Abandoned Property

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Teachers College Policy Library

Abandoned Property

Owner: Controller

URL: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/policylibrary/Abandoned Property

Unclaimed/Abandoned Property Policy

IDENTIFICATION OF UNCLAIMED FUNDS

Unclaimed funds as defined by the State of New York are all outstanding checks or student refund balance/credits that remain uncashed by the payee or unclaimed by the student for a certain period of time as noted below:

Payroll Issuances                                 Three (3) years

Accounts Payable Issuances                  Three (3) years

Student Refunds/Credits                       Three (3) years

Teachers College will identify unclaimed funds as part of the bank reconciliation process for the accounts payable and payroll bank accounts and will adhere to the following procedures to report this information to the State of New York.

UNCLAIMED FUNDS INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING PROCEDURES

Student Refunds/Credits - Citibank Zero Disbursement Ledger Account 1114, Unclaimed Refund Checks Ledger Account 2362

Once a student account is thoroughly reviewed and a final determination is made that the noted credit balance is valid, Student Accounts is responsible for initiating a refund request to Accounts Payable. In most cases, all student refunds are issued within ten days of appearing on a credit balance report.

The Senior Accountant in the Controller’s Office reconciles the monthly bank account balance to the general ledger cash account and researches and corrects all discrepancies.

On a quarterly basis, the Senior Accountant provides a list of outstanding Student Refund checks (SD type) to the Student Accounting Director. Student Accounts is asked to research all outstanding checks over 6 months old:

1. Review the student account to ensure there were no systems events (account corrections, adjustments or stop payments, etc.) that effected the outstanding status of the checks on the list;

2. Contact the payees to determine why the check was not cases. If the check was lost, the check will be stopped and a replacement check will be reissued

If remaining checks are over one year old at year end 8/31/xx, these student refund checks are transferred to the unclaimed funds liability account, 2362, via journal voucher by the Senior Accountant. Funds remain in this liability account, identified by student name and amount, until either a student contacts the College requesting a replacement check or it is time to report the checks to the State of New York.

Analysis and maintenance of this unclaimed liability account is the responsibility of the Accounting Manager in the Controller’s Office. The manager will contact Student Accounts on a quarterly basis and forward the list of student refunds outstanding in the unclaimed liability account and requests that additional contact with the student payee be attempted.

After three (3) years, all outstanding student refund checks in the unclaimed liability account are reported as part of unclaimed funds to the State of New York as required by law. The final report to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds, is completed after the College sends letters to all payees as required by State regulations. All payees who respond with a request for a replacement check are issued replacement checks and the checks are removed from the list to be reported to the State. All other checks are included in the final report to the State and a payment for the balance of unclaimed funds is sent by the filing due date (March 10th, XXXX).

Accounts Payable Other than Student Refunds - Citibank Zero Disbursement Ledger Account 1114, Unclaimed Refund Checks Ledger Account 2362

All payments issued by the Accounts Payable department including student refunds are disbursed from the Citibank Zero Disbursement Bank Account and from GL 1114. The Senior Accountant reconciles the monthly bank statement balance to the general ledger and researches and corrects all discrepancies.

The Senior Accountant provides a list of Accounts Payable outstanding checks to the Disbursement Manager on a quarterly basis. This department is asked to research all outstanding checks over 6 months old:

1. Review the vendor account to ensure there were no systems events (account corrections, adjustments or stop payments, etc.) that effected the outstanding status of the checks on the list;

2. Contact the payees to determine the reason why the check was not cashed. If the check was lost, the check will be stopped and a replacement check will be reissued

If checks over one year old remain outstanding at year end 8/31/xx, the Senior Accountant will transfer (via journal entry) the total of the outstanding checks to the unclaimed funds liability account (account 2362) and remove the checks from the outstanding check list for GL 1114. All transferred checks are identified by student/vendor name and amount, until a either a payee contacts the College requesting a replacement check, research determines the check should be cancelled and/or replaced or until it is time to report the checks to the State.

After three (3) years, any checks in the unclaimed liability account are reported as unclaimed funds to the State of New York as required by law. The final report to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds is done after the College sends letters to all payees as required by the State regulations. All payees who respond with a request for a replacement check are given replacement checks by the College and the checks are removed from the list to the State. All other checks are included in the final report to the State and a check for the balance of these unclaimed funds is sent to the State as required by the filing due date (March 10th, XXXX).

Payroll - Citibank Payroll Account, Ledger Account 1115 (related bank account was closed in Nov 2009) and Citibank DE Payroll Account, Ledger Account 1116, Unclaimed Refund Checks Ledger Account 2361

A separate GL and bank account are used by the Payroll Department to process all payroll checks and employee direct deposits issued. The Accounting Manager is responsible for reconciling the bank to book balance on a monthly basis and for researching and correcting all discrepancies.

On a quarterly basis, the Accounting Manager provides a list of outstanding salary checks to the Payroll Manager. The payroll department is asked to research all outstanding checks over 6 months old:

1. Review the employee’s pay history to ensure there were no systems events (account corrections, adjustments or stop payments, etc.) that effected the outstanding status of the checks on the list;

2. Contact the payees to determine the reason why the check was not cashed. If the check was lost, the check will be stopped and a replacement check will be reissued

If checks over one year old remain outstanding at year end 8/31/xx, the Accounting Manager will transfer (via journal entry) the total of the checks to the unclaimed funds payroll liability account (account 2361) and remove the checks from the outstanding check list for Account 1116. All transferred checks are identified by employee name and amount, until a either a payee contacts the College requesting a replacement check, research determines the check should be cancelled and/or replaced or until it is time to report the checks to the State .

After three (3) years, any checks in the unclaimed liability account are reported as unclaimed funds to the State of New York as required by law. The final report to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds is completed after the College sends letters to all payees as required by the State regulations. All payees who respond with a request for a replacement check are issued replacement checks by the College and the checks are removed from the list to the State. All other checks are included in the final report to the State and a check for the balance of unclaimed funds is sent to the State as required by the filing due date (March 10th, XXXX).