GW Best Practices for Accepting Checks

To reduce loss while offering the convenience of paying by check, it is recommended that the following steps are followed at GW.

It is recommended that you do not accept temporary checks or checks with low numbers. Criminals may open bank accounts with small deposits and then use temporary, starter, or unnumbered checks to write checks for far more than the amount of the deposit. If you do accept this type of check be sure that the complete name and address of the payer is written on the upper left of the check. For a student payment the GWID has to be written on the check as well.

The check itself must include the following details:

  • Complete name and address of the payer
  • Current date
  • Bank ID numbers including account and routing numbers along the bottom edge
  • Payee name (GWU, GW, or George Washington University - not department name)
  • Dollar amount that is only for the amount due
  • Signature

Upon Acceptance of a Check

A.  Endorse the check - A restrictive endorsement is stamped or written on the back of the check. A check with a restrictive endorsement can only be deposited into an account with GW’s name on it. By endorsing the check upon receipt, it will reduce the risk if a check is lost or stolen. All checks should be kept secured in a location that can only be accessed by authorized personnel. Some examples are: a locked drawer, locked filing cabinet, a safe, or a lockbox. "For Deposit Only" stamps can be purchased online at Amazon and custom made with your department name.

Example of endorsement:
(Custom Text) For Deposit Only
(Custom Text) George Washington University, GWU, or GW
DATE (Custom Text)
Department name

B. Date the check and identify your department -  If your stamp does not include the date or department name it is necessary to write these on the back of the check next to the deposit endorsement. The purpose of this is to help identify the original deposit transaction if a check is returned to GW unpaid. This allows the adjusting journal entry to be processed in a timely manner and credited back to the correct general fund until the funds are re-collected by the department. Information regarding the returned check is sent to the originator of the journal entry. A returned check needs to be addressed with the payor by the department that accepted the check.

Questions?  Please contact [email protected].