Cash Management Guidelines for State Related Activities

Cash Management assures the use of proper procedures and internal controls when processing cash collections and deposits.

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Procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance that errors will be detected and corrected in the normal course of activities, and to prevent mishandling of funds, safeguard against loss, and protect employees from inappropriate charges by defining responsibilities in the cash handling process. For the purposes of SUNY Brockport cash management procedures, “cash” can include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Currency and coins
  • Personal checks
  • Business checks
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Cashier’s checks
  • Money orders
  • Credit/debit card transactions
  • Electronic payments including Automated Clearing House (ACH)
  • Wire transfers

Cash may be received by departments as the result of various sales and events, and can be received in a variety of ways, including: at the point of service, mail, wire transfer, electronically, Internet, or payment drop box. Cash may also be received as a result of a rebate or refund from a vendor due to unsatisfactory or returned goods or services. Campus departments which have been authorized to accept cash must have an awareness of strong cash management (internal) controls. Departments are responsible for ensuring that internal controls are established, properly documented, and maintained. By implementing and following effective systems of cash management controls, campus departments can assist the University in meeting its objectives and reducing potential liability from fines and/or other penalties that could be imposed for violations.

Cash collections for state related activities are permitted only through IFR accounts, which must have prior authorization from the SUNY Brockport Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the SUNY System Administration Office. Under no circumstances may faculty or staff use any other approach in handling cash collections. The account administrator of each approved IFR account is expected to exercise appropriate controls over all receipts collected by and for their area of responsibility. This includes controls over the receipt of funds, storage (safekeeping) of funds prior to depositing them into their respective accounts, and the prompt deposit of funds to the Office of Student Accounts and/or the Banner finance system. As a minimum, the following internal control features should be present at every location where IFR funds are received.

  1. Fees are charged to ensure that the IFR account is self-supporting; however, changes in fee amounts follow different procedures, depending on the type of fee involved.

    1. Course fees must initially be justified and approved by the appropriate academic department, dean and the Provost’s Office. They are then submitted by the Vice President for Administration and Finance to SUNY System Administration for final approval. These fees cannot be charged until final approval is granted and the updates take place on the Banner system.

    2. Required fees (broad-based fees) are submitted to the Budget and Resource Committee as part of the University budget process. Recommendations are then made to the President’s Cabinet and the Vice President for Administration and Finance submits requests to SUNY System Administration for final approval.

    3. Other fees may have different approval processes. Questions should be referred to the respective Provost or Vice President.

  2. Departments are responsible for complying with cash handling policies and procedures as outlined in this document, and also for developing detailed written departmental operating procedures.

    1. It is the responsibility of the department manager to ensure that those charged with processing cash receipts are trained in the proper procedures for receiving, recording and depositing University funds.

    2. The Office of Student Accounts is available for consultation and review of departmental procedures and proper cash handling practices.

  3. There should be a segregation of duties to ensure that no one person has complete control over the cash collection and deposit process. All funds in academic or administrative offices must be held in a secure area, such as a locked file drawer or safe, until deposited at the Office of Student Accounts. Any theft must be immediately reported to the Cash Custodian’s supervisor and the University Police.

    1. When cash collection and deposit responsibilities cannot be separated due to small department size, a supervisory review of related activities should be in place as a compensating control. The staff person who is authorized to handle cash and/or maintains custody of the cash should not have any of the following responsibilities:

      • Reconciling monthly Banner, banking, or other system/revenue statements
      • Update access to accounts receivable (Banner or other system) records
      • Access to hard-copy accounts receivable records
      • Involvement in the accounts receivable billing process
      • Involvement in the disbursement function (authorizing expenditures)

      In addition:

      • The person who opens the mail and prepares a listing of checks received should not be the person who makes the deposit
      • The person who opens the mail and prepares a listing of checks received should not be the person who maintains the accounts receivable records
  4. The receipt of all cash must be recorded as it is received. Receipts must be issued for all funds collected. The receipt should be provided to the individual making payment. There must be a system to record the receipt of all cash as soon as it is received. There are a variety of methods available for recording cash, including manually prepared (individual) receipts, a daily receipt log, etc.

    1. Mail:

      • Funds received via mail should be opened and date-stamped immediately. Checks should be recorded, stamped (see #5 below), verified (see #6 below) and deposited to the Office of Student Accounts. Payment receipt should include the date, payment amount, form of the payment (cash, check, credit card, etc.), and description of item “sold” (e.g., football camp, concert performance); a copy of the receipt should be mailed to the payer.
    2. In-Person:

      • Funds received via in-person transactions should be immediately verified (double counted) and recorded. Payment receipt should include the date, payment amount, form of the payment (cash, check, credit card, etc.), and description of item “sold” (e.g., football camp, concert performance). Customer should be provided with a copy of the receipt.
  5. All checks received must be immediately endorsed (stamped) with the restrictive endorsement stating “For Deposit Only - Organization” (e.g., SUNY Brockport Department of Athletics). This prevents the check from being cashed should it be lost or stolen, prior to deposit. The Office of Student Accounts can order restrictive endorsement stamps for your area; please let them know how many you need.

  6. Checks should be made payable to “SUNY Brockport”. Checks must be written in U.S. dollars and indicate a U.S. bank. Third party checks (checks made payable to another party and endorsed over to SUNY Brockport) are not acceptable.

    The following information must be on each check:

    • Customer name, address and phone number
    • Customer ID number if appropriate (i.e., Banner ID, SSN)
    • Amount (both written and numerical)
    • Signature (on the signature line)
    • Correct date (no post dated checks, no checks with date older than 30 days)
  7. Occasionally, a check accepted for payment may be returned by the bank due to insufficient funds (NSF), closed account or other miscellaneous reason. Should this event occur the Office of Student Accounts will notify the department representative responsible for the initial deposit. The amount of the returned check will be charged to the departmental revenue account into which the check was originally deposited. The Office of Student Accounts will initiate collection proceedings where appropriate. If (NSF) funds are recovered, they will be credited to the original departmental revenue account.

    1. SUNY Brockport’s banking institution will always present a check for payment twice, e.g., if payment is refused the first time a check is presented our bank will submit it for a payment a second time. Many times, funds may have become available between the first and second check presentment attempts and the check will “clear”. If, however, the check is refused after the second attempt, the check will be returned to SUNY Brockport.
  8. Only the following departments are authorized to accept payment via credit card (Parking Services, Library, Registration & Records, Fine Arts Box Office, Intercollegiate Athletics, Campus Recreational Services). Departments wishing to receive approval to accept credit card payments should contact the Office of Student Accounts.

    Departments accepting credit card payments must:

    1. Process all credit card transactions on the day they are received
    2. Provide each customer with a receipt
    3. Close each (daily) credit card batch and transmit to the bank
    4. Verify that the total on the (closed) batch deposit report is equal to
      • the transaction total as reflected on the TGACREV (if authorized to enter into Banner) or
      • the total of the individual credit card transaction receipts
    5. Prepare a Departmental Deposit Form representing the credit card transactions
    6. Include one copy of the closed batch report with the Departmental Deposit Form
  9. Departmental cash receipts must be balanced daily to the sales records as appropriate (e.g., event tickets, parking permits), including the daily reconciliation of in-person (cash drawer) and mailed payment receipts. Routine reconciliation is required to ensure that all cash sales recorded for the day were deposited with the Office of Student Accounts in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this document, and to ensure timely and accurate entry into the SUNY Finance system (SMRT).

  10. All funds collected are to be deposited into approved IFR accounts. Under no circumstances are off-campus banks or credit unions accounts to be utilized.

  11. All cash received for an activity must be deposited in total. Collected funds pending deposit may not be used to pay activity-related expenditures, department expenses, and/or to create unauthorized petty cash, or change funds. Do not substitute checks for cash received.

  12. All funds are to be deposited at the Office of Student Accounts (2nd floor, Rakov) within 48 hours of receipt. Departments are encouraged to make deposits daily to ensure that large amounts of cash or checks are not left vulnerable in academic or administrative offices. Never send cash and/or checks through campus or U.S. mail.

  13. Prior to deposit with the Office of Student Accounts, the departmental Cash Custodian and one departmental employee (designated by the unit head) must verify the amount of the deposit.

  14. All deposits in transit to the Office of Student Accounts must be secured using locked cash bags and/or sealed plastic deposit bags provided by the Office of Student Accounts.

    1. If utilizing a sealed plastic deposit bag, the bag must include the funds for deposit (separated according to payment type with adding machine tape attached) and a completed Bank Deposit Ticket/Slip.

    2. If utilizing a locked cash bag, the keys to the deposit bag must be controlled. Two keys are issued with each cash bag; one is secured in the Office of Student Accounts and the other is issued to the departmental Cash Custodian.

      1. Deposits remitted via locked cash bag must include a completed Departmental Deposit Form (Deposit Summary Sheet) indicating the appropriate Banner detail code against which the deposit will be processed. In addition, the form must state total currency and checks.

      2. Checks and cash should be totaled and “batched” separately; an adding machine tape listing each individual payment item in the batch and the total amount of that payment type should be attached to each batch as appropriate.

      3. A description of the cash receipt(s) should be noted so that the Office of Student Accounts can assign appropriate informational entries for identification/auditing purposes.

      4. Deposits relayed to the Office of Student Accounts via locked bag are subject to verification by the Office of Student Accounts, and any discrepancies will be reported to the depositing unit. The cashier should issue a receipt for the total amount (cash and number of checks if appropriate) to the employee who deposited the funds. If any deposit discrepancy is found, two cashiers in the Office of Student Accounts will individually recount the deposit. If each arrives at the same total, the deposit form will be adjusted and signed by both cashiers. The department will be notified of the adjustment.

Please share this information with your staff. Any questions concerning compliance with any aspect of these guidelines should be directed to the Internal Control Coordinator in the Office of Finance and Management.