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Source: Jed W. Wartman
Reimbursement and direct-to-vendor checks processed by SAFO from July to December 2009. Volume spikes at the end of term.
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The Student Activities Finance Office, which is responsible for processing reimbursements and checks for student groups, is running several weeks behind schedule.

SAFO normally commits to processing reimbursement and check requests within a few days, but it has difficulty meeting these goals.

Jed W. Wartman, associate dean for student activities, said that normally, students should receive checks four to five days after submission: one day for auditing; about one day to input the information into SAFO computers; one or two days to receive the check; and then up to a day to file the check and notify the student.

Wartman acknowledged that the processing delay is a problem that recurs at the end of every term and “is directly linked to the volume of requests.”

He could not provide specific information on delays but was able to provide statistics on the volume of requests by month.

“On our busiest end of semester days we see nearly 400 vouchers in one day,” he said, roughly eight times the average for November.

With the additional load, Wartman said, the time to audit and input vouchers has risen from one or two days to as long as seven.

Anecdotally, students have reported much longer delays, extending to several weeks. Wartman said he could not confirm these delays.

Wartman said that additional staff are allocated to processing this paperwork at this time of year and that SAFO is “constantly exploring new and more efficient methods for processing checks.”