Payments

General Payment Policy

UCorp strives to make timely and accurate payments.  Payment requests submitted to UCorp with appropriate backup are generally processed for payment within five working days. Check runs are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Checks will go out the next day in U.S. mail unless alternative routing is requested on the payment request.

Ten different types of payment requests are used at UCorp depending on the type of payment being made.  It is important that the correct form be used because each form requests specific information pertinent to the request.

UCorp's Hospitality Policy adheres to the Integrated California State University Administrative Manual (ICSUAM) Policy 1301.00 on Hospitality. 

Hospitality is the provision of meals (catered or restaurant) or light refreshments (beverages, hors d’oeuvres, pastries, cookies, etc.), promotional materials, gifts, and travel expenses of official guests of the university. Hospitality includes expenses for activities that promote the university to the public, usually with the expectation of benefits accruing directly or indirectly to the university and may include the provision of gifts, awards, and promotional materials.

Allowable Hospitality Costs and Events

Costs

  • Breakfast up to $25 per/person
  • Lunch up to $35 per/person
  • Dinner up to $75 per/person
  • Light Refreshments up to $35 per/person
  • Attendance at civic, cultural, or sporting events
  • Travel-related costs for guest speakers
  • Gifts (see separate under "Gift"  Tab for Gift policy)

Events

  • When hosting official guests
  • Retreats, meetings, and business meals
  • Meetings of a learned society or organization
  • Student-oriented meeting
  • Meetings with donors and prospective donors
  • SF State or UCorp receptions honoring achievements by students or employees (light refreshments)
  • Faculty/staff picnics, holiday gatherings, and parties
  • Meetings of an administrative nature that concern the welfare of SF State or UCorp

Hospitality limits include tax and tip, but do not include ancillary charges such as room or equipment rental.  Alcohol may be included as part of the overall rate.

Every hospitality event must include both an Official Host and and Official Guest per the definitions below:

An Official Host is employed by SF State or UCorp and is a CSU trustee, auxiliary governing board member, or university or auxiliary employee who hosts guests at a meeting, conference, reception, activity, or event for the active conduct of "CSU business.”

An Official Guest is not employed by SF State or UCorp and is “a person invited by an official host to attend a CSU meeting, conference, reception, activity, or event.  Examples of official guest include employees visiting another work location, students, donors, recruitments candidates, volunteers, members of the community, or medic representatives.”

Exception: meals or refreshments for an entire department or work group are allowed.

Disallowed Hospitality Costs

  • Meals that do not include an entire department or work group
  • Meals for meetings that could have occurred during regular work hours
  • Costs related to tobacco or tobacco products
  • Hospitality costs that are of personal nature and not related to the active conduct of official CSU business will not be paid for or reimbursed. Examples include, but are not limited to, flowers as an expression of sympathy, employee birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and baby showers. (Farewell gatherings for employees separating with at least 5 years of service are permissible.) (per ICSUAM Section 1301.00)
  • Hospitality expenses will not be paid or reimbursed for membership in social organizations, activities or entertainment services that discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or disability. (per ICSUAM Section 1301.00)

Exceptions to the Hospitality Policy

  • One-time exceptions to standard hospitality policies and rates may be addressed on page (3) of the hospitality form, “Authorization for Exception to the Hospitality Policy”.
  • Exceptions include amounts that exceed the normal allowable rates, receipts submitted after 90 days, or any other exception that might have occurred.  All original (or certified) receipts must be attached to the package, and a justification for the exception must be clearly stated.
  • The completed form must be submitted to the appropriate VP for approval.  (Note: the Provost also requires the Dean’s signature on the claim form.)   The form is then submitted to UCorp for further processing, including obtaining the signature of the CFO.  UCorp will only issue payment after all appropriate signatures are obtained.

Completing the Hospitality Form

  • Form: Hospitality Request for Payment
  • Chartfield: The Account Number for Hospitality is 660950
  • Make Check Payable To: Complete as indicated
  • Description of Activity: Be sure to complete all fields in this section, including the Business Purpose.
  • Participants: If the event included 25 gift/award recipients or fewer, each recipient must be listed on the form.  The first three (3) may be listed on page 1 or 2, and the remaining participants can be listed on page 2 of the form.  If there are more than 25 recipients, state the exact number of participants on page 1- this is required information and the payment will not be processed without it.  If participants are part of a confidential study, see "Study Participants” policy.
    • Certifications: The payee will sign as “Claimant”.  This signature is not required for direct payments to vendors; it is only required for reimbursements.  The Authorized Signature cannot be the same as, or a subordinate of, the Claimant.  This means that reimbursements to the Project Director must be signed by the Dean, and reimbursements to the Dean must be signed by the appropriate VP.
    • Exceptions: See above.

This page was last updated on November 13, 2017.

UCorp’s policy for gifts conforms to ICSUAM Section 1300.01. Gifts allowed under the Hospitality policy have a separate set of guidelines. Generally, gifts are presented when tradition, commonly accepted institutional practice, or social custom dictates gift giving.  To prevent the appearance of favoritism, gifts presented to a particular individual or entity shall be given infrequently, based on objective criteria.  Furthermore, no officer or employee should present a gift that appears to be offered because of the position held by the recipient.

Non-cash gifts may be allowed when a benefit to SF State or UCorp can be demonstrated, or if it helps UCorp meet its goal as a good community citizen.

Allowable Gifts and Gift Recipients

Gifts

  • Promotional gifts, including tangible personal property bearing the logo of SF State, not exceeding $50 in value
  • Gifts for appreciation or recognition of service to SF State or UCorp, including tickets to cultural event, non-negotiable gift certificates, mementos (such as plaques, watches, or items bearing the SF State logo), not exceeding $250 in value
  • Incentives offered to study participants, not exceeding $75 per/participant, per/study.  Per/participant total cannot exceed $599 during any one calendar year
  • Gifts to donors offered as an expression of sympathy, including flowers, candy, books, not exceeding $100 in value

Recipients

  • Donors and potential donors
  • Visiting dignitaries and scholars
  • Volunteers (including students)
  • Study participants
  • Members of the local community
  • SF State employees (see “Non-Cash Awards to Employees” below for specific criteria)

Disallowed Gifts and Gift Recipients

Disallowed Gifts

Awards that are considered taxable by the IRS are not allowed.  This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gifts of cash
  • Negotiable gift certificates
  • Parking permits in excess of $175
  • Transit passes in excess of $65
  • Recreation memberships
  • Season tickets to cultural or sporting events
  • Work-related awards in excess of $400
  • Tobacco or tobacco-related products

Disallowed Recipents

Gifts may NOT be given to:

  • Any individual or organization associated either directly or indirectly with a political party, campaign, or candidate
  • Any group engaged in an attempt to influence legislation, elections, or referenda
  • Any person with whom a presenter has an outside business relationship, where a conflict of interest exists

Non-Cash Awards to Employees

Non-cash awards with a cost not exceeding $250 may be given to SF State’s academic and staff employees marking the following occasions:

  • Length of Service: For service 5 years or greater, award may be given once every five years.  Award must be given at a meaningful ceremony, and not be determined by classification
  • Work accomplishment: For “Employee of the Month (or Year)”, Distinguished Faculty Awards

Other Considerations:

  • Awards must be occasional and infrequent, and selection must be made in accordance with an established process.
  • No employee award may exceed $400 in value, under any circumstances.

Exceptions to the Hospitality Policy

  • One-time exceptions to standard hospitality policies and rates may be addressed on page 3 of the hospitality form, “Authorization for Exception to the Hospitality Policy”.
  • Exceptions include amounts that exceed the normal allowable rates, receipts submitted after 90 days, or any other exception that might have occurred.  All original (or certified) receipts must be attached to the package, and a justification for the exception must be clearly stated.
  • The completed form must be submitted to the appropriate VP for approval.  (Note: the Provost also requires the Dean’s signature on the claim form.)   The form is then submitted to UCorp for further processing, including obtaining the signature of the CFO.  UCorp will only issue payment after all appropriate signatures are obtained.

Completing the Hospitality Form

  • Chartfield: The Account Number for Hospitality is 660950. 
  • Make Check Payable To: Complete as indicated
  • Description of Activity: Be sure to complete all fields in this section, including the Business Purpose.
  • Participants: If the event included 25 gift/award recipients or fewer, each recipient must be listed on the form.  The first three (3) may be listed on page 1 or 2, and the remaining participants can be listed on page 2 of the form.  If there are more than 25 recipients, state the exact number of participants on page 1- this is required information and the payment will not be processed without it.  If participants are part of a confidential study, see Study Participants policy.
  • Certifications: The payee will sign as “Claimant”.  This signature is not required for direct payments to vendors; it is only required for reimbursements.  The Authorized Signature cannot be the same as, or a subordinate of, the Claimant.  This means that reimbursements to the Project Director must be signed by the Dean, and reimbursements to the Dean must be signed by the appropriate VP.
  • Exceptions: See above.

 

This page was last updated on August 23, 2016.

The Check Request Form should be used for:

  1. Direct payments to suppliers,
  2. Reimbursements to individual for supplies and materials, or
  3. Direct payments to companies for services when a purchase order is not required. Examples include but are not limited to utilities, photography, and space rental.

Check Requests cannot be used for hospitality, travel, or compensation for individuals.

For specific information about payments and reimbursements, please refer to UCorp’s Procurement Policy and General Payments Policy.

The Check Request form can be downloaded here: https://ucorp.sfsu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/check-request-form.pdf

Compensating Individuals

From time-to-time, or on a continuing basis, a Project Director may need to pay an individual to perform work for his or her program or project. The type of work the individual performs, the amount of direct supervision he or she receives, where the work is performed, and other factors will determine the method and the timetable for payment. UCorp follows IRS and California State regulations when making the determination.

All work performed by an individual, whether an employee or an independent contractor, must be approved by UCorp- in writing- prior to commencement of work.

Recent changes in California’s employment guidelines have necessitated changes in which form of compensation will be used for each individual. If you are considering compensating an individual for time, expertise, or deliverables, you are urged to contact one of the UCorp staff below to discuss the options that are available.

The new guidelines will likely result in fewer individuals being deemed independent contractors and more individuals deemed employees. To address what UCorp anticipates will be an uptick in the number of individuals on the payroll, an abbreviated process has been established for employees who will be working one month or less. Please see “Limited Employment Agreement”.

Documentation Required for an Independent Contractor

  • W-9 Form – This officially records the individual’s tax identification number.
  • Evidence of insurance or an approved waiver of insurance.
  • Scope of Work
  • Resume, curriculum vitae, bio, or other documentation that provides evidence of payee’s qualifications to perform the contracted assignment.
  • Fully approved agreement: Independent contractor agreement OR Short Term Service Agreement

Documentation Required for an Employee

  • I-9 – This establishes the employee’s eligibility to work.
  • W-4 – This records the employee’s tax identification number and number of withholding allowances.
  • Fully approved hiring document: Special Consultant Request for Payment OR Employment Form and Position Description OR Limited Employment Agreement

UCorp Contacts

Mark Angstman
HR Generalist
415-338-2246
angstman@sfsu.edu

Ricardo Angeles
Associate Director, Program Services
415-338-7141
angelesr@sfsu.edu

From time-to-time, the University Corporation will need to make payments to individuals who are not legal U.S. Residents or companies that are outside the United States.  When necessary, payments can be made via wire transfer.  All payments to non-U.S. residents and companies outside the United States must be approved by SF State’s Tax Specialist before payment can be released.There are no exceptions. 

UCorp should be contacted before a payment request is submitted for processing. The individual’s country of origin and visa status, or the company’s location, will determine what kind of documentation will be required.  As the requirements are subject to change, verify ahead-of-time with UCorp for all requests.

If you have further questions, please contact Ricardo Angeles at (415) 338-7141.

Scholarships and stipends both forms of non-employment student support. They differ from each other in important ways.

Scholarships

Scholarships are the most common type of student support processed at UCorp.  While completing the paperwork is relatively simple, the behind-the-scenes process is a little more complicated and may take several weeks to complete.  Scholarships are not issued to the students from UCorp directly; instead, SF State issues the payments to students, and UCorp is then invoiced by the University.

Scholarship forms should be submitted to UCorp as soon as the awardee is determined.  UCorp will review the form, approve the scholarship, and forward it to Financial Aid for processing if adequate funding is in place.  UCorp will contact the department if there are issues with funding.

Other terms of the scholarship, such as the required number of units or the minimum GPA, are reviewed by Financial Aid.  The department will be contacted by Financial Aid if the student does not qualify for the scholarship.  The department will be responsible for contacting UCorp to void the original submission if Financial Aid finds scholarship terms are not properly met.

Stipends

Stipends are payments issued to SF State students for class participation or general support to serve as aid in the pursuit of their studies.  Stipends are not compensation, and must not be used in lieu of wages.

Conditions

Stipends are not performance-based, and may not be adjusted or withdrawn as a result of performance.  However, stipends may be accompanied by certain terms and conditions which must be met.  Terms and conditions may include enrollment in a particular degree program or completion of a particular course.  These conditions must be outlined on the “Stipend Award” form.  It is the responsibility of the Project Director to contact UCorp if any of the terms and conditions of the stipend are not met, and if subsequent payments should be suspended.

In certain instances, the stipend recipient may be required to attend a course or perform certain activities as a condition of receiving the stipend.  These activities must have an educational benefit to the student, and SF State must not derive any benefits from the activities.

Procedure- Project Director

The Project Director or other authorized signer must complete a Stipend Appointment Form.  It is the Project Director’s responsibility to obtain the student’s signature.  Once the form has been signed by the student and an authorized signer, it should be forwarded to UCorp for processing.

Note:  A W-9 form must back up the Stipend Appointment Form if a stipend has not previously been awarded to the student through UCorp.  Recipients who are not legal US Residents must have their stipends approved by SF State’s Tax Specialist.  In those cases, additional documentation will be required.

Procedure- UCorp

When UCorp receives the signed Stipend Agreement Form, it is forwarded to Financial Aid for signature. Once all approvals are in place, the form is reviewed for cost allowability.

Stipends are issued monthly, approximately around the 15th of every month.  Students may pick their checks up at the Disbursement Desk located in Administration Building- ADM 358, or they may opt to have their checks mailed to them.

Reporting to the IRS

Stipends are considered taxable income, and will be reported to the IRS on an IRS Form 1099-MISC. 

Payments or Incentives Related to Participants in a Study

It is acceptable to offer small financial payments or other types of incentives (e.g., small toys, money orders, gift certificates or entry into a drawing) to research participants for participation in a study if the individual payments to participants will not exceed $75, and any recurring payments to individuals will not exceed $599 in any one year.

  • The PI should request a cash advance by submitting a check request form that is approved with an attached memo indicating the name of the study, the amount to be given to each participant, the number of participants and the total amount requested.

  • The form must also be accompanied by SFSU's Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) approval letter.

  • PI's will not be held to the exact number of participants originally planned because the number may vary over the course of the study but if significant changes to the same size or a new sample population be necessary, the PI must receive approval by the CPHS for the study modification before proceeding further.

 

After the advance is approved and processed, a check would be made out to the PI who then cashes it and disburses the incentives to individual participants. In the event that the cash or gift cards are lost or stolen, the PI will be required to reimburse University Corporation for the loss.

The PI is responsible for maintaining a receipt system in order to reconcile the cash advance with payments made to participants. The PI must also maintain a tracking system of the individuals to ensure that no one individual receives a total of $599 or more in any one year.

These databases will need to be kept secure and indefinitely to allow for an audit of expenditures if required.

To settle the cash advance:

For a NON-CONFIDENTIAL study, a hospitality form will need to be completed that clearly indicates it is a cash advance settlement. The following documents will need to accompany this hospitality form:

  • If the incentive was a gift card, the original receipt for the purchase of gift cards will also need to be submitted to University Corporation

  • The Participant Incentive form that includes:

    • The participant's name

    • Participant's signature indicating receipt of the incentive

    • Date of the interview

    • Amount paid to the participant

 

For a Confidential study, a hospitality form will need to be completed that clearly indicates it is a cash advance settlement. The following documents will need to accompany the hospitality form:

  • If the incentive was a gift card, the original receipt for the purchase of gift cards will also need to be submitted to University Corporation

  • The Participant Incentive form that includes:

    • The participant's coded ID numbers, rather than the name and signature of the participant.
    • The amount paid to the participant
    • The date of the interview and the signatures of the person conducting the interview
    • An individual designated to provide program oversight that authorizes the disbursement of the incentive for completion of the survey.
      • This person can be the project director, research study manager or another individual which certifies that the incentive was given to the participant for completing the survey.
      • If the person, who receives the cash advance, is also monitoring the survey and/or is the project director, then the Dean will need to approve the list of participants by signing the certification clause at the top of the list.

If individual payments will exceed $75 or any recurring payments to individuals exceed a total of $599, the individual will need to submit a W-9 and be paid via University Corporation check.

Even though these incentives may be non-cash they are still considered a form of compensation. As such, each PI should consider if a research subject would feasibly receive more than $599 in compensation annually during a study or combination of studies.

If this is the case, then the PI would need to submit an Honorarium form to the University Corporation with the documents that accompanied the cash advance request, as well as the Participant Incentive form that documents their participation in the study. This needs to be accompanied by the individual's W-9 form. At the end of the year, the University Corporation will issue a 1099 or 1042-S to the individual.

Sometimes subcontracted services may be necessary for programs and projects.  Services can rance from something as small as a few hours of consulting to something as large as a project lasting many months.  In any case, committing UCorp funds to subcontracted services requires UCorp’s signature on the contract.  There are no exceptions.  Contracts signed by anyone other than authorized UCorp personnel are not considered legally binding.

Contracts between UCorp and another entity should be forwarded to Ricardo Angeles for review. If adequate funding and/or insurance is in place, the contract will be forwarded to authorized UCorp personnel for review and approval.  UCorp will notify the department when the contract has been signed.

Purchase orders are required for contracts totaling $10,000 or more.  The signed contract is required as backup for the requisition, and should be uploaded in the “Edit Comments” section.  When the requisition is approved, the purchase order will be dispatched.

Revolving Petty Cash Funds

Revolving Petty Cash Funds are established for the purpose of allowing purchases of small amounts to be made with the least inconvenience.  These funds are the responsibility of their custodian, who must keep the funds in a locked and secured location.  Expenditures must benefit the program or project being charged, and must comply with all other UCorp policies.  Petty Cash Funds are not to be used to circumvent the regular purchasing process.  The petty cash custodian must advise others in his/her area of petty cash restrictions and regulations prior to authorizing any individual to make a purchase.

Short-Term Petty Cash Advances

Short-Term Petty Cash Advances may also be utilized for other purposes including: 1) special events when change must be available, or 2) when an employee needs to make a purchase and does not have a procurement card. 

How to Request a Petty Cash Advance

Petty Cash Advances up to $100 are to be submitted on a Check Request Form with the “Advance” box checked on the form, and must include Claimant and Authorized signatures.   No additional backup is needed.  Petty Cash Advances for amounts greater than $100 must be backed up with a memo describing what the advance is for, and must include Claimant and Dean (or AVP) signatures.

Use the chartfield that most closely defines what most of the anticipated purchases will be.  The account most commonly used for petty cash requests is 660003 – Supplies & Service.

How to Replenish Revolving Petty Cash

After purchases have been made, original or certified receipts must be submitted to the University Corporation with a new Check Request Form.  The Check Request Form will be used as a cover sheet for the settlement.  Check the “Settlement” box on the form, and indicate the Amount Due. (The cash-on-hand plus the receipts submitted should always equal the amount of the original petty cash advance.)

The reconciling Check Request must be backed up with the appropriate payment requests and original or certified receipts.  For example, parking and bridge toll receipts should back up a Travel Claim, while receipts for coffee for the department office should back up a Hospitality Claim.  More than one purchase can back up a single claim, as long as the required information is clearly communicated.

Once the settlement has been processed and approved by UCorp, a replenishing check for the amount of the receipts submitted will be issued to the Petty Cash custodian for revolving funds only. 

How to Settle a Short-Term Petty Cash Advance

After the purchase(s) have been made, a reconciling payment request must be submitted to UCorp for processing.  It is rare that the receipts provided will precisely equal the amount of the advance.  If the total receipts are greater than the amount of the advance, request reimbursement for the difference.  If the total receipts are less than the amount of the advance, the difference must be refunded through the Bursar’s Office and credited to the fund the advance was issued from.  A copy of the deposit transmittal and Bursar’s Office receipt must be included with the expense settlement.

Timeline

Advances are issued during normal check runs, typically occurring on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Allow one business week for processing.

All revolving petty cash advances must be settled and closed by June 30 of each year; another revolving petty cash fund must be established in the month of July when the new fiscal year opens.  The revolving fund should be replenished on a regular basis. 

All payment requests require the following:

Chartfield String

Every payment request should arrive at UCorp with the proper chartfield numbers assigned.  There are four components to the chartfield:  

  1. the 6-digit account number
  2. the 5-digit fund number
  3. the 4-digit department ID
  4. the 8-digit project number (most frequently left blank)

The Account Number- The 6-digit Account Number describes the product or service provided.  There are accounts for tangible purchases such as Supplies, Computer Equipment, and Printing, as well as accounts for services such as Telephone, Consultants, and Space Rental. 

UCorp has summarized a Chart of Accounts listing the most common accounts and their descriptions. If you have a question about the most appropriate account to use, please feel free to contact UCorp for suggestions.

The Fund Number- The 5-digit Fund Number represents the fund that has been established for your Campus Program, Scholarship, or Grant.  It is where deposits and expenditures are made.  Campus Program fund numbers begin with “47”, and Scholarship fund numbers begin with “50”.  Fund Numbers associated with grants begin with “30”, “33”, “40”, or “43”, depending on the source of the funding.

The Department Number- The 4-digit Department Number represents your campus department, institute, or RSO.

The Project Number- The 8-digit Project Number is only assigned to Grants & Contracts.  In most cases, this part of the chartfield should be left blank.  At UCorp, the Project Number always begins with “980” and is followed by the 5-digit fund number.

Name and Address of Vendor

Note that in most cases, a W-9 is also required for first-time payments to a particular vendor. Contact UCorp before submitting payment requests for international vendors; required documentation varies from country to country.  Exception: The student’s address is not required on the Scholarship Request Form.

Authorized Signature

An approved delegation of signature authority must be on file before a payment can be approved.  The appropriate signature is most often the Project Director. 

Original or Certified Receipts/Invoices

Original or certified receipts must back up all payment requests, unless the payment is for an individual’s time, i.e., an honorarium, internship, independent contractor, or stipend payment.

  • If receipt copies are provided, the following verbiage must be included on the copies and must be signed by the claimant:  “This receipt is a true and correct copy of the original, which has been lost or is otherwise unobtainable. I certify that our records have been checked and this receipt has not been submitted with a previous claim, nor will any other reimbursement be sought.”
  • If electronic receipts are provided, the following verbiage must be contained on the printout and must be signed by the claimant:  “I certify that this electronic receipt is the original receipt issued to me by the vendor.  I further certify that I have not submitted, nor will submit in the future, a duplicate of this receipt for payment or reimbursement”.