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.