west chester university accounting Office
is a dedicated team of professionals that manages and records financial transactions according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). It is the responsibility of the Accounting team to review, reconcile, and rectify inaccurate transactions affecting the financial position of the University. The team is responsible for preparing annual financial statements which are audited by an external firm contracted through the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
Additional Key Accounting Responsibilities Include:
- Reconcile general ledger accounts on an ongoing basis to ensure that the balances are accurate and reflect true financial transactions.
- Record chargebacks for various University service departments (i.e. postage, graphics, motor pool, etc.).
- Record cash and non-cash transactions originating in the Bursar’s office.
- Contribute financial information to various surveys submitted on behalf of West Chester University.
- Assist the campus community with questions regarding transactions affecting their cost centers. This also includes transferring expenses as needed.
An Expense Transfer can be used if a current year expense was charged to the wrong Cost Center and/or GL Account.
This form requires that you enter both the cost center where the expense was incorrectly posted as well as the cost center you would like to transfer the expense to. You will also need to enter G/L accounts and descriptions. Some items we would like to note are as follows:
To complete a budget transfer, please visit the Budget and Financial Planning Forms and Resources website.Locate the expense in BI Reports for details needed to complete the online form
Make sure you are using the correct information in the transfer FROM and SOURCE information.For partial transfers, please note the amount and the reason why in the additional information section.
Contracts and Grants
Grant funds are established upon the receipt of an award letter from the granting agency, and funds for contracts are created upon the completion of the contract or agreement. In all cases every fund has a director to oversee the revenue and expense activity of the fund. This could be a department head, or principal investigator of a grant. The restricted funds office insures that all activity adheres to the guidelines and the budget for each fund.
SAP Fund / Cost Centers beginning in 7519xxxxxx, 7531xxxxxx, 7534xxxxxx, 7535xxxxxx, 7536xxxxxx, 7537xxxxxx, 7538xxxxxx
To better assist you in accessing and monitoring your funds and if you have need of information related to budgeting, revenues and expenses in these funds, please contact GrantAccounting@wcupa.edu.
This group of funds is used to account for resources received from donors or outside agencies, but are restricted to a specific purpose. The restrictions or guidelines for the fund should be in writing. Examples of current restricted funds are (1) gifts for scholarships and (2) non-scholarship gift funds. Additions to scholarships, athletics, or funds to support current operations are usually made by gifts through the Development Office. Donors have the opportunity to restrict their gifts to these types of funds.
SAP Fund /Cost Centers beginning in 7518xxxxxx, 7552xxxxxx, 7533xxxxxx, 7539xxxxxx
The restricted funds office insures that all activity adheres to the guidelines and the budget for each fund.
To better assist you in accessing and monitoring your funds and if you have need of information related to budgeting, revenues and expenses in these funds, please contact GrantAccounting@wcupa.edu
EndowmentsResources for which a donor or outside agency has stipulated, as a condition of the gift, that the principal amount is not expendable. The principal would remain inviolate and in perpetuity for investment. The investment earnings may be added to the principal, or expended for restricted or unrestricted purposes, per the donor’s request. Most of the endowment funds of the University are used to support specific named scholarship funds. Anyone interested in establishing an endowment should contact the Office of Development at 610-436-2868.
Definition: Financial support based on achievement, performance, or other criteria. The grantor does not specifically state that the money should be used for educational expenses. Example: Departments and schools honor students at award ceremonies held at the end of an academic year. Certificates are typically given to students at that time.
Tax Implication: Awards are taxable income to the recipients, even if no overt action was required by the recipient to receive the award. To the extent a recipient is awarded $600 or more in a taxable year, such award must be reported by the payor on Form 1099-Misc. If the aggregate award to a single recipient is less than $600 per year, the onus is on the recipient to report it as taxable income.
Definition: Recognition based on competition or other criteria.
Example: A competition is held and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places are awarded to students.
Tax Implication: Prizes are taxable income to the recipients. To the extent a recipient is awarded $600 or more in a taxable year, such prize must be reported by the payor on Form 1099-Misc. If the aggregate prize to a single recipient is less than $600 per year, the onus is on the recipient to report it as taxable income.
Definition: Financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need. The donor of the scholarship sets the criteria for recipient selection. The grantor specifically intends money be spent to defray the costs of study, training, or research. Proceeds of the scholarship offset the cost of the student's education for an upcoming or current academic year, depending on when the student receives the funds.
Tax Implication: Portions of the scholarship used to pay for qualified expenses, such as tuition, books, and fees, are not taxable income. The amount exceeding qualified expenses is taxable income for both US and international students. There is no tax withholding on scholarships for US citizens. There may be a 14% tax withholding for international students, depending on what country they are from.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I establish a new Endowment or Scholarship Fund?
Contact the WCU Foundation. Make sure to have available specifics for the estimated gift amount and endowment and/or scholarship guidelines.
What is the difference between a Funds Center and a Cost Center?
Fund Centers are where the individual budgets live and they identify the department paying for the purchase. They operate as your department’s mini bank account within WCU’s larger bank account.
Cost Centers are used by Accounting to record actual expenses or costs.
Cost Centers and Funds Centers use the same 10-digit reference number (eg., 7511001000). The difference in name has to do with SAP and the way it captures information in separate modules. On budget-related reports and documents, you’ll see the term “fund center.” On accounting-related reports and documents, you’ll see the term “cost center.”
What is the difference between a Budget Transfer and an Expense Transfer?
A budget transfer is when actual budget dollars are moved from one fund center to another. It is not based on actual expenses. It’s as if you have two bank accounts and transfer money between them. Budget transfers are handled by the Budget department and there are specific guidelines for those types of transfers as well. It is important to note that that restricted funds are not permitted to have a budget transfer. Once money is applied to a restricted fund, it must remain and be spent there. For more information on budget transfers, visit the Budget Office website.
An expense transfer is the movement of an actual expense either from one cost center to another, or from one GL account to another. For example, you pay for an item with your p-card which gets posted to your departmental Cost Center, but you actually bought it for a faculty member who wanted to pay for it using their faculty development funds. We would transfer the p-card expense into the faculty development cost center. The same concept goes for a GL account. Say you purchased a book and it got posted to office supplies, you would want to request a transfer to move this book out of office supplies and into the correct GL account. To complete an Expense Transfer, complete and submit the Expense Transfer form (Employees Only).