SA Finance FAQ

General Spending Questions

Q: How do I request money for my events?

A: All requests are entered through the SAFE system on the SA website. Only the President and Treasurer listed on the SA website are able to access SAFE

Q: How do I fill out a request form on SAFE?

A: See pages 7-9 of the SA Finance Handbook.

Q: What is a tax-exempt form? Will SA pay for/reimburse me for tax?

A: SA is exempt from NY sales tax. A tax exempt form contains our tax payer ID, and verifies to the vendor that we are tax exempt. Tax exempt forms are specific to each vendor and will be sent to the vendor directly upon the club’s request. Additionally, tax exempt forms explicitly state they are only applicable when SA is the direct purchaser.

Q: What is a purchase order (PO)?

A: A PO is an approved request for funds. After you put in a funds request on SAFE, and provide all necessary supporting documentation, your request will be reviewed by SA Officers and the University’s designee. Once a request gets all the required approvals, a PO will be issued with a corresponding PO number.

Q: I uploaded all the required documents to SAFE, but my PO hasn't been updated, what should I do?

A: SAFE only sends an automatic message when updating the information, or sending a message, not when you upload new documents. If you upload new documents after your initial submission, send a message in SAFE so we are notified. If it's been a few days and your PO hasn't been updated, please put a message into SAFE. SAFE allows all finance staff to see and answer your message, emailing finance staff members about your PO will always be slower than using SAFE.

Q; What is a preferred vendor?

A: A vendor that has an established relationship with SA and its clubs. They are familiar with the PO process, and we know that they accept PO’s. Payment requests for these vendors are processed more quickly. A drop-down list of preferred vendors can be found on SAFE.

Q: Why should I use a vendor that is already approved in SAFE?

A: New vendor accounts are set up by our fiscal agent, not by SA finance staff. Additionally, new vendor accounts have to be set up before SA can process any requests for that vendor. That additional step takes a few business days and will significantly slow down the turnaround time on your request. Vendors already set up can be processed as soon as SA has all required supporting documents so they will be processed significantly faster. It is extremely recommended to use a vendor we already have.

Q: What do I do once I have a PO?

A: You will provide the PO number (visible via SAFE) to the vendor. Alternatively, the vendor may request a printed copy of the PO, which you can request from the SA office (350 SU).

Q: What do I do after I give my vendor the PO?

A: After the vendor provides the service, you MUST acquire an itemized receipt /invoice from them. These must then be submitted to the SA office no less than 30 days after the service is provided, the sooner the better. SA needs to receive and upload the original receipt/invoice before we can print the check to pay your vendor. Any documentation uploaded to SAFE is done prior to the purchase and is only considered as a quote, a final original receipt or invoice is required to be submitted for every transaction.

Q: What is an advance check?

A; Advance checks are an alternate form of purchase order. With standard POs, payment is provided to the vendor after the service is provided, advance checks are printed prior to the service and provided to the vendor at the time of service. Only certain types of purchase are eligible for advanced checks. Similar to a PO, you must acquire a “paid in full” invoice from the vendor and submit it to SA. For more information, see page 10 of the Finance Handbook.

Q: What is a reimbursement?

A: Reimbursements are only processed in cases where a PO is not practical. For example, if a vendor will not accept POs, or your club goes on a trip and your member pays for gas, a reimbursement will need to be processed. Note that the reimbursement request must be processed and approved PRIOR to the purchase, following the same timeline as a PO. Reimbursements are not a way to avoid going through SAFE to get paid after your event. Reimbursements must use a check or card payment; we will not reimburse any payments made in cash or any other form of payment.

Q: Can I get reimbursed for my cash payments?

A: No, under no circumstances can cash payments be reimbursed.

Q: What do I need to process my reimbursement?

A: You need an approved PO request in SAFE prior to the date of your purchase. If the reimbursement is for a club member paying for goods/services, the student must provide a receipt, as well as a bank statement. The bank statement must include the last 4 digits of the card used to make the purchase, and must match the card number on the receipt, and the charge must match the amount on the receipt. If you incur charges over the amount approved in SAFE, you will not be reimbursed for the difference.

Q: When do I need to put in a SAFE request?

A: Any time you want to spend money.


Q: When do I need a food permit for my events?

A: You need a food permit from EH&S any time your club is providing food that is not commercially packaged.

Q: When do I not need a food permit for my events?

A: If the food is commercially packaged or served by at certified establishment such as a restaurant or catering venue. More details can be found on the Environment Health & Safety website.

Q: Can I give out prizes at my event?

A: Yes, but the winners must come pick up their prize and fill out two forms in the SA office after the event. The club officers must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the winners name and prizes prior to the winners being able to collect the prize. While you are more than welcome to give out award certificates, SA finance staff will only hand out prizes to the person indicated on the list emailed.

Q: Can I give out gift cards as prizes?

A: Yes, clubs may award gift cards of up to $75 dollars for non-ticketed events and $150 for ticketed events.


Q: What if my club needs to travel? (car, plane, bus, hotel, etc.)

A: SA processes club requests for transportation and lodging.  There are request forms on the SA website for flights, car rentals, bus rentals, and hotels. The relevant form must be completed in addition to a funds request on SAFE. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before requesting flights or out-of-area vehicles.

Q: How much do car rentals cost?

A: SA has multiple vehicles owned by SA available to clubs. SA also rents an Enterprise fleet with a local location that is also available for clubs to use at no cost. While SA will book vehicles at other Enterprise locations, they are not included in our fleet agreement and will be billed to the club.

Q: If a club member drives to a club event, can they get reimbursed for gas & tolls?

A: Yes, your club can request a reimbursement through SAFE prior to the trip. The request must be approved prior to the trip.

Q: Why should I use Red Roof Inn?

A: SA has an account with Red Roof Inn. They accept POs, making the request process quicker, and preventing your club from losing money if a cancellation happens.  Many other hotels won’t take POs; we cannot approve requests for such a request. When submitting a SAFE request for Red Roof Inn, you must also submit a Red Roof Inn request form via the SA website.


Q: How do I pay for my club’s league fees?

A: In addition to a SAFE request, you must submit a contract review form via the SA website.

Q: What if my league/organization requires an advance check for dues or competition fees?

A: If the organization is unwilling to accept a PO, SA will provide an advance check, although there are extra steps associated with this. SA will need to see a request for an advance from the organization. Once this is received and a SAFE request is approved and PO Ready, a check will be mailed directly to the organization. After this, the club will need to provide SA a paid-in-full invoice from the organization. If this invoice is not received, your club’s budget may be frozen.

Q: Can I pay my referees/trainers/coaches with an advance check?

A: No, they must be paid with a PO. They will get a check in the mail after the service is provided.


Q: How do I set up a fundraiser?

A: Submit a club fundraising request form (under contract review form on the SA forms site); SA will fill out the online form for the club and send all communications to the requester.

Q: What kinds of fundraisers can my club do?

A: We can do several different fundraisers. For example: Chipotle/Blaze fundraisers, merchandise sales, bake sales, volunteering at SA events, and more. If your club has an idea for a new fundraiser, reach out to the SA Treasurer via email.


Q: Can I buy alcohol for events?

A: No, under no circumstances can your club budget be used to pay for alcohol. See page 16 of the Finance Handbook for any other unacceptable expenditures.

Q: How do I get merchandise for my club? (e.g. shirts, sweaters, etc.)

A: Custom Ink and Al Ross  are preferred vendors, but your club may use other reasonably priced vendors. All merchandise purchased through SA must have the SA logo visible. If you use any university marks or logos, the design must be approved by the UB Trademarks and Licensing office. They can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If the merchandise is intended for personal use, e.g. sweaters that club members will keep, a merchandise sale must be set up through the Ticket Office, and students can purchase the merchandise through the Ticket Office.

Q: How do I order from Amazon using my club budget?

A: Submit a SAFE request as you normally would. Be sure to include a screenshot of your Amazon cart with accurate item quantities. Once the request is approved, the Finance department will order the items and contact your club once all items are arrived and ready to be picked up. Please allow at least 5 extra business days when submitting an Amazon request.




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