Finance and Funding
One of the most popular benefits of being a registered student organization is the ability to apply for funding through the Student Government Association (SGA) primary allocation process. SGA receives a portion of the University’s Student Activity Fees each year and in turn distributes it to registered student organizations for use. The allocation process takes place early each spring semester and involves an application, budget, and interview/meeting requirement.
Click on this link for more information: https://www.ou.edu/sga/student-organizations/funding.
Outside bank accounts
Registered student organizations may opt to set up organizational accounts at local banking institutions. Organization advisers should be involved with any outside accounts set up to help ensure proper financial records are kept and any necessary taxes are filed.
Registered student organizations are not permitted to use the University of Oklahoma's tax ID number.
To set up a local bank account, a registered student organization will be required by the bank to obtain a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN). This number is obtained directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing the SS-4 form which is available on the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov. This form should be completed by the organization's adviser as it becomes a permanent record with the Federal Government and requires a contact person who has a long-term interest with the organization.
Obtaining a FEIN number does not give an organization tax exempt status. Becoming tax exempt is a very involved process that may or may not be beneficial for a registered student organization. If it is desired, the student organization will need to obtain the services of an outside lawyer and accountant. Student Life does not (and cannot) provide these services for groups. It is imperative that the organization's adviser be highly involved with the registered student organization regarding financial decisions of this nature.
Important things for registered student organizations to remember:
- For accounting purposes, registered student organizations are considered departments at OU (for Financial Support Services accounts) or official organizations (for local bank accounts). In both settings, groups are responsible for keeping accurate and timely financial records and may be subject to audits at any time.
- Any revenue that registered student organizations make by selling products (such as event tickets, t-shirts, novelties, etc.) are subject to sales tax with the State of Oklahoma. Advisors and student organization members need to ensure they are complying with state tax laws any time they decide to sell items. Groups may consult advice from accounting professionals for this purpose. More information about State of Oklahoma tax laws may be found here: http://www.oktax.state.ok.us/. OU employees are not trained in tax law and cannot serve as advisors in this capacity.
- One of the primary roles of the registered student organization's adviser is to help the group with financial decision-making and record-keeping. The adviser should be the primary sponsor of any financial account on campus (not an outside bank account) and should be actively involved with any financial decisions of the group.
- The university has a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), as well as an approved campus standard that all university entities must adhere to when depositing funds into university accounts. As RSOs are not entities of the University of Oklahoma, RSO advisers and officers undertaking this responsibility will be held accountable for any security breach.