Opening a new Checking Account Memo

Steps for opening a UW authorized checking account:

  1. As a contact person on this account, write a letter of justification explaining the purpose of the account. You will need to be a UW Employee in order to qualify as a contact person for this account.
  2. Complete the New Bank Account Information Form. Provide the following information:
    1. Date, preparer's full name, preparer's phone number, and e-mail.
    2. Bank Account Title:
      1. The first line of the bank account name is: " University of Wisconsin - Madison ".
      2. The second line uniquely describes the bank account by using the name of the project, study or department.
    3. The Contact Person must be an UW Madison Employee. Print full name of the contact person, their telephone number, and e-mail address.
    4. Bank State ment Address: This is the address the bank uses to send bank statements. Enter the name and address of the Bank Reconciler. We recommend the bank statements be mailed directly to the bank reconciler.
    5. Bank Reconcilers Name: Print full name of Bank Reconciler, their telephone number and their e-mail address. Bank Reconciler must be a UW Madison Employee and cannot have signature authority to this bank account.
    6. For Checking Accounts only, complete the section on Signers. All signers must be UW Madison employees. Print the full name of the signer and their title. Please limit your number of signers to a maximum of 5.
    7. For Checking Accounts only, complete the Check Order Form
    8. For All Bank Accounts, complete the Bank Account Security Set-up section.
      1. Indicate if you want to see bank statement transactions on line by checking yes to “View Bank Account On-line”.
      2. Indicate what type of bank account security you would like by checking boxes related to Check Filter, ACH Block, and ACH Filter.
      3. Indicate if this is a TBA deposit account.
  3. Complete the US Bank Authorized Signature Form.
    1. Account Name Section: Print full name of bank account name
    2. Name 1 to 5 Section: Print full name of all check signers
    3. Bank Account Section: If known, print full bank account number
    4. Drop down to Signature Section
    5. Signature Section: Signers sign based on their signer number per list on top of form. Each authorized individual must sign their name to the right of the highlighted “X”. Please limit the number of signers to a maximum of 5. All signers must be UW Madison Employees.
    6. Reconciliation Certification: print the Bank Reconciler's name, e-mail address, and phone number. The Bank Reconciler signs this form next to their name. All Bank Reconcilers must be UW Madison Employees and cannot have signature authority to this bank account.
    7. On the bottom, the Certification section – leave blank for Cash Management
    8. Any information not covered will be completed by our office or the bank
  4. As soon as possible, send to Cash Management, 21 N Park St., Suite 6101, Madison, WI 53715 :
    1. Letter of Justification
    2. US Bank Authorized Signature Form
    3. New Bank Account Information worksheet (includes Check Order Form and the Bank Account Security Set-ups)
  5. Complete the Custodian Fund Individual/Department Custodian Agreement and the Custodian Fund Request Form for $   «AMOUNT»    , the amount agreed upon by the Custodian and Cash Management. The payee and address on the Custodian Fund Requisition should be:
    US Bank Bank Account No    «ACCOUNT»   
    % Cash Management
    21 N Park St., Suite 6101
    Madison, WI 53715
  6. For your records, keep a copy of this Memo, a copy of the Custodian Fund Individual/Department Custodian Agreement, and a copy of the Custodian Fund Request Form.
  7. Send a copy of this Memo, the original Custodian Fund Request Form, and the original Custodian Fund Individual/Department Custodian Agreement to your Department and then to the Dean/Director's Office.
  8. Your Department and the Dean/Director's Office reviews the Memo, the Custodian Fund Request Form, and the Custodian Fund Individual/Department Custodian Agreement for approval and signature. Once approved the Department and the Dean/Director's Office keeps a copy of the Memo, Custodian Fund Request Form, and the Custodian Fund Individual/Department Custodian Agreement. Original documents are then sent to Cash Management.

Accounting Services will forward the US Bank Authorized Signature Form and your Letter of Justification to the Board of Regents for their approval. This process takes 7-10 days. Once the approval is received, Cash Management will forward the New Bank Account Information Form, Check Order Form, The Bank Account Security Set-up Form, and the custodian fund deposit to the bank for processing. Once processing is completed, US Bank will send the checks ordered directly to you.

Note: the printing charge for the check order is paid on a Direct Payment (DP) Form. Please route the form to Accounts Payable. Check printing charges are not to be included as an expense when reimbursement is requested to replenish the account.. If you have any questions, e-mail Cash Management at

Please follow the procedures below on managing and maintaining this bank account:

A. Required procedures:

  1. Do not deposit additional funds in your account without prior approval by UW Madison Cash Management. The reimbursement deposits, in addition to the check opening the account, should be the only deposits made to your account.
  2. Maintain supporting documentation on site for all expenses for the current fiscal year plus six previous years. A log must be kept of all payments to human subjects, including name, address, social security, signature of recipient, amount paid to each individual, and date of payment. The log should be attached to the Custodian Fund Accounting Form when requesting reimbursement for the funds.
  3. Secure your checkbook and funds by one of the following means: safe, lock box, locked desk, etc. Periodically change all safe and lock combinations, especially if your department has a high employee turnaround.
  4. Review authorized signatures for checking accounts on an annual basis. To make changes for signers, custodians, and/or reconcilers, please fill in the Update Bank Accounting Information form and e-mail Cash Management at . Cash Management will send back a US Bank Signature Card for completion with signatures. Send original signed US Bank Signature Cards to Cash Management (21 N Park St., Suite 6101, Madison, WI 53715). Cash Management will forward these cards onto US Bank for processing and to the Board of Regents for their approval.
  5. Send any Updated Bank Account Information and Custodian Agreements to your Department and Dean's Office for review and approval. Dean's Office will forward originals onto Cash Management.

B. Required Monthly Procedures:

  1. Perform a monthly reconciliation of your checkbook balance to the bank statement within 10 days of receiving the statement. Such practice allows for a timely detection of errors and unauthorized expenditures.
  2. After reconciling the bank statement, also reconcile the account to the authorized advance amount. To do this, take the adjusted checkbook balance (your checkbook balance + deposits in transit - any outstanding checks or adjustments) and add the total unreimbursed expenditures (expenditures yet to be submitted + submitted but undeposited reimbursement requests). This sum should equal the authorized amount of the account.
  3. Investigate and follow-up all stale dated checks (over 6 months old). Contact the payee of a stale dated check and do one of the following: remind the payee to cash the check OR if lost, void the stale dated check and issue a new check to the payee and if stolen, issue a stop payment only if the value of the check exceeds the value of the $30 stop payment fee.

    To keep the account in balance with the authorized advance amount, remember to do the following: (1) add back the amount of the voided check to the checkbook register, (2) if not previously reimbursed, note the voided check as “$0” on your Custodian Fund Accounting Form AND only request reimbursement of the newly issued check OR if voided check was already reimbursed, note the newly issued check as “$0” and indicate it was already reimbursed, (3) if you use a stop payment, include the payment charge on your next reimbursement request, in addition to recording the charge to your register.
  4. Properly account for all checks in your checkbook register and Custodian Fund Accounting Forms (even voided checks). Voided checks should be noted as a “$0.” There should not be any monthly service charges or interest earned. If there is please notify the Cash Management office via e-mail at with bank account number included.

C. Required Quarterly Procedures:

Replenish your account at least every 3 months to maintain a positive balance and to avoid overdraft fees. To replenish the account, process a Custodian Fund Accounting Form through the proper channels (submit first to your Department and then onto the Dean/Director's Office). Allow at least three weeks for processing of the Custodian Fund Accounting Form. The Custodian Fund Accounting Form should have the following in the “Custodian Name and Address” box, which allows for the direct depositing into the account:

US Bank Account Number (last 5 digits of the bank checking account number)
P.O. Box 7900
Attn: Mail Teller Staff
Madison, WI 53707

Under “Itemized Expenditure” on the Custodian Fund Accounting Form, indicate the complete bank account number and bank account name.

Note: Please be aware that your grant or funding source is not charged for the expenses paid by checks from your account until they have been properly accounted for. Custodian funds are drawn against your Department fund and project sources.

If you feel that a one-time, temporary (3 months or less) custodian fund account would better fit the needs of your grant, see Policy: 301-Custodian Fund.

Procedure: 301-Custodian Fund