University Accounting

University Accounting is responsible for assuring the accuracy of Towson University's accounting systems through extensive monthly reconciliations. We also generate all financial reporting and prepare the university's annual audited financial statements.

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. 

Stratus Financials is TU’s modern business platform and budget planning system.

Access Stratus through MyTU

1099 Information

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Hailu Deressa at 410-704-5012 or

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 Joyce Mburu at 410-704-2218 or .

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 to tax.

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 Duka Donaghy at 410-704-5563 or

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 Duka Donaghy at 410-704-5563 or 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 and, reconciled monthly
  • Purchases cannot be split to circumvent procurement policies.

In Stratus through workflow a supervisor must approve transactions of the cardholder. University Accounting will review transactions for proper documentation and compliance. Once approved, the cardholder MUST reallocate their P-Card charges in Stratus for proper posting to their cost center. If a cardholder is found to be non-compliant, a referral is made to the Procurement department who will determine appropriate action. For questions about the review process, contact Comptroller Duka Donaghy at 410-704-5563 or .

Grant Accounting

University Accounting is responsible for the system setup of Stratus 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 limited circumstances.

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 documentation.

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 and the Stratus Financials team uses the submitted forms to create a unique numerical designation for the project or grant in Stratus. 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, Finanical Steward, Cost Center Manager, and the person in charge (Principal Investigator) of the grant are notified via e-mail. Funds expended from the grant follow the same TU workflows and 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 restricted purchases.

For additional information on grant accounting, contact Hailu Deressa at 410-704-5012 or . Alternatively, you may also contact OSPR at 410-704-2236 or