Maintenance & Tracking

General Bank Account Information

Registered Student Organizations may not manage their finances through university accounts, and are thus encouraged to maintain external bank accounts. The steps below refer to opening and maintaining accounts at the on-campus TCF and US Bank branches. For other locations, refer questions directly to the branch.

Opening an Account

  1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number/Tax ID Number for your group. This allows you to open the account under a group ID, rather than an individual's Social Security Number.
  2. Request a Bank Letter from the Student Activities Office front desk (Coffman Union 126). The letter will require you to list at least 2 officers who will have access to the bank account. The letter must be requested by an officer of the group.
  3. Bring the Tax ID Number and Bank Letter to the bank. All officers being added to the account must be present with valid identification.

Transferring Account Access

  1. Request a Bank Letter from the Student Activities Office front desk (Coffman Union 126). The letter will require you to list at least 2 officers who will have access to the bank account. The letter must be requested by an officer of the group.
  2. Bring the Bank Letter to the bank. All new officers being added to the account must be present with valid identification.

Bank Accounts and COVID-19

Updating Your Group's Bank Account

Banks like Wells Fargo, TCF Bank, and US Bank have changed their operations in light of COVID-19. Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) that need to add or change people on their group’s bank account may or may not be able to do so in-person. We recommend that student group officers take the following actions to ensure a safe and efficient experience with their bank:

  • Call ahead. Call your bank branch and ask what their modified business operations are.
    • Confirm business hours, and how many people can be in the branch location at a given time.
    • Ask how many people from your group need to be physically present at one time to make changes to your group’s bank account. All of your group’s officers may not need to be present at the same time to change who has access to the account.
    • Ask what documentation is needed to make changes to the account. This may include a Bank Letter from the Student Activities Office, the group’s Employer Identification Number (EIN), individuals’ social security numbers or tax ID numbers, or a photo ID. Do not share your social security number or individual tax ID number over email, text, or other electronic communication.
  • Officers can email Student Activities to get Bank Letter from SAO. Email sao@umn.edu with your student group’s official name and the names of all officers who should have access to the account. Two officers (at minimum) are required to have access to the account. Any officers appearing on the Bank Letter need to be listed on your group’s roster in GopherLink.
  • If no one with access to the account can get to a branch location in-person: Your bank may have options for your group if no one can be physically present to manage the account. Some banks allow any signer on the account to mail to the branch an original copy of a notarized letter declaring the changes. Call your bank for details.

Student Group Financial Files

A document retention policy establishes the length of time certain documents must be retained and the manner in which those documents are disposed. It is highly recommended that your group maintain complete and accurate financial records on an ongoing basis. Your group’s records should contain original, unaltered documents.

Some records need to be kept for different lengths of time. Permanent files should include your constitution, bylaws, incorporation papers (if any), IRS Determination Letter (for tax-exempt groups), Employer Identification Number, and Minnesota Employment Services Taxpayer’s number (if applicable).

Guidelines for Record Retention

All organizations are encouraged to create an internal record-keeping system, retention policy and schedule, and document destruction plan. We recommend noting the destruction date on individual non-permanent files in order to facilitate the record-keeping process for future officers.

Student Activities has created a Record Retention Guide to assist. Student Activities Advisors are also happy to meet with group leadership to discuss record retention policies.