Financial Services operates within the Division of Business Affairs. The mission of Financial Services is to provide timely and accurate integrated financial reporting and planning to campus constituents and top management, with a focus on customer-oriented service.
|The mission of the Budgets and Financial Planning area is to support the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller in executing the budgeting and financial policies of the University. This involves detailed review, analysis, projection, and reporting of all revenue and expenditure line items with the goal of ensuring a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of the University.The Budgets and Financial Planning area assists budget managers and divisions in the development and monitoring of annual and long-term financial plans designed to avoid over spending, improve efficiency of financial operations and processes, determine fee revisions, and review feasibility of new and continuing programs.|
|Department Name:||Financial Services|
|Annual Operating Budget Process Overview and Scope|
As part of the University’s continuing efforts to accurately forecast its finances, budget managers are requested to provide a projection of departmental revenues, expenditures and capital project expenses (if applicable) for the June 30 fiscal year-end. The first budget projection cycle occurs in November/December. During this cycle, only key departments are requested to provide an update for the year-end projections for revenues and expenses based on the format of data presented in the five-year budget planning model. Not every individual department in the University will not be required to provide their updated projections during this first cycle.
The second budget projection cycle occurs during March/April. In this cycle, Departmental Budget projections forms are e-mailed to every budget manager, who must make projections for each organization (department) number. Year-to-date activity figures are listed for the current year. Current year budgets are copied in the June 30 Projected Column. Budget managers are required to change projection amounts that will be over or under budget by $5000 (or more) only, in the June 30 Projected Column.
Based on existing revenue and expense patterns, budget managers should make estimates of their year-end revenues and expenses for part-time salaries, recharges, and discretionary expenses. While developing projections, the effect of any deferment of revenues, prepayment of expenses, and year-end accruals of revenues and expenses that would need to be made on June 30 should be taken into consideration. Also, due to the varying nature of the cycle of operations in each department, the revenues and expenses might not be always incurred on a smooth prorated monthly basis. On the projection worksheet, all revenues and recharge amounts are entered as negative numbers, and all salary and expense amounts as positive numbers. Please click on the attached link to see a sample of the projection worksheets.
For the budget manager’s reference within the projection file, the Controller’s Office also attaches a worksheet for the previous fiscal year that shows the prior year’s cumulative budgeted and actual year-end revenues and expenditures incurred by each department. This section is provided for informational purposes only, to assist budget managers with current fiscal year projections. No data should be entered on the previous fiscal year’s worksheet.
Please note that even if no changes are projected, budget managers must return the spreadsheet to the Controller’s Office as confirmation that budgets will not be overspent. In order for this process to be as streamlined as possible, all projections must be returned electronically to the Controller’s Office.
|Long-range Plan Overview:
The long-range plan tracks and projects financial and operational data of key operational aspects of the University such as: student enrollments, tuition pricing, housing, dining services, fund-raising, auxiliary operations, salaries and fringe benefits, staffing needs, utility costs, depreciation expenses, other revenues and expenses by natural classification, capital expense cash flows, long-term investments, and debt service. The plan also tracks and projects data on key strategic initiatives to ensure the financial feasibility of such initiatives. This detailed information is linked to a summarized pro forma income statement and balance sheet to enable the financial management of the University to review the impact of ongoing and future changes on the institution’s operating cash, other assets, liabilities, and fund balances. The long-range financial plan also monitors the impact of changes in future financial plans on the key financial ratios that the University is required to maintain for debt covenant and current debt-rating purposes.
Long-range Financial Planning Process:
The Vice President for Business Affairs, in consultation with the President’s Cabinet, sets the broad-based planning parameters for the Long-Range Financial Planning model. The long-range financial plan (also known as the “Five-year financial model”) is maintained and updated by the Associate Controller and Budget Analyst in the Controller’s Office. However, every major function within the University contributes towards the maintenance and update of this model, with information and ideas flowing in both directions between the Controller’s Office and individual departmental/divisional budget managers, divisional VPs, and the President’s Cabinet.
Updates are continually made to the model to reflect changes in existing assumptions and future outlook. The long-range planning, annual operating and capital budgeting, and projection process are interrelated and form a single planning and budgeting system. During each fiscal year, as the University undertakes a projection of its year-end revenues and expenditures, it requests certain departments to provide updates to the model for the current and the outgoing years. The Controller’s Office budgeting staff also periodically meets with certain budget managers to obtain clarifications and updates on the outlook for future periods. The Long-range planning model is also tied to historical financial reporting. The model has a unique “look-back” feature, which tracks past financial and operational data. This enables the University to review and examine past trends to compare against current budgets and projections, and to develop future planning parameters and assumptions.
The availability of funds required to finance the capital construction, facilities renovations, and information technology acquisitions of the University is tracked through the model. The Facilities Management and the Information Services divisions both provide periodic updates to the Controller’s Office on the costs and scheduling of current and future capital projects. Since such capital plans typically span across a longer time horizon, the existence of a five-year plan enables the University to plan out the financing needs for such capital expenditures and determine the ability of the University to fund them through internal fund-balance reserves or the issuance of debt.
|Budget Maintenance Process|
Click on the link below to view a sample budget change order form.
|The mission of the Financial Reporting area is to support the Vice President and Associate Vice President for Business Affairs in the preparation of the financial statements of the University. This involves detailed review and analysis of activity within the operating ledger in order to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information that is summarized in the financial statements.The Financial Reporting area coordinates the annual audit and annual tax return preparation. The Financial Reporting area also supports senior management in the areas of financial reporting and analysis, and provides technical accounting assistance to other areas of the University.|
|Department Name:||Financial Services|
The purpose of this policy is to define capitalization and depreciation policies for all property, plant and equipment transactions. For financial statement and government reporting purposes, property, plant and equipment include land, land improvements, buildings and improvements, equipment, and construction in progress. Once an asset is capitalized, it is recorded at cost, and this amount will be written off periodically, or depreciated, in a systematic manner over the useful life of the asset.
A. Requirements for Capitalization
(1) Acquisition of Equipment. To be considered for capitalization, and thus subject to depreciation, an asset must fulfill three characteristics: 1) the asset must be acquired (i.e., purchased, gift-in-kind) for use in operations, and not for investment or sale; 2) the asset (per individual unit) must have a useful life of at least three years(two years for laptops) ; and 3) the asset must have a cost value exceeding, at a minimum, $5,000.
(2) Acquisition or Construction of Buildings. These expenditures include the cost for renovations, betterments, or improvements that add to the permanent value of the asset, make the asset better than it was when purchased, or extend its life beyond the original useful life. To capitalize these costs, the improvements must fulfill at least one of the following three criteria: (1) the useful life of the asset is increased; (2) the productive capacity of the asset is improved; (3) the quality of units/services produced from the asset is enhanced. The total projectcost must also exceed $5,000.
B. Definition and Classification of Capitalized Costs
The basis for accounting for property, plant, and equipment is cost. All normal expenditures of readying an asset for its intended use are capitalized. Donated property, plant, or equipment is valued at its fair market value and is also capitalized. The capitalizable costs for each asset class are as follows:
(1) Land and Land Improvements. This category of asset classification is used for all costs connected with the acquisition or improvement of land. This includes purchase price, appraisals, professional services, and title insurance. If land is purchased as a building site, certain expenses may be added to the cost: razing and removal, land or site improvements, utilities to site, and landscaping activity associated with new construction.
(2) Buildings and Building Improvements. This category of asset classification is used for all costs related to the acquisition, or construction of a building if over $5,000, including the purchase price, professional services, appraisals, test borings, site preparation, materials, labor, and overhead as a direct result of the project during construction. Also included are all costs associated with projects involving significant alterations, renovations, or structural changes (i.e., gutting a building and completely rebuilding the interior) that exceed $5,000, and that increase or amend the usefulness of the asset, enhance its efficiency, or prolong its useful life by at least three years. Building improvements may include interior or exterior construction of a building or building systems, such as electrical or plumbing.
(3) Equipment. This category of asset classification is used for all costs associated with the purchase of tangible property that has a useful life of more than three years and cost in excess of $5,000 in total. All bulk purchases of tangible property are included in this category. Charges may also include the cost of installation, transportation, taxes, duty, or in-transit insurance. Tangible property includes furniture, fixtures, computer equipment, software, and vehicles. In addition to the net invoice price of an asset, all costs associated with modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the property usable for its intended purpose may also be capitalized, only if incurred at the time of initial equipment purchase. All subsequent costs of this nature, to maintain the equipment, will be expensed.
This category also includes all costs per unit related to the external purchase of software applications and the associated implementation costs (including initial licensing fees) that have a useful life of three years. (Fees paid for the renewal of software licensing and maintenance will not be capitalized and will be expensed.)
(4) Construction in Progress. This category of asset classification is used for those costs incurred in connection with the construction of a building prior to the building being put into use.
(5) Feasability Studies. Costs incurred in connection with preliminary planning and testing of site adequacy or the preparation of site modeling.
C. Non-capitalizable Expenses
Costs that are below the $5,000 threshold for capitalization that neither significantly add to the permanent value of a property nor prolong its intended useful life are expensed. The following types of plant costs should be expensed:
(1) Maintenance. The recurring work required to preserve or immediately restore a facility to such condition that it can be effectively used for its designed purpose. It includes work done to prevent damage to a facility. Examples: Custodial services; repainting a room; recarpeting; fixing a leaky faucet.
(2) Preservation/Restoration Costs. Expenditures associated with maintaining special assets in, or returning them to, a level of quality as close to the original as possible. Example: Returning a stained glass window to its former level of beauty or acting to prevent any further deterioration.
(3) Interest Costs During Construction. The cost of interest related to the acquisition or construction of an asset will be expensed during the period of time that is required to complete and prepare the asset for its intended use.
D . Equipment Leases . Please notify Financial Services regarding all equipment leasing to determine proper accounting treatment.
A provision for depreciation is recorded to attribute the cost of the asset over a useful life.
B. Depreciation Method
With the exception of land, artwork, and books, all capitalized assets will be depreciated using straight-line method over the useful life of the asset class. An asset’s useful life is the period of time over which services are expected to be rendered by the asset. The calculation of depreciation will be based on historical cost. The University implemented the Banner Fixed Asset module July 2011. It was determined new acquisitions of fixed assets would be placed into newly created categories that more accurately reflect the nature of the assets that are purchased and placed in service. In addition to the new categories, the University also reevaluated the useful life of all assets placed in service as of July 2011. The following table summarizes useful life by category of assets placed in service prior to July 2011 :
|Asset Category Rate||Life||Yearly|
|– General Land Improvement||5 Yrs||20.0%|
|– Construction of Quadrangle||33 Yrs||3.33%|
|– New Parking Lot Construction||15 Yrs||6.66%|
|Building Improvements||15 Yrs||6.66 %|
|Furniture & Equipment|
|– Plant F&E||5 Yrs||20.0%|
|– Computer Equipment & Software||4 Yrs||25.0%|
|– Admin Enterprise Sys||5 Yrs||20.0%|
|– Student Laptop Computers||2 Yrs||50%|
The following table summarizes the useful life by category of assets placed in service after July 2011:
Asset Category Rate
|– Campus & Infrastructure Improvements||15 Yrs||6.67%|
|– New Buildings||40 Yrs||2.50%|
|– Roofs & Mechanical Equipment||20 Yrs||5.00%|
|– Building Modernization||20 Yrs||5.00%|
|– Building Renovations||10 Yrs||10.00%|
|Furniture & Equipment|
|– Furniture & Equipment||7 Yrs||14.29%|
|– Athletic/fitness Equipment||5 Yrs||20.00%|
|– Automobiles||3 Yrs||33.33%|
|– AV Equipment||4 Yrs||25.0%|
|– Admin Enterprise System||5 Yrs||20.00%|
|– Computer Equipment||4 Yrs||25.0%|
|– Student Laptops||2 Yrs||50.00%|
C. Salvage Value
Salvage value will generally not be utilized in calculating depreciation, unless the salvage value is specifically known.
D. Depreciation Timing
Depreciation of capitalized assets will commence in the year the item is placed into service or using the half-year convention. The half-year convention records a half-year of depreciation expense the first and last year of the asset’s useful life. Construction in Progress will not bedepreciated until the subsequent full year after the project’s completion.
Disposal of Assets
Prior to July 2011 t he University did not have a mechanism for tracking each individual asset capitalized in a project and its eventual disposal. The University only track ed the total amounts capitalized annually to each fixed asset account on the balance sheet on a cumulative spreadsheet, which was updated monthly. In order to compute the disposal of certain classes of fixed assets acquired prior to July 2011 , the University bases its calculation of disposal of these historical fixed assets on a conservative assumption that all fixed assets would be disposed off after 1-3 times the depreciable life of the asset (depending on the type of asset). The University normally does not sell its used assets (except for laptops and automobiles – see accompanying explanations for such sales). Fixed assets put into service as of July 2011 are identifiable by project and the University is able to dispose of these assets when they are replaced. The following descriptions provide further detail for each asset category of historical assets and how they are disposed .
Buildings are estimated to have a useful life of 40 years. Replacement of building systems and renovations to structure are undertaken through the building improvement accounts once a structure is erected.
Building disposals are to be undertaken only when the structure of the building is razed to the ground.
Denote replacement of building systems and renovations to structure which are undertaken to elongate/enhance the life or usefulness of a structure. Useful life of building improvements is estimated to be 10 years. Building improvements will be written off from the general ledger after 3 times the useful life of the asset , i.e., 30 years. No calculation has been made to date.
Land Improvements Account Range (16611-16614):
The University has multiple rates of depreciation for land improvement as identified below.
|Acct #||Asset Type||
|General Land Improvements – Trees, Shrubs, Walkways, Parking Lot Improvements||5 Years||
|Construction of Quadrangle, Land Clearance and Earth Fill||33 Years Blended Rate||
|New Parking Lot Construction||15 Years Blended Rate||
Calculation of Disposal
The University has estimated the disposal of general land improvements to be written off after 3 times the useful life of the asset. These assets are considered to require replacement and renovation on a continual basis and, therefore are considered to have a shorter useful life.
Furniture and Equipment ( Account Range 164xx-165xx)
Calculation of Disposal
Average life of different categories of Furniture and Equipment and their disposal period is as follows:
|Acct #||Asset Type||
|Historical F&E||5 Years||
|Historical Computer Equipment||4 Years||
Student Laptops are handled differently because they are on the books for two years, laptops in the possession of seniors will be gifted to them when they graduate and the laptops in the possession of sophomores will be sold at a market/reduced rate. Therefore, student laptops will not be written off. Any gain or loss on sale of laptops will be recorded in the non-operating section of the statement of activities.
Artwork is not considered depreciable and is only written off only when sold or discarded.
The University estimates useful life of its automobiles to be three years.
Calculation of Disposal
The University maintains a list of vehicles for insurance valuations, added to this list were any vehicles used on campus as service vehicles. This composite list is summed up and any variation from it is removed from the vehicle assets through the contra account. Older automobiles are normally traded in for newer autos. The trade-in value of such autos are netted against the purchase price of a brand new auto. The new auto is depreciated at the net purchase price.
Capitalization of Asset remediation obligation
Financial Interpretation Number (FIN) 47 which was adopted by the University, effective July 1, 2005, requires the University to record a liability on the future value of all facilities which are legally required to be remediated when being renovated or replaced. The Present Value cost of the future liability must be capitalized and depreciated from construction date through estimated settlement date of remediation. Any changes in such estimates which were originally developed in Fiscal 2006, must be updated periodically. Once such assets are remediated, the capitalized present value originally booked/subsequently updated must be taken off from gross asset and accumulated depreciation totals.
Journal Entry to remove/dispose asset
New contra accounts within a range of the actual asset account have been set up so the University can maintain a clean history on our Banner system of gross capital expenditures. The journal entry will be to credit these new contra accounts and debit accumulated depreciation.
Capitalization, Depreciation, and Disposal of Software and Computer Systems.
1. Policy Overview
The purpose of this policy is to communicate consistent guidance in this specialized area of accounting; promote University compliance with specific guidelines issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); and promote proper accounting for University assets and expenses in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
a. Non-capitalizable Expenses
Costs incurred during the preliminary project stage must be expensed as incurred. Preliminary project stage includes the following activities: Conceptual formulation of alternatives, evaluation of alternatives, determination of existence of needed technology, and final selection of alternatives.
b. Definition of Capitalized Costs
Costs that have an estimable future benefit that are included on the Statement of Financial Position as assets, and amortized or depreciated over their estimated useful lives.
c. Classification of Capital Costs
Software Development: Costs incurred for the development or acquisition of software for the University computer systems (such as procurement, payroll, student services, general ledger, and others), including software upgrades and new releases, may be capitalized if they:
- Are an integral part of the system, or
- Identifiably enhance the functionally of the system because of their direct relationship to it.
A major computer system becomes an asset of the University upon capitalization and will be recorded in the same manner as other assets and amortized over its estimated useful life. In addition, the total costs of a computer system must be reasonable and should accurately reflect the value of the system.
Computing Infrastructure Applications and Systems: May support multiple computer modules and integrated systems. These applications may be characterized as separate systems and therefore subject to the capitalization principles set forth in Software Development.
Implementation Stage: Costs incurred to implement the chosen technological solution, including planning, may be capitalizable if they relate to a system that fulfills the criteria for capitalization in accordance with this policy. This stage generally encompasses the following activities:
- Design of chosen path, including software configuration and software interface;
- Technical software coding
- Installation of hardware
- Data conversion (programs and tools only);
- Other related costs; and
Specific types of costs generally incurred during the implementation stage are:
- Purchased Software: The cost to purchase software.
- Personnel Costs: Large-scale computer projects may entail the use of both employees and external consultants to design and implement the system. (The costs of both directly allocable internal employees and external consultants who are directly dedicated to the development and implementation of the computer project may be capitalized.)
- Travel, Lodging, and Other Similar Expenses: To qualify for capitalization, travel, lodging and similar expenditures will be directly allocable to a specific system or application that meets the University’s criteria for capitalization.
- Interest expense: Interest expense will be capitalized on software development projects consistent with the University’s policy for interest capitalization on long-term projects.
- Training: Training costs incurred to develop or implement internal-use computer software/applications during the application development stage can be capitalized. Training in post-implementation/operation stages should not be capitalized, since such training programs should be conducted on a continuous basis, and the related costs should be recognized as an integral component of the University’s operating budget.
- General and Administrative Expense: General and administrative expenses are not to be allocated and capitalized as part of the cost of a software development project.
- Maintenance and Warranty Contract Costs: These are not considered as capitalized costs. Extended maintenance and warranty contracts entered into at time of purchase must be treated as prepaid assets and expensed over the time period for which the benefits of such maintenance and warranty contracts extend.
- Software License Agreements: These are not capitalized unless ownership is indicated within the license agreement. Software license agreements not indicating ownership should be expensed. If the software license allows use of the software for a period exceeding 12 months (normally the estimated useful life of the asset), then such a license can be capitalized.
- Equipment: Equipment should be purchased, managed and capitalized in accordance with the University equipment policy. A major computer system implementation may have many smaller pieces of equipment that individually may not be capitalized but as a group form an integral part of a system implementation and can be capitalized as part of that system.
Useful Life of Software
In determining the estimated useful life over which the costs incurred for internal-use computer software will be amortized, departments should consider the effects of obsolescence, technology, competition, and other economic factors on useful life. Departments should consider if rapid changes are occurring in the development of software products, software operating systems, or computer hardware, and whether the University intends to replace any technologically obsolete software or hardware.
Amortization of Software
Amortization of the computer software should start once the software is put into live mode or active status. The software should be amortized based on the estimated useful life on a straight-line basis.
Impairment in the value of the cost basis of internal use computer software can occur when:
1) Internal-use computer software is not expected to provide substantive service potential;
2) A significant change occurs in the extent or manner in which the software is used or is expected to be used;
3) A significant change is made to the software program;
4) Costs of developing or modifying internal-use computer software significantly exceed the amount originally expected to develop or modify the software.
INVESTMENT POLICY STATEMENT
FOR THE ENDOWMENT FUND
The purpose of the University’s Endowment Fund is to support the educational mission of the University by providing a reliable source of funds for current and future use. The Endowment assets have an indefinite time horizon that run concurrently with the existence of the University in perpetuity. As such, the investment portfolio assumes a time horizon that will extend beyond a normal market cycle. It is expected that professional management and portfolio diversification will reduce volatility and assure a reasonably consistent level of return. The Committee is responsible for determining investment objectives and policies, asset allocation, selects investment managers and advisors, and monitors the implementation and performance of the University’s endowment investment program.
The Committee is supported by the office of the Vice President of Business Affairs and Treasurer, which, with support from independent third party investment advisors, will analyze investment policies and management strategies, make recommendations to the Committee and supervise operations and investment activities.
This Investment Policy should not change frequently. In particular, short-term changes in the financial markets should not require adjustments to this Investment Policy. Both the Committee and the Investment Advisor may propose revisions in the guidelines at any time the existing guidelines might impede meeting the Fund’s investment objectives.
A. INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES
The overall financial objective of the Fund is to provide a level of support (as determined by the Fund’s spending policy summarized in Section I) consistent with the Fund’s purchasing power being maintained or enhanced over time.
The primary investment objective of the Fund is to attain a real total return (net of fees) of at least 6% with acceptable risk to preserve and continue to enhance the purchasing power of the fund assets. Real total return is the sum of capital appreciation (or loss) and current income (dividends and interest) adjusted for inflation by the Consumer Price Index (CPI for All Urban Consumers, CPI-U).
B. ASSET ALLOCATION & REBALANCING
The Asset Allocation Policy Table below defines the long-term policy ranges and present target asset allocation percentages of the Endowment portfolio. The Committee will periodically review and recommend asset class allocation targets and minimum / maximum ranges.
C. INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
The Committee is responsible for the investment of the University’s Endowment Fund. To meet this responsibility the Committee will:
The Committee will regularly report on these matters to the full Board of Trustees and/or the Executive Committee. The Committee shall consist of at least five Trustees and the Vice President for Business Affairs. Meetings will be held as required, normally three times per year.
The majority of the Fund will be managed by external investment managers. Each investment manager shall have complete discretion to manage the assets in each particular portfolio to best achieve the investment objectives and requirements, consistent with their style and within the guidelines set forth in this policy statement.
D. PORTFOLIO COMPOSITION AND ASSET ALLOCATION
1. The total Fund shall be diversified by asset class (i.e. equities, fixed income, hedge funds alternative investments such as private equity, venture capital, natural resources, real estate, and cash equivalents) and sub structure (i.e. market cap size, quality, investment style, etc.).The purpose of diversification is to provide (i) reasonable assurance that no single security or class of securities will have a disproportionate impact on the total Fund, and (ii) a well designed mix of asset classes which should result in reduced volatility for the overall Fund
2. To achieve its investment objective, the Fund shall be divided into the following key asset classes:
Over the long run, the allocation mix across these key asset classes will be the most important determinant of the overall Fund’s investment performance.
3. The purpose of the equity focused-asset classes such as (public equities, inflation hedging assets, hedge funds and private market investments – is to provide a total return that will provide for growth in principal sufficient to support spending requirements, while at the same time preserving the purchasing power of the Fund’s assets. It is recognized that the equity focused assets will exhibit greater market variability and risk than fixed income assets. The purpose of the fixed income assets defined as bonds and cash equivalents is to reduce the overall volatility of the Fund, to produce current income in support of spending needs, and to provide a deflation hedge.
E. GUIDELINES FOR THE EQUITY FOCUSED ASSETS
1. The objective for the Equity Focused Assets is to outperform the broad global equity markets as defined as the MSCI All Country World Index. Individual sub-components of the overall Equity Focused Asset class will have specific benchmarks (as outlined in Appendix A) against which performance is measured.
2. The Equity Focused Assets will be broadly diversified according to market cap, investment style, economic sector, and other investment characteristics. Decisions as to individual security selection, security size and quality, number of industries, holdings, current income levels, turnover and the other tools employed by active mangers are left to a broad manager discretion, consistent with their style, subject to the usual standards of fiduciary prudence.
4. Unless otherwise instructed, an equity manager may at their discretion invest in either cash equivalents or bonds, but with the understanding that performance will be measured against fully invested equity indexes as outlined in Appendix A. A portion of the Equity Fund, not to exceed 25% of the total market value of the endowment, may be allocated to managers specifically investing in non-U.S. common stocks.
6. Alternative Investments involve investing in non-traditional asset classes and in traditional asset classes structured in a non-traditional manner. The Committee may allocate a portion of the equity focused assets to alternative equity assets such as real estate; venture capital; private equity; oil and gas; distressed securities; and hedge funds. These investments combined shall not exceed 52% of the total aggregate market value of the Fund. Alternative managers are expected to use their specific investment skills to generate long-term equity-like returns that are not highly correlated to traditional asset classes. Alternative investment strategies shall be used to enhance investment returns and overall portfolio diversification.
Due to the slow pace of capital calls in private partnerships, the Committee may need to over-commit capital above target levels (assumed to be approximately 150%) in order to attempt to achieve an average investment in subclasses of non-marketable alternative investments at the individual target levels established for each subclass. Investments in alternative assets will be made primarily in partnerships where the University is a limited partner relying upon the expertise of experienced general partners.
F. GUIDELINES FOR THE FIXED INCOME ASSETS
1. The objective of the Fixed Income Assets is to outperform the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index (net of fees) as well as the Cambridge Associates’ bond manager mean. Performance will be monitored on a regular basis and evaluated over a running three to five-year period.
2. Money market instruments as well as bonds may be used in the Fixed Income Assets, but equities and convertibles (if the latter are bought at prices above their investment value) are to be excluded. Fixed Income managers are expected to typically employ active management techniques with changes in average duration typically expected to be moderate and incremental. The core fixed income managers are expected to maintain a minimum average duration and quality consistent with the Fixed Income Assets’ deflation hedge objective.
G. GUIDELINES FOR TRANSACTIONS
Marketable asset classes that exceed policy ranges will be rebalanced to target levels periodically by the Treasurer. The Treasurer will also utilize the quarterly spending rate draw downs to rebalance asset categories within target range. Excess allocations intended for non-marketable asset categories will be carried, prior to their investment in non-marketable assets, in one or more other asset classes after consultation with the Committee. New cash flows shall be allocated to investment managers in a manner consistent with rebalancing the portfolio to target.
As a general guideline that should apply to all assets managed, transactions should be entered into on the basis of best execution, which is interpreted normally to mean best realized price. Managers shall have the discretion to execute securities transactions with brokerage firms of their choosing, based upon the quality of execution rendered, the value of research information provided, the financial health and integrity of the brokerage firm, and the overall efficiency in transacting securities trades. In the case of separate accounts, the Committee retains the right to direct brokerage commissions subject to best execution, in order to benefit from brokerage recapture programs.
H. MONITORING OF OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS
All objectives and policies are in effect until modified by the Committee, which will review these annually for their continued pertinence. All managers are expected to observe the specific limitations, guidelines, and philosophies stated herein or in any amendments hereto, or other written instructions from the Committee or an officer of the University. If at any time a manager believes that any policy guideline inhibits their investment performance, it is the manager’s responsibility to clearly communicate this view to the Committee.
The Fund portfolios will be monitored on a continual basis for consistency in investment philosophy, return relative to objectives, investment risk as measured by asset concentrations, exposure to key economic sectors, and market volatility. Portfolio returns will be reviewed by the Committee on a quarterly basis. The Committee will regularly review each manager in order to confirm that the original investment factors underlying performance expectations remain in place.
Each investment manager will report the following information quarterly: total return net of all commissions and fees, additions and withdrawals from the account, current holdings at cost and market value, and purchases and sales for the quarter. Regular communication concerning investment strategy and investment outlook is expected. Additionally, managers are required to inform the Committee of any changes in firm ownership, organizational structure, key investment personnel, account structure / assets in strategy (e.g., number, asset size and account minimum), or fundamental investment philosophy. Managers for alternative investments shall provide in writing, the policies and procedures used in periodic portfolio valuation. At a minimum, the Manager will address the following:
Performance results will be evaluated relative to benchmarks (net of fees) assigned to asset classes and Managers. These benchmarks are a vital element in the evaluation of individual and aggregate Manager performance within each asset class. Performance of the Endowment (net of fees) and its component asset classes and managers will be measured against benchmark returns of comparable portfolios as outlined in Appendix A.
Performance of the Endowment portfolio will also be compared to the endowment universe with similar investment allocations. It is expected that the total portfolio will perform above the median performance in the comparable fund universe provided by the Investment Advisor and the National Association for College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). Managers are expected to equal or exceed the return of the agreed benchmark and generally perform in the top 40th percentile (40%) or better of their respective peer group over a market cycle (three to five years), as measured by a broad performance database that evaluates Managers as to style, risk and return.
I. SPENDING POLICY
The Endowment’s spending policy governs the rate at which funds are released to fund operating and restricted spending. The current spending policy shall be expressed as a maximum of 5 percent of a three-year moving market value average of the assets in the endowment funds (calculated for fiscal budgeting purposes on the asset’s valuations for the trailing twelve quarters as of March 31 of each year). Such a policy will allow for a greater predictability of spendable income for budgeting purposes and for gradual steady growth for the support of operations by the investable assets. In addition, this policy will minimize the probability of invading the principal over the long term.
Since there may occasionally be situations requiring a higher percentage of spending from investable assets, in order to assure the short term economic viability of the University, the Committee is authorized to increase the spending rate, as necessary, on a temporary basis. Such an increase should not be undertaken without clearly justifiable cause, and in no case without explicit approval of the full Board of Trustees, since spending above this level result in an increasing probability of erosion of the principal value of investable assets in real terms and inter-generational spending inequities. The spending rate will be reviewed annually by the Finance Committee for recommendation to and approval by the Board of Trustees.
Revised: October, 2007
Endowment Fund Benchmarks
All asset classes and managers will also be benchmarked against median performance tracked within the manager universe maintained by the University’s Investment Advisor.
|General Policy on the Use of DebtIntroduction
Bryant University (the “University”) provides a uniquely student-centered, business-focused education of the highest quality. In order to fulfill its mission, the University must maintain its physical plant, equipment, and infrastructure while investing in new buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. The University uses an array of sources to support these investments, including surplus generated from operations, donations, and external debt.
The utilization of debt and other financial resources to fund capital projects will be driven by the University’s strategic planning process. Capital needs will be considered in concert with the operations of the University. Debt and debt management will link capital budgeting to financial planning and operations.
Bryant University’s Debt Policy is intended to provide a framework for assuring that debt is managed and used strategically to advance the University’s mission.
The General principles the University will employ for the overall management of debt include the following:
- The University will incur debt to maintain and enhance the physical plant and infrastructure.
- Debt will be used as a financial tool to maximize the University resources.
- Long-term debt will not be used to finance current operations.
- The University’s debt capacity will be governed primarily by its ability to support all incremental costs – principal, interest payments, and annual operating costs of new space – within the University’s operating budget and the trustee discretionary fund.
- The University will seek to maintain a high-quality credit rating and will target a number of key financial ratios used by rating agencies to evaluate the University’s credit.
- The University will seek to maintain an acceptable balance between interest rate risk and the long-term cost of capital.
- The University’s debt portfolio will be evaluated in the context of all its assets and liabilities. Diversification within the debt portfolio may be used to balance risk and liquidity across the institution.
- The University will consider the use of capital and operating leases, especially for the acquisition of equipment, to the extent such transactions are compatible with and help achieve its overall objectives concerning the use of debt.
The amount of external debt that the University has at any given time will be a function of its ability to service that debt through the operating budget without diminishing the resources necessary for other non-capital priorities and the desire to maintain a high-quality credit rating while sustaining overall financial health. Yet, at the same time, the University recognizes that in order to meet its mission and strategic objectives, investment in the form of capital is often necessary and such investment may necessitate the incurrence of debt.
Bryant University has engaged in a strategic planning process aimed at identifying ways to improve and enhance the educational product delivered to its students while recognizing that such endeavors generally yield more ideas than can be absorbed within the financial constraints in which the University works. This disparity forces the University to balance the appropriate allocation of financial resources between programmatic support and the University’s physical infrastructure in order to ensure the long-term health of the institution. In conjunction with the academic priority setting process, the University has developed integrated, comprehensive plans covering its academic, space, and fiscal needs. Members of the University community have provided significant input into these decisions through an integrated planning process. This process has considered all needs in the context of the entire academic enterprise, and participants have evaluated and compared competing demands for resources.
One end result of this process has been a five-year budget projection that includes all revenues, expenditures, and commitments that can reasonably be expected. In this context, the University develops its annual operating budgets, as well as the University’s capital budget and capital plan.
Donor-financed capital projects and other capital fund-raising activities will generally follow the priorities determined by the planning process rather than by donors. However, in certain instances, donor-specified projects that are consistent with the University’s mission and enhance the academic enterprise will be undertaken.
The University’s Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing an overall debt policy and approving the issuance of all external debt, including all short- and long-term obligations, guarantees, and instruments that commit the University to future payments. The Board will be advised by the Finance Committee on all debt-related topics.
The University’s Vice President for Business Affairs will manage the overall debt portfolio according to the University’s debt policy. The Vice President for Business Affairs will consult with the senior administration, Finance Committee, and the Board with respect to all financial matters associated with procuring, renovating, and managing capital assets.
The Vice President for Business Affairs will report regularly to the Finance Committee on the status of the University’s debt portfolio and its plans regarding debt. This review will include an assessment of the University’s credit rating and key financial ratios compared to targeted levels and those of peer institutions.
In general, the University’s debt capacity will be evaluated and determined by the consideration of the following three primary factors:
- Legal authorizations and limitations
- Current and pro forma financial operating performance
- Credit considerations including the University’s credit rating
The University’s legal debt capacity as specified in applicable debt covenants and statutory restrictions is the starting point for evaluating the appropriate level of new and total indebtedness.
The 2001 and 2002 Bond Issue covenants require the University to maintain the following financial ratios:
- Maximum Allowed Debt Service on all outstanding and proposed debt is not to exceed 15 percent of Total Unrestricted Expenses.
- Unrestricted Resources is greater than or equal to 90% of outstanding and proposed debt.
The University’s debt capacity is in part a function of current and pro forma operations, which, as reflected in financial ratios, is also one of the numerous factors that are reviewed in determining the University’s credit rating. The portion of the operating budget dedicated to debt service (principal repayment and interest) will vary over time as the University makes judgments about its highest priorities and needed investments. While a maximum percentage will be established, annual debt service (principal repayment and interest) as a percentage of the operating budget may vary over time as the University makes judgments about its highest priorities and needed investments.
Credit considerations encompass an array of factors that affect how the University is viewed by the financial and capital markets. Many of these factors are analyzed by the credit rating agencies in the determination of the University’s credit rating. As such, the University’s credit rating is an important reflection of the University’s operating, management, and financial strengths, and a significant determinant of both its access to and cost of capital. The University’s policy framework with respect to managing its credit rating is detailed in a following section.
Bond rating agencies use a host of metrics to assess an institution’s creditworthiness. Some of these metrics are quantitative; some are not. Financial ratios, therefore, are important criteria, but they are not the only ones used to evaluate the University’s credit and its debt capacity. The University’s credit strength is also highly dependent on maintaining its competitive advantages in higher education, the quality of its academic enterprise, and strong academic and financial management.
The University will set targets for several key ratios that assess the University’s overall financial health. These targets are set based on median ratios of similarly rated organizations published by Moody’s and Standard and Poors (S&P).
- Unrestricted Resources to Debt of at least 1.5:1.
This is a measure of the University’s leverage on its assets. Unrestricted Resources are defined as unrestricted net assets less net investment in plant, property, and equipment, plus long-term debt used to finance net investment in plant, property, and equipment.
- Expendable Resources to Operations of at least 1:1.
While this measure of liquidity is less directly affected by the issuance of new debt, it provides a useful indication of the institution’s financial cushion relative to operations and its ability to service debt. Expendable resources are defined as unrestricted net assets plus temporarily restricted net assets less net investment in plant, property and equipment plus long-term debt used to finance net investment in plant, property, and equipment. This ratio is also part of the covenants required by the University’s Letter of Credit arrangement.
- Debt Service to Operations should be maintained within a range of 4.5-10 percent.
Debt Service to Operations is the typical measure used to evaluate an institution’s use of borrowed funds. The use of debt with bullet or balloon structures that defer principal payments until far in the future makes the calculation of debt service more difficult. The University will include not only required annual principal and interest payments in its definition of debt service but also an annual equivalent for sinking funds. The University will take into consideration the use of debt that has accompanying revenue when additional debt takes the University’s Debt Service to Operations to the higher end of this range.
External economic, natural, or other events may affect the creditworthiness of the University’s debt from time to time. Nevertheless, the University is committed to ensuring that actions within its control are prudent and appropriate to maintain a high-quality credit rating.
There is a direct correlation between an institution’s credit rating and its cost of borrowing. Therefore, the University seeks to maintain long-term bond ratings in the “A” category. More specifically, the pro forma issuance of debt, when supported by the full faith and credit of the University, will not result in a rating below the A3/A-level from Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.
In evaluating its capacity for external debt, the University will also consider what revenue sources might be available specifically to pay debt service. Housing, and student activity, facility, and parking fees will be considered when planning for capital projects and debt associated with these income streams. In general, the University will consider the level of self-support and external revenue support associated with capital projects in assessing debt affordability within the University’s operating budget. The University will also consider the trustee discretionary fund and its ability to leverage additional debt within the University’s overall balance sheet.
Fund-raising gifts are an important source of funds for the University to consider when determining the financing vehicle for capital projects. The University will give consideration to the benefit of investing endowment and other funds at a rate of return that would be higher than the cost of debt and applying unrestricted gifts to the endowment rather than towards financing capital projects.
Key considerations for determining an appropriate financing vehicle include the following:
- Capital Fund-raising may involve uncertain timing of the receipt of funds.
- Equity financing can minimize impacts on the University’s operating budget.
- Equity financing can weaken the University’s balance sheet.
- Fund-raising targeted toward unrestricted gifts to the University’s endowment afford the maximum financial flexibility to the University over time.
- Unrestricted gifts to the University’s endowment can often be invested at higher yields than the interest rate paid on debt (especially tax-exempt debt available to the University).
- Equity financed projects cannot be refinanced to take advantage of lower interest rate environments.
The University is also required to comply with covenants related to its Letter of Credit as follows:
- Expendable Financial Resources to operations of at least 1.0 (see above explanation).
- Debt Service Coverage of at least 1.25. Debt Service Coverage refers to the amount of cash flow available to meet annual interest and principal payments on debt, including sinking fund payments.
The University will assess the benefit of accessing the capital markets on either a negotiated or competitive basis. The University will strive to utilize the services of capital market professionals and providers that are experienced in the type of financing under consideration.
1. Term of Debt
The University will determine the appropriate duration and the specific amortization schedule of each bond issue by evaluating its overall debt portfolio. Considerations will include the life of the assets being financed, interest rate costs, risk assessment, general market conditions, and the University’s future financial plans. If and when bullet or balloon payments are used, the University will budget appropriately over the life of the bond issue so that the bullet or balloon maturity payments do not unduly impact any one fiscal year.
2. Refinancing and Restructuring of Debt
The administration will periodically review all outstanding debt to determine if refinancing opportunities exist. Refinancing or restructuring of current debt (within federal tax law constraints) may be used to save the University money or to change covenants to provide an advantage to the University’s financial or operating position.
In general, the University will consider refinancing when a current or advanced refunding of debt provides a net present value savings of at least three percent. Refinancing or restructuring opportunities that provide savings of less than three percent, or with negative savings, may be considered if there is a compelling objective such as: a.) realizing lower savings is appropriate given the results of call option analysis on a maturity-by-maturity basis, or analysis of current vs. historic interest rate levels, or b.) restructuring financial or legal covenants that prove disadvantageous to the University.
Where analyzing or pursuing the implementation of refinancing transactions using fixed rate swaps or other derivative products, the University should generate 2 percent greater projected savings than the savings guidelines the University would consider for traditional bonds. This threshold will serve as a guideline and will not apply should the transaction, in the University’s sole judgment, help to meet any of the other objectives outlined herein. The higher savings target reflects the greater complexity and higher risk of derivative financial instruments. Such comparative savings analyses will include, where applicable, the consideration of the probability (based on historical interest rate indices, where applicable, or other accepted analytic techniques) of the realization of savings for both the derivative and traditional structures. Such analysis should also consider structural differences in comparing traditional vs. derivative alternatives, e.g., the non-callable nature of derivative transactions.
3. Use of Tax-exempt vs. Taxable Debt
In general, the University will look to avoid the use of taxable debt where other alternatives are available, including equity financing. However, the University may have to utilize taxable debt in certain situations where Federal tax law limits the use of tax-exempt debt for particular projects, especially those where use of the project includes both private and non-profit purposes. The University may also consider taxable debt under other circumstances where market conditions and debt flexibility make it an appropriate alternative. When utilized, the University will consider structuring taxable debt to shorten its term and allow it to be redeemed at the earliest possible date.
4. Use of Call Options
The University will consider the use of call options to reduce the University’s overall cost of capital and to provide maximum flexibility in its debt portfolio. The use of non-callable debt beyond 10 years requires the approval of the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees in that under certain circumstances the sale, disposition, or sharing of an asset financed with tax-exempt debt may require the repayment of such debt first. Moreover, in some interest-rate environments and because of potential future tax changes, long-term non-callable debt may be disadvantageous to the University.
1. Mix of Fixed and Variable Rate Debt, Derivatives, and Other Hedging Products
The University may structure its overall debt portfolio, using a combination of fixed and variable rate debt, to provide an appropriate and prudent balance between interest rate risk and the cost of capital as well as to integrate asset-liability management.
Variable rate debt can be a valuable tool for the University to use in the management of its assets and liabilities. Variable rate debt allows the University greater diversification in its debt portfolio and reduces its overall interest costs. However, the use of variable rate debt increases interest rate risk that the University must consider as the interest rate is subject to market fluctuations and tax risk.
In considering the use of variable rate debt, the University will assess the amount of short-term investments and cash reserves since the earnings from these funds can serve as a natural hedge, offsetting the impact of higher variable rate debt costs.In order to allow assets and liabilities to move in tandem, the University should also consider other strategies such as entering into interest rate swaps under appropriate circumstances, and in accordance with these guidelines.
In general, and as guidance to the appropriate level of variable rate interest-rate exposure as specified within these guidelines, the University should maintain its flexibility and continuously review new products and opportunities to allow it to take advantage of changing interest rate environments and new products or approaches as they become available. In low interest-rate environments, the University should consider ways to lock in low fixed rates through conversions, fixed-rate debt issuance, and either traditional or synthetic refundings. In high interest-rate environments, the University should consider ways to increase variable rate debt exposure and evaluate other alternatives that will allow the University to reduce its overall cost of capital.
The University should consider maintaining a portion of its portfolio in variable rate debt. In doing so, the University will attempt to increase and manage its variable rate exposure in a manner that takes into consideration its investment portfolio and stays within a range of 20 percent to 30 percent variable rate debt as it relates to all of the University’s outstanding indebtedness. Any synthetic fixed-rate debt, achieved through a swap transaction whereby the University swaps underlying variable rate for fixed rate, should not be counted toward this variable rate ceiling.
2. Approach and Objectives to Interest Rate Swaps
Interest rate swaps and options are appropriate interest rate management tools that can help the University meet important financial objectives. Properly used, these instruments can increase the University’s financial flexibility, provide opportunities for interest rate savings or enhanced investment yields, and help the University manage its balance sheet through better matching of assets and liabilities. Swaps should be integrated into the University’s overall debt and investment management guidelines and should not be used for speculation or leverage.
The total notional amount of interest-rate swaps and options executed by the University will not exceed an amount equal to 50 percent of the total of outstanding debt of the University as a whole.The Vice President for Business Affairs/Treasurer will report to the Finance Committee as outlined in the Ongoing Reporting Requirements (page 16) of the Additional Interest Rate Swap Guidelines in Appendix A.
3. Rationales for Utilizing Interest Rate Swaps and Options
The University may use interest rate swaps and options if it is reasonably determined that the proposed transaction is expected to:
- Optimize capital structure, including schedule of debt service payments and/or fixed vs. variable rate allocations
- Achieve appropriate asset/liability match
- Reduce risk, including: Interest rate risk, Tax risk, or Liquidity renewal risk
- Provide greater financial flexibility
- Generate interest rate savings
- Enhance investment yields
- Manage exposure to changing markets in advance of anticipated bond issuances (through the use of anticipatory hedging instruments)
4. Permitted Instruments
The University may utilize the following financial products on a current or forward basis, after identifying the objective(s) to be realized and assessing the attendant risks.
- Interest rate swaps, including fixed, floating and/or basis swaps
- Interest rate caps/floors/collars
- Options, including swaptions, caps, floors, collars, and/or cancellation or index-based features
The instruments outlined above are only intended to relate to various interest-rate hedging products. They are not intended to encompass other derivative products that the University may consider.
|This manual has been prepared by the Controller’s Office for the Bryant University community to use in the course of preparing, performing, or administering sponsored projects. It is our intent to accommodate inevitable changes in the sponsored project environment, and we would appreciate any comments or suggestions in order to make the Manual as useful as possible.
Its mission is to provide excellent service to those members of the University community involved in the application for and administration of sponsored projects, in order to protect the University’s interest and to comply with the sponsored project requirements. The Controller’s Office provides financial reports to federal, state, and local governments, and privately funded grants related to any area of the University. It is also this office’s responsibility to provide accurate and timely financial reports through proper financial controls and documentation; establishing guidelines in compliance with OMB, FASB, GAAP; Bryant University policies; and any regulatory requirements.
The Controller’s Office also provides assistance to those individuals seeking external funding. Although it is not this office’s responsibility to write the grant for the applicant, this office will provide guidance through the application phase, particularly in the area of budget preparation.
|Department Name:||Financial Services|
Budget Analyst, Extension 6202
|Those considering applying for external funding should fill out the
Intent to Submit form to inform the Controller’s Office, Vice President for University Advancement, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Business Affairs, and AVP of Business Affairs that there is the potential grant application. By submitting this form ahead of time, all parties involved will be made aware of the following:
|While external funds can enhance programs and provide resources not available in Bryant University ’s operating budget, it is important to consider several things before diving into the large task of completing an application. These areas of consideration are referred to as the 6 “Cs”.
Communicating with Bryant University administration: When a faculty or staff member has plans to develop a research, curriculum development, or service project requiring external funding, she or he should discuss the project with the appropriate principal administrator and the Controller’s Office. Delays can be prevented by seeking advice on sources of support, proposal, and budget preparation, and internal procedures, in the early stages. Administration endorsements will be necessary to approve the use of any divisional space, funds, or reassigned time.
Contacting the sponsor: Preliminary contacts and discussions with a potential sponsor are usually helpful before preparing a proposal.
Reviewing proposal and project guidelines (RFPs): Many larger corporate and private foundations and all government funding sources will provide, on request, guidelines for proposals. Some private foundations offer only simple content requirements as guidance. Follow closely the instructions that are provided. State and federal programs publish Requests for Proposal (RFPs) which are often very detailed in their requirements. It is critical to follow these guidelines. The Grants and Accounting Office will assist you in obtaining and interpreting current guidelines from private, state, and federal sources and share insight on proposals that have been funded in that initiative or by that sponsoring organization.
Funding sources require varying degrees of detail in the budget portion of the proposal. Most governmental funding sources require a great degree of detail and usually provide budget forms and instructions for their completion. Contact the Controller’s Office for assistance. Foundations and corporations are less structured in their requirements, but well-planned and complete budgets are critical to funding and to the smooth operation of the project. The Controller’s Office will help with the development of all budgets.
Determine What the Project Will Cost:
You should begin by developing a budget strategy. List the elements of the project that will bear costs, such as personnel, materials, equipment, facilities costs, supplies, evaluation, and travel. The Controller’s Office will work with you to assign specific costs to your list of needs. Most proposal reviewers are skilled at recognizing when budgets and project goals are out of balance. While you should never “pad” a budget with unnecessary or unspecified items, you should always be as thorough as possible in anticipating the real costs of your project and have a contingency plan if you receive less than you requested. Both inadequate and padded budgets will hurt your chances for funding. Inadequate budgets will hurt the project’s chance of success.
Create a Detailed, Accurate and Complete Budget:
Be specific and detailed in your budget. If you plan to purchase a piece of equipment, contact the distributor of the product to determine cost. Be certain to include shipping and installation charges in your equipment budget, and consider the cost of maintenance agreements. If your project involves printing a brochure, contact University Relations for a preliminary estimate of the work. If you must hire staff, be sure you are using the correct wage and benefit scale.
If there will be a time lapse between the application and the project or if the project is multiyear, include a 4 percent salary increase for each year of the project. The quality of thought that you give to the budget preparation will not only produce a better program; it will also increase your chances of obtaining the grant.
There should be no surprises in the budget for the reviewers; all cost in the budget should be tied to specific programmatic elements in the narrative. Again, most federal and state guidelines contain specific budget categories and forms, and you should always work with the Controller’s Office in developing your budget.
All proposals to external funding sources must go through an internal routing process. The proposal, budget, and the Bryant University Internal Approvals Form must be filled in by the Principal Investigator, and signed by the Department or Division Head, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for University Advancement, and the Vice President for Business Affairs, and filed in the Controller’s Office before the proposal is sent to the funding source. This required process applies to continuation grants as well. The purpose of the process and form is to ensure that all parties are informed about the project and approve any cost sharing and commitment of University resources. If you involve the Controller’s Office and the appropriate Vice President in the development of the proposal, this process should be perfunctory.
To facilitate the Bryant University proposal clearance process, please allow a minimum of THREE WEEKS for processing approvals.
GRANT APPLCATION INTERNAL APPROVALS FORM
It is important that grant proposals submitted on behalf of Bryant University, whether federal, state or private, be carefully reviewed in advance of submission to assure that the purposes of the grant are consistent with the mission of the institution, and that all costs, budget and personnel implications have been adequately addressed internally. Please allow THREE WEEKS for the approval process to be completed. Please contact the Controller’s Office if you have any questions.
Name of Applicant:
Dept or Division:
Brief Description of the project:
Proposed Funding Source:
|Federal||State||Federal Pass Thru||Private|
|Proposal Due:||Work would commence:|
|Does this project commit Bryant resources (Personnel, funds, equipment, space)? Explain:|
|Are there matching requirements? If so, please explain:|
|Please attach a budget summary, including calculation of institutional indirect costs / F&A expenses.|
Dept / Division Head:
|VP Academic Affairs:||Date:|
|VP University Advancement:||Date:|
|VP Business Affairs:||Date:|
The Bursar’s Office acts as a clearinghouse for various charges and credits that are placed on a student’s account by several different University departments. We manage the billing and collection of student accounts and provide customer service to students and their families. The Bursar’s Office is responsible for the administration and collection of the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
In addition, the Bursar’s Office is responsible for:
|Department Name:||Student Account Office
Academic Year: Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Undergraduate students admitted to a full-time study program will enroll for 12 to 20 credits per semester with 15 credits being the norm, and they are required to pay the full-time tuition fee for that semester.
Those students carrying more than 20 credits pay the full-time tuition plus a surcharge fee equal to one-twelfth of the full-time semester tuition per credit for each credit over 20.
Traditional undergraduate students who enroll for fewer than 12 credits pay a pro-rata fee equal to one-twelfth of the full-time semester tuition per credit.
The full-time tuition fee (see Tuition/Room/Board Fees for details), in addition to tuition, covers all costs associated with attending Bryant, other than room and board. Such costs include: laboratory fees, health services, participation in intramural sports, use of athletic facilities, and a subscription to The Archway (University student newspaper).
In addition to academic programs and related services, this figure covers the cost of providing each student with personal use of a laptop computer that is fully loaded with software and is network ready. Prior to the beginning of the student’s junior year, the laptop will be exchanged for an updated model. This two-year renewal cycle ensures that students always have access to the latest available technology. There are no separate fees for technology at Bryant University.
The student bill is an electronic, online bill that provides the detail activity for one particular semester. The process to run a bill in Banner is called TSRCBIL.
Prior to the generation of the E-Bill, the tuition fee assessment process (SFRFASC) is tested in audit mode to ensure accurate assessment rules are in place on the tuition billing rules form (SFARGFE). The Bursar’s Office coordinates with Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid, and Residence Life to ensure that registrations are complete, financial-aid packages are posted, and meal and housing assignments have been assigned in Banner. Without this information, a billing invoice is not accurate.
Students will receive E-Bills for payments that are due in August (for the fall semester) and January (for the spring semester) at least 30 days prior to the due date. The due date for the fall semester is August 9 and the due date for the spring semester is January 9 (or the first business day following these dates if they fall on a weekend). If there is a delay in the freshman information (registration, meal plan, housing, etc.) being entered into Banner, an extension is granted on the due date for the tuition bill to allow for a 30-day window between the initial E-Bill and the payment-due date.
The credits and anticipated credits listed on the billing statement include any cash, credit card or check payments, direct financial aid awards, private alternative loans, Federal Direct and/or Federal Perkins Loans, or the balance of the Tuition Management Systems (TMS) 10-month, interest-free budget plan.
The remainder of the bill is shown as a “balance due.” All required financial aid forms, loan applications, and budget plan contract applications must be completed prior to the generation of the E-Bill in order for any anticipated credits to appear on the billing statement. If the necessary paperwork is not submitted at the time the bill is due, the student must pay the balance and request reimbursement after the receipt of financial aid.
Students interested in applying for financial aid are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) atwww.fafsa.ed.gov. The deadline for applying:
- February 15 – freshmen
- March 1– continuing students
- April 1– transfer students
If an incoming student is awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan, they will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The Direct Student Loan MPN applications are completed electronically via the Department of Education web site prior to the beginning of the academic year.
All federal-aid awards are disbursed as actual credits 30 days after the start of the semester as prescribed by federal regulations.
The Office of the Bursar sends updated E-Bills to students whose accounts have been adjusted since the initial billing statement. This is done every two weeks. All students who owe an outstanding balance as of October 1 for the fall or February 1 for the spring semester will receive a semester bill whether or not they have had any changes/adjustments made to their account. Students also have the option to view their accounts online at the Student Account Center.
Bryant University has partnered with Flywire to offer an innovative and streamlined way to make international tuition payments. Flywire’s mission is to save international students and their families money that would otherwise be lost on bank fees and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. With Flywire, you are offered excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency (in most cases) and save a significant amount of money, as compared to traditional banks. In addition, the posting of the payment into your Bryant University account will be faster, you will be able to track where your payment is in the transfer process via a student dashboard and you will be notified via email when it is deposited into our account. Additional information can be found at:https://www.Flywire.com/school/bryant
Credit Card Payment Policy
Bryant University does not process credit/debit card payments in the Bursar’s Office for student account charges, housing deposits or SIE deposits. A third-party processor (Touchnet) accepts all credit card transactions on behalf of the University via the Student Account Center on the web. The credit cards that will be accepted through Touchnet are as follows: AMEX, MC and DISCOVER. There will be a 2.75% convenience fee associated with all credit card payments.
Students/Parents have the option to pay online with a Web Check without being charged a fee. If a student/parent chooses to pay with a credit card, they will be required to pay via the web and will be directed to Touchnet’s secure network environment in order for the credit card to be processed.
Students and their families will not be charged a convenience fee while making purchases at the Bryant University bookstore, Athletics, Support Services or the Information Desk.
Cash Payment Policy
Students are allowed to make cash payments in person at the Bursar’s Office.
Section 6050 I of the IRS Code requires that the University must report any cash payment more than $10,000 in one or more related transactions(IRS Form 8300 Filing).
- If a student, parent, or third party makes a cash payment in excess of $10,000 on behalf of a student, the University is required to obtain their name and social security number in case it is necessary to file an IRS Form 8300 at a future date.
- If a cash payment or a combination of a cash payment and a cashier’s check in excess of $10,000 is submitted to the University, the Bursar must be notified.
- The Bursar is required to complete an IRS Form 8300 and maintain a copy of the form for five years.
- A copy of the form and a written notification will be sent to the parent/student/third party who made the payment or cumulative cash payments in excess of $10,000.
- The following information should be kept for at least fiveyears after the payment is made:
- A copy of the 8300 form
- A copy of the notification to the student/parent who made the payment
- Account history for the term in which the payment was made
- As a double-check, each month a cumulative cash payment report will be run to ensure that a combination of cash payments/cashier checks do not exceed the $10,000 allowable maximum.
Check Payment Policy
All checks and money orders should be made payable to Bryant University. Envelopes should be addressed to the University’s lockbox address:
P.O. Box 835
Providence, RI 02901-0835
The University does not accept post-dated checks. A $40 fee is assessed to the student’s account if a check is returned from the bank as noncollectable.
A $3.00 fee is assessed to the student’s account for returns via online ACH.
To reserve on-campus housing for an upcoming fall semester, each returning student is required to make an advance room reservation non-refundable deposit of $300 in March of the prior academic year. Housing deposits are made online at the Student Account Center. Students are required to complete an online Housing and Meal Contract to be submitted to the Office of Residence Life. Students are notified by Residence Life of the sign-up schedule.
All outstanding balances must be resolved prior to a student being eligible to participate in the housing lottery. If a student has a credit balance on his/her account, that student is also allowed to use $300 of that credit to pay the housing deposit.
The University requires that all students who reside in the residence hall village and residence halls 14, 15, 16, and 17 enroll in one of the meal plans that are offered. There are no exceptions to this rule except in the case of an extreme medical problem. All requests to forego the meal plan must be made in writing and addressed to the Residence Life Director. Since on-campus townhouses and senior apartments have kitchen facilities, these resident students are not required to purchase a meal plan but may do so if they choose. For further information please refer to the Room and Board Policy.
Students who have a credit balance on their student accounts are allowed to transfer that credit to their Bryant Bulldog Account. The student can do this by logging onto Banner and choosing the bulldog bucks transfer option under the personal information tab.
A student may also purchase additional Bulldog Bucks with cash, check or credit card in the Auxiliary Services Office or at www.bryant.edu/getfunds. All Bulldog Bucks purchased will remain on student accounts until graduation, transfer or withdrawal from the University. Any remaining Bulldog Bucks balance over $25.00 will be applied to the student’s account, and refund checks will be issued by the Bursar in accordance with their normal refund policies. Bulldog Bucks balances less than $25.00 will not be refunded.
Resident students who do not select one of the optional meal programs will be enrolled in the default 14-meal board program. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available Monday through Friday; brunch and dinner is served Saturday and Sunday. The standard 14-meal plan gives the student the option to choose 14 of the 19 meals available.
Students enroll in a meal plan when they complete a housing application form each spring.
IMPORTANT: Any change in meal plans must be made during the first week of classes each semester. Meal plan cancellations must be made by the first week of school or students may be charged for a portion of the meal plan cost.
Room and Meal Plan Assignments/Assessments
The Bursar’s Office provides Residence Life with a fee schedule for on-campus housing and meal plans. These fees are entered on the Room/Meal/Phone Code Rules Form (SLALMFE). The fees are associated with a detail code that is associated with the charge on A/R. The Banner system allows the University to charge a daily rate (base rate) or a semester rate (maximum charge). Both the base rate and the maximum charge are set up on SLALMFE. Currently, Residence Life is charging a per semester rate.
Once room and meal plan assignments are determined by the Office of Residence Life, they are entered into the Residence Life StarRez system. An interface is run nightly to upload the assignments into Banner.
To ensure that the appropriate fees will be assessed, the room and meal plan assessment process (SLRFASM) is run in audit mode in Banner. Assignments are verified to ensure that the proper amounts correspond with the appropriate assignments. Residence Life is notified if the fees require adjusting, and the audit fee assessment process is run again until accuracy is achieved.
Any and all changes to housing and/or meal plans must be made at the Office of Residence Life. The Bursar’s Office runs fee assessment every week so that these changes can be updated on the student’s account and an updated E-Bill notification can be E-Mailed to the student.
The residence hall room and board fees can be found at:Tuition/Room/Board Fees.
Students and their families have two payment options available to them:
A family may pay the semester balance in full by the following due dates:
- August 9
- January 9
Bryant University offers a 10-month, pay-as-you-go payment, plan to help families budget their tuition and fee payments for the full academic year over a 10-month period rather than paying once per semester on the specified due dates. The plan is offered through:
Tuition Management Systems (TMS)
171 Service Avenue
Warwick, RI 02886
The amount that is budgeted is based on the student’s total expenses minus any financial aid and loans awarded to the student. For an example of calculating a 10-month, interest-free payment plan, visit the Bursar website.
A family can make their monthly payment to Tuition Management Systems by check, money order, or credit card, by mail, telephone or the Internet. For convenience, automatic monthly payments may be made right from a family’s checking or savings account.
It is not Bryant University’s policy to grant extensions for tuition payments. If families are unable to pay under option I or option II, it is recommended that they contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss borrowing alternatives.
The Bursar’s Office assesses a late fee to any account that is outstanding after all financial aid is posted in October for the fall semester and February for the spring semester.
The late payment penalty is assessed accordingly:
|$25||$500 – $1,500|
|$75||$1,501 – $2,500|
|$100||$2,501 – $3,000|
|$150||$3,001 and up|
This late fee penalty will also apply to any account that may have an outstanding balance due to a check being returned by the bank as uncollectible (i.e., non-sufficient funds).
The Bursar’s Office will process a one-time late fee waiver if a student or parent contacts the office offering a valid reason for the delay in payment, aid, or loan.
Traditional Undergraduate Student:
A student withdrawing from Bryant must contact the Registrar’s Office and complete a voluntary withdrawal form in order for his/her withdrawal to be official. When leaving the University, students are required to remove all personal property. At the time of the withdrawal/dismissal, the University-leased laptop must be returned. Any damage outlined in the laptop contract will be automatically charged to a student’s account.
Tuition refunds will be calculated as follows:
If written notification is received by the Registrar’s Office by the:
1st week of classes: 80 percent
2nd week of classes: 60 percent
3rd week of classes: 40 percent
4th week of classes: 20 percent
After 4th week of classes: No Refund
Room: No Refund (charged by semester)
Board: Refund is pro-rated (based on days used)
Non-traditional students are also required to officially withdraw from any classes that they may be enrolled in through the Registrar’s Office. The refund rules above will apply when determining a tuition refund.
Students dismissed academically at the end of the first semester are entitled to a refund of all tuition and room and board fees that have been paid for subsequent semesters.
Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid:
Regulatory guidelines associated with the return of Title IV federal funds require institutions participating in federal student aid programs to utilize very specific measures in effecting financial aid adjustments for students who withdraw from the University. The policy governing the Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid applies to all federal grant and loan programs: PELL, SEOG, Direct Loans, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and PLUS loans. It does not include the Federal Work-study Program.
In general, a student earns federal financial aid awards (which have been approved and verified) in proportion to the number of days completed in the term prior to the student’s complete withdrawal. The portion of the federal grants and loans that the student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total numbers of days that the student completed before he/she withdrew. For example: If a student completes 30 percent of the semester, he/she earns 30 percent of the approved federal aid that he/she was originally scheduled to receive for the term.
This policy determines the earned and unearned portions of a student’s Title IV Federal Financial Aid only. It does not affect the student’s charges. Bryant University’s withdrawal policy stated above makes that determination.
A student’s account may have a credit balance as a result of an overpayment or a financial-aid disbursement.
Refunds due to students for overpayment will be issued upon request, after a minimum of 30 days following the date a check has been deposited to a student’s account or a financial-aid disbursement has taken place.
A student can receive a refund by requesting a check or an Electronic Refund. A student is required to provide the University with their banking information by setting up their profile in theStudent Account Center.
Graduate Students are entitled to a refund of Title IV overpayments within 14 days of those Title IV payments being credited to their accounts.
A Parent PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) Loan overpayment can also be refunded to the parent within 14 days that the parent PLUS loan was disbursed. The University is not allowed to refund a student for excess parent loan funds unless we have written permission from the parent to refund the student. If a parent would like to grant permission for a refund to be issued to the student, they can e-mail email@example.com to make this request.
In order for a student to receive a refund, a refund request form must be completed. A student has the option to visit the Bursar’s Office and complete a form in person or a student can file one electronically by logging into Banner, selecting Student Services and Financial Aid and then Refund Request.
In addition to the traditional tuition, room and board charges on a student’s billing statement, there may be additional miscellaneous charges that are assessed to a student’s account.
|Fine:||Assessed By (Department):|
|Alcohol Citation Charge||Office of Residence Life|
|Fire and Safety Violation||Office of Residence Life|
|Dorm Damage Fine||Office of Residence Life|
|Parking Fine||Department of Public Safety|
|Tow Fine||Department of Public Safety|
|ID Remake||Office of Campus Engagement|
|DPS Lockout Fee||Department of Public Safety|
|Non-return Laptop Charge||Laptop Central|
|Laptop Clean-up Fee||Laptop Central|
|Laptop Repair Fee||Laptop Central|
|Laptop Insurance Deductible Fee||Laptop Central|
|Non-return Laptop Component||Laptop Central|
|Computer Printing Charge||Information Technology|
|Audio Visual Charge||Information Technology|
|Key Replacement Charge||Facilities|
|FOB Replacement Charge||Facilities|
|General Issue Fee||Athletics|
If a student desires to appeal any of these charges, he/she must contact the department from which the charge originated.
|Residence Life Fine – Other||Residence Life|
|Residence Life Educational Program Fee||Residence Life|
|Fire Alarm Fee||Residence Life|
Optional Coverage for Students
Bryant University endorses the following optional insurance plans that are offered to students. Information brochures, and/or applications are mailed to resident students each year during the summer.
i) Personal Property Insurance
Students, resident directors, and assistants may purchase inexpensive personal property insurance for their belongings while on campus directly through National Student Services Inc (www.nssi.com).
ii) Student Health Insurance
The University requires that all students provide documentation of health insurance. Course registration cannot be completed without this information. Accident and illness insurance is available to all full time students who wish to purchase the University-sponsored plan through University Health Plans. The cost for the 2016-2017 academic year will be $2,402. The policy is in effect from August 15, 2016 through August 14, 2017.
Each year, students must log onto www.universityhealthplans.com to complete and submit online enrollment or waiver form. They may also download brochure describing student insurance coverage, look for participating doctors and hospitals, review frequently asked questions and e-mail questions to University Health Plans. Information on this insurance can be obtained at the Health Services Office.
|Tuition invoices are E-Mailed to Graduate students once registration has begun for a semester. The student is E-Billed every two weeks throughout the registration period in order to capture any new registrations.
Graduate students are required to pay their tuition in full by August 9th for the fall semester and January 9th for the spring semester unless they provide the University with a third-party authorization indicating that a payment will be made directly to the University.The third-party authorization must be submitted to the Bursar’s Office each semester no later than the said due date.
If, by the said due dates, an account remains outstanding, a $75 late fee will be assessed to the account. A registration and transcript hold will also be placed on the account. The student will not be allowed to register for the following semester until his/her balance is resolved. For information regarding tuition Fees, seeTuition/Room/Board Fees.
For additional information, students should contact the Graduate School Office at (401) 232-6230.
Undergraduate Non-Traditional (Part-Time) students are notified via their Bryant University e-mail that an E-Bill is ready to be viewed once a student registers for a particular semester. E-Bill notifications are sent periodically throughout (typically every two weeks) the registration period in order to capture any new registrations and/or changes on the student account.
Undergraduate Non-Traditional (Part-Time) students are required to pay their tuition in full by the August 9 and/or January 9 semester due dates unless they provide the University with a third-party authorization indicating that a payment will be made directly to the University. The third-party authorization must be submitted to the Bursar’s Office each semester no later than the August 9 and/or January 9 due dates or the Late Payment Policy will apply.
While an account remains outstanding, a registration and transcript hold will also be placed on the account. The student will be prohibited from registration and will be unable to request an official transcript until their student account balance is resolved.
Bryant University PA Program – The Physician Assistant’s program is a 27-month, 126 semester hour course of study leading to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Degree. The program consists of 9 twelve week terms. The program must be completed within 5 years of initial entry/matriculation.
The Bursar’s Office is responsible for the billing and collection of your student tuition account. All tuition and fee billing will be done through electronic bills through the Student Account Center. A notification will be sent to your Bryant e-mail that your E-bill is ready for viewing approximately 30 days prior to the due date. Term start dates are January, March, June, and September.
Bryant University’s Bursar’s Office will manage all refunds of tuition. Fees are non-refundable.
A student withdrawing from Bryant University must contact the Office of the Registrar and the Physician Assistant’s Program Director in writing and complete a voluntary withdrawal form in order for his/her withdrawal to be official.
1st week – 80%
2nd week – 60%
3rd week – 40%
4th week – 20%
After 4th week – 0%
Due to the nature of the PA Program, single courses may not be dropped or added. All coursework must be completed in sequence.
The Bryant University Office of Financial Aid will coordinate financial aid services for any student requiring student loans.
Students will be required to obtain health insurance through Bryant University. The program includes the cost of these policies in the Student Fees.
Registered students are required to pay their accounts by August 9 for the fall semester and January 9 for the spring semester or by the first business day following these dates if they fall on a weekend. If the student’s account is not paid by the said due date, a late fee (see Late-fee Policy for additional information) will be assessed to the account and financial holds may be placed on the account.
Transcript Hold – University policy states that an official transcript will not be granted to a student unless he/she has completelyfulfilled his/her financial obligation to the University.
Registration Hold – University policy states that if a student owes $1,000 or more at the time of pre-registration, he/she will not be allowed to register for a future semester until he/she has fulfilled his/her financial obligation for the current semester.
At the discretion/option of the University, a student’s schedule may be cancelled before classes begin if satisfactory financial arrangements have not been made between the student and the Bursar’s Office.
Students who leave the University owing a balance must contact the Bursar’s Office within seven (7) business days of their departure to make payment arrangements for the debt owed to the University. A transcript hold and registration hold is automatically placed on a student’s account until his/her financial obligation has been fulfilled.
The Bursar’s Office will send two monthly invoices to a student for the balance owed. The Bursar’s Office will work with any student to arrange a monthly payment plan in order to resolve an account balance. It is important for anyone owing a balance to keep the Bursar’s Office informed of any change in address, telephone number, etc.
If there is no response from the former student, the University may find it necessary to send the unpaid fees to a collection agency for collection. If an account is assigned to an outside collection agency, the student loses the opportunity to deal with the University directly. The student will be responsible to pay any reasonable collection fees and/or legal fees associated with said collection of the amount owed to Bryant University. Also, once assigned to an outside collection agency, the account will be reported to a national credit bureau as a past-due debt.
Once an account has been assigned to a collection agency, the former student must deal directly with that agency.
Below is a list of collection agencies used by Bryant University:
Enrolled students have online access to their 1098 form through Banner Self Service and are able to print the form if required. The Bursar’s Office will send a paper copy to all students who have graduated or who have withdrawn from the University and no longer have access to their online Banner Self Service account.
The 1098-T form is used to assist students and families in determining if you are eligible for an Education Tax Credit or a Tuition and Fees Deduction. Bryant University is required to produce the 1098-T by IRS regulations. The 1098-T form is provided each year on or before January 31. The information contained in the 1098-T will help you determine if you may claim one of the two tax credits, the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit, or a Tuition and Fees Deduction.
1098-T and Social Security Numbers: Per state, federal and IRS guidelines, Bryant University will request that all students provide their Social Security Number (SSN) for reporting purposes. Failure to provide Bryant University with an SSN may result in a registration hold and/or being fined by the IRS in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 6723.
1098-T Data: The data reported on the 1098-T is based on the tax year (not the academic year). Box 2 displays the total amount the student was billed for qualified tuition and related expenses in the tax year. Box 5 displays the total amount of any scholarships and grants administered and processed during the tax year for the payment of student’s cost of attendance. PLEASE NOTE: Payments are not reported on this form.
Students should refer all tax-related questions to their own tax counsel. Students may get additional information from IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, or visit the Internal Revenue Service web site:
Departments receive cash or checks for a variety of different transactions. Audit guidelines require proper internal control when handling cash receipts. Department managers are responsible for implementing an internal control system that ensures the following:
- Proper segregation of duty where one individual is not responsible for both the billing and collections of cash.
- Security procedures. The cash or check(s) must be locked in a departmental safe and in a secure environment.
- Deposits are made in a timely fashion. Deposits should be made on a daily basis. It is not necessary to wait for the collection of several checks to make a deposit.
- A deposit receipt will be issued by the Bursar’s Office at the time of the deposit to verify that the deposit has been received. After the deposit has been processed in Banner, a system generated receipt will be submitted to the department.
- The Department manager is required to review the Banner Financial Reports and the deposit receipts to ensure the deposits are being recorded properly.
Departments should confirm that deposits being submitted include the following:
- All cash should be counted and an adding machine tape should be run to verify the cash and check total.
- A complete account number (FOAPAL) including organization and account number is required.
- Verify credit card batch totals in the same manner.
Completed deposits, along with cash, checks and credit card batches, should be delivered to the Bursar’s Office. Important: Cash should never be sent via Campus Mail!
- Departments should not accept or forward any foreign currency.
If a department receives checks via the US mail, it is important that the checks be addressed appropriately for faster delivery. The check makers must use proper and complete addresses. At present, many incoming checks are addressed only to “Bryant University, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917.” Although all checks must be payable to Bryant University, the second line of the address can indicate a department or an individual where the check should be delivered.
The memo portion of the check should also indicate the department or provide a description of the transaction. Departments must supply this information to the payer in order to ensure proper routing once a check arrives on campus. On a personal check, the memo portion is the lower left corner of the check; on business checks, the memo portion is usually a separate sheet, often attached to the check. The more information provided, the faster the check is routed to the appropriate department.
When checks are received and are not payable to Bryant University, an authorized department designee must endorse the check(s) over to the University by hand. This is done by endorsing the check on the back. For example:
Pay to the order of Bryant University”
Endorsements should be done at the very top of the check in order to leave sufficient room for the Bursar’s Office to endorse the check. Never, under any circumstances, should any additions or alterations be made to the front of a check.
Tips on handling cash, checks and credit card payments within your department:
All cash should group bills together by denomination and ensure that all bills are right-side up and facing the same way.
All checks should be carefully examined when received by a department. Please check the following:
- Current date (check is less than 90 days old)
- Text amount on the check agrees with numeric amount
- Check is payable to Bryant University (see above)
- Check is payable in US dollars
- Check is signed by maker
- Check amount is in compliance with any restrictions on the face of the check, e.g. “amounts over $10,000 require two signatures,” or “not valid for more than $5,000.00”
- Check is written on a US bank, or, if a foreign bank, that the face of the check shows that it is payable at a bank with a US address.
All Credit Card Transactions must be secured and accessed by employees who are required on a need-to-know basis and it is necessary for them to perform their job duties.
The following information is required by the Cashier’s Office for credit card transactions:
- A completed deposit slip for each credit card batch.
- An attached credit card Detail Report and Settlement Report .
Please contact the Bursar’s Office at 401-232-6030 if you have any questions or need assistance.
Petty cash is money that is kept on hand in the Bursar’s Office for minor departmental expenditures such as supplies or reimbursement of mileage that is job related. It is distributed between the hours of 8:30-11:30, Monday through Friday. The maximum reimbursement amount for each expenditure is $75.
Petty Cash Guidelines:
- Green Petty cash vouchers can be obtained in the Bursar’s Office.
- All petty cash forms must be signed by the required department head or authorized department director.
- A complete account number is required. No petty cash is to be distributed unless the number is complete.
- The petty cash limit is $75. Customers may not submit more than one petty-cash voucher for the same expense to meet the $75 limit. Any expenses over $75 will require a check request and reimbursement through the Accounts Payable department.
- All receipts must be present at the time petty cash is given out.
- When being reimbursed for mileage, it is necessary to attach a copy of the driving directions in order to provide an accurate mileage reading.
The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for the selection of recipients for this federal student loan. The award is based upon information contained in a student’s FAFSA and funding limitations within the program. If the student is awarded a Federal Perkins Loan he/she is notified in a financial aid award letter. The student will be required to complete a promissory note and an entrance interview to learn about the rights and responsibilities as a Federal Perkins loan borrower.
The Bursar’s Office manages the Federal Perkins Loans once a student has left Bryant University or is enrolled less than half-time. Once a Federal Perkins Loan borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student in order to set up an online exit interview. The exit interview is a federal requirement and its purpose it to review amounts owed to the University, to review the rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower, and to sign a repayment schedule. A Federal Perkins loan is entitled to a nine-month grace period before repayment begins. During the nine-month grace period, a student borrower will be notified when the grace period will end and when repayment will begin. Repayment of the loan may extend over a 10-year period.
The loan bears a five percent interest rate on the unpaid balance of the principal. The interest starts to accrue at the beginning of the repayment period. Special deferment and cancellation privileges are available. Students are informed of the provisions and responsibilities associated with these loans in the first and final years of their enrollment through entrance- and exit-interview counseling.
The University uses a third party for Perkins billing: University Accounting Service. However, all questions regarding the repayment, deferment, cancellation, and record keeping of the Perkins Loan can be directed to the Bursar’s office.
If you are currently a Federal Perkins Loan borrower and would like to apply for a deferment, forbearance, cancellation, make a payment online, or check the status of your account online, please visit www.uaservice.com and follow the Student/Borrower link. The web site will provide you will the regulations governing your loan and allow you to download any forms that you may need to defer or postpone your payments.
Minimum Retention Policy
|A/R Aging Reports||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, and then transfer to University Storage Area|
|A/R Audit Files & Reports||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, and then transfer to University Storage Area|
|A/R Billing Files||Bursar’s Office||Retain for 10 years, then destroy (only if account PIF)|
|A/R Daily Reconciliation Reports||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|Feeds to Finance||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|A/R General Correspondence||Bursar’s Office||Retain for one year, then destroy|
|A/R Monthly Reports:||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|A/R Reconciliation||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|Tuition Revenue||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|Collections Report||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|Assessment Reports||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then destroy|
|A/R Policy Manual||Bursar’s Office||Retain until updated|
|A/R Student Write-Off Accounts||Bursar’s Office||Retain permanently|
|Collection Agency Statements||Bursar’s Office||Retain for five years, then transfer to University Storage Area|
|Federal Perkins Loan Promissory Notes||Bursar’s Office||Retain for three years after paid in full, then destroy|
Accounts Payable strives to ensure the expedient and accurate processing of all payables for the University while adhering to appropriate accounting practices and internal controls. We are also dedicated to providing quality customer service to Bryant departments and to our vendors.
|Department Name:||Accounts Payable|
All Requests for Checks are date stamped and reviewed by the Accounts Payable Office for completeness and proper approvals.
- The Accounts Payable Office will make every effort to correct minor errors found on the check request without returning it to the origination department. It is, however, the responsibility of the department to forward complete and accurate paperwork to the Accounts Payable Office. Check requests that do not follow the University’s guidelines will be returned with a rejection notice.
- The Accounts Payable Office produces checks at least twice a week. Checks under $10,000 are usually mailed within three business days. Checks $10,000 and over are signed by two financial officers of the University before they are mailed.
All check requests and employee business reimbursements should be submitted to Accounts Payable – Controller’s Office. Items submitted for payment to Accounts Payable will be returned with an exception notice if the information submitted is not complete.
Allow seven to 10 days for a completed check request or business expense reimbursement to be processed after it is received in Accounts Payable.
In the case when the check is needed more quickly, please indicate “RUSH” or “TOP PRIORITY” on the request and allow three to five days for processing.
Attn: Accounts Payable
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
Important: All Vendor Invoices must reference Bryant University’s Purchase Order number, if applicable. If a Bryant University Purchase Order is not used, then a reference to the departmental organization number is required.
Invoices for purchases made through the Bryant University Purchasing System will be kept and processed by Accounts Payable.
Invoices for purchases not made through the Bryant University Purchasing system will be mailed interoffice to the initiating department for check-request processing.
Bryant University is not liable for state sales tax as it is a tax-exempt organization. For purchases, employees should give all vendors the University’s corresponding state tax-exempt number. State exemption forms are available in the Accounts Payable and Purchasing offices. The exempt states and exempt numbers are listed below:
Rhode Island: 161
Massachusetts: 050 258 810
New York: EX 217806
The IRS requires the University to maintain a signed W-9 form from all payees for year-end 1099 reporting purposes. Non-incorporated companies or individuals (such as consultants, speakers or partnerships) that are compensated for goods or services must furnish their Social Security Number or Federal Employer Identification Number on the W-9 form. The Accounts Payable Office will not process a check request until this form has been received. To find out if a vendor has submitted a W-9 please see the process listed under Banner Navigation for Accounts Payable-Vendor Number and W-9 inquiry.
If the situation arises and a wire payment must be made, please bring the following information to Accounts Payable. We will then forward the information to the appropriate people for approval. The department will incur a $25 extra charge for each wire processed.
|Domestic Wire Information needed:||Vendor Bank Name|
|Vendor Bank Account Number|
|Foreign Wire Information needed:||Bank Name|
The University’s process relating to the payment of purchase orders is as follows:
A purchase requisition is initiated by the end user and submitted to purchasing.
A purchase order is then created and sent to the vendor by the purchasing office.
A copy of the purchase order is then sent to the originating department.
After goods are received by Bryant, an invoice is sent by the vendor to the invoice mailing address.
A check request is processed by Accounts Payable and sent to the department for approval.
The department must approve the check request based upon the receipt of goods, the condition of goods, and the price. Any discrepancies are handled between the department and the vendor.
If necessary, the department must then forward the check request to their Vice President for approval.
A check is cut within the appropriate lead times once the approved check request is received in Accounts Payable.
Preparing a Check Request
Purpose: To request the University to pay for an item that has been approved, ordered, and delivered, or to pay an advance on a concert, lecture, or entertainment reservation, etc.
Instructions – (Top Area of Check Request)
1. Mailing Instructions: If the check needs to be picked up, please indicate “Call when ready” and add your phone or extension number in this field. You will be called to pick up the check in the Bursar’s office when it is ready.
If the check is to be mailed interoffice, indicate “Send check to” and add the name and department of whoever will be receiving the check.
If the check is to be mailed normally, no information in this field is necessary.
2. Check Payable To: Indicate the full name to whom the check will be issued. If it is a new vendor. a W-9 form is required. (Refer to the Vendor number and W-9 inquiry process for directions on searching the vendor database.)
3. Address: Indicate the address the check will be mailed to. This is the remittance address found on most invoices. If the address is more than four lines, a typewritten addressed envelope needs to be included with the paperwork. (If an envelope is used, the full address must still be on the check request.)
4. Vendor Number: This is available in the Banner system. If a vendor is not listed, a completed W-9 form must accompany the paperwork.
5. Request Date: This is the date you are completing the form.
6. Date Check Needed: In the case of a “RUSH,” this is the date by which the check must be completed.
Preparing a Travel Advance Request
PURPOSE: To request the University to advance monies for an upcoming trip or event.
1. NAME: Enter name of person who will be receiving monies.
2. DEPARTMENT: Enter department name. (Account numbers do not go in this area.)
3. PURPOSE OF TRIP: Enter purpose of trip.
4. ADDRESS: Enter address where Accounts Payable will mail check or enter “Call when ready” with an extension. You will be notified when the check is ready.
5. PART 3: Provide details of Trip (Place, Dates, etc.) This information is required.
Enter the amount of Advance requested.
6. ACCOUNT DISTRIBUTION: Enter Fund Number 11015 and Account Number 14630. (This Fund and Account Number is used exclusively for Travel Advances and should not be used at any other time.)
Print the request.
Sign the form above the Signature of traveler line.
Have the request approved by your departmental supervisor.
Forward request to Accounts Payable for processing.
**Future travel or business expense reimbursements will not be processed until outstanding advances have been reconciled.
INVOICE SEARCH INQUIRY
1. Type – FAIVNDH
3. Click on the flashlight at the end of the vendor field
4. Click on FTIIDEN on the Options pop-up box
5. Click on Enter Query Icon or the “F7” key
7. Type all or partial vendor name in the last name field followed by a “ %” (no quotation marks) ex: for Office Concepts type Off%
8. Click on Execute Query Icon or the “F8” key
Use the up/down arrows to highlight the correct vendor if more then one vendor shows up.
9. Double click on the ID number field (vendor to be selected should be highlighted in blue)
10. Tab to fiscal year and change it if necessary
11. Next Block Icon
12. Use the up/down arrows to highlight the invoice, or just click on the invoice.
1. Highlight the invoice.
2. Click on “Commodity Information” in left column. The description is in the Commodity description field located in the middle of the screen.
For check number:
1. Highlight the invoice.
2. Tab through or use the horizontal scroll bar to get check number if available.
*If the invoice is listed but a check number is not available, the check request is either in the approval process or check process.
For check information:
1. Highlight the invoice.
2. Tab through or use the horizontal scroll bar until the check number field is displayed. Click on the icon located next to the “Check” heading.
3. Tab to bank and type F3 – if it did not default in
- Next Block Icon
*Please note: This screen does not tell you if the check has been cashed. It gives you a check total and a listing of invoices paid on the check.
13. Click View Invoice Information on Left
14. Click Invoice Header on Left
Vendor Invoice Number
Vendor Invoice Date
Mailing address of check
For Organization and Account number:
15. Continue by clicking Accounting Amounts in left column
16. Click on Review Accounting Information in left column
17. Click the Exit Icon
To view another invoice (same vendor) follow steps 11 onward.
To view another invoice, click Rollback and start again with vendor search flashlight.
PURCHASE ORDER / INVOICE INFORMATION / CHECK INFORMATION
Type – FOIDOCH
Query by Banner invoice number, purchase order number or check number
- Enter Document type INV – for inquiry by invoice (this is Banner generated document number)
Enter Document type PO – for inquiry by purchase order number
Enter Document type CHK – for inquiry by check number
- Type Invoice Number, Purchase Order Number or Check Number in the Doc. Code field.
- Next Block Icon
- Click on the area you wish to view
To view status of document click on View Status Indicators in left column and match to the status indicators on the right of the Doc. Code numbers.
Bryant University is required by the IRS to comply with specific federal tax withholding and reporting regulations when issuing payments to non-resident alien individuals. The types of payments affected include compensation, wages, honoraria, scholarships, fellowships and, in some cases, reimbursement for travel expenses. The general IRS rule is to withhold taxes at a rate of 30 percent for all payments made to non-resident alien individuals. However, an individual’s visa status, length of stay in the United States, or tax-treaty exemptions with specific countries could possibly reduce or eliminate the 30 percent tax withholding requirement in certain situations.
In order to provide Business Affairs with enough information to make a determination of tax liability, the following steps should be adhered to:
- Indicate on the Check Request form whether the individual to be paid is a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident).
- If the individual is not a U.S. Citizen (or permanent resident), have the Individual complete an “Alien Information Form” available in the Accounts Payable Office.
- Include the individual’s social security number of ITIN on the Check Request.
- Forward both the Check Request and the Alien Information Form to Accounts Payable for processing.
Once Accounts Payable receives the above documentation, they will research any tax withholding obligations. If there is a tax treaty with the individual’s home country, they will contact the individual to complete an IRS Form 8233 or W8-BEN, which will allow the college to reduce or eliminate the tax requirements. If no tax treaty exists with the individual’s home country, Bryant will withhold federal tax at a rate of 30 percent for all compensation.
One special note regarding Canadian citizens who waive visa status at the border, and other non-U.S. citizens who travel to the University for business on a B1 or tourist visa. The laws have recently been modified for all colleges and universities to pay these persons honoraria and travel expenses if they meet the following criteria:
- The length of stay cannot exceed nine days
- They must not have received more than nine honorarium payments in the United States in the six months prior to arriving at Bryant.
Reimbursements for moving expenses must be approved by the president or the divisional Vice President.
When an employee is relocated from one workplace to another or relocates to begin a new job, the employer often pays for the costs of the move, either directly or by reimbursing the employee for moving expenses. Generally, if an employer reimburses an employee or pays a third party directly for moving expenses that qualify for a tax deduction, the amount reimbursed or paid is not included in the employee’s income. All other amounts paid or reimbursed must be included in income and are subject to federal income-tax withholding, social security, and Medicare taxes. The following paragraphs explain the current rules governing the tax treatment of job-related moving expenses.
Initial Tests of Deductibility Distance and Time
Before expenses of a job-related move can be considered deductible and reimbursements for these expenses excluded from income, two tests must be met:
1. The new workplace must be at least 50 miles farther from the employee’s old residence than the previous workplace was. If there was no previous workplace, the new workplace must be at least 50 miles from the employee’s old residence.
2. During the 12-month period immediately following the move, the employee must work full-time for at least 39 weeks in the general location of the new workplace.
If the employer reasonably believes the employee will meet these two tests, payments made to a third party or reimbursements made to the employee for expenses related to the move are not included in income, provided the expenses themselves meet the tests for deductibility. This results in an “Excludible Relocation,” which is a non-taxable fringe benefit.
If the two tests are not met, the reimbursements are considered a taxable fringe benefit.
There are two types of deductible moving expenses:
- Transportation and in-transit storage of household goods and personal effects; and
- Traveling from old residence to new residence (includes lodging but not meals) .
Non qualified expenses include meals, house-hunting and lease breaking.
Transportation of Household Goods
All reasonable expenses incurred in packing and moving household goods and personal effects to the new residence and storing and insuring them while in transit are deductible. Storage costs constitute ‘in-transit” expenses if they are incurred within 30 days after the goods and effects are moved from the old residence and before delivery to the new residence. The employer can reimburse the employee for the expenses or pay a moving company directly.
Expenses of Traveling from Old Residence to New Residence
While traveling from the employee’s old residence to the new residence, all reasonable expenses incurred, such as transportation and lodging during the trip, are deductible. However, a deduction for meal expenses is no longer allowed while traveling to the new residence. The mileage rate for moving expenses is available from the Accounts Payable Office.
The deduction for an employee’s moving expenses includes amounts spent on transporting and storing household goods and personal effects belonging to members of the employee’s household who live in both the old and new residences. Their reasonable expenses in traveling from the old residence to the new residence are also a deductible expense to the employee.
IMPORTANT: Moving expenses are deductible only to the extent they are reasonable in relationship to the move. This means the shortest and most direct routes must be taken when traveling and conventional modes of transportation must be use. If not, any excess expense incurred is not deductible. Also, lodging expenses incurred while traveling may not be “lavish or extravagant.”