How to spend money

That is, how to spend your organization's money

Part of the purpose of registering to become a recognized student organization is so that a group can receive funding to operate, plan programs and provide opportunities for development. However, it can be a confusing and sometimes intimidating process when you want to spend your organization's money. Here are some ways to make the most out of your budget...and spend your group's funding wisely.

Using Warrants
One of the most important things in every student organization's toolbox is the purchase warrant. If your president or treasurer does  not have a book of warrants, check with Sue Schutz in the business office.

The warrant might look complicated at first, but try to think of it as a special kind of check, much like the kind in a regular checkbook.

At the right is an example of a completed warrant. You'll notice that the date is written at the top right corner. Below that, write the name of your organization (i.e. Example Club).

After the words, "will please pay," write down the name of the person or company that you want the check to be made out to. In this case, it's Susie Yoder. On the next line, write down the amount you wish to pay just like if you were writing a check. Write in the matching dollar amount on the very bottom line.

Now have your president or equivalent officer ("Pat President") sign on the line and then the treasurer or equivalent signs at the bottom right. *Note that Hall Associations MUST have the hall director's signature on the warrant!

Then, just take the completed warrant to the business office window. You'll receive a check in your mailbox as soon as it's ready.

Ways to Spend

Now that you can fill out a warrant, it's time to learn the different ways you can use it.

Reimbursement
Reimbursement is just what it sounds like. You buy something, then get reimbursed for your purchase by your student organization account. This is easy and simple, and works well for purchases of small amounts.

To get reimbursed, just fill out a warrant and list your name on the "Will please pay" line.

ChecK
Getting a check from your student organization account is great because you don't need to spend any of your own money on a purchase. Request a check when you know exactly how much money a purchase is going to be, and then use the check directly as payment. Checks are also useful if you are bringing in an outside vendor or performer to your event because you can just hand them the check at the conclusion of the activity. Just like getting reimbursed, make sure you have the correct name written on the "Will please pay" line.

If you're planning on using a check, request it with at least a week in advance, because sometimes the timeframe to have the check made can be a few days.

Cash Advance
Cash advances are useful for picking up just a few supplies for an event or if you need things that can't be ordered. To get a cash advance, go to the business office window and ask for one. You'll have to fill out a small form and let them know the student activities account to charge the money to. Be aware that there is a limit on the size of a cash advance; you might need to make other arrangements if you're planning on buying a $500 item!

Once you have the cash, you're free to spend it on whatever you need. When you're finished, save any change and the receipt, and return it to the business office window so they can appropriately charge your account!

Other Ways of Spending

If your organization is going to purchase a large item that is too big for a cash advance or an officer to be reimbursed, you can use what's called a purchase order.

Purchase orders are the university's way of ordering items as an institution. Basically they work as a legal agreement between Bluffton University and the company that we're buying from. They send us the goods at the agreed upon price, and then we'll send payment when the goods have arrived as ordered.

A purchase order (or PO for short) can only be made by a faculty or staff member. You can ask the business office or check with your advisor if you're interested in using a PO. They'll provide some more information and can even fill one out for you.

Quick Tips

    • Use a warrant whenever you need to use your organization's money to purchase something.
    • Fill out a warrant just like you would fill out a personal check.
    • Warrants can be sent or turned in to Sue Schutz at the Business Office.
    • If you need to know how much is in your account, stop by the cashier's window and ask for a printout of your organization's account.
    • For more information about your student organization's account, email benrothj@bluffton.edu or call x3312.