Financial Transactions and Forms
Student groups have access to their University funds to spend and receive money on behalf their organizations. The two main platforms to through which the student group can monitor and access their funds are Prime and Concur.
- Prime is the financial system for the University including student organizations. To ensure that Prime reflects the group's current financial status, both revenue and expense transactions should be processed on a timely basis.
- Concur is the University's expense reimbursement system for students, faculty, and staff for allowable out of pocket purchases. Concur transactions will not appear in the Prime system until they are processed and approved by the student organization treasurer, ODUS administrator and Office of Finance and Treasury.
Student organization financial transactions are tracked by the organization's chartstring - department number (15XXX), fund code and revenue or expense code.
Large Scale Event or Conference
If you are planning a large scale event or conference, please make sure to register the event in OSERF and meet with the both the ODUS Financial and Program Coordinators as early as possible in the planning cycle. This is an integral part of the planning and budgeting process.
Princeton University Sales Tax Exemption
- Non-Profit, Educational 501(c)(3) Institution Princeton University is recognized as a non-profit, educational 501(c)(3) institution, and as such is exempt from sales tax on most purchases. Sales tax is a substantial expense for the University and all efforts should be made to obtain appropriate tax exemptions and to avoid incurring sales tax.
- Federal Tax Exempt Number The University is registered under the Federal Tax Exempt number 22-73-0009F.
- Out-of-Pocket-Purchases Form Vendors may require that you bring a printed copy of this form when you are making out of pocket purchases.
- Sales Tax Exemptions The Office of Finance & Treasury has created this page on Sales Tax Exemptions. It includes a list of states wherein we are tax exempt as well as a sales tax certificate. Currently, 27 states do not require Princeton University to pay state sales tax on all or most purchases of goods and services used in that state.
- For more help with financial policies, balances and information, please contact Kate Harmon.
- For general policies and procedures and programming, please contact ODUS.
- For assistance with financial transactions, please contact ODUSINFO.
Funding (Revenue) Sources
University Transferred Funds
- To transfer funds between University departments (incl. student organizations, academic departments, Projects Board, Alcohol Initiative Committee, etc.) a journal is used. Transfers, including SAFE journals, may only be made by University administrators.
- Student organizations should provide the funding department their chart string (15XXX-Q0001) for the transfer of funds.
- Financial transactions may be made between student organizations as well. If you would like to transfer funds from one student organization to another, please email ODUS Financial Coordinator, Kate Harmon, ccing both the sending and receiving group leaders.
Example Transfers You May Encounter
- An academic department paying for a performance at a holiday party
- An academic department funding an organization's event or speaker
- Projects Board transferring event funding to a group
- A student organization paying for a co-sponsored event paid for by the second student organization.
Deposits are funds that are transferred directly to your student organization account. Unlike donations, these are not tax-deductible (i.e., they are not gifts) and the organization or individual will not receive a letter of acknowledgement from the University. Examples of deposits include:
- Payment for services (e.g., a middle school pays your group for performing)
- Corporate sponsorship of an event (e.g., an organization gives your group a $300 check for food and prizes at an event)
- Student organization dues
- Student organization gear sales
- Ticketing revenue from a performance
If your group collects cash for any purpose (dues, gear, etc.), it must be deposited into your group account's within 5 business days. Student organizations are not permitted to hold cash.
Cash and checks are accepted only at the Financial Service Center on the 7th floor of New South. Deposits can be made using a departmental deposit form obtained either from the Financial Service Center or here.
Donations and Fundraising
- Fundraising Drives Organized alumni fundraising drives must be reviewed by ODUS and approved by Development. These fundraising drives can only be conducted from July 1 to Dec 31 each year (outside the Annual Giving period.) Please submit any proposals to ODUS by mid-November.
- Individual Donations If an individual would like to donate to a group, separately from an organized fundraising drive, they should mail their donation directly to Development (address below). Checks should made out to “The Trustees of Princeton University” with the student organization name or chartstring in the memo line. Once it is received, Development will process the donation to your student organization Prime account as well as send a letter of acknowledgment for tax purposes to the donor.
PO Box 5357
Princeton, NJ 08540-5357
- Corporate and Foundation Gifts or Partnerships Corporate and Foundation gifts and partnerships may also directed to Development if an entity requests a letter of acknowledgement for tax purposes from the University. Corporate and Foundation administrators may request a copy of the University's W-9. Please contact Kate Harmon for a copy.
- Wire Transfers If an organization would like to wire funds directly to the University, contact Kate Harmon, Financial Coordinator.
Expense Transaction Sources
Charges from Other University Departments
An accounting journal is used to charge student organizations for University services (incl. Building Services, Dining, Student Agencies, etc.) Journals may only be initiated by University administrators. Debits charge student organizations for services they use.
Student organizations should provide their chart string (15XXX-Q0001) to the department providing the service in order to execute the charges. Examples of charges student organizations may encounter are:
- Dining Services charges for catering a reception
- Building Services charges equipment rental and setup
- Public Safety charges for late-night event staffing
- Picture Perfect charges for photographing an event
- Reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses of Princeton students, faculty and staff are processed through Concur, the University's travel and expense management system. Please see this document for instructions on requesting reimbursement.
- Each student may only request their own out-of-pocket expenses to be reimbursed through their Concur login. The student organization's treasurer will provide the group's chartstring (department -15XXX and fund code-Q0001) and will review and approve each group member's expenses.
- After the treasurer of the group approves the expense report, an ODUS staff member and Finance will review and approve it before it is paid. Expenses are directly deposited into the student bank account set up through the University or issued to the student by check to be picked up at the Financial Service Center at 7 New South if no bank account is available.
- Student organization out-of-pocket reimbursements should be submitted via Concur within one week of payment/charge for the purchase.
Vendor and Guest Payments
Payments for services to vendors and individuals unaffiliated with the University, as well as travel expense reimbursements for those individuals, are processed through Prime. The information below describes the process for paying these types of expenses.
Prior to Event
The first step in the payment process is determining whether or not the vendor or guest is already in the University's financial system. If they are not, they will have to be added. Therefore, at least two weeks before your event, please email ODUSINFO with the following information:
- A brief description of the event
- The reason you are bringing this individual/vendor to campus and the service they will be providing
- Name individual/vendor payment should be made out to
- The individual/vendor's contact name (if different from individual or business)
- The individual/vendor's email address
- Country of residence
- Signed contract for the event (if a contract is necessary ODUS must sign it except for Student Agency contracts)
We will then begin the process of adding the individual/vendor to the Prime system (if necessary). The individual/vendor will be contacted directly by Finance to set themselves up as a supplier in Prime. Please let them know that they should be on the lookout for an email from the University.
After the Event
To pay the vendor after the event we require one of the following:
- Invoice from individual or business or
- Contract (signed by ODUS prior to the event) or
- Limited Engagement Agreements (can only be paid to an individual): https://finance.princeton.edu/form-library/buying-paying/limited-engagement-agreem-1/ or
- Limited Engagement Agreement to Foreign National (can only be paid to an individual): https://finance.princeton.edu/form-library/buying-paying/limited-engagement-agreem/
- Honorarium Acceptance Form (can only be paid to an individual, rarely used): https://finance.princeton.edu/form-library/buying-paying/honararium-acceptance/
Per Federal tax codes and University policy, students may not pay a vendor or individual out-of-pocket for services rendered and expect reimbursement from the University (e.g., paying a photographer and submitting an expense report in Concur). If such a reimbursement request is submitted, it will be denied.
Per University policy, students may not hire other students for services without first consulting the ODUS office. Invoices or submitted retroactively (without prior consultation) will not be paid.
Reimbursement of Individual Travel and Other Expenses
If your group is reimbursing an individual for travel and reimbursable expenses (businesses may not be reimbursed), you will be required to provide the following after the event:
- Guest Reimbursement Form signed by individual
- All related receipts
ODUS Credit Card
We believe that there should be no financial burden associated with being a member of a student organization. To this end, ODUS has a credit card dedicated specifically to student organizations. Please note that this card may only be used for purchases that can be made online or over the phone. The card may not leave the ODUS office.
Student groups can use this card for purchases if they abide by the following policies:
- Students must make an appointment at least one business day in advance on the ODUS Credit Card WASE calendar noting student organization name, vendor and approximate amount of purchase.
- Receipts or invoices must be sent to email@example.com within one week of the date of purchase. Online receipts automatically generated after purchase can be emailed during your appointment. Paper receipts must be scanned and emailed.
- Due to the limited amount of space in our office, only two group members may come to the scheduled appointment.
- All shopping must be done before your appointment. If an online shopping cart cannot be saved, you must have a detailed list prepared. In the event you are purchasing plane tickets, please have a site, flight number and list of traveling students' legal names and dates of birth ready.
- A point of delivery must be established for all purchases, usually a Frist mailbox or a department address. The ODUS office is not an acceptable delivery address.
Failure to abide by any of the policies listed above will result in your group's loss of ODUS credit card privileges.
- Departmental Deposit Form: If your group has received a payment or deposit in the form of cash or a check, fill out this form and take it (and the funds) to the 7th floor of New South for deposit. Per University regulations, cash should be deposited within 5 business days. Use chartstring 15XXX-Q0001-4715 (Other Inc-Misc Receipts). For donations, see the Donations and Fundraising section above.
- Guest Reimbursement Request: Use this form if your speaker or guest needs to be reimbursed for travel, incidentals, or out-of-pocket expenses. This form should be signed by the guest, scanned, and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with copies of all related receipts.
- Limited Engagement Agreement (US Citizens and Foreign Nationals): This is an agreement/contract between Princeton and an individual providing a service, used in lieu of an invoice
- Honorarium Acceptance Form: Princeton student organizations rarely pay Honorariums. The majority of service providers fall under Limited Engagement Agreement. See above.
- Missing Original Receipt Form: ODUS requires receipts for all expenses. If you lose or misplace a receipt under $50, please fill out the missing original receipt form in Prime to attach to the expense. If the expense is over $50, you may find a link in Concur under the Attach Receipt button at the top of the page.
- Sales Tax Exemption Form: 27 states do not require Princeton University (and, by extension, Princeton student organizations) to pay state sales tax on all or most purchases of goods and services used in that state.
- Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification: The University's W-9 is available for potential donors. Please email ODUSINFO for a copy.
Event Planning Forms
- Eating Club Event Form: This form is required any time a student organizations wishes to hold an event at an Eating Club. This form must be signed by the Club Manager and Undergraduate Club President. The completed form must be emailed to the ODUS program coordinator at least 1 week prior to your event.
- Standard University Contracts: These are links to University-approved standard contracts
- McCosh Walk Banner Form: Used to reserve space over McCosh Walk
- Frist Marquee Space Reservation Form: Used to request one of four marquee spaces on the north side of Frist Campus Center
- Student Organization Information Update: Whenever your group has elections, gets a new website or Facebook page, use this form to update your entry in the ODUS directory