Accounts Receivable Policy
Authority: Business Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised December 2004; January 2016; January 2017; March 17, 2022
McNeese State University recognizes its mission of public service and the philosophy of public educational institutions in general and, therefore, often extends credit to students, employees for travel, and other third-party contracts which may sometimes involve a risk in terms of repayment.
To ensure that an adequate system of internal control over management and collection of accounts receivable procedures is maintained.
These policies and procedures are applicable to all University employees who participate in the management and collections of accounts receivable.
- To provide operating policies for the handling of accounts receivable as needed for operations of the University;
- To minimize risks as related to accounts receivable; and
- To provide information to meet management needs of the University.
University accounts receivable procedures are subject to an audit anytime by the Office of Internal Audit and biennial audits by the Louisiana legislative auditors.
Student Billing and Recording
Students may register for courses through Banner Self-Service or with the assistance of department advisors. At the time of enrollment in classes, students’ invoices are available online, and accounts receivables are recorded in the University’s student and financial records system. Either signed financial aid authorization forms, payments-in-full, or fee deferral arrangements with the required down payment must be received by the Office of Administrative Accounting by the fee payment deadline.
To assist students who do not participate in financial aid, qualifying students may avail themselves of the University’s installment plan, which allows tuition payments to be delayed until later in the semester. A minimal down payment is required.
Students have the option of paying online with either a check or a credit/debit card, or they may pay the University directly via drop box, mail, or in person at the Cashier’s Office. If payment-in-full or fee deferral arrangements have not been done by the due date, the students’ classes may be purged from the system, at which time the corresponding receivables are removed from the student and financial records system.
Late registration and schedule changes are allowed through the deadline stated on the academic calendar. At the end of this period, payment is due for late registration and for increased amounts resulting from schedule changes. The Office of Administrative Accounting then performs an individual account analysis, and students with outstanding balances and no installment plan down payment may have classes purged from the system, at which time all charges are reversed from their student account and the corresponding receivables are removed from the system.
Student Accounts Receivable
Student accounts receivable generally consists of balances for tuition and fees, Bookstore charges, meal plans, parking fines, library fines, and other miscellaneous fees. When student accounts become delinquent, appropriate registration and transcript holds are placed on the student’s account. Delinquent accounts more than $200 and 180 days old are reviewed and a final statement of account is mailed to the last known address advising the student that their account will be placed for collection with the attorney general’s office within 45 days. At that time, the student has an opportunity to pay in-full, make payment arrangements, or dispute the charges. After 45 days, the unsettled accounts are electronically sent to the attorney general via secured channels. Once the account has been turned over to the attorney general, all University internal collection efforts are stopped, and the account must be paid through the attorney general’s office.
Other Accounts Receivable
The only types of employee receivables at McNeese State University are related to outstanding travel advances and University Bookstore charge accounts. The outstanding travel advances are monitored by the travel accountant. This employee contacts departments and requests travel documentation to clear the travel advance. The Bookstore charge accounts are monitored by the Bookstore and reconciled to the general ledger by the Office of Administrative Accounting.
Grants and Contracts
Reimbursement-type grants and contracts are invoiced and monitored by the grant accountant. Invoices are prepared depending on the terms of the grant or contract. Follow-up for payment of invoices is performed at the time of the next billing cycle.
Accounts receivable for grants and contracts are booked on the general ledger only at fiscal year-end. Accounts receivable for grants and contracts are considered 100% collectible and an adjustment is not necessary to the allowance for doubtful accounts.
Other miscellaneous receivables consist of a variety of billings ranging from clinical services, insurance billings, farm activities, and athletic contracts. These receivables are generally not posted to the general ledger unless a balance due is still outstanding at year-end. In such instances, the comptroller will post an entry on the general ledger.
A quarterly report of accounts receivable as mandated by R. S. 39.79 and stated in Memorandum SA-96-45 is prepared electronically and uploaded to the Office of Statewide Reporting and Accounting Policy. This report provides an aging of receivables, collection activity, and write-offs, if any, for the period. Explanations are provided for variances or unusual items.
The University records an allowance for doubtful accounts in the general ledger in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Current practice is to record 10% of receivable balances less than one year old, 60% of receivable balances over one year old, and 100% of all accounts placed in bankruptcy as an estimated allowance for doubtful accounts. This balance is adjusted each fiscal year-end to reflect an increase or decrease in accounts receivable.
This policy is distributed via the Administrative Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.