Frequently Asked Questions
Associated Student Activities (ASA) Office
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the ASA office open year round?
Yes, we are open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. year-round.
Note: the ASA closes for University-established holidays.
- Are off-site banking accounts permitted for Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs)?
No, all RSO’s are required to do their “banking” with the ASA office. External accounts are prohibited, which include, but are not limited to, personal bank accounts and mobile financial applications.
- How do you open an ASA account?
Your organization must have active status with the Office of Student Activities and your officers must be listed on OrgCentral before you can open an account in ASA. The treasurer will need to read and sign a New Treasurer Checklist and fill out a Treasurer Card. Once completed, an account number will be assigned to your student organization.
- Can a friend or another group member pick up my check for me?
No, only the treasurer or the payee is allowed to pick up a check. Proper identification is required.
- What is a Transaction Report and who is able to request one?
A Transaction Report shows all income and expenses for an organization. Only the treasurer, president, or advisor of an organization may request the report. You may come into the ASA office to request a printout of the report or send an email request to email@example.com. The report will be emailed to you typically within 24 hours of your request.
- Can an organization withdraw funds from their account?
No, your organization may not request or withdraw funds from their account. Club members must turn in receipts to get reimbursed for club expenses or submit invoices to be paid directly to the vendor. Funds must be spent in accordance with University guidelines.
- What is an itemized receipt?
A receipt that lists the vendor’s name, date of purchase, and items purchased. Receipts must clearly show the items as paid and must be in US dollars. Restaurant receipts must be itemized, listing what was ordered (no alcohol will be reimbursed). Internet receipts must also show the name of the individual who paid for the items. Photocopies of receipts are not permitted.
Note: Bank/Credit Card statements are not considered valid receipts for expenses.
- Can an organization use their funds to purchase alcohol?
No, alcohol/alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed with club funds per University policy.
- Who can make a deposit into an organization’s account?
Any club member can make a deposit into the student organization’s account.
Note: Deposits typically take 24 hours before they show up in your organization’s account.
- What is the Treasurer File and how often should it be checked?
Every organization has a Treasurer File in the ASA office. This file is for financial documentation that needs to be addressed by your organization, such as unpaid bills requiring a signature, check requests that need additional documentation, deposit slips for donations, etc. Only the treasurer may request the contents of the Treasurer File. ASA recommends checking the file every week or two so that paperwork is processed in a timely manner.
- A PSU department has paid the expenses for a student organization’s trip. How does the department get reimbursed?
The department turns in an invoice on department letterhead stating what was paid along with backup showing proof of payment. This information is attached to a Check Request and is submitted to ASA for reimbursement. A check made out to “Penn State University” is issued to the department.
- What is a Purchase Order (PO) and how does my club obtain one?
A purchase order (PO) is the most convenient method of payment because it eliminates the need for a club member to pay out of pocket. With the use of a PO, ASA pays the vendor directly. The club will request an estimate from the vendor and then request a PO from ASA. The treasurer of the club may assign up to 3 club members the ability to sign for a PO. Only those with PO signing authority may request and sign the PO. The club member delivers the PO to the vendor. The vender must then submit an invoice to ASA, referencing the PO #, in order to get paid. ASA will issue a check directly to the vendor.
Note: the organization MUST have the funds in their account in order to request a PO. A purchase order (PO) will not be issued if an organization has insufficient funds.
- How do you close a Purchase Order (PO)?
PO’s are automatically closed when an invoice is received and paid as long as the invoice references the PO. If a PO is no longer needed, it can be voided as long as you return the original PO to ASA and ask for it to be voided.
Note: PO’s are valid for one year from the date they are generated. If not used within that year, ASA will automatically close the PO.
- Your organization has been allocated UPAC funds. How do you obtain the funds?
When an organization is allocated UPAC funds, UPAC will provide ASA with a copy of the allocation letter. Once ASA has the letter, you may turn in a check request or invoice for reimbursement. As with all reimbursement requests, original itemized receipts are required.
UPAC funds must be spent as allocated in the letter. Be sure to indicate on the check request or invoice that the funding source is UPAC (10) or the Unrestricted (30) account will be used for reimbursement.
- What if a donor is requesting a tax receipt?
If a donor gives your organization a check and requests a receipt for tax purposes, you MUST process the check through the Office of University Development (OUD). ASA cannot provide tax receipts and, once the check is deposited into your ASA account, OUD cannot provide the donor with a receipt either. The check must go directly through OUD in order for the donor to receive a receipt.
- How long does it take a gift or donation of $5,000 or more to show up in an organization’s ASA account?
Gifts of $5,000 or more are held by the Office of University Development for 90 days for IRS reporting purposes. Once the funds are released to ASA, it takes an additional 1-2 weeks to process.
- What is the process for requesting reimbursement of gas or mileage expenses?
An organization may get reimbursed for gas expenses by turning in a Check Request with original gas receipts attached. Or they may request reimbursement for mileage by filling out a Mileage/Per Diem Check Request. If requesting mileage reimbursement, gas receipts are not required. Organizations should use the standard mileage rate found at www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates.
Note: If receiving UPAC funds for mileage, the organization must submit a Mileage/Per Diem Check Request. You cannot use UPAC funds to reimburse gas receipts.
- How does an organization pay a performer or speaker? Can a club member pay the speaker or performer directly and then seek reimbursement?
Club members should NOT directly pay a speaker or performer by cash, personal check, or credit card. If they do, they will not be reimbursed. Anytime an individual or company is providing a service for an event on campus, a contract is needed. Contract payments for services will be made via a check provided by ASA or through Accounting Operations.
Services that require a contract include, but are not limited to, speakers, DJ’s, referees, instructors, and performers.
- What documentation is required for payment of dues or club memberships?
The treasurer must submit a Check Request form, along with a list of names for all club members which are being paid on behalf of the organization. Backup is also required showing how much the dues or registration casts are per person.
- What is required for a Fleet rental?
Organizations must fill out a Fleet Operations Vehicle Rental Request available in ASA and must attach a printed map showing the distance of the trip. A purchase order (PO) will be issued for the estimated dollar amount.
Fleet drivers must be University employees 21 or older. Drivers of large passenger vans must be 25 years of age or older.