Strong financial management is vital to student group success. Student Unions & Activities provides templates for general ledgers, annual budgets and event budgets. These documents are helpful organizational tools and will be vital if your group goes through an audit process. We also outline successful officer transition documentation, as you prepare for incoming leadership or a change in leader responsibilities. For training in this area, set up an appointment with a Student Activities Advisor by emailing email@example.com or calling (612) 626-6919.
In accordance with the University of Minnesota’s co-curricular educational philosophy, the University of Minnesota has an educational interest in promoting the sound financial operations of student groups. With regard to registered student groups classified as Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), this interest does not assume supervision over or responsibility for these groups. Student Unions & Activities provides financial training, consultation, and other services supporting the operation of student groups. Compliance with basic financial policies and procedures designed to promote responsible financial management is a requirement for student group registration with the University.
An online version of our Financial Management Training is available here.
RSOs are encouraged to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to be used for any financial accounts on the group’s behalf. Groups apply for an EIN through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Additional information on applying for an EIN can be found below.
An Employer Identification Number (also known as Tax ID Number) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. Groups are required to set up an EIN through the IRS in order to open a bank account. This number is also required in order for your group to fill out a W-9 if you are being set up as a vendor with the university or another company.
The financial operations of student groups must be conducted in accordance with all applicable local, state, federal laws and regulations, and the student group’s respective constitutions.
Registered officers of the student group shall have personal responsibility and accountability for the finances and operations of the group, in accordance with the Policy on Registration and Classification of Student Groups, and as specified in the student group’s constitution.
Registered Student Organizations shall independently secure and maintain banking services through a service provider of their choice. All accounts should be opened and maintained under a Tax ID Number (or EIN-Employee ID Number) specific to the group. Campus Life Programs may not have a checkbook or separate banking account, as they are required to use the University’s financial management system for all transactions.
Student groups shall be responsible for all applicable taxes; including, but not limited to, collection and payment of sales taxes and filing and payment of income taxes.
Upon dissolution of a student group, the group’s officers shall be responsible for the distribution of remaining funds, in accordance with the group’s constitution.
All use of student group funds shall be in accordance with the group’s constitution. Student groups may pay its officers and employees' salaries, wages, stipends, or other lawful incentives for services rendered. Student groups may also make financial awards/prizes to individuals, including officers or members, as a result of individual participation in a student group activity. Other payments, including gifts, distribution of residual assets or profits, dividends, and so on, to officers, members, or other individuals are prohibited. Where appropriate, organizations that qualify as charitable, educational, social, or benevolent organizations may make payments to other affiliated organizations outside the University. Check with SUA staff if you have questions about use of funds.
Student groups should develop an annual budget and have it approved by members before any expenditure is made. The annual budget should include all projected expenses and income. Student groups should track their ongoing expenses and income in comparison to their projected numbers. The budget should also break down expenses for operational costs as well as event costs. As a best practice, we encourage groups to include financial information for three years, including the previous year, the current year, and the projected budget for the next year. Groups are encouraged to use software such as Quicken, Excel, or Quickbooks to help track their expenses.
Student Unions & Activities recommends using the sample budget worksheet when managing student group finances. This tool captures a three year timeframe:
Student Activities Advisors are happy to meet with group leadership to go over sample annual budget worksheets and event budget worksheets. Please contact Student Activities to schedule an appointment.
Partisan political student groups are not eligible to apply and/or receive student services fees. “Partisan political student groups” are organizations affiliated with and in support of a registered political party or candidates for election. Such groups may seek funding for their nonpartisan political activities (e.g., candidate forums available to all qualified candidates, nonpartisan educational programs, etc.) through other funding opportunities.
No registered student group may use University funds on behalf of a candidate for public office in a political campaign.
Your organization may be asked to fill out a W-9 if you are ever to be paid by another organization or company.