POL-U5352.08 Collecting on Accounts and Writing Off Debts Owed to the University

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

November 15, 2006

Revised Date:

April 13, 2021

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all charges made for goods or services provided to students and the public.


There is no overview for this policy.


Uncollectible Account

An account for which all reasonable collection efforts have been exhausted or are no longer considered collectible.

Policy Statements

1. Director of Student Business Office (SBO) Ensures Collection of Accounts

Under the purview of the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs (BFA), the Director of the Student Business Office will ensure an effective and efficient process is maintained to collect on accounts and debts owed to the University consistent with this policy and applicable regulations.

2. Interest, Late Fees and Collection Related Charges Will Be Applied

Interest, late fees, and other charges related to collection activity will be applied as appropriate. Interest will be charged on all accounts past due unless a waiver of interest is applicable under state regulations (WAC-82-06-010).

3. Student Business Office (SBO) Provides Monthly Statements

Monthly statements will be provided to customers and students with current activity or an outstanding balance.

4. Assistance Provided to Students and Families Experiencing Hardship

In situations of significant hardship (i.e. major illness, student death), students and/or families should be referred to the Dean of Students’ Office of Student Life for assistance and support.

5. Past Due and Written Off Accounts Will Be Flagged

A student account will be flagged with a “hold” which may prevent the student from accessing certain future services including, but not limited to, registering for classes. Non-student customer accounts will be flagged, which may result in review and the discontinuation of goods and services. Flags will be removed when an account is returned to good standing.

6. University will Perform Due Diligence in Collecting Past Due Amounts

Departments must comply with the Billing and Receiving Payment for Tuition, Fees, Goods and Services Policy (POL-U5351.01) to ensure prompt collection of balances due. SBO will take appropriate action to collect past due amounts including, but not limited to, telephone calls, mailings, special payment arrangements, litigation, and referral to collection agencies.

Debts may be assigned to a collection agency when:

  1. The University has made reasonable attempts to notify the debtor of the debt,
  2. The debt is past due by the number of days required by the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act, and
  3. At least 30 days has elapsed from the last attempted notice.

Collection agencies will not be used for the collection of receivables due from government agencies as applicable under state regulations.

7. SBO Reviews Aging Reports

The Director of the SBO will ensure accounts receivable aging reports are monitored monthly for collection status and to determine if an account is uncollectible and/or when an account should be flagged.

8. Collection Efforts Will Be Canceled or Suspended Under Certain Circumstances

The University will cancel collection efforts on accounts owed to the University when the account holder is deceased or is totally and permanently disabled.

Collection efforts will be suspended while the account holder has a pending petition for relief in bankruptcy listing the debt.

9. Accounting Services Uses Allowance Method to Establish Bad Debt Provision

Accounting Services will calculate an estimate of the total uncollectible receivables using the allowance method at least quarterly. The fund(s) that originally received the revenue will be charged for bad debt expense.

10. Accounts Determined Uncollectible Will Be Written Off

After Western’s collection procedures have been followed and the account remains unpaid, procedures will be followed to determine whether an account is uncollectible and not cost effective to continue collection efforts. Accounts determined to be uncollectible will be written off quarterly.

11. Written Off Accounts to be Reviewed

A report of all written off accounts will be reviewed by the Director of Student Business Office on a quarterly basis. After management review, any account determined to have been inappropriately written off is to be returned to the accounting records by reversing the write-off entry.

12. Required Documentation Will Be Maintained

The SBO will maintain documentation, in accordance with the University’s retention schedule, of each transaction affecting receivables including:

  1. Establishment of receivables,
  2. Recording of receipts,
  3. Adjustments of receivables,
  4. Valuation of receivables,
  5. Collection efforts, and
  6. Write-offs of uncollectible receivables.

Detailed postings of these documents are to be recorded and maintained in the subsidiary ledgers for all outstanding receivables.