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Financial Management

Financial Expectations for Student Groups

University policies govern all funds managed by university departments and students in order to ensure compliance with tax laws and acceptable accounting practices. By banking with the ASSU, university policies can easily be followed and funds overseen.

Key financial policies include

  • Banking with the ASSU.  All voluntary student organizations must bank with the ASSU. No funds can be deposited into off-campus accounts, including off-campus ticketing services, Venmo, PayPal etc.
  • Representing Stanford University. Student organizations are recognized by Stanford University and bank with the ASSU.  They must meet all university and ASSU expectations and requirements of non-profit organizations. They must serve as good stewards of Stanford University and ASSU and not enter into agreements with off-campus entitities without proper authority and approval.
  • Role of Financial Officer as a Financial Custodian. All financial officers (FOs) must be currently registered Stanford students, attend a mandatory ASSU Banking workshop and be the prime "authorizer" of student organization expenses. Expenses incurred by the financial officer must be approved by the group's president and be in keeping with the approved organization's mission and the mission of Stanford University.
  • Financial Obligations.  No person should make a financial commitment, advance payment or purchase without express permission from the student organization leadership and all appropriate university offices such as ASSU or Office of Student Engagement.
  • Deposits, Transfers and Cash on Hand. Funds deposited or transferred into an organization's account remain the property of the receiving student organization and cannot be returned to the transferring department or off-campus entity. In the event that an organization becomes defunct OSE and ASSU policies must be followed for transfer, using the student organization's approved constitution as a guide.
  • Reimbursements. Students should only be reimbursed from group accounts for accurate and verifiable expenses for activities that directly relate to the mission of the group. In terms of alcohol reimbursements from 2800 accounts, unless verfied by the department sponsor, departmental funds transferred to student org accounts cannot be use for alcohol. All receipts presented for reimbursement must be legible and be fully itemized. Personal expenses are unacceptable.
  • Contracts and other Agreements. No student representative should sign a contract or enter into a written or verbal agreement without prior university approval and a OSE staff member signature.  See contracts for additional details.
  • Student Salaries.  No student organization can pay its student leaders from its account.  Student orgs may hire students with special skills such as a photographer, videographer or DJ, at a modest wage, for a short work assignment. 
  • Off-campus Hires. It is rare that student organizations can hire someone to perform regular tasks.  This privilege is afforded student organizations that can demonstrate that the proposed work is consistent with university and ASSU policy.  Such hires can be done only with careful review and approval from OSE and ASSU and may be cancelled if policy and best practices are not followed. Student orgs may make other hires for short-term tasks (e.g. videographer, choreographer, DJ etc.) provided they follow university and ASSU policies and only up to $500.  Since student orgs must be student-led, these staff cannot be hired to replace a responsibility normally filled by a student leader or other group member.
  • Cooperation with the University. Groups must follow university and ASSU policies, procedures and standard accounting practices. They must work cooperatively with ASSU, OSE and other university staff to resolve discrepancies promptly.
  • Delinquent Bills and Deficits. The ASSU reserves the right to pay any delinquent bill incurred by a student organization with funds from that organization’s account and to pursue recovery of money owed to ASSU through university and/or legal channels. A student organization's failure to resolve outstanding deficits will result in loss of university recognition until reimbursements are made.

For a complete listing of all ASSU financial policies please see a complete listing. All student organization leaders are expected to be fully aware of all pertinent university and ASSU financial policies delineated here and on ASSU's website.