Table of Contents
Agency Account Guidelines
October 01, 2018
Other Related Information
The State University of New York (“State University”) uses agency accounts
to receive, hold, and disburse funds on behalf of students, faculty, staff members,
or appropriately recognized organizations. Agency
accounts are to be used by a Campus-related organization for strictly pass-through
activities where the revenues and expenses are reported by a non-related third party
(i.e., not the State University or the Campus-related organization administering the
agency account). Agency accounts exist because there is a relationship between the
State University and the activity from which the funds are derived.
Agency accounts are not to be used to receive, hold or disburse New York State
(State) or State University funds. State University funds are derived from state appropriations,
tuition and fees, and any other funds administered through the use of State University
facilities, the direct activities of faculty or staff, or from departments, institutes,
and programs of the State University. State University funds must be administered
in an Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR) account. Furthermore, all funds intended for
use by the State University from donors and funds provided by Campus-related organizations
(e.g., program donations from foundations and auxiliary services corporations) shall
not be deposited in, administered by, and disbursed from an agency account. Rather,
these funds are administered by, and disbursed from a designated operating account
of the Campus-related organization or be transferred to the campus and appropriately
accounted for by the campus in a State operating fund.
Agency funds are maintained by Campus-related organizations which have an established
relationship with the State University. Agency funds are resources held by a
Campus-related organization in a custodial or fiscal agent capacity for the benefit
of individual students, faculty or staff members, or appropriately recognized organizations
and are not funds of the Campus-related organization itself. The Campus-related
organization has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the funds are maintained and
used in accordance with the approved purpose.
Agency funds must not be maintained for any activity which involves the deposit
of funds of the State or other revenue which in accordance with State Finance Law
must be deposited in a State University account.
The Campus-related organizations that are authorized to administer agency accounts
The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (the “Research
Auxiliary Services Corporations / Faculty Student Associations
Application of Guidelines
To the extent that authorized Campus-related organizations act as custodial and/or
fiscal agents for agency funds as described in Section A above, they must be
bound to comply with these guidelines. These guidelines shall not apply to the
Research Foundation in the context of its administration of the State University's
funding for sponsored research and other sponsored programs pursuant to an agreement
with the State University of New York in accordance with Chapter 50 of the Laws of
Agency Funds: Activities and Services
Appropriate Agency Funds Activities – Campus-related organizations may act
as a fiscal agent for strictly pass-through activities where the revenues and expenses
are properly reported by the third party organization for which the fiscal services
are being provided. Examples of appropriate agency account activities are:
Clinical Practice Management Plans (CPMP)
Clinical practice plan activities are authorized by the collective bargaining
agreements between the State and the United University Professions. The policies
of the State University Board of Trustees contain a codification of the understanding
reached in that agreement. Consistent with the policies, each practice plan
establishes procedures for the conduct of its business. The governing board
of a practice plan, at its option, may utilize any fiduciary custodian to provide
banking and other financial services essential to conducting the financial affairs
of the practice plan. The use of agency accounts by the governing board is an
appropriate practice where the revenue and expense activity is properly reported by
Student Activity Fees
State University policy requires that these fees be turned over to a Campus-related
organization to act as an independent fiscal agent to provide financial, business,
and accounting services. The revenue and expense activity is properly
reported in the respective student government association financial statements.
Other Student-related Activities (honor societies, booster clubs, student clubs,
bake sales, raffles, etc.). These funds should be associated with a specific club,
society or student organization.
Agency accounts are the appropriate method to account in a fiduciary capacity
for such student-related activities. The revenues and expenses should be reported
by the respective society, club or oversight body.
International/Overseas Academic Programs
An agency account can be used to administer pass-through funds received from students
relating to travel, room and board, and other program fees for students studying abroad.
However, any tuition payments due to the State University for credit instruction must
be deposited in the State University Income Fund. Agency accounts may be used
for faculty travel abroad when the student program fee charges are used to support
the faculty member’s travel cost and must follow the procedures for study abroad
programs outlined in SUNY Procedure 7010 Study Abroad Programs: Financial Procedures.
Conferences are formal events sponsored by an outside organization (i.e., a third
party, and not conducted by campus department personnel) that are normally of short
duration, and are not offered for academic credit. Conferences may be held on campus
or off (recreational center, hotel, etc.). The registration fee income for such
conferences, and direct conference expenses such as hosting, honoraria for outside
speakers, and travel reimbursements, are activities appropriate for handling through
agency accounts. Uses of campus facilities by such conferences are subject to
appropriate permit requirements and subject to campus facilities use fees that must
be deposited in an IFR account. Conferences that are sponsored by the campus
(i.e., conducted by campus/department personnel) must be administered through an IFR.
Child Care Centers
Transactions in support of childcare activities conducted by legally-separate
entities operating under contract with the campus cannot be handled through State
accounts. Generally, these funds should be maintained by the Child Care Center.
However, in certain cases such funds, if called for by local circumstances, may be
administered through an agency account.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Fund
As outlined in SUNY Procedure 9960 Chief Administrative Officer Fund Requirements,
each CAO Fund must be held in a corresponding campus agency account or Campus-related
Foundation agency account.
Inappropriate Agency Funds Activities – The following are examples of activities
or functions from which the associated revenues and expenses are not appropriately
administered through agency funds:
Scholarship Funds for Specific Students
All third-party payments for scholarship awards designated for specific students
should be handled through the campus Bursar or Student Accounts Office. Other
third-party scholarship awards should normally be received and administered as endowment,
special purpose, or loan funds by the Campus-related Foundation.
Funds received for orientation programs must be administered through an IFR account
and not an agency account. Funds received for the purposes of non-student orientation
related expenses (e.g., parents, siblings, and other guests) and are administered
by a Campus-related organization (e.g., Auxiliary Service Corporation) may be deposited
in a designated account of the Campus-related organization and properly accounted
for by that organization for the designated purpose. Agency accounts should
not be used unless a specific event of the orientation program is sponsored by a non-related
third party and is clearly articulated as part of the orientation program.
Intercollegiate athletics generally receive funding from student fees. Intercollegiate
athletic expenditures will be made from State appropriations and IFR accounts.
Funds in support of intercollegiate athletics from all sources (.e.g., applicable
student fees, gate receipts) must be deposited in an IFR account.
Instruction, Certificate and Continuing Education Programs
All funds related to instructional activities (e.g., courses for professionals
looking to obtain a license in a particular field; maintaining certification requirements;
or satisfy continuing education job requirements) must be accounted for in the Tuition
Income Offset or an IFR account.
Program Funds Received From Campus-related Organizations
Program support represents the amount of funding that is earmarked and approved
in the Campus-related foundation or Auxiliary Service Corporation annual budget by
its Board and campus president to be used by the campus for its programs and activities.
All funds designated by Campus-related organizations as program funds must not be
deposited in, administered by, or disbursed from agency accounts. Rather, these funds
are administered by, and disbursed from a designated operating account of the Campus-related
organization or be transferred to the campus and appropriately accounted for by the
campus in a State operating fund.
Course-related Consumable Supplies
Agency accounts should not be used to charge students for the provision of consumable
supplies for use in credit-bearing courses. Where purchases of supplies and
equipment by students for credit-bearing courses are necessary, these purchases should
be made by the student at the campus store or other appropriate commercial outlet.
Personal Service Payments to State University Employees
Personal service payments to State University employees should not be made directly
from agency accounts but should be processed instead through the appropriate State
University payroll mechanisms.
Utilities and Rental Charges
The campus may charge Campus-related organizations and other entities for utilities
and the use of the facilities. The revenue derived from these activities may
not be accounted for in an agency account. Rather, it must be accounted for
in an IFR account.
Sports Camps and Clinics
All sports camps and clinic activity sponsored by the campus using State facilities
and employees should be administered through an IFR account.
State University departments that collect revenue from the sale of goods and services,
such as psychological counseling services, lab services, speech and hearing clinics,
and athletic training should be administered through an IFR account.
Administration of Agency Accounts
Campus-related organizations that are authorized to administer agency funds must
comply with the following administrative procedures:
The Campus-related organization must develop and maintain up-to-date comprehensive
written policies and procedures for the administration of agency accounts. They should
address the establishment of agency accounts; procurement and disbursement of agency
funds, including travel reimbursements; agency fund cash receipt controls; investment
of agency funds; and inactive accounts. Furthermore, the Campus-related organization
should establish adequate internal controls over the cash receipt and disbursement
processes to help safeguard the agency funds.
A formal application process must be used to establish any new accounts, culminating
with the approval of the Campus President or designee. The application should include
the name and purpose of the account, source of funds, allowable types of expenditures,
and authorized signatories.
Upon approval of the account application, a formal agreement regarding the administration
of the account must be established between the Campus-related organization (fiscal
agent) and the campus faculty, staff, students or appropriately recognized organization
that is requesting fiscal agent services. The agreement should, at minimum, address
the following items:
Definition of services to be provided
Responsibilities of both parties
Definition of types of allowable disbursements
Authorization signatures for disbursements
Administrative/management fees and other costs
Limitations on the types of investments allowed
Interest earnings allocation, if any
Monthly reporting requirements
A process to review and/or close inactive accounts after a specified time frame
Dispute resolution process
Procedure for annual review to amend the agreement, as necessary
A reasonable administrative/management fee may be collected by the Campus-related
As part of its fiduciary responsibilities, the Campus-related organization administering
an agency account must develop an understanding of the objectives and purposes of
the account. Further, the fiscal agent is to be more than a depository and disbursing
agent for the organization who owns the agency account. They must ensure all funds
are adequately safeguarded, receipts are credited to the appropriate agency account,
and disbursements are properly authorized and in accordance with the agency account
agreement. In performing these fiduciary responsibilities they should:
Provide receipts to the agency account holders upon the receipt of any funds.
Require the use of standard agency account disbursement forms that describes
the purpose of the expenditure and includes the signature of an authorized account
signor and a supervisor ¿ cannot be the same individual
Verify signatures on disbursement requests to those authorized in the agency
Verify that the disbursement meets the intent of the agency account, from which
the funds are being disbursed.
Require disbursement requests be accompanied with adequate supporting documentation,
including original receipts and invoices, to allow for sound judgment when processing
Require the signature of a designated individual in the campus finance/business
office for reimbursements (e.g., travel) over a specified dollar amount (campus /
Campus-related organization threshold) that are made to the authorized account signatory.
Monthly reports of activities should be prepared and provided to each agency account
holder. These reports should be reconciled monthly by the account owner, with any
discrepancies addressed in a timely manner.
Reconciliation of agency account balances to monthly bank statements must be performed
in a timely manner and verified by an individual independent of the reconciliation
Agency funds may not be commingled with operating funds in the accounting system
of the Campus-related organization. However, agency account funds may be combined
or commingled for banking and investment purposes.
In the event agency account balances are combined, detailed accounting records
must be maintained to ensure the appropriate balances associated with each agency
Agency accounts should not be used for depositing monies belonging to the State
(the State has an ownership and equitable title in the funds) either as general revenues
or as revenues accountable through an IFR account, nor should such monies be utilized
for the purposes of the Campus-related organization.
For agency accounts that are inactive for longer than one year the Campus-related
organization should follow-up with the account owner to determine whether the account
should remain open or be closed. Accounts closed due to inactivity may be re-established
by completing a new account application. Campuses may move unexpended balances to
an administrative agency account or an IFR overseen by the campus business officer.
Reporting and Audit
Agency funds are included in the annual audit of the Campus-related organization
conducted by an independent CPA firm. In conjunction with the issuance of the annual
audited financial statements, a required supplementary schedule of agency account
activity should accompany the financial statements. The supplemental schedule
should reflect, at a minimum, the beginning and ending agency account liability balance
and revenue and expense activity for each agency account administered by the Campus-related
organization. This required supplemental schedule must be referenced in the
auditors’ opinion that it is fairly presented in relation to the audited financial
statements. The supplemental schedule will be subject to periodic audit by the
State University Auditor to ensure adequate internal controls are in place for the
administration of agency funds, and adherence to the administrative requirements outlined
in the agency account guidelines. The Campus-related organization must provide
reports to the campus chief administrative officer or designee, and upon request to
the vice chancellor and chief financial officer or designee to help ensure compliance
with these guidelines.
The books and records, financial and program activities, and operating results
of the agency accounts are subject to periodic audits by the State University Auditor
and, to the extent allowed by law, outside regulatory bodies.
Exemptions from all or a part of these guidelines must be specifically approved
by the vice chancellor and chief financial officer or designee.
NYS Department of Taxation and Finance Sales Tax Forms
Other Related Information
In support of this procedure, the followinglinks and/or references to additional
resources for related informaiton are included:
Corporations' Administrative Guidelines
Auxiliary Services Corporations Guidelines
Where applicable, this section contains links and/or references to the authority
governing this procedure:
Internal Revenue Code exemption from taxes
Office of the University Controller Accounting Requirements
This section contains links and/or references to the authority governing this procedure:
In June 1987, the State University Board of Trustees authorized the Chancellor or
designee to establish the following guidelines for the administration of agency funds.
These guidelines shall govern those procedures for agency funds administration established
by the Board of Trustees in its approval of the Auxiliary Services Corporation Guidelines.
These guidelines were subsequently amended in July 2003 to further clarify the principles
and expectations the State University with respect to the management of agency accounts
by Campus-related organizations.
There are no appendicies relevant to this procedure.