Procedures for Accounting

Title:  Accounting Procedures
Effective Date: prior to 2005
Issuing Authority:  Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Contact:  Nate Engle at or  507-786-3502
Last Updated:  03-06-2013

Purpose of Procedures

To provide information regarding St. Olaf College’s general accounting practices that apply to multiple departments.

Who needs to know these Procedures

These procedures apply to all St. Olaf faculty, staff and student organizations.


  • All accounting forms as well as a list of the most commonly used account numbers can be found on this web site. The forms are formatted as fill-in forms. This means that you may complete the forms on-line and print them, or save the file for copying. The forms on this web site are the only forms that will be accepted in the Business/Accounts Payable Office. The forms are set up the way these offices need them. Please do not alter them in any way.
  • The complete Lawson number must be on all accounting forms submitted to the Business/Accounts Payable Office. This number should include the company, unit, and account (xxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). If the complete Lawson number is not on the form, we may have to send it back to you, which could delay the processing. This is your budget, you must tell us which account you want used. We process hundreds of transactions in a week and it is not feasible to call everyone who neglects to use a complete number. You are risking delay in processing if we have to send it back to you.
  • Invoices and requests for payment must reach the Accounts Payable office by Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. to ensure payment in Thursday’s check run. While we do try to be accommodating, we cannot guarantee payment if it is received later than Tuesday afternoon.
  • Original invoices are the preferred method to be approved for payment, which helps eliminate duplicate payments. You should make a copy for your records if you desire one. Please see a cceptable substantiation for other acceptable documents to use when an original invoice is not available.
  • Use the “Travel Expense Report/Employee Reimbursement” form for reimbursements to any St. Olaf employee or student.  Employees with a St. Olaf Purchase Card have the option to be reimbursed for expenses using the Out-Of-Pocket Reimbursement feature that works with the Wells Fargo Purchase Card. Please see the “ College Travel and Business Expense Policy” for further details of approved college expenses.
  • All other requests for payment, including non-employee compensation, should be on an “Accounts Payable Payment Request” form.
    • Attach supporting documentation such as invoices, receipts, registration, etc.
    • All new vendors need to complete an “IRS Form W-9” in order to receive payment from the college.
    • Proper documentation is needed when making payments to Nonresident Aliens. Contact the Accounts Payable office at least six weeks in advance of making such a payment.
  • You will not be reimbursed for sales tax paid. St. Olaf is a sales tax-exempt organization. This exemption excludes prepared meals and lodging. Copies of the “Minnesota Sales Tax Exempt Certificate” are available from this web site or from the Accounts Payable office upon request. It is not legal for a vendor to grant an exemption to an individual. To be exempt, the purchase must be made with a St. Olaf credit card or check.
  • A completed “Business Office Deposit” form and backup (whenever available) to substantiate the deposit should accompany all deposits of cash and checks and be dropped off in the Business Office. If depositing checks, please attach a summary sheet totaling the checks that shows name and amount (and check number if possible). This will help the Business Office identify NSF checks. This transaction should be made with the Accounts Receivable/Cash Manager in the Business Office. Lawson does not produce a receipt. Please keep a copy of your completed deposit slip if you need this for your records. Deposits can be sealed tightly in an envelope or bag and dropped in the wall depository in the north wall of the teller area.
  • The “Business Office Transfer Request” form is used when transferring funds from one accounting unit/account to another accounting unit/account. There are three primary reasons for transferring funds.
    • Corrections – Use the form to correct erroneous charges to an accounting unit or accounts within the accounting unit.
    • Departmental charges – Use the form to charge other departments for expenses/reimbursements by crediting an expense in your budget or using account 61900.
    • Accounts Payable Corrections – Use the form to correct a check that was issued and charged to the wrong unit/account.