary if a satisfactory Travel Expense Report is not submitted within thirty (30) days from the final date expenses are incurred.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account and/or USG

Forms Required:

Request for Temporary Traveling or Expense Advance form, Point Park University Travel Expense Report form (even if not travel related)

Procedure:

  • Advisor completes the Advance form, available on the Faculty/Staff Intranet, then signs and dates the form on the “Individual Receiving Funds” line. Note: Advisor must be an employee of the University in order to utilize this option.
  • Account number and additional signatures required
    • If the student organization is providing funding, use the organization’s University account number; the Director of Student Activities signs and dates on the “Department Director” line.
    • If USG is providing funding, the Dean of Students will enter USG’s budget number and signs and dates on the “Department Director” line.
    • If there is more than one funding source, enter all applicable budget account numbers and obtain all signatures according to the above procedures.
  • A check will be available on the following Wednesday for Travel Advance Request forms that are properly completed, have the appropriate signatures, and are submitted to the Business Office by the end of business on Friday.
  • A Travel Expense Report, available on the Faculty/Staff Intranet, must be fully and appropriately completed by the advisor, have the appropriate signatures (the same signatures as required for the Travel Advance Form), have the appropriate supporting documentation (proof of purchase) attached, and be submitted to the Business Office within thirty (30) days following the final date in which expenses are incurred.
  • An advisor may only have one outstanding advance at a time.

University Credit Card Purchases

This option may be available to student organizations who

  • Have the funds in their University account, and/or have obtained funding by USG
  • Cannot pay for a purchase via cash (advisor advance) or University check, and its members do not have the personal resources to make the purchase and be reimbursed afterward.

University credit card purchase by Advisor: Student organization advisors may use their University credit card to make purchases on behalf of their student organization, if the student organization has funds in their University account to completely cover the cost of the purchase. Note: Not all University faculty and staff have University credit cards.

University credit card purchase by the Director of Student Activities: May be an option if a student organization has the funds in their University account to cover the cost of a purchase and the advisor does not have a University credit card.

University credit card purchase by the Office of Student Affairs: May be an option if a student organization has the funds in their University account to cover the cost of a purchase and the advisor does not have a University credit card, and/or the purchase is being funded by USG.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account and/or USG

Forms Required:

Student Organization Purchase Request

Procedure:

  • The student organization completes the Student Organization Purchase Request form
  • The budget account information and authorization section is completed by the person with budget authority over the budget account number used; if multiple sources are funding the purchase, all sources must supply their budget number, information, and signature
    • Student organization treasurer for purchases funded by a student organization University account
    • Director of Student Activities
    • USG treasurer if the purchase is funded by USG
  • Attach supporting documentation, if any
  • Submit the completed form to the person or office whose credit card use is requested.
  • The person holding the credit card makes the purchase as requested, if appropriate, and is responsible for submitting an acceptable Travel Expense Report to the Business Office with the appropriate credit card statement and supporting documentation.

University Payroll

Services provided by a University faculty or staff member must be paid via University payroll stipend; there is no other option for payment of this type.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account and/or USG

Forms Required:

HR-2 Personnel/Payroll Universal Authorization Form

Processing Time:

Generally, completed forms with supporting documentation and required signatures submitted to the Human Resources Office by the 15th of the month will result in payment at the end of the same month; December deadline is earlier, usually around the 9th or 10th of the month.

Procedure:

  • The student organization’s advisor completes the HR-2 form; only sections indicated here need to be completed.
  • At the top of the form “x” the Misc. Pay/Stipend option
  • Employment Information section – Provide the name, position title, department, and supervisor of the faculty or staff member to be paid.
  • Miscellaneous Pay/Stipends section
    • Type of Payment – Stipend
    • Total Payment – Enter the total amount to be paid.
    • No. of Payments – 1
    • Amt. Ea. Payment – Enter the total amount to be paid.
    • To Be Paid From/To – Enter the same month and year in which the faculty or staff member is to be paid in both spaces; see Processing Time above.
    • Budget Code – Enter the University budget account number to be used.
    • Reason for Payment – Enter a brief description of service provided, including date of service or event.
  • Authorization: Supervisor/Manager Initiating Action – The student organization’s treasurer authorizes through written statement.
  • Authorization: Department or Division Signature – This signature is dependent upon the funding source:
    • Student organization’s advisor if funded by the student organization’s University account
    • Director of Student Activities if funded by CAB
    • Dean of Student Affairs if funded by USG
  • Supporting documentation is required, such as contract, invoice, or email that contains all pertinent information about the services provided; see Proof of Purchase section for more details.
  • The completed form, with required signatures and supporting documentation, is to be submitted to the University’s Human Resources Department.

Account Billing

Services provided by a University department to a student organization are paid for through monthly account billing (aka “budget transfer”). Services that may be paid for in this manner include: University van transportation, copy/print services, and catering.

Funding Sources:

Student organization University account, CAB, and/or USG

Forms Required:

The Van Request Form and Print Shop Submission Form

Procedure:

  • Follow all instructions and complete all fields on all forms.
  • For van transportation or copy/print services,
    • If the student organization is funding the total purchase, complete the appropriate form online.
    • If CAB is funding all or part of the purchase, CAB will submit the appropriate requests.
    • If USG is funding all or part of the purchase, visit the Student Affairs Office for appropriate forms and instructions.
  • For catering services,
    • If the student organization is funding the total purchase, visit the Dining Services Office, 207 Lawrence Hall.
    • If CAB is funding all or part of the purchase, CAB will submit the appropriate request.
    • If USG is funding the purchase, visit the Student Affairs Office for appropriate forms and instructions.

Other Purchase and Payment Options

As mentioned earlier, the purchase and payment options discussed in this manual are the most commons ones available to student organizations and should always be explored first when considering the appropriate path to take; however, they may not be the only options. If a student organization needs assistance in determining if there is an alternate option, they may contact the Student Activities Office or the Student Affairs Office.

Note: If a University department (such as an academic department) is funding the total cost of an item or service, that department must arrange for purchase and/or payment according to departmental and University policies and procedures. If they are providing partial funding, contact the Student Activities Office if CAB is also involved, or the Student Affairs Office if USG is also involved.