Frequently Asked Questions

BUDGETS

 

CONFERENCE FUNDING

 

CHECK REQUESTS, CREDIT CARDS, PURCHASE ORDERS, DEPOSITS

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, TAX EXEMPT

 

TREASURER'S RESPONSIBILITIES

 

ENCUMBRANCES

 

RECEIPTS, CONTRACTS, FUNDRAISING, INSURANCE

 

STIPEND REPORTS

 

How do I prepare a budget for budget hearings?

Student Association organizations wanting a budget for the upcoming academic year must submit a proposed line budget complete with rationale to the Director of SA Programs, Personnel and Finances, or the SA Director of Business Affairs no later than the date announced in the spring semester.  All budgets must be broken down into the following lines:

Line 10- Supplies and Expenses: office paper, operating supplies, publicity, etc.

Line 20- Programming: concerts, films, speakers, tech services, etc.

Line 40- Salaries: stipends, wages, commissions, services rendered (most student organizations will not utilize this line).

Line 60- Other: Transportation (public/private, charter/rental cars), non-permanent equipment or other uncategorized items.

Treasurers should review past expenses and income to help formulate the budget and make their organization's request reflect the above categories.  New organizations which are recognized by SA after the start of spring budget hearings may request a budget, not to exceed $150, for the fiscal year in which they are recognized.  The SA Executive Committee may elect to increase such a provisional budget later in the fiscal year

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What is a Budget Increase?

Budget Increases are new allocations of mandatory student activity fee money, and, as such, are subject to rigorous review by all interested parties. All allocations must be approved by the SA Executive Committee on a first and second reading basis at a Student Association meeting.  Budget Increase forms are available in the SA office and on the web page under forms and policies. Forms are due in the SA office on Thursday by 4pm.

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What is a Budget Realignment?

If any organization wishes to realign funds within the same line, a memo outlining the requested changes must be submitted to the SA Director of Business Affairs.  Realignments must be approved by the SA Executive Committee on a single reading basis at a Student Association meeting.  Budget realignment forms are available in the SA office or on this website under "Forms and Policies".  Requests are due in the SA Office by Thursday at 4pm.

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How do I receive Conference Funding?

The Conference Fund is money set aside for individuals or organizations to use for conference expenses away from the campus.  Allocations from the conference fund represent new allocations of mandatory student activity fee money, and, as such, are subject to rigorous review by all interested parties. Therefore, SA Executive Committee must approve all such allocations on a first and second reading basis at a Student Association meeting.  A single organization may be granted monies from the Conference Fund for no more than two conferences per academic year.  A copy of the conference brochure, list of attendees and their class years must be handed in with the conference request form.  Conference request forms are available in the SA office and on the web page under forms and policies.  Forms are due in the SA office on Thursday at 4pm.

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How are expenses allocated for Conference Funding?

Meals are broken down as follows:

Maximum amounts allocated for meals will be

       Breakfast (if on the road by 8AM) $7.00

       Lunch $9.00

       Dinner (if returning after 6PM) $15.00

Gratuity is included in meal allocation.

Maximum amount allocated for lodging will not exceed $70.00 per night per person or 50% of the total lodging.

Maximum amount allocated for reimbursement for travel by personal automobile will not exceed 22¢ per mile. Maximum amount allocated for transportation costs, will be 50% of the total cost of mileage, tolls and parking per vehicle.

The maximum amount of non-automotive transportation (air travel, train, bus) or rental vehicles will be 50% of the total cost of travel per person per way.

For conference registration fees which do not include food and lodging, the Student Association may fund up to one-half (1/2) of the fee.

For conference registration fees which include food and/or lodging, the Student Association may grant no more than would be allocated for food and/or lodging for the conference otherwise, and no additional money shall be allocated for food and/or lodging.

The total amount allocated from the conference fund for a single conference may not exceed 50% of the total costs of that conference.The total amount allocated from the Conference Fund for a single conference may not exceed $2500.

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What are the Procedures for Conference Fund Expenditures?

If conference funding is approved by the Executive Committee, a student representative from the organization attending the conference must meet with the Director of SA Programs, Personnel and Finances to finalize details of the disbursement within three business days of the request’s final approval.

It is the responsibility of the organization receiving conference funding to complete a “Statement of Monies Spent” form, and to hand in all unused money and receipts documenting the expenses within one week of returning from the conference.

Reimbursement cannot be made without proper receipts for conference expenses. A proper receipt includes the date of purchase, amount spent, name of establishment, and in the case of meals, number of persons served and an itemized list of expenditures.

If receipts submitted for conference expenditures differ from the original allocation for conference costs, the Executive Committee may adjust the amount granted and require the organization to refund any excess money. The Executive Committee may never adjust the amount to a number higher than had been approved in the original conference request.

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How do I fill out a Check Requests (Funded and Non-Funded Accounts)?

Check requests are due Wednesday by 4 p.m.   The check request should be filled out with the organization’s department (i.e. special interest, media, standing committee, club sports, social service), organization’s name, account number, payee, vendor number, and description of purchase or service.  Proper documentation is required for all check requests. 

If there is a problem with the check request, the paperwork is returned to the treasurer with a note from the Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances asking for clarification.  

Non-funded accounts are required to stay within SA guidelines regarding alcohol and purchase of gift cards; they are required to have formal receipts.  The person receiving the check cannot be the same person signing the check request.

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When are checks available?

Checks are available for pick up from organization’s mailboxes on Wednesday after 1pm.  The yellow copy of the check request will be in organization’s mailboxes with the check.

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How do I sign out a credit card?

There are a few types of credit cards available to organizations.  They are:

  1. WalMart Charge Card:  These are signed out through the SA Administrative Assistant or Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances or any SA Executive Committee member.  A gray tax-exempt card is necessary given with the card.   You cannot use self check out. You must check out with a cashier and show the tax-exempt card prior to purchase.   The card should be returned as soon as possible after the purchase unless prior arrangements have been made.
  2. Wegmans Charge Card.  These are signed out through SA Administrative Assistant or Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances or any SA Executive Committee member.  No tax exempt form is necessary as the account is set up as tax exempt.
  3. Credit Card:  Purchases that are made on line will be purchased via a credit card.  Please contact the SA Administrative Assistant or Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances for assistance with these purchases.

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How do I Have Purchase Orders Issued?

Purchase orders are requested online.

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How do I make a deposit to a SA-Funded Account?

Organization treasurer (or designee) should bring funds to the Service Manager in the Student Association Ticket Office and fill out a deposit slip.  The Service Manager counts and verifies deposit and returns the yellow receipt to the treasurer (or designee).

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How do I make a deposit to a Non-Funded Account?

Organization treasurer (or designee) should bring funds to the Service Manager in the Student Association Ticket Office and fill out a deposit slip. The Service Manager counts and verifies deposit and returns the yellow receipt to the treasurer (or designee).

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How do I verify deposits?

The Service Manager fills out a Statement of Deposit to Accounts form for deposits made to both funded and non-funded accounts.  A yellow copy is placed in organization’s mailboxes on Wednesdays. Make sure your deposit slips match the Statement of Deposit forms.

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What are Financial Statements/Encumbrance reports?

Financial Statements are a summary of all transactions to an account.  They are produced weekly for each organization and placed in the treasurer’s mailbox. Treasurers are responsible for reconciling their account to the financial statements.  Discrepancies should be brought to the attention of the Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances immediately.

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What is Tax Exempt Status?

The Student Association is an unincorporated Association with New York State tax-exempt status.  Tax-exempt forms are available from the Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances.  They can only be utilized by an SA funded organization or an organization with a non-funded account with Student Association.  No other college organizations may utilize SA’s tax-exempt form. 

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What are Treasurer’s Responsibilities?

They are:

Follow all policies, procedures and regulations passed by the SA Executive Committee.

Be responsible for all organization expenditures that bear his/her signature.

Maintain a direct line of communication with organization officers regarding the status of their account and policies that pertain to it.

Maintain an accurate, up-to-date ledger of all expenditures, receipts, and PO’s of the existing financial year.

Assure the timely collection of all revenue.

Obtain clarification from the Director of Business Affairs or the Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances of any questions or problems regarding the S.A. accounting system or financial policies, procedures, and regulations.

Submit to the Director SA Programs, Personnel & Finances a complete accounts payable and receivable listing, in chronological order, at the end of the academic year.

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Encumbrances

According to the SUNY Board of Trustee Guidelines, the Student Association and their fiscal agent must establish and maintain an encumbrance approval system.

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What is an encumbrance?

An encumbrance is the first part of a two-part process for purchasing and paying for goods or services. (The other process is the Check Request system.) An encumbrance is a special type of accounting transaction that anticipates a future expenditure. Funds are encumbered, or set aside, in a particular budgetary line for a specific future purchase.

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What are the advantages of using an encumbrance approval system?

An encumbrance system requires that proper authorization must be obtained before a purchase takes place and before a financial commitment occurs. An encumbrance system enables the Student Association to approve a purchase before it takes place.

An encumbrance approval system recognizes budgetary constraints. By insuring that the available balance in a budgetary account is sufficient to allow the purchase commitment, the organization is prevented from over-spending before the commitment takes place.

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What is a valid receipt?

A valid receipt should show all details of a purchase.  It should have the vendor/merchants name, address, date of purchase and detailed items.  A signed credit card form is not a valid receipt since it does not usually show detail.  Since SA is tax exempt, we cannot reimburse tax.  The only exception is non-funded accounts as this is their money.

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What is the contract process?

As contractual obligations represent a commitment of Student Association funds or resources, only the Student Association President or his/her designee is authorized to enter such agreements on behalf of the Student Association or any funded organizations.  Verbal agreements between student organizations and performers may be legally binding and are thus prohibited.  The Director of Student Life or his/her designee reviews any contracts requiring College resources.  Student organizations must use the standard Student Association contract/agreement.  A SA rider must be attached to all contracts.  Contracts may not extend beyond one year unless authorized by the SA Executive Committee through a one-reading process at a Student Association business meeting.   Additionally, a W-9 form must be filled out and returned with the contract.  Contracts, riders and W-9 forms are available in the Student Association office.

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How do I fundraise for my organization?

All student groups on campus must have approval from the Department of Student Life first.  Once this is approved, SA funded organizations should fill out a Student Association Fundraising Form.  Fundraisers must be approved on a one reading basis at an SA Business meeting before the fundraiser may be held.  If an event is already listed specifically in a budget, no reading is necessary, but could be helpful for advertising the event.  Student Association fundraising forms are available in the SA office or on the webpage under forms.

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What type of insurance does the Student Association carry?

The Student Association carries General Liability insurance, Property, Marine, (for Crew Shells, launch), Umbrella, Fidelity & Forgery, Publishers & Broadcasters, Directors & Officers, Athletic and Athletic Medical Accident.   If an SA organization has any questions regarding coverage or needs a certificate of insurance, contact the Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finances.

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How do I write a stipend report?

Stipend reports should be a detailed report of the work done for during (and outside) office hours related to the position. The reports should be considered a resource for the next person in the position so he/she has a good understanding of what the position entails and what transpired over the year.  Incomplete reports will be returned. 

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