Cash Handling (archived February 2012)
Strong internal controls for cash collection are necessary to prevent mishandling of state funds and are designed to safeguard and protect employees from inappropriate charges of mishandling funds by defining their responsibilities in the cash handling process. The College cash handling policy requires that areas receiving cash be approved by the Controller’s Office and be designated as cash collection points. A cash collection point is defined as a department or other entity that handles cash on a regular basis. Although departments and other entities with casual cash collections are not recognized as cash collection points, they must follow the same cash handling policies and procedures that apply to the cash collection points.
"Cash" is defined as coin, currency, checks, and credit card transactions.
Required procedures for cash collection points include the following:
- Accounting for cash as is it received.
- Adequate separation of duties which includes cash collecting, depositing and reconciling.
- Proper pre-numbered receipts given for any cash received.
- Approval of any voided cash receipts by area supervisor.
- Deposit of cash promptly at the College Cashier’s Office into an authorized College account.
- Reconciliation of validated deposit forms to supporting documentation and to the account statement.
- Approval by the Controller’s Office of any changes in cash handling procedures.
- Proper safeguarding of cash.
The use of checking or other bank accounts by College personnel for depositing College cash is prohibited unless approved by the Controller’s Office. The Controller’s Office will conduct periodic reviews of cash handling procedures. Departments not complying with approved procedures may lose the privilege to serve as a cash collection point.
Who Should Know About This Policy
Any official or administrator with responsibilities for managing College cash receipts and those employees who are entrusted with the receipt, deposit and reconciliation of cash for College related activities.
Establishing Cash Collection Points
The Controller’s Office must authorize all cash collection points. Before collection begins, departments requesting status as a cash collection point must submit a request to the Controller’s Office that includes:
- Reason(s) why cash collection point is needed.
- A list of those positions involved with the cash collection point, a description of their duties and how segregation of duties will be maintained.
- Whether there is a need for a change advance.
- A description of the reconciliation process, including frequency of reconciliation.
- A description of the process for safeguarding cash until it is deposited.
- A schedule of how often cash deposits will be made.
The request will be reviewed, and if appropriate, approved by the Controller’s Office.
Procedures for Cash Collection Points
The following list of procedures is required for the operation of cash collection points:
- All cash received must be recorded through a cash register when one is available, or the customer must be presented a pre-numbered receipt form with a duplicate record being retained by the receiving department. All numbered receipts must be accounted for, including voided receipts. Approved pre-numbered receipts are available at the Cashier’s Office. Redi-form receipts are not acceptable.
- The cash collection point must maintain a clear separation of duties. An individual should not have responsibility for more that one of the cash handling components: collecting, depositing and reconciling.
- The funds received must be reconciled to the cash register ("Z" tapes) or to the pre-numbered receipts at the end of the day or at the end of each shift. Cash must be reconciled separately from checks/credit cards by comparing actual cash received to the cash total from the cash register tape or to the sum of the cash sales from the manual receipts.
- All checks, cash and credit card receipts must be protected by using a cash register, safe or other secure place until they are deposited. A secure area for processing and safeguarding funds received is to be provided and restricted to authorized personnel.
- Checks must be made payable to The Evergreen State College (TESC) and must be endorsed promptly with a restrictive endorsement stamp payable to The Evergreen State College. The endorsement stamps should be ordered through the Cashier’s Office.
- Checks or credit card transactions will not be cashed or written for more than the amount of purchase unless approved by the Board of Trustees in accordance with RCW 28B.10.031.
- Collections of more than $500.00 must be deposited to the Cashier’s Office within 24 hours, and amounts less than $500.00 must be deposited no less than weekly. Deposits made after the Cashier’s office hours can be dropped in the Night Drop box located in the lobby on the first floor of the Library building. Those deposits will be receipted in the Cashier’s office the following business day.
- All funds must be deposited intact, and not intermingled or substituted with other funds.
- Refunds or expenditures must be paid through the appropriate budget with a College generated check.
- The Cashier’s office will issue a receipt of deposit to be used for reconciliation of the supporting documentation to the deposit and to the monthly statements of account.
Cash received in person
- A receipt must be issued for each payment received. At a minimum, manual pre-numbered receipts must include the date, mode of payment (cash, check or credit card), and the identification of the department and the person issuing the receipt. Machine generated receipts must contain similar information.
- All checks must be endorsed immediately with a restrictive endorsement stamp payable to The Evergreen State College.
- All voided transactions are to be approved and initialed by the area supervisor.
- Only one cashier is allowed access to a cash register or cash drawer during a single shift.
- Cash must be kept in a safe or a secure place until it is deposited.
Cash received Through the Mail
- The mail must be opened with two people present and all checks must be endorsed with a restrictive endorsement stamp. All receipts of coin or currency must be listed in a log.
- If the cash is not credited directly into the appropriate college account or receipted through a cash register, a list of the checks, credit card transactions and or cash should be prepared in duplicate. The list should include the customer’s name, amount received, and check number. One copy should be kept in the area and the other should accompany the deposit to the Cashier’s Office.
- Cash must be stored in a safe or other secure place until they are deposited. This includes a locked room with restricted access.
- Unidentified receipts must be deposited to account #082000-1619. All reasonable attempts should be made to identify the correct account and transfer the funds.
Balancing of Cash Receipts
- All funds collected must be balanced daily, by mode of payment, by comparing the total of the cash, checks and credit cards to the cash register totals, to the pre-numbered receipts totals and to the totals of the money received by mail.
- Over/short amounts must be separately recorded, and investigated and resolved to the extent possible.
Preparation of Deposits
- Checks must be made payable to The Evergreen State College. A calculator tape of the checks should be included with the checks bundled together.
- Cash must be recorded on the deposit slip in the appropriate space.
- Attach a copy of the Transmittal Batch showing transaction totals for credit card receipts and record the total on the deposit slip.
- The appropriate account number(s) and sub-code(s) must be included on the deposit slip. (See "Deposit Instructions" available at the Cashier’s Office)
- Someone not involved with collecting the cash, opening the mail or reconciling the deposit must prepare the deposit.
- The deposit must be delivered to the Cashier’s office or dropped in the Night Drop Box located in the lobby on the first floor of the Library building.
- Locking deposit bags are available at the Cashier’s Office for use when depositing in the Night Drop Box.
Reconciliation of Cash Collected
- Compare the receipt issued by the Cashier’s Office to the supporting documentation (copy of deposit slip, cash register "Z" tapes) and resolve any discrepancies.
- Compare the receipts to the monthly account statements.
Pre-numbered receipts will be issued by the Cashier’s Office and a log will be maintained that will include the number(s) of the receipts, and the date and name of the person receiving the receipts. The issuing unit should retain one copy of all voided receipts and send one copy to the Cashier’s Office.
The Controller’s Office must approve exceptions to these procedures. For example, in cases where there is not enough staff available to maintain complete separation of duties, an alternate process to safeguard College funds must be established and approved by the Controller’s Office. Requests for exceptions to these procedures must be submitted to the Controller’s Office in writing.
All cash receipts and related documents must be maintained in accordance with Record Retention schedules. Cash register tapes, deposit slips, credit card receipts, copies of manual cash receipts, etc. should be kept for six years.