Office of the Controller

General Cash Handling Terminology and Principles

General Cash Handling Principles

  • Stewardship
    • The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.  As University employees, we are responsible to our stakeholders, to be good "stewards" of the public trust.
  • Accountability
    • One person has sole responsibility for a fund.  This helps to protect the University and the Employee.
    • Access to cash should be restricted at all times to only the person (custodian) accountable for the fund.
    • All transfers of cash and responsibility should be documented.
    • A supervisor should sign and verify overages/shortages and all voids/refunds.
    • Key Components:  Funds are secured, passwords are not shared, receipts to each customer
  • Separation of Duties
    • More than one qualified person is involved in the key activities related to the collection, handling, depositing and accounting processes for cash received.  Example:  The person collecting cash, issuing cash receipts, and preparing the deposit, should be someone other than the person reconciling the general ledger.
  • Physical Security
    • Counting of cash must not be visible from outside the office.
    • Deposits must be adequately protected from loss while in transit.
    • Only authorized individuals are allowed in the work area.
    • The level of security required, depends on the amount of cash/cash equivalents being stored.  Example:  Larger amounts may require a safe with certain rating requirements and an alarm system, versus small amounts could be stored in a cash box.
    • Safe combination should be given ONLY to supervisory/authorized personnel and should be committed to memory.
    • Safe combinations should be changed whenever an employee leaves the unit/position, and at a minimum of once per year.
    • A log must be maintained showing the date of combination change and the reason for the change.
    • Key Components: Assets are properly stored, overages/shortages are reported, keys are secured, deposits are timely
  • Reconciliation
    • Cash and cash equivalents collected and reported as deposited, are reconciled with the General Ledger, and are verified as accurate.
    • A supervisor, or someone other than the custodian, should perform surprise counts of the petty cash or change fund.

What are Cash and Cash Equivalents?

  • Currency and Coin
  • Cash Equivalents
    • Money Orders
    • Travelers Checks
    • Cashiers and Certified Checks
    • ACH Payments and Wire Transfers
    • Debit and Credit Cards
  • Securities (Items than can be easily transferable to cash), such as Parking Permits, Stamps, Tokens, and Meal Tickets

Who are Campus Cash Handlers?

  • Main Cashier
    A Main Cashier is a campus operating unit from which collections are deposited directly to a University bank account. 
    Example:  Campus Cashiers Office
  • Sub-Cashier
    A sub-cashiering station is a campus operating unit from which collections are deposited to a Main Cashiering station.    These units typically perform cashier activities as a primary function and operate cash handling equipment.
    Example:  Transportation and Parking Services, Arts & Lectures, Athletics
  • Department Cashier
    A cash handling department is a campus operating unit that typically collects cash or cash equivalents and deposits to either a Main Cashiering Station or a Sub-cashiering Station.
    Example: Campus departments that collect phone reimbursements, gifts
  • Custodian
    • The employee to whom the cash or cash equivalents is entrusted.
    • The custodian is solely responsible and personally accountable for the fund.
    • Must be a University employee (career or limited appointment) or a registered UCSB student, employed by the University. 

Cash Handling Training

This training is required for Campus Cash Handlers when a new employee commences work in a cash handling job; and, at least once per year for all cash handling employees to refresh knowledge concerning policies, procedures and techniques and to provide updated information on internal and external policies.

Download the training presentation

Key topics include:

  • The various forms of cash payments
  • A review of the three types of Cash Handlers as defined by BUS-49: Policy for Cash and Cash Equivalents Received ("BUS-49")
  • A review of BUS-49 policy areas, and cash handling activities
  • General guidelines for Petty Cash and Change Fund custodians
  • Principles of good cash handling and their application in daily cashiering activities