121 Unclaimed Deposits Policy

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 121

Effective Date: July 1, 2020
Last Updated: May 15, 2020
Last Reviewed: May 15, 2020
Next Review: May 15, 2021

Functional Owner: Cash Management, Business Services

Executive Sponsor: Asst. Vice Chancellor for Business Services

Policy Contact: Cash Management: cashmgt@bussvc.wisc.edu

Policy Summary

The University of Wisconsin-Madison receives deposits daily in the form of domestic and international wire transfers, Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, check deposits, and cash deposits. These funds are deposited into the University’s main deposit account at US Bank. The intended recipients of these funds are various departments across campus. The existing process requires campus departments that are expecting funds to submit to Cash Management a completed Incoming Department Wire/ACH Form or Check Deposit Form in advance of the deposit to allow for timely and accurate distribution of the funds deposited. However, there are times when the required form is received by Cash Management after the deposit is received, or the form is never received. This results in the funds remaining unclaimed for an extended period of time or never being claimed.

Policy Application

This procedure applies to all UW-Madison departments that accept and request payment for goods or services provided. This procedure should be understood by all employees responsible for claiming deposits and reconciling their departments accounts receivable. This includes directors, deans, department managers and chairs, and department accountants and financial specialists.


Unclaimed deposits are transferred to and held in the Unidentified ACH/Wires project PRJ38CM until they are claimed by a department on campus and the appropriate documentation is provided. The Cash Management team makes every reasonable effort to determine the appropriate recipient of unclaimed funds.

Steps taken to identify the appropriate recipient include:

  • Reviewing the information provided in the bank remittance detail;
  • Contacting campus department who have previously claimed deposits from the payer;
  • Contacting the payer of the funds to request information on the recipient;
  • Publishing a list of unclaimed deposits being held in the PRJ38CM account at least once monthly; and
  • Notifying the Financial Managers via email each time the list is updated.

The process to research these unclaimed deposits is time consuming and often unfruitful. Additionally, the maintenance of this holding account for unclaimed deposits requires monthly reconciliation at a minimum, manual tracking of deposits that have been claimed, and manual preparation of the transfer to distribute the deposits to the appropriate departments. Lastly, unclaimed funds collected in the previously mentioned holding account have no designated use such as consideration for budgeting, investing and financial planning purposes.

Policy Detail

Campus departments are responsible for notifying Cash Management of expected deposits and providing the appropriate documentation. Cash Management will make every reasonable effort, as discussed above, to determine the appropriate recipient of daily deposits received via domestic and international wire transfers, ACH credits, check deposits, and cash deposits. Deposits which remain unclaimed at the end of each day will be transferred to the PRJ38CM holding account.

Campus departments can claim deposits from the PRJ38CM holding account by providing Cash Management with the appropriate deposit claim form (i.e. Incoming Department Wire/ACH Form, Check Deposit Form) along with documentation to support ownership of the deposit such as an invoice.

All unclaimed deposits that have been claimed will be transferred from the PRJ38CM holding account to the appropriate funding string on a monthly basis at a minimum. At this time, an updated list of all unclaimed deposits will be published and Financial Managers notified.

The list of unclaimed deposits can be accessed here.

Beginning July 1, 2020, on a prospective basis, any unclaimed funds held in project PRJ38CM that are older than 12 months at the end of each fiscal year, June 30, will be transferred to a General Fund miscellaneous revenue account for redistribution to priority program areas as established by the executive leadership. Once this transfer occurs, these funds can no longer be claimed even after providing supporting documentation and substantiating the claim except for claims made by external entities.

The following timelines have been established to claim balances as they currently appear on the unclaimed deposits listing:

Fiscal Year 2019 and Newer Balances June 30, 2021
Fiscal Year 2018 and Older Balances September 30, 2020

In rare circumstances, departments may request to claim funds that have already been transferred from PRJ38CM to the General Fund; however, such exceptions will be assessed on a case by case basis and the decision to approve such requests is at the sole discretion of the Assistant Vice Chancellor/Controller.

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