General Finance Expectations

  • General Best Practices
    • RSOs should practice at minimum a zero sum balance. (Income=Expenses)
    • RSOs should create a semesterly and/or annual budget
    • RSOs should keep their own ledger to compare with account statments
    • RSOs should keep copies of receipts, invoices, etc and have a storing and transition of information process
  • Off-Campus Accounts
    • Registered Student Organizations are allowed off-campus accounts.
    • MSU is not responsible for the management or liable for any misuse of these accounts. 
    • RSOs must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to set up an off-campus account. 
      • MSU is unable to assist in setting up an EIN. Please refer to the IRS website for more information on applying for an EIN (link) 
    • MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) Off-Campus accounts 
      • MSUFCU and the Office of Spartan Experiences have a collaborative relationship to provide RSOs non-university accounts.  
      • To find out more about getting an MSUFCU account visit: Please note the following: 
        • The MSUFCU Offices located in the MSU Union and at 4825 Mt Hope Rd (corner of Farm and Mt Hope) have staff that are experienced with working with RSOs and are the preferred branches. 
      • RSOs must be registered, and their officers must match those they list on Involve@State with all MSUFCU paperwork. 
        • The MSUFCU Offices mentioned prior have access to the Involve@State platform to confirm officers.  
      • RSOs will utilize the same MSUFCU form to update responsible parties after the account is established. 
      • MSUFCU accounts are off-campus accounts and are separate from your RSO's on-campus account. 
      • Direct transfers cannot occur between MSUFCU off-campus accounts and MSU on-campus accounts. 
        • To move money from On-campus to off-campus accounts, a move money form will need to be submitted and approved via Involve@State.  
        • To move money from Off-campus to on-campus accounts, follow the instructions found under Deposit of Funds. 
  • Tax-Exempt Status Information

    Registered Student Organizations are considered a separate entity from Michigan State University and DO NOT fall under MSU’s tax exempt status.  Therefore, student organizations should not use MSU’s Tax ID or presume they are tax exempt. 

    • If tax exempt status is desired, the following steps should occur:  
      • Organizations with national affiliation should first check with their national organization to see if they fall under the national tax-exempt number.  
      • Organizations who do not fall under national organization tax exempt numbers, will be required to complete forms from the State of Michigan and the Federal Government. 
    • Each organization is liable for their tax filings and tax reporting for their tax-exempt number. 
      • If the RSO has an on-campus account as well, the University will provide all Form 1099 filings on all applicable purchases funded by a student organization’s University account.  
  • Raffles, Gifts, and Prizes

    RSOs can purchase gifts and prizes for members and events. Please be aware of the below guidelines for best practices: 

      • If a prize is for a drawing, raffle, etc., the RSO must have appropriate licensure with the State of Michigan, when applicable. 
        • Raffle definition: A game of chance where raffle tickets are sold or consideration is given, a winner(s) is determined by randomly drawing a ticket stub from a container, and a prize is awarded. 
        • If your organization is holding a 50-50, an event with an admittance/registration fee that includes being entered in a drawing for a door prize, or a drawing for completing something, such as a survey, these are raffles and should be licensed. 
        • Almost all raffles need to be licensed through the state.  
        • General information about raffles, rules and forms can be found at State of Michigan, Michigan Lottery, Charitable Gaming Division at Please note that the typical processing time for all raffle applications is 8 weeks. 
          • RSOs are considered a separate entity from MSU.  
          • RSOs are required to obtain a valid State of Michigan tax ID number and valid raffle/lotto license, issued in their own name to host a raffle.  
          • All appropriate paperwork and approvals are done directly with the State of Michigan. 
          • Please note that MSU can and will not assist an RSO in obtaining a license or complying with State raffle requirements.  
          • An RSO must present a copy of the raffle license with the Event Planning Form when submitted.  
          • License presentation is for the sole purpose of confirming the raffle is authorized. 
      • It is advised and a best practice that when purchasing gifts from your RSO account (on or off-campus) gifts and prizes be under $75 per item. 
        • Please note for those with ON-CAMPUS ACCOUNTS: When submitting reimbursement for gifts or prizes the name of the recipient(s) and MSU email must be included in the voucher before the reimbursement will be paid. This is required to ensure that the gifts and prizes have been responsibly disbursed. 

    • If gift cards are purchased a tracking method must be created to ensure that cards are not lost or stolen. 
    • If items are received as a donation to the RSO with the purpose of being given away it is best practice to record what was given out or how the item was utilized in case the donor wants to know what their items were used for.  
    • It is advised to be aware of equitable practices and work with your RSO adviser when planning for gifts and prizes. 

General Finance Expectations PDF

Updated 12 August 2022