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Internal Controls for Cash Receipt and Revenue
Jan 27,2012 at 12:44:PM


Basic Principle: No one person should be allowed to collect, handle or transport and deposit checks/currency without some additional control feature to ensure that all funds are accounted for. Examples of such controls are as follows:

  • Maintain a log of all monies received. The log can be in manual or electronic format and should contain the amount received, the name of the payer, purpose of the payment and its form (cash or check).
  • Provide a receipt. Ideally receipts should be pre-numbered and two-part. One copy should be provided to the payer while the other copy is kept on file. Total deposits can be verified independently by another person by accounting for each sequentially numbered receipt.
  • If cash or checks are received regularly in the mail, two persons should be present when the mail is opened. One person should total the remittances and the other, the payments. The totals should then be agreed and the remittances forwarded to the appropriate area for data entry. A deposit slip should be prepared and forwarded with the cash/checks to Cash Operations. The deposit slips should be reconciled by a third person to the general ledger.
  • Keep transfers of cash from person to person to a minimum. Accountability is lost when several people handle cash before it is deposited. If transfers must take place be sure to document it. If you are the transferor you should get a receipt, if you are the transferee you should verify what you are told you are receiving is actually what you are receiving before you provide a receipt. Use of a drop-off/pick-up log can be beneficial when transporting deposits.
  • Restrictively endorse checks immediately upon receipt with a stamp stating “For Deposit Only - Syracuse University”.
  • Keep cash/checks in a locked and secure area until they can be deposited. Access to the area should be restricted to only 2 people, one serving as a backup. If a person with custody responsibilities leaves their position, any keys should be collected or combinations changed. Remember that while cash or checks are in your custody you are responsible for it.
  • Make timely deposits. The sooner you deposit cash/checks the less exposure to theft or loss of funds. Ideally deposits should be made within 24 hours. If amounts are insignificant (less than $100) then deposits can be made weekly.
  • Verify the deposit by agreeing Cash Operations deposit slip to the general ledger on a monthly basis.
  • Duties should be segregated, meaning that the person recording the receipt should not be the same as that making the deposit. Additionally, a person independent of recorder and depositor responsibilities should reconcile the deposit to the general ledger. If there are only 2 people in the department, the reconciliation should be performed by the person collecting the receipts.
  • Cash registers and credit card machines should be balanced daily. Over/short amounts should be monitored.
  • If gifts are received, they should be forwarded to the Development Office immediately for processing.
  • Personal checks should not be cashed.

Related SU policies:
Gift Soliciltation

Fees and other Revenues

Basic Principle: Use an accounts receivable account to process billing and collection efforts. Internal controls surrounding this type of activity include:

  • Maintain a subsidiary ledger of customer accounts, including all invoices and payments.
  • Invoices should be pre-numbered.
  • The total of all payments should be agreed to the associated revenue account monthly.
  • The accounts receivable should be reviewed monthly for past due revenues.
  • The subsidiary ledger should be agreed to the associated accounts receivable account monthly.
  • All credits, adjustments, refunds should be properly documented and authorized by management prior to entry into the receivable records.
  • Accounts to be written off should be properly approved by management.
  • Duties should be segregated, in that the person recording the receivable should not also collect the receipts.

Related SU policies:
Revenue from Transactions with External Parties

Bank Accounts

Basic Principle: The opening of any University bank account requires proper approval.

  • No individual school, college or department bank accounts are permitted. Bank accounts are centrally authorized and monitored. They require approval by the Board of Trustees.
  • Bank accounts for outside clubs or organizations cannot use the University’s tax ID number.  
Related SU policies:
Bank Accounts and Bank Deposits 

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