Accepting Cash and Checks Procedures
I. Procedure Statement
To minimize institutional risk, Ithaca College discourages individual departments from accepting cash and checks on its behalf. However, where this practice is unavoidable, Ithaca College expects those who accept cash and checks to safeguard these assets by applying appropriate internal controls, namely segregation of duties and securing and transporting these items appropriately.
The intent of these procedures is to provide guidance to departments that are responsible for collecting, depositing, recording, reconciling and safeguarding cash and/or checks received from customers for goods or services provided.
III. To Whom this Policy Applies
All individuals with responsibility, authority, and stewardship over payments to the College, and who receive, deposit, and reconcile cash or check transactions on behalf of the College.
The supervisor of a department that accepts cash or checks for any purpose is responsible for assuring that proper procedures for handling, accounting, and reconciling cash and/or checks are followed. Cash handling requires special control measures that must be monitored continually by supervisory personnel in an effort to detect possible weaknesses.
All persons who accept cash or checks assume the responsibility for following the cash and check handling procedures outlined below.
The Cashiering Services Office will review the cash and check handling procedures periodically for possible revisions. All changes and/or revisions will be published on the Financial Services web page and will be effective when issued. The Cashiering Services Office staff will provide training on cash and check handling procedures. For further information on the Cashiering Services Office procedures please visit the Cashiering Services website.
These procedures are divided into the following major sections:
- Cash Receipts Control
- Cash Deposits Control
- Cash Reconciliation Control
- Securing Cash and/or Checks
- Petty Cash Control
Cash Receipts Control
- All persons accepting cash (ie. currency, checks, money orders) must be authorized to do so by the Cashiering Services Office.
- All employees authorized to handle cash, including currency, money orders, and checks shall complete required training annually.
- Whenever cash/check is received in person, an acceptable form of receipt must be used:
- Uniquely and consecutively pre‐numbered receipts, with a duplicate copy maintained as a cash receipts log.
- Dated cash log
- Pre‐numbered tickets
- Cash register tapes
- Other documentation
- Acceptable Forms of Payment:
- Checks and/or Money Orders
- Credit Cards (must be authorized by Financial Services Department)
- Currency in U.S. funds only
- Guidelines for handling cash:
- Verify the total by counting the currency in the presence of the depositor.
- Inspect large bills ($20, $50, $100) closely for counterfeit traits.
- Keep the money received out of the cash register, cash box, or deposit bag until the transaction is complete.
- Secure cash and deposits immediately upon receipt in a locked cash register, point of sale terminal, safe, cash box, or deposit bag.
- Give sequentially numbered receipts for all deposits and forms of payment.
- Indicate on a payment stub, register tape, or computerized transaction record, if any, that the payment was made in cash
- Guidelines for receiving checks:
- Examine check(s) to determine the following:
- Has it been altered?
- Has it been signed?
- Do the numeric and written dollar amounts match? The legal amount is the written amount.
- Does the preprinted name agree with the signature?
- Is a payable bank and address printed on the check?
- Is the check post dated? Do not accept a post dated check!!
- Is the check dated more than 30 days old? If so a new check should be issued.
- Check must be made payable to “Ithaca College”.
- Is the check a third‐party check? Third‐party checks should not be accepted!!
- Examine check(s) to determine the following:
- Departmental receipt logs must be maintained for the purpose of documenting a permanent record of incoming cash, checks or money orders. The departmental supervisor is responsible for reviewing the cash log on a regular basis and ensuring all cash receipts have been deposited to the proper account.
- At the end of each business day, a physical count of all cash and checks received must be completed and those amounts must be reconciled to the receipt log.
- The receipt log must be signed and dated by a departmental designee, other than the individual who performed the physical count and reconciliation to the receipt log.
- Any discrepancies must be reviewed and approved by the departmental supervisor.
- All receipts must be stored in a locked safe, lockbox, or locked filing cabinet at the end of each day.
- All receipts must be deposited with the Cashiering Services Office within one business day of receipt.
**It is important to make sure that the cash‐handling and record‐keeping functions be kept separate. In the case of smaller departments where separation of duties is impractical, the supervisory personnel who do not handle cash should perform specific verification for reasonable and sound internal controls.
Cash Deposits Control
- All deposits should be accompanied by a deposit slip. These forms can be found on the Cashiering Services website and are also available at the Cashiering Services Office.
- Deposits are to be made at the Cashiering Services Office window.
- All deposits should be personally handed to the cashier.
- Do not leave a deposit at an un‐attended window or on the counter if the cashier is busy with another customer.
- All cash deposits must be processed and a receipt generated while the depositor is present.
- Deposits should always be in a sealed envelope or locked bag.
- A calculator tape listing the cash total for each denomination and each check along with a grand total for each must accompany deposits.
- Each check must include the Parnassus account number to be deposited into.
- Do not group more than 100 checks together in a single deposit.
Cash Reconciliation Control
- Upon completion of a deposit made at the Cashiering Services Office a receipt would have been given to the depositor.
- It is the responsibility of each department to reconcile all deposit receipts against their own departmental receipt log and Parnassus account(s).
- This reconciliation process should be done no less than once a month and approved by the departmental supervisor.
Securing Cash and/or Checks
- All departmental receipts in the form of cash or checks should be safely secured using the following guidelines:
- All cash and checks should be secured in a safe or lock box that has limited access.
- If receipts are secured in a lock box, the lock box should be kept in a locked office or other secure area.
- Access to safe combinations or lock box key should be limited to appropriate personnel.
- Safe combinations should be changed on a regular basis.
Petty Cash Control
The Cashiering Services Office disburses petty cash funds to departments with frequent reimbursement needs. Following are guidelines that departments must follow when using petty cash funds:
- Petty cash funds must be reimbursed monthly.
- Petty cash vouchers must be completed in ink and signed by the department head or the administrator for that department.
- Individuals receiving petty cash must have original receipts or authorized documents accompanying the petty cash voucher to obtain funds.
- Petty cash vouchers may be reimbursed at the Departmental Transaction window located at the Cashiering Services Office.
- The staff member picking up the reimbursement should not be the same person that is the authorized signer of the petty cash voucher, and must have an Ithaca College ID.
- Petty cash funds must be reconciled at all times.
- Departmental supervisors are required to verify petty cash fund balances and their reconciliations periodically throughout the year.
- Personal checks should not be cashed for any reason using a petty cash fund.
- Petty cash funds are not to be used for personal IOU’s, loans, or accounts receivable.
- Private funds should not be commingled with the petty cash fund.
- Ithaca College is a not‐for‐profit institution and is exempt from New York State sales tax on all goods and services purchased by employees for business use.
**No reimbursement shall be made for sales tax paid.