University System of New Hampshire

04 - 032 Uncollectible Accounts Receivable

The procedure outlined below is intended to ensure that proper approval is obtained in advance of executing write- offs, and that each request is based on fully documented good faith efforts to collect the account (i.e. due diligence). This procedure does not pertain to loans administered under the Federal Perkins Student Loan Program.

A. SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

1. Approval: The authority to approve the write off of uncollectible accounts is vested in the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at each campus. All decisions to write off an account must be based on review of documented collection efforts demonstrating that due diligence has been exercised. All write-offs must be approved in advance by the CFO, or his/her designee, at each campus.
2. Accounting for Write-Offs: The University System Financial and Administrative Procedures Manual, Procedure 10-002, Billing for Goods Sold or Services Rendered, states that when accounts receivable must be written off due to collectibility, such amounts are always recorded as a charge to an expense object code or the related reserve for doubtful accounts, not as a reduction of revenue.
3. Initial Collection Efforts: Any receivable account balance which remains unpaid 90 days after the initial payment due date shall be referred to the campus department responsible for collections. This department will take appropriate collection steps, including, but not limited to, dunning calls and letters, placement with collection agencies, or initiation of legal action to recover amounts due USNH.  Each campus may exercise more stringent practices, but may not be more lenient.   

a. For balances less than $10 no collection work is necessary before writing off balances, but CFO or designee advance approval is still required. For balances of $10 or more but less than $100, the collections department must make at least 2 good faith efforts to collect by letter or telephone. For balances of $100 or more, at least 3 good faith efforts to collect must be made and documented.
b. If an account remains unpaid 45 days after the collection process described above begins (i.e. 135 days past the original due date), the account should be evaluated for transfer to an appropriate collection agency or collection attorney.
c. If the account is returned by a collection agency as uncollectible, the account record should be reviewed again to determine if further collection agency placement or legal action should be taken, before a recommendation to write off the account will be made.

4. Requests for Write-Offs: If it is determined that further collection action would not be productive, and after appropriate consultation with the referring office, the complete record of the account and collection actions will be forwarded by the collections department to the Campus CFO, or his/her designee, for write-off approval.
5. Processing Write-Offs: When a write-off is recommended, an appropriate expense account, or the proper reserve for doubtful accounts, will be identified by the collections department, to fund the write-off. When approval is received, appropriate documents will be prepared by the collections department to accomplish the write-off of the account within Banner and/or the campus' accounts receivable system.
6. Record Retention: The complete record of the account, including write-off approval and documentation of due diligence in the collection effort, will be retained in the archives of the collections department for seven (7) years.

B. DETAILED OPERATING PROCEDURES for UNH, UNHL and UNHM accounts (Students or Commercial)

1. Delegation of Authority: As an administrative convenience, the UNH authority to write-off individual accounts up to $1000 as well as all balances of deceased students, and any balances discharged by federal or state courts under bankruptcy petitions, has been delegated to the Director of Business Services.
2. Balances less than $10:  Account balances of less than $10 will be automatically written off by the Director of Business Services, when the account is more than 90 days past due.  
3. Balances between $10 and $24.99:  Account balances between $10 and $24.99 which are more than 90 days past due, may be written off by the Director of Business Services upon completion of at least two documented good faith attempts to collect the account.
4. Balances between $25 and $999.99:  When the account is 90 days in arrears, UNH Business Services will assume collection responsibility. It is the originating department's responsibility to notify UNH Business Services on a timely basis, and provide all relevant background materials.

a. UNH Business Services will make at least 2 good faith efforts to collect, by letter and/or telephone, as appropriate in each case.
b. If the account remains unpaid after 45 days in the collection process, UNH Business Services staff will evaluate the account. A recommendation to take further action or to write-off the account will be made to the Director of Business Services.

5. Balances of $1000.00 or over:  When the account is 90 days in arrears, UNH Business Services will assume collection responsibility. It is the originating department's responsibility to notify UNH Business Services on a timely basis, and provide all relevant background materials.

a. UNH Business Services will make at least 3 good faith efforts to collect by letter and/or telephone as appropriate.
b. If the account remains unpaid after 45 days in the collection process, the account will be transferred to a collection agency or attorney, as appropriate.
c. If the account is returned by a collection agency as uncollectible, the account record will be reviewed to determine if further collection agency placement or legal action should be taken.
d. If it is determined that further collection efforts would not be productive, the Director of Business Services will forward the documented record to the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration for approval of the write-off.

6. Balance write-off procedures: Upon approval of the Director of Business Services or Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Director of Business Services will effect the following actions:

a. A "Credit & Collections Write-Off" (CCWO) credit amount will be entered into the Banner system to write-off the account against the Banner reserve for doubtful accounts fund.
b. A "Credit Watch" (CW) hold will be placed on student Banner accounts with written off balances of $10 or more to preclude registration or issuance of transcripts.
c. Prior to write-off, any account balances over $100 will be reported to UNH's student payment plan servicing agent for final collection attempts.  If unsuccesful, the servicing agent will notify UNH to write-off the balance and the servicing agent will report the write-off to the applicable credit bureau.

7. Reports

a. A quarterly report of all accounts written off will be provided to the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration for review.
b. Semiannually, a Banner report will be generated listing any payments made to accounts with a CW hold. This will permit the reversal of write off actions, when appropriate, and restore the funds to the reserve for doubtful accounts fund for future use.
c. Other appropriate reports will be prepared by the Director of Business Services of accounts written off to support internal and external audit requirements for due diligence.


The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version.