Policies and Procedures

Policy

Accounts Receivable Collections

Effective
February 17, 2012
Category(ies)
Finance and Administration
Approval(s)
President and Vice Presidents: February 17, 2012
Steward(s)
Director of Business Services
Past Version(s)
Accounts Receivable Collection Procedures (Archived February 2012)

Purpose

  • To specify the steps that must be taken to ensure accounts receivable are collected in a timely, fair and cost effective manner.

  • To ensure that there are no accounts reflected as 'Receivable' which are more than 30 days overdue without valid, documented reasons.

Applies to

All accounts receivable at The Evergreen State College.

Student Receivables Detailed Procedures

1. The Student Financial Services Office enters charges in the Student Account billing system.

  • The Student Financial Services Office will send a billing statement to the student or person identified as the billing contact.

  • The billing statement will show in detail all current charges incurred since the previous billing statement was prepared (within the last 30 days) and the due date for those charges.

2. The Student Financial Services Office will consider any charges not paid by the due date on the billing statement to be overdue.

  • A new billing statement will be sent that indicates amounts that are "Past Due".

  • A hold will be placed on the account and the debtor will be denied any college services, including registration, until the debt is paid.

  • If a student is currently enrolled when a debt becomes past due, they may remain enrolled for the current quarter, but will be denied other services (graduation, transcripts, future registration, etc.) until the debt is paid.

3. If charges are not paid within 60 days of becoming "Past Due", the Student Financial Services Office will send a separate "Final Demand" letter stating that if the debt remains unpaid after 30 days from the date of the final demand, the account may be turned over to a collection agency.

4. If charges are not paid 30 days after the Final Demand letter has been sent and the total amount overdue on the account is less than $50, the Student Financial Services Office will flag the account as "small balance - pending write off".

  • The overdue balance should be written off when the next write-off entry is posted to the general ledger.

  • The debt will not be discharged and a hold denying college services will remain on the account until the debt is paid in full.

5. If the charges are not paid 30 days after the Final Demand letter has been sent and the total amount overdue on the account is $50 or more, the Student Financial Services Office will verify the charges on the account with the appropriate college department and send the debt to a collection agency.

6. Prior to sending an account to a collection agency, college departments may take collection action in the form of telephone calls, letters, repayment agreements, or personal interviews. Records of all such actions must be submitted to Student Financial Services for recordkeeping purposes.

7. If a client agrees to repay the debt over a period of time, a Student Financial Services staff will draft a repayment agreement to be signed by the debtor.

  • The debtor will be denied use of college services until the debt is paid in full.

  • If the debtor does not abide by the terms of the agreement, the account will be sent to a collection agency.

8. If, after six months, there has been no activity on an account turned over for collection, Student Financial Services will recall the account from the collection agency and submit the account to a second agency for collection.

  • Student Financial Services may leave an account with an agency for up to twelve months if there are indications that doing so would improve the chances of collection.

  • The reasons for leaving an inactive account at a single collection agency beyond six months should be noted in the file.

9. Student Financial Services may place an account with a third collection agency at its own discretion.

  • Placement with the third agency will not discharge the debt.

  • A hold will remain on the account and the debtor will be denied college services until the debt is paid in full.

10. If the debt is still unpaid after the second agency (or third agency, if applicable) has had the account for six months (or twelve months if for a valid reason as stated above), Student Financial Services will write off the account as uncollectible.

11. If an account is subsequently paid after being written off, Student Financial Services must reenter the charges in the billing system at the time of payment.

12. Under no circumstances shall any department or individual at the college write off, waive or adjust outstanding receivables to include interest and service charges accrued without the approval of the Student Financial Services Manager.

Non-Student Financial Services Receivable Detailed Procedures

1. The Student Financial Services Office will track all accounts receivable for the college, including non-student receivables.

2. The Student Financial Services Office will prepare all invoices for Non-Student Account receivables as required by the college's Cash Handling Policy.

Non-Government Receivables

1. When services are provided to a non-government agency, the charging unit will prepare an invoice and mail it to the vendor, and will send a copy to the Student Financial Services office.

2. If the charges are not paid within 30 days of the invoice date, the Student Financial Services office will notify the appropriate college department.

  • Charging units may pursue overdue accounts themselves with pre-approval from the Student Financial Services manager.

  • In either case, the charging unit will send a separate "Past Due" notice to the vendor, together with a copy of the original invoice.

3. If the charges are not paid within 30 days of the past due letter, the charging until will send a "Final Demand" letter stating that the account will be sent to a collection agency.

4. If charges are not paid by the due date specified in the Final Demand letter (and are at least 90 days overdue), the charging unit will send the account to Student Financial Services to be turned over to a collection agency.

5. If, after six months, there has been no activity on an account turned over for collection, Student Financial Services should recall the account from that agency and submit it to a second agency for collection.

  • Student Financial Services may leave an account with an agency for up to twelve months if there are indications that doing so would improve the chances of collection.
  • The reasons for leaving an inactive account with a single collection agency beyond six months should be noted in the file.

6. If the debt is still unpaid after the second agency has had the account for six months (or twelve months if for a valid reason as discussed above), Student Financial Services will write off the account as an "uncollectible account".

  • Student Financial Services may place an account with a third collection agency, at its own discretion.
  • Placement with the third agency will not discharge the debt and the debtor will be denied additional services until the debt is paid in full.

7. Under no circumstances will any department or individual at the college write off, waive or adjust outstanding receivables to include interest and service charges accrued. All adjustments, write-offs and waivers must be authorized by Student Financial Services manager.

Government Receivables

1. Government receivables are created when services are provided to a government agency (including Native American tribes) outside the scope of normal student activities.

2. Anytime such services are provided, the appropriate college department will prepare an invoice and mail it to the vendor, and send a copy to the Student Financial Services Office. The Student Financial Services office will serve as a general Accounts Receivable office for the entire campus.

3. If the debt is not paid within 30 days of the invoice date, the Student Financial Services Office will notify the appropriate college department.

4. The charging units may seek prior authorization from Student Financial Services to pursue collections on past due accounts themselves. The charging unit must send all records pertaining to such action to the Student Financial Services Office for record retention purposes.

5. If the individual department does not pursue collections, the Student Financial Services Office will send a separate "Past Due" notice to the appropriate governmental agency, together with a copy of the original invoice.

6. If the charges are not paid within 60 days of the original invoice date, the Student Financial Services Office will send a "Final Demand" letter to the appropriate agency warning that the account will be sent to the Attorney General's Office within 30 days for further collection. This final demand letter will be accompanied by all necessary support documentation.

7. If payment is not received 30 days after the "Final Demand" letter is sent, the Student Financial Services Office will turn the account over to the Director of Business Services for forwarding to the Attorney General’s office.

Authority

OFM 85.54.50.

Definitions

Accounts Receivable: Money owed to the college for goods or services provided to students and/or other parties.

Student Financial Services: Accounts for charges and payments for regular student activities, such as tuition and fees, student housing charges, childcare, meal plans, and other miscellaneous items. These accounts are also used for faculty and staff for purchase of similar services (such as meal plans or childcare).

Non-Student Financial Services:
All other accounts receivable for other services provided, such as conferencing services, tuition guarantees and supplies, advertising, equipment charges.

Past Due:
A ny debt that has not been paid by the specified due date.