Account Write Offs

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-010-060
Audience: University employees
Issued: April 13, 1998
Revised: March 08, 2016
Owner(s): VP (Administration)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Associate Vice-President (Finance) - 306-585-4171

Introduction

This policy applies to delinquent accounts receivable balances that cannot be collected and accounts payble stale-dated cheques that cannot be cashed.

In the course of doing business, the University creates accounts receivable from students, vendors, companies, and the general public. Occasionally, the University has difficulty collecting those accounts receivable. When that occurs, the University pursues all cost-effective avenues of collecting the accounts receivable, including using collection agencies and legal proceedings.

After all practical collection measures are exhausted, the remaining delinquent accounts receivable balances are written off.

Similarly, in the course of doing business, the University issues cheques for amounts owing to students, vendors, companies, and the general public. Occasionally, the cheques are not cashed and processed through the University’s bank account because they are lost, destroyed or processed incorrectly in the banking system. When that occurs, the University pursues all cost-effective avenues of ensuring that the vendor has been paid and writes off cheques outstanding in excess of one year. If the vendor subsequently requests the stale-dated cheque be honoured, a new cheque is created.

Similarly, in the course of doing business, the University issues cheques for amounts owing to students, vendors, companies, and the general public. Occasionally, the cheques are not cashed and processed through the University’s bank account because they are lost, destroyed or processed incorrectly in the banking system. When that occurs, the University pursues all cost-effective avenues of ensuring that the vendor has been paid and writes off cheques outstanding in excess of one year.  If the vendor subsequently requests the stale-dated cheque be honoured, a new cheque is created.

Policy

The Board of Governors has the sole authority to approve the write off of an amount owing to the University except as delegated below:

  • The Associate Vice-President (Finance) is authorized to approve accounts receivable write offs where an individual account balance does not exceed $35,000, and
  • The Vice-President (Administration) is authorized to approve accounts receivable write offs where an individual account balance does not exceed $100,000.

The Associate Vice-President (Finance) is authorized to write off any stale-dated cheque that has been outstanding for one year or more, with the condition that the cheque will be re-issued should the original cheque payee so request.

The Associate Vice-President (Finance) will prepare the following documents annually:

For

Document

Vice-President (Administration)

Information item — listing all accounts receivable for $35,000 or less that have been written off

Information item — listing all stale-dated cheques that have been written off

Board of Governors

Information item — listing all accounts receivable between $35,000 and $100,000 that have been written off

Request for approval/permission— to write off any accounts receivable that exceed $100,000

Consequences for Noncompliance

Accounts receivable are not written off until all cost-effective means of collection have been exhausted. Failure to write off the amounts once deemed uncollectible would result in meaningless accounts receivable balances in the financial records that would carry forward forever.  Failure to write off stale-dated cheques results in bank reconciliations being cluttered with meangless long lists of outstanding cheques that will never be cashed.

Failure to report write offs to the Board would result in citation of the University by the Provincial Auditor since the approval process for writing off accounts is a critical internal control.

Related Information

Information regarding the assessment and collection of student fees can be found in the general academic calendar at http://www.uregina.ca/student/registrar/publications/index.html