Accounts Receivable Guidelines
- Related Documents: Accounts Receivable Policy
- Owner: Financial Services
- Approval Dates: January 2004, August 2007
1. Criteria for Granting Credit Privileges:
Department chairs and directors, in conjunction with assistance from the Manager, Accounting and Treasury, should determine the most efficient and effective method for charging customers for goods and/or services while minimizing risk exposure to uncollectible accounts.
A formal contract or written agreement must be signed by the appropriate dean or department head whenever goods or services in excess of $10,000 are provided and credit is granted.
The decision to grant credit to a customer takes into consideration the following:
a. capacity for payment;
b. credit worthiness;
c. payment history; and
d. dollar value and terms of transaction.
Transactions of $50 and less are payable by cash, cheque or credit card. Charges greater than $50 are invoiced to the customer according to procedures established by Financial Services.
When credit greater than $500 is granted, a written authorization from the dean, department head or designate must be obtained prior to the sale of goods or services. A copy of the authorization must be forwarded to the Manager, Accounting and Treasury.
2. Payment Terms:
The University’s standard term of payment is 30 days from the invoice date. An extension of credit beyond the standard payment term may be granted under unusual circumstances. Such arrangements must be documented in full in writing on the face of the invoice. As well, departments must consult the Manager, Accounting and Treasury prior to offering customers any payment term extension.
Invoices outstanding beyond the standard 30 day payment term will be charged an interest penalty (as approved by the Board of Governors) on the principal outstanding amount until the debt is paid in full.
In addition, with any invoice that is more than 30 days overdue, the University, with proper notification, reserves the right to offset the amount it is owed by the customer against any outstanding expenses the University owes the customer (i.e. consulting fees, accounts payable invoices, travel expenses, etc.).
3. Collection of Accounts Receivable:
The collection of general accounts receivable is the responsibility of the Student Fees and Cashier unit of Financial Services. In the event a customer contests a charge, however, the appropriate department chair or director is responsible for its resolution.
A service charge (as approved by the Board of Governors) is levied on all accounts receivable payments returned to the University by the bank (i.e., NSF, account closed, etc.).
4. Uncollectible Accounts:
In the absence of a legitimate dispute, credit privileges are withdrawn when a customer fails to respond to a collection notice to discharge outstanding debt.
Uncollected accounts receivable balances are charged back to the department once all internal means of collection are exhausted. This action is normally initiated by the Collections Officer in the Student Fees and Cashiers unit after consultation with the appropriate department and financial advisor.
In addition, after consulting with the appropriate department and financial advisor, the Collections Officer may choose to exercise his/her authority to involve an external collection agency for further collection and, if necessary, legal action. Any amounts recovered by the external agency are returned to the department net of any service fees charged by the agency.
5. Conflict of Interest:
Departments are required to notify the Manager, Accounting and Treasury, in writing, of a potential conflict of interest when an employee has or could be seen to have the opportunity to inappropriately benefit from the authority, knowledge or influence derived from his/her position; or to pass on said information to anyone else for the purpose of reaping benefit. This includes having personal financial dealings with an individual or company whose business with the University involves the employee’s sphere of responsibilities. For more details, please refer to the University’s policy on Conflict of Interest.
If an employee is faced with a situation involving an existing or potential conflict of interest, or is in any doubt about the possible existence of a conflict of interest in issuing credit or extended payment terms, he/she must report this concern to the dean or department head.
These guidelines are under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance and are administered by the Chief Financial Officer.