20.01 - Cash Handling Policy and Procedures
Created: March 2020
Preamble: This policy applies to all University of Idaho faculty, staff, students, organizations, and individuals who handle cash receipts or accept payment in any form on behalf of the University. The scope includes activities at all locations at which University business is conducted. This policy does not apply to payment cards such as credit or debit cards which are addressed with APM 20.23 Payment Card Processing. This policy does not apply to student-run organizations (ASO and RSO groups) that manage their own funds. Refer to the Student Organization Handbook for guidance on student-run organizations.
D. Contact Information
A-1. Cash: Includes currency, coin, checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks, bank drafts, and other similar instruments.
A-2. Official Record: The Official Record of the University is Banner.
A-3. Unit: Refers to primary management units within the University of Idaho (University), including recognized colleges and administrative units, as well as recognized University Centers and Extension Offices located remotely from the main Moscow campus.
A-4. Cashier’s Office: Cashier window maintained by the University Controller for supporting cash transactions at the University of Idaho. [See APM 20.02]
A-5. Bank Branch: Physical location of University banking provider that will accept deposits or provide other banking services.
A-6. Remote Deposit: Feature available through University banking provider to allow remote deposit of checks that does not require physical delivery to Bank Branch (or cash vault via armored car service).
B. Policy. All University employees involved in receiving, depositing, recording, reconciling, reviewing or otherwise handling cash transactions for the University are required to follow these procedures. The intent of these procedures is to protect University assets by promoting appropriate security and stewardship of funds and ensuring accurate financial reporting. UI employees in Extension Offices are expected to follow these procedures and any policies related to the county-owned funds they may manage.
B-1. University Controller Responsibilities:
- The Cashier’s Office is responsible for receiving payments from students and ensuring payments and credits are safeguarded and accurately applied to each student account in a timely manner.
- The Cashier’s Office is responsible for receiving and accepting unit funds and recording those deposits in the Official Record accurately and timely.
- The University Controller may rescind a unit’s authority to handle cash for violations of this policy.
B-2. Unit Responsibilities:
- Units handling cash are responsible for implementing the cash handling procedures outlined in this policy and to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to safeguard University cash against loss, theft, or misappropriation.
- Units handling cash are responsible for the proper recording of cash receipts.
- Units handling cash shall have written procedures for such that comply with the University policy and requirements herein. All personnel with cash handling responsibilities shall be trained on the unit procedures.
- Personnel from the University Controller’s Office and Internal Audit may at any time conduct random unannounced cash counts and review of records in units. Units shall cooperate fully when such counts and reviews occur.
C. Procedures/Requirements. The following requirements apply to all individuals handling cash related to University business.
C-1. Cash Handling Requirements
- Bank Accounts. All University bank accounts must be approved by the University Controller. Units may not create or maintain departmental bank accounts. Employees collecting cash on behalf of the University are prohibited from depositing such cash into non-University bank accounts. Only the Cashier’s Office, Auxiliary Services, VandalStore, and recognized units located remotely from the main Moscow campus are authorized to deposit cash directly to the University bank accounts via either armored car or local bank branches. Any other units must receive written approval from the University Controller to deposit directly to bank branches.
- Cash Registers. Units receiving large volumes of cash transactions shall use a cash register or point of sale terminal. If more than one individual is accessing the same register, follow the cash drawer procedure below. Cash registers and cash drawers must be properly secured at all times. See C.2.
- Cash Drawers. Each cashier shall have a separate cash drawer whenever possible. The cash balance shall be confirmed prior to the beginning of a cashier’s session and shall be balanced at the end of the cashier’s shift. Whenever possible, two employees shall be present when cash drawers are counted and balanced. The results of each of these cash counts shall be documented in writing and signed by the responsible employee(s).
- Daily Balancing of Cash Collections. Cash collections shall be balanced on a daily basis.
- Checks Received. Checks received should be made payable to University of Idaho and shall be restrictively endorsed by the receiving unit immediately upon receipt. If an endorsement stamp is not available, an endorsement shall be written on the back of the check that reads, “For deposit to the account of University of Idaho”. Traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks and money orders shall be treated as regular checks. Units may contact the Cashier’s Office for assistance in obtaining endorsement stamps.
- Returned Checks. Checks returned by the University’s depository bank as uncollected will be held by the Controller or designee for collection. The unit that accepted the check may be charged the amount that is uncollected after all reasonable collection proceedings have been exhausted. See APM 20.05.
- Copies of Checks. Checks should not be photocopied unless there is a valid business purpose for doing so. If necessary to do so, check copies shall be kept in a secured location with limited access and destroyed via shredding once the valid business purpose expires (usually after one bank statement cycle).
- Checks Received in the Mail. Whenever possible, two individuals shall be present when mail potentially containing checks is opened. Checks shall be endorsed immediately upon receipt. (See 5. above)
- Checks Received in Error. Units receiving checks in error are requested to contact the check issuer to attempt to determine the proper campus destination. If the check cannot be hand-delivered to that destination, then the unit shall deliver those checks to the Cashier’s Office along with any documentation received with the check, including the envelope.
- Check Cashing. Cashing of checks by units is strictly prohibited.
- Receipt Requirements. All units must use approved receipts for transactions. A receipt must be given for all transactions regardless of payment type. Receipts must be pre-numbered in sequential order with voided receipts maintained and accounted for with sales receipts. Receipts must contain at least two parts: one copy to be given to the customer and one to be retained by the unit. Receipts should not include social security numbers, birth dates or another other protected personal information that may enable identity theft. Types of receipts approved by the University are:
a. Cash register receipts
b. Computer-generated receipts from an approved point-of-sale device or terminal
c. Pre-numbered three-part UI receipt books (available from Cashier’s Office)
- Refunds. If a refund is necessary from cash received, the cash must first be deposited with the Cashier’s Office, and then a refund check requested through Accounts Payable. Both the receipt of cash and the subsequent refund must be recorded in the Official Record to provide an audit trail.
- Segregation of Duties. Units shall segregate duties related to the receipt, storing, depositing, recording and reconciliation of cash to the extent possible with existing resources. At a minimum, these tasks must be allocated across at least two employees at any one time, ensuring that proper checks and balances are in place to validate that all cash received is deposited and recorded accurately. Physical access to cash shall be limited to the fewest employees possible and only those employees with an appropriate business reason for having such access.
C-2. Physical Security Requirements for Cash
- Security of Cash. Reasonable measures shall be taken to ensure that proper security is maintained at all times over any cash held by units. Cash must be secured at all times. Cash must never be left unattended. If a unit cannot attend to cash during business hours, the cash must be stored in a locked drawer or safe or vault. All funds held overnight must be similarly locked up. Controlled access to cash storage areas (cash boxes, drawers, safes, vaults, etc.) must be maintained and the distribution of keys or access codes kept at a minimum.
- Missing funds. Cash found to have been lost or stolen must be reported to the University Controller and Internal Audit promptly.
- Use of a Safe. A safe shall be utilized when cash balances are sufficient to warrant such a security measure. Safe combinations shall be safeguarded and communicated to a limited number of employees. Safe combinations shall be reconfigured every five years or upon turnover of staff, whichever occurs first. The safe should be in a secured location.
C-3. Deposit Requirements
- Timing of Deposits. Units or individuals receiving cash on behalf of the University shall deposit such funds daily with the Cashier’s Office or with armored car service or directly to bank branch for units with approval to deposit funds in such manner. The only exception to this requirement is that funds may be accumulated up to a week when less than $100 is involved. In no instance shall any UI funds be held for more than five working days.
- Cash Transmittal/General Receipt (GRT). Units shall use the Cash Transmittal/General Receipt form for all deposits. Units are responsible for identifying if sales are exempt from sales tax and to record the deposits as such on the GRT. Forms and instructions are available from the Cashier’s Office.
- Preparing the Deposit. Units are required to endorse checks in preparation for deposit (See C-1.5. above) and provide two calculator tapes to confirm the total of checks. Currency should be bundled by denomination, and coins should be rolled if in sufficient quantity.
- Withholding Cash. Withholding cash from deposits in order to create a petty cash or change fund is strictly prohibited. See APM 20.03 and 20.04 for instructions on obtaining petty cash reimbursements and establishing change funds.
- Transportation. Currency and coin must never be sent through the mail, including campus mail. Currency and coin must be hand-carried to the Cashier’s Office for deposit. Units transporting large amounts of currency and coin may request an escort from Campus Security. Endorsed checks must also be hand-delivered to the Cashier’s Office or local bank branch for deposit. Off-campus locations without access to a local bank branch or remote deposit options through the University’s banking services, shall contact the University Controller for proper procedures and shall maintain those procedures in writing.
C-4. Reconciliation and Recordkeeping Requirements
- Reconciliation of Deposits. The Cashier’s Office shall confirm that unit deposits as prepared equal the cash received prior to recording deposits in the Official Record. Units should reconcile deposits posted in the Official Record to their copy of the GRT at least monthly. Discrepancies should be communicated to the General Accounting office for correction.
- Records. Units involved in the collection of cash must maintain proper records that substantiate the origin and purpose of the cash received, including but not limited to, receipt and deposit records, inventories of saleable items, and cash reconciliations. These records must be retained by the Unit for three (3) years beyond the end of the fiscal year in which the transaction occurred, and then destroyed in accordance with University policy.
- Reconciliation of Cash Receipts. Units should perform reconciliations of recorded cash receipts to received cash receipts to ensure accuracy and completeness of the Official Record.
D. Contact Information. The University Controller or designee can assist employees with questions regarding this policy and with establishing proper cash handling procedures within a unit. https://www.uidaho.edu/finance/controller