CASH CONTROL GUIDELINES
The term “cash” includes currency, coin, checks, money order, credit/debit cards, ACH online payments and electronic file transfers.
All departments receiving any form of cash, including cash receipts, change funds and petty cash funds must be authorized by the University Bursar. This authorization is established through a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the responsibilities of the cash site and assigns accountability to an individual – usually the Director or Manager – within the department who must sign the Memorandum.
All cash sites are subject to audit and the authorized individual at those sites must ensure that the department complies with all governmental regulations, university policies/procedures and the recognized standards for internal controls as related to cash. All employees assigned cash handling responsibilities must be instructed regarding the cash regulations and guidelines that the department must followed.
Strong internal controls are necessary to prevent mishandling of funds and safeguard assets. They protect both the university and the employees handling cash.
The standard internal control categories that authorized individuals should be aware of are: Safeguarding Cash, Cash Receipts, Reconciliation, Segregation of Duties, and Other.
Youngstown State University’s cash control guidelines are governed by Ohio Revised Code, Section 9.39, and require that the funds held overnight be minimized. It requires that all public moneys received be deposited “on the business day next following the day of receipt, if the total amount of such moneys received exceeds one thousand dollars. If the total amount of the public moneys so received does not exceed one thousand dollars, the person shall deposit the moneys on the business day next following the day of receipt, unless the public office of which that person is a public official adopts a policy permitting a policy permitting a different time period, not to exceed three business days next following the day of receipt, for making such deposits, and the person is able to safeguard the moneys until such time as the moneys are deposited.”
Access to cash should be restricted at all times. It should be kept in a locked, secure storage facility to which only designated individuals have access. This could be a lockable cash drawer, safe, safe compartment or filing cabinet. The degree of security provided by the storage facility should be commensurate with the amounts being stored.
Combinations or keys to safes and other storage facilities should be restricted to the custodian of the cash and designated back up. Combinations or locks should be changed as necessary, and whenever a person with the combination or key is separated.
Appropriate precautions ‐ commensurate with the amounts being transported ‐ should be taken when transporting cash from the department to the Office of Student Accounts. All large deposits or those deposits made on a regular basis should be arranged by the department for transport by the YSU Police. Under no circumstances should cash be sent through campus mail or carried by an employee in an obvious container or after dark.
All cash should be recorded immediately upon receipt by use of: cash register, data entry to computer system, pre‐numbered receipt or handwritten log. Each individual cash receipt should be identified and controlled by a unique, sequential transaction number, such as a cash register or hand receipt number.
Checks should be made payable to YSU (department name optional) and restrictively endorsed (departmental name required) immediately upon receipt. An endorsement stamp may be obtained from the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables for this purpose.
Cash receipts should be deposited intact. The funds deposited should reflect amounts on hand, less the amount of any assigned change funds. The deposit and supporting records should reflect any cash overages or shortages.
Cash receipts should not be used for petty cash disbursements, check cashing, making change, loaning (IOUs) or for any personal purposes.
The following reconciliation procedures should be performed by an individual not directly involved in receiving and recording cash:
- Cash receipts must be counted and balanced to the cash recordings at the end of business day; similarly, credit cards must be settled and balanced as well.
- A receipt for each cash deposit will be sent by the Office of Student Accounts back to the department and must be compared to the department’s deposit amount.
- A dated and signed record of the reconciliations must be maintained and is subject to review.
Segregation of Duties
Adequate segregation of duties reduces the likelihood that errors (intentional and unintentional) will remain undetected by providing for separate processing by different individuals at various stages of a transaction and for independent reviews of the work performed. The basic premise underlying segregation of duties is that no one employee or group of employees should be in a position both to perpetrate and conceal errors or irregularities in the normal course of their duties.
In general, the principal incompatible duties to be segregated are: authorization, custody of assets, and recording or reporting transactions. In addition, a control over the processing of a transaction generally should not be performed by the same individual responsible for recording or reporting the transaction.
If overlaps in the performance of these duties are identified, management is required to restructure job duties assigned to enhance the protection of assets. In smaller departments, it may not be possible or reasonable to have complete segregation of duties. In these cases, restructuring and additional management review and supervision will be necessary to ensure that proper internal controls are maintained.
Changes at Cash Sites
When there is a change in receipting purposes, the authorized individual assigned, or any other significant factor affecting cash operations the department must notify the Director of Student Accounts to determine if a change in the Internal Controls or the Memorandum of Understanding is required.
Loss or Theft of Funds
Any suspected loss or theft of funds must be immediately reported to the YSU Police Department and the Director of Student Accounts.
Ordinary operating errors should be reported as overages/shortages as long as the amount is deemed reasonable by the authorized individual. Overages/shortages exceeding $50 should always be discussed with the Director of Student Accounts.
Documentation of Procedures
Written procedures for receiving, recording, reconciling, safeguarding and depositing cash should be prepared and provided to employees with cash handling responsibilities. Also, responsibilities for handling cash should be documented in employee job descriptions.
OHIO REVISED CODE REQUIREMENT
- Payment or deposit of public moneys
- $9.38. Payment or deposit of public moneys.
- As used in this section and section 9.39 of the Revised Code:
"If the total amount of the public moneys so received does not exceed one thousand dollars, the person shall deposit the moneys on the business day next following the day of receipt, unless the public office of which that person is a public official adopts a policy permitting a different time period, not to exceed three business days next following the day of receipt, for making such deposits, and the person is able to safeguard the moneys until such time as the moneys are deposited. The policy shall include provisions and procedures to safeguard the public moneys until they are deposited.“