Accounts Receivable


This policy pertains to Accounts Receivable transactions billed to external customers for usage of UCSF properties or services. It is preferred that University departments accept payment before or upon delivery of a good or service. However, it may be necessary to provide a good or service prior to receiving payment. This policy covers managing accounts receivable including granting of credit, invoicing, recording and reconciling the transaction in the financial records, collection efforts, and write-offs of delinquent accounts.

For sponsored projects and student accounts receivable, accounts receivable is managed and recorded by the respective units’ accounts receivable systems. For other accounts receivable, it is strongly suggested that departments submit their invoices to Controller’s Office utilizing existing PeopleSoft accounts receivable system and related processes. Departments wishing to maintain their own accounts receivable must demonstrate the ability to comply with this policy and record, track and collect accounts receivable in their financial system and PeopleSoft.

Accounts Receivable

Amounts due to the University from an external customer for payment for goods supplied and/or services already rendered.


A billing to the customer that outlines the goods and services rendered that serves as an official demand for payment.

A. Invoicing the Customer and Recording the Transaction in the Financial Records

The receivable and associated revenue must be reflected accurately and timely on the University's financial records. Upon the delivery of a product or service, the revenue is considered to have been earned. Invoices must be recorded on an accrual basis to record accounts receivable and revenue at the time of billing.

Invoices should indicate the following:

  1. Description and price of the good or service rendered
  2. Date of transaction
  3. Chart string to record revenue
  4. Bill to address
  5. Invoicing terms (net 30)

B. Collection Efforts

If an invoice is not paid within 30 days, it is considered delinquent. On a monthly basis, the accounts receivable aging report should be reviewed and analyzed by campus departments. Any unusual items should be researched, and aged items should be followed-up as described below. Collection costs should not outweigh the outstanding accounts receivable.

The following schedule should be followed for aged accounts:

  1. 30-60 days delinquent: contact the customer requesting prompt payment
  2. 90 days delinquent: dunning letter
  3. 120 days delinquent: strong dunning letter
  4. 180 days delinquent: write-off of receivable and recording of bad debt expense

C. Write-offs of Uncollectable Accounts

  1. Invoices processed by the Controller's Office that remain uncollected six months past invoice date will be written-off and charged to the respective department.
  2. Authority to approve write-off of department invoiced uncollectible accounts has been delegated to the respective departments. Supporting documentation must be provided to justify write-off of each item.

D. Granting of Credit

It is preferred to collect payment before or upon delivery of a good or service. However, under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to provide a good or service prior to a payment:

  1. Credit may be granted when there are no facilities for the collection of cash or when non-collection of cash is deemed to be in the best interest of the University. In these cases, prudence with respect to the credit risk incurred must be observed at the time of transaction.
  2. Credit is extended automatically to governmental units, foundations, and medical financial sponsors during the time claims for reimbursement are outstanding. Diligence must be exercised to ensure timely billing and collection efforts to minimize the receivables arising from these claims.

A. Departmental Responsibilities

  1. Accept payment at the time of purchase whenever possible
  2. Maintain and follow this policy and departmental procedures for establishing credit, recording, adjusting and reconciling receivable transactions.
  3. Ensure invoices are accurately prepared and delivered timely. If using Controller’s Office accounts receivable module, provide Controller's Office with information needed to generate invoice.
  4. Retain copies of receivable support documents in accordance with University retention policies.
  5. Review aging receivable reports on a regular basis and maintain collection efforts for delinquent customers.
  6. Perform timely collection outreach and follow up with delinquent customers.
  7. Ensure employees who are assigned accounts receivable duties are trustworthy and adequately trained.
  8. Ensure accurate and timely reconciliations of charges and payments on accounts receivable to the general ledger.
  9. Routinely reassess credit worthiness of their customers and suspend credit arrangements with nonpaying customers.

B. Controller’s Office Responsibilities

  1. Generate invoices based on information provided by the department.
  2. Upon generation invoice, record the receivable and associated revenue timely on the University’s financial records.
  3. Provide departments aging reports in order to facilitate collection efforts by department.
  4. Communicate email aging reminders on at risk write off accounts to departments.
  5. Write-off delinquent invoices over 180 days to bad debt expense.
  6. Provide training and education for departments utilizing the Controller’s Office accounts receivable module.

For additional information or questions, contact General Accounting within the Controller's Office.