Student organizations that have been recognized by the Student Activities Committee have the option of opening a financial fund at the University free of charge. If you choose to open a Ball State financial fund, please note that all finances must be handled through the University-assigned fund. All income and expenditures must be transacted solely through the student organization’s agency fund, and the organization is required to comply with the policies for holding a Ball State fund.
If you are interested in opening a financial fund, visit Student Organization FAQs to obtain an Account Request Form, which must be completed and returned to Student Life. The process of opening a fund can take up to a week before a fund number is assigned to an organization.
Benefits of Holding a University Account
- University account services are free of charge.
- An annual audit of your financial records is a free service from the Ball State Office of the Controller. A review of accounting records by auditors protects the organization and ensures the accuracy of the account. Annual audits are strongly encouraged.
- Accounting advice is available by appointment for organization treasurers having difficulty with records. Contact the Controller’s Office at 765-285-8444 to make an appointment with an Accountant Financial Analyst or email Student Life to make an appointment with a Student Life staff member.
Financial Process – once a University fund number is assigned, student organizations can deposit funds or generate payment in the following manner:
- All income received by the organization should be deposited promptly for credit to the organization’s fund to avoid the possibility of misappropriation. The full amount received should be deposited – no expenses are to be paid out of the cash receipts.
- Once a University fund has been created, the organization is required to adhere to the University’s Cash Handling Procedures.
- The following exception from the University Cash Handling Procedures is permitted for Student Life student organizations in order to facilitate compliance, improve deposit reporting, and insure the safety of individuals handling cash:
- Complete a Cash Receipts Voucher and submit it along with the cash or checks to be deposited to the Bursar’s Office in Lucina Hall OR deliver the deposit directly to the Office of Student Life where a support staff member will process CASHNet deposit on your behalf. For a Cash Receipts Voucher, log into Benny Link, then go to Organizations, Student Life, Documents.
- Checks to be deposited should be written to Ball State University. Endorse the back of the check with “Ball State University – for deposit only”. If a check is written specifically to the organization or an individual, endorse with the organization name or individual’s name and include “for deposit only”.
- If a payment is made by an individual directly to the organization’s Treasurer, a receipt for the transaction should be provided. Receipts should include the date, customer name, and amount. If your organization is in need of a receipt book, visit Student Life in SC 133 to request one.
- If a deposit is in excess of $1,000 in cash, arrangements must be made with Student Life to have a locked bag made available and a campus police escort to transfer the funds across campus. If the amount of funds to be deposited is more than $1000.00 in cash, bring the Cash Receipts Voucher and cash to the Student Life Office. The money will be placed in a locked bag and a police escort will be contacted for the deposit to be made at the Bursar’s Office.
- To maximize cash flow and safeguard assets, deposits should be processed within three (3) days of receiving the funds. Prior to the deposit, funds should be held in a secure manner (i.e. in a locked safe or cabinet).
- If an organization holds onto cash or checks for more than three days before making a deposit, a reminder to deposit funds in a timely manner and will be issued. If a check isn’t deposited within a timely manner, then there is a risk that the check will become stale dated or cancelled.
- If an organization consistently forgets to make deposits in a timely manner has received multiple reminders of the procedures, the group’s status as a recognized organization at Ball State may be revoked.
Disbursement or Reimbursement of Funds
- All payments and reimbursements are processed electronically using a SciQuest Non-PO Payment Request Form (as a Direct Pay). If your organization is associated with a specific department, the Administrative Coordinator has the ability to process the reimbursement through the SciQuest system using your organization fund number. If you are not associated with a department, you may bring your original receipts or invoice along with a Reimbursement/Payment form to be processed to the Office of Student Life. The receipt or invoice will be attached to the payment request in SciQuest. The organization advisor’s signature must be included on the form. To locate a Reimbursement/Payment form, log into Benny Link, then go to Organizations, Student Life, Documents.
- Sports Clubs Only – follow procedures outlined by Recreation Services regarding sport club accounts. See Recreation Services for more information.
- Submitting a receipt along with a Reimbursement/Payment form – Detailed original receipts must be submitted in order for an individual to receive reimbursements. A detailed receipt includes a list of items purchased. A receipt that indicates a purchase was made using a charge card will not be accepted if individual items are not listed on the receipt.
- Submitting an invoice along with a Reimbursement/Payment form – An invoice can be submitted if a vendor is being paid for items to be purchased. For example, if an organization is ordering t-shirts from Cool Cayenne, obtain an invoice from Cool Cayenne and submit it along with the Reimbursement/Payment form. A check will be generated directly to Cool Cayenne for the purchase.
- Please allow at least one week for processing from the time a Reimbursement/Payment form is submitted to the time a check is received.
- If the vendor is not in the Ball State Accounting system, then you will be required to obtain a W-9 tax form from the vendor.
- While student organizations are not subject to the University’s Accountable Plan due to regulatory restrictions, every effort should be made to turn receipts in for reimbursement in a timely manner. All other University policies and procedures do apply to student organizations unless otherwise noted.
- If a reimbursement is to be paid based on the receipt submitted, the purchase date listed on the receipt must be no older than 60 days. Based on IRS regulations, the Accounting Office cannot reimburse a purchase based on a receipt that is over 60 days old.
- For student organizations that have fund numbers (FOAPAL) beginning with 830xxx, the following applies:
- For deposits, use FOAPAL 830xxx-151070-591090-1014
- For reimbursements, use FOAPAL 830xxx-151070-733500-2010
- For student organizations that have account numbers (FOAPAL) beginning with 142xxx, check with a support staff member in Student Life regarding deposits and reimbursements.
Taxability of Cash and Non-cash Awards, Prizes, Gifts and Incentives
A prize won by a student is treated as compensation subject to all applicable taxes from withholding. The value of a prize is reported by the originator of the prize on the prize form found at Prize Reporting Form.
Gift Cards/Gift Certificates
The use and purchase of gift cards and gift certificates is not allowed.
Student organizations are not currently allowed to use fundraising websites, such as GoFundMe. However, organizations can setup a Ball State Foundation fund provided that the organization has the first $1000 donation to do so. The Foundation will provide donation receipts to donors. If interested in proceeding with a Foundation fund, contact the Office of Student Life.
Another option is to setup a storefront through Ball State, although please note that Ball State is not equipped to provide receipts for donations. Before setting up a storefront, the first step is to complete the eMarket Setup Questionnaire, available from the Senior Information Systems Analyst, Ben Johnson. Contact Ben to learn more about setting up a storefront.
Organization Sales Websites
Student organizations with a Ball State organization fund can setup a University website to sell products (albeit with a credit card fee). Before setting up a storefront, the first step is to complete the eMarket Setup Questionnaire. Email the Senior Information Systems Analyst, Ben Johnson, to learn more about setting up a storefront.
To be exempt from Indiana sales tax on purchases, the student organization must be:
- Recognized by the University
- Connected with the University
- Under the supervision of the University
- Held as an agency fund with records maintained by the University
A student organization that is registered with and under the control of the University will not be required to register with the Indiana Department of Revenue as a nonprofit organization and will be considered a part of the University for these purposes. As such, recognized student organizations may be eligible to make tax exempt purchases. If a student organization engages with a vendor requesting a tax exemption certificate please contact the University’s Tax Director for assistance as these purchases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance.
Student organizations holding agency accounts may use Ball State’s tax exempt form in the following instances:
- If a student organization is submitting an invoice to be paid directly to a vendor.
- If a student organization is buying t-shirts in bulk from a vendor for the purpose of selling, in which case they would follow the rule of charging 7% sales tax when selling the shirts (see next-to-last paragraph below regarding Indiana sales tax law).
Purchases for the benefit of any member of the organization or for any other individual, such as all prepared foods, meals, banquets, lodging or gifts, are not eligible for exemption and sales tax should always be paid when purchasing these items. (As a reminder, student organizations should not purchase alcohol, tobacco, or firearms.) When submitting a request for reimbursement from an agency fund, tax will be reimbursed to the individual or paid to the vendor.
Student organizations with agency funds conducting sales to members or non-members become a retail merchant and must collect sales tax on these sales. The State of Indiana sales tax of 7% must be collected by the student organization when conducting sales activities. The proceeds from these sales must be deposited into the student organization’s agency fund held with the University.
As a Registered Student Organization (RSO) your group is registered with the University as an independent and separate organization from the University, conducting itself as a not for profit entity. Student groups are independent and autonomous from the University and therefore do not have access to the University’s tax-exempt status except when purchasing goods for resale in raising funds. Without recognition from the IRS, contributions to the organization’s FOAPAL would not be tax deductible. For further guidance on how to establish an exempt organization see IRS Pub. 557.
All questions regarding sales tax can be directed to the University's Tax Director.