Contacting University Accounting
The University Accounting team is currently working remotely and are available by
phone or email during normal business hours, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
We manage Towson's internal accounting system and provide guidance to departments
on a range of topics, including unrelated business income, financial reporting, 1099
reporting, and resources regarding grant funding and payments. We process interagency transfers and wire transfers, we manage/establish university bank accounts and we oversee the setup of any credit
card, merchant ID or credit card processing on campus.
TU’s STRATUS project is streamlining and modernizing existing business systems, starting with
PeopleSoft Financials. Find out about the project's scope, timeline and what to expect.
Learn About STRATUS
Federal 1099 reports are informational forms to be filed with the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), with a copy to the taxpayer. They report certain types of compensation
paid to individuals, sole proprietors, and partnerships as defined by IRS regulations.
Who receives a 1099?
- Any person that is not a regular or contingent employee of the university receiving
$600 or more during a calendar year for services provided to the university.
- Any Towson University employee receiving $600 or more during a calendar year for performing
services for the university completely unrelated to their normal work function.
Who do I contact if I think my 1099 is incorrect?
Contact Financial Transaction Supervisor Jessica Loetz at 410-704-5110 or jloetz AT_TOWSON
Who issues the 1099?
The university provides details to the state's General Accounting Division (GAD) and
GAD issues the 1099.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
The primary purpose of the integrated postsecondary education data system (IPEDS)
report is to collect data describing the financial condition of postsecondary education.
Changes in revenue sources and expenditure types are monitored over a yearly period
which promotes research involving institutional financial resources and expenditures
in postsecondary education.
Survey results allow Towson University to compare financial data to national averages.
When used with other institutional data, the IPEDS report provides a valuable national
resource for institutional research. Accurate completion of the survey in a timely
manner is mandatory for all institutions that participate or are applicants for participation
in any Federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education
Act of 1965, as amended.
For any questions about the IPEDS Report, contact Accountant Kimberly Tremper at 410-704-2218
or ktremper AT_TOWSON.
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)
A university's tax-exempt status is granted based on its mission to educate and perform
research. All activities substantially related to this mission are free from taxation.
An unrelated trade or business activity is one that is:
- Not substantially related to the exempt mission of the institution
- Regularly carried on with frequency or continuity
- Conducted for the production of income
- Pursued in a manner similar to comparable commercial activities of for-profit organizations
Income from unrelated activities may be subject to the unrelated business income tax
(UBIT), unless it meets one of several exclusions. For example, a college may operate
a ski facility for use in its physical education program and also for recreational
use by members of the public who pay ski-lift fees comparable to those charged at
nearby facilities. The income from public use is unrelated business income subject
Towson University is required to file an exempt organization business income tax return
annually. Are you or your department responsible for an activity that may be subject
to UBIT reporting? If so, please contact Accountant Brian Fritsche at 410-704-4048
or bfritsche AT_TOWSON.
Departmental Cash Handling Guidance and Accounts Receivable Procedures
To enable departments to maintain proper accounting records and to ensure control
of funds obtained from various revenue sources, we have put together Accounts Receivable
Procedures and Departmental Cash Handling Guidance for your reference. The guidance
follows State and University System of Maryland policies and procedures. Please reach
out to the Comptroller if you have any questions.
For information on accounts receivable or cash handling procedures, please see our
Accounts Receivable Procedure (PDF) and Departmental Cash Handling Procedures (PDF) documents.
On-Campus Receipt of Payments by Credit Card
Arranging for an on-campus department to accept credit card payments involves coordination
between the credit card companies, University Accounting, the Campus Data Center,
and the State Treasurer's Office in Annapolis. The process takes a minimum of three
to four weeks.
Payments by Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Card, are currently accepted on campus.
For any department considering the development of a credit card program, it is essential
to contact Comptroller Cathy Mattern at 410-704-5563 or cmattern AT_TOWSON as early as possible.
This preliminary discussion will include how the process works, any fees charged by
the credit card companies, and what equipment is necessary and their associated costs,
such as a dedicated telephone line, cash register or a terminal & printer.
For more on TU payment solutions, policy, payment card security, forms and contact
information, please see the Payment Card Acceptance Information page.
Procurement Card Review Program
The procurement card compliance review program was developed to educate cardholders
on state and university regulations and to protect the university from card misuse,
abuse, or fraudulent activity. The program is a risk-management approach used by University
Accounting reviewers who conduct unscheduled reviews of cardholder records and report
their findings to Procurement for further action.
Justification: despite mandatory training, some cardholders may not comply with the policies and
procedures of the program. The following areas are of particular concern:
- Cards or card numbers cannot be loaned or shared because of increased risk of fraud.
- Cardholder transaction records and activity must be properly maintained, reconciled
monthly using the online reconciliation system, and printed and signed by the cardholder's
- Purchases cannot be split to circumvent procurement policies.
University Accounting staff will complete the cardholder review and provide the information
to the Procurement Office where the cardholder may be determined as in compliance
or not in compliance. The Procurement Office determines appropriate action, in accordance
with established policies, for those found non-compliant and notifies the cardholder
of action to be taken including additional training. For questions about the review
program, contact Comptroller Cathy Mattern at 410-704-5563 or cmattern AT_TOWSON.
University Accounting is responsible for the system setup of PeopleSoft projects and
grants, entry of budget amounts, and posting of routine accounting transactions. Issues
regarding proposal submissions or compliance issues are handled by the Office of Sponsored
Programs and Research (OSPR). Answers to the following frequently asked questions
are provided below.
What are University Matching Funds?
Some grants may require matching funds from the university. The source of the university's
share is detailed in the grant award documents. Matching fund amounts are handled
by University Accounting on a regular basis as specified by OSPR.
Can Grant Funds Be Transferred?
OSPR may approve the transfer of funds from grants to a different department under
Any funds remaining when the grant period expires may be transferred to another department
only with the prior approval of the grantor agency. The grantor agency may have placed
restrictions on the grant that prohibits such a transfer and the remaining funds may
have to be returned to the grantor agency.
A fund transfer can be processed to reimburse a department if the department has incurred
expenses on behalf of the grant and the department has maintained sufficient supporting
How are Project and Grant Numbers Created-Assigned?
Grant funding is awarded from federal, state, local and private sources. Once the
granting agency approves a funding proposal, OSPR prepares the budget, completes the
award transaction summary, and submits the request to University Accounting.
University Accounting uses the submitted forms to create a unique numerical designation
for the project or grant in PeopleSoft Financials. These unique numbers and account
categories allow expendable budgets to be established at varying levels of detail
that are used to control expenditures and disbursements, track encumbrances charged
to the grant, and generate monthly reports.
Once the new grant number has been created and the approved budget appropriations
are entered, all parties including the department chair, OSPR, and the person in charge
(responsible person) of the grant are notified via e-mail. Signatures authorized to
expend funds from the grant are registered in the Financial Systems & Technology signature
database. Funds expended from the grant follow the same university-state approval
procedures used by any other department.
How are Goods & Services Charged to a Grant and are there any Restrictions?
Primary Purchasing Methods:
- Visa procurement card: under the university's Visa procurement card program, faculty and staff may obtain
individual credit cards to make purchases that can be reallocated to the grant, subject
to limits and restrictions set by the state. To learn more about the program or to
apply for a card, contact Procurement at 410-704-3492.
- Purchase requisition process: purchases exceeding the credit limits ($5,000) of the Visa card must be made by submitting
a purchase requisition to Procurement.
Purchases made this way will first show on the grant budget as funds encumbered under
the account chosen when the requisition was written. The encumbrance is liquidated
when the vendor's invoice is paid by Accounts Payable and charged to the grant budget.
Restrictions: department codes set up for grants are subject to university procurement policies
and procedures unless there is specific language in the grant contract permitting
For additional information on grant accounting, contact Grants Accountant Shelly Albrecht,
at 410-704-3625 or salbrecht AT_TOWSON. Alternatively, you may also contact OSPR at 410-704-2236 or ospr AT_TOWSON.