Cash Collection/Handling Policy


Student Business Services (SBS) and University Accounting are the only offices with blanket authority to collect and receipt cash and cash equivalents for the University. To accommodate university customers, the Director of Student Business Services (Bursar) may delegate cash collection authority to employees in other departments. Without this written approval, which must be renewed annually, other departments are prohibited from accepting or handling cash or cash equivalents belonging to the University and should direct payers to Student Business Services.  Depositing university cash and cash equivalents into unauthorized accounts is strictly prohibited.  The Vice President for Finance & Administration is the only university official who can authorize opening university accounts.


Cash and Cash Equivalents:
Represents paper currency, coin, checks, credit card transactions, and electronic funds transfer.

Cash Handling Areas: Represents departments assigned a change fund as well as those authorized to collect or receive university funds from sales, services, gifts or other sources.

Cash Receipts: Represents all university-owned cash maintained for a specific operational purpose and consists of the value of the cash change fund as well as the value of cash and negotiable items received in the course of business that have not been deposited.  Examples of cash receipts may be items in cash bags, cash drawers, vaults/safes, or other locations.

Change Fund: Represents an established fund for cash transferred from the Director of SBS to assist approved cash receipting/departmental activities with making change while handling cash receipting activities.  Monies in Change Funds are not to be used for university expenses.

PCI (Payment Card Industry) DSS: The PCI Data Security Standard represents a common set of industry tools and measurements to help ensure the safe handling of sensitive information, including preventing, detecting and reacting to security incidents.




The handling of university funds requires certain basic procedures be precisely followed.  Procedures for the handling of university funds are designed to provide accountability for university funds in accordance with acceptable standards of internal control.  Departments wishing to collect money on behalf of the university must submit a Cash Handling Request form, explaining the need to handle cash, listing the names the individuals/positions responsible for the activity and describing the control environment (safes, cash drawers, secure offices, etc.) for holding and protecting the cash.

The Director of SBS will evaluate the requester’s Cash Handling Request Form for proper cash handling controls. After reviewing the controls, should the Director of SBS deny the request, the requester can appeal this decision only to the Vice President for Finance & Administration, whose decision will be final. Cash handling controls are extremely important to protect the university, the cash handling area and the cash handler (employee) as well.

It is the responsibility of supervisory management to develop, practice and monitor efficient and effective internal cash handling controls for their Cash Handling Areas. The basic goal of designing proper controls for any area is to separate authorization, custody and accounting. It is recognized that no one control model fits the needs of all cash handling areas at the university. Also, because the cost of controls may be significant, and the risk of loss varies according to the value of cash handled, all control requirements may not be the same.  With higher levels of cash activities come higher control and oversight requirements.

Specific procedures must be followed for reporting overages and shortages.  Cash handling employees both in the probationary period and afterward, are subject to immediate dismissal in accordance with applicable policies and procedures if certain infractions should occur.  More detailed explanations and guidelines of procedures and controls expected to be established and adhered to at each Cash Handling Area may be found in the Cash Handling Guide available on the Director of SBS’s website.

No cash receipting department should acquire a cash receipting system for their departmental use without prior review and approval of the Director of SBS.  It is expected that the contracted cashiering system used university-wide is to be used for all cashiering transactions.  All exceptions must be approved by the Director of SBS.

Standard Cash and Cash Equivalents Controls:

  1. Individual responsibility and accountability should always exist in handling University cash. Specific person(s) should be delegated the authority to receive cash and manage Change Funds. An accounting record should be established immediately upon receipt of cash. Cash handlers and applicable department management must attend annual training to review and evaluate cash handling operations. 
  2. All cash transactions must be established through proper documentation. All cash should be recorded immediately upon receipt. The recordings must be made using one of the following University approved methods: cash receipting system, cash register, pre-numbered receipts as provided by the Director of SBS, all of which can be “supported” with a hand-written log. Checks should be made payable to Delta State University and should be restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt. All transfers of cash accountability should be documented. Documentation should include amount transferred, date, and signatures of the prior custodian, new custodian and their direct supervisor.
  3. Cash funds must be properly balanced and reconciled. Cash handling units must maintain written cash balancing procedures. Each cashier should balance their business at the end of their shift by comparing cash receipting records to funds on hand, as described in the Cash Handling Guide Procedures. Monthly balancing is accomplished by comparing monthly reports from account records in Banner to deposits.
  4. Cash handlers must operate in a secure environment at all times. Access to cash should be restricted at all times to the person accountable for the funds. The degree of security provided by the storage facility should be commensurate with the amounts being stored.
  5. Cash funds must be deposited in a timely manner. Deposits should be made daily to maximize cash flow and safeguard assets. Weekly deposits are allowed in the case of collections of less than $500.  Collections should be deposited intact (no expenditures should ever be made from a collection).
  6. Management should monitor cash operations. Management should perform monthly unannounced cash counts and do a periodic review of the internal controls in place to determine that these controls are:
    • Sufficient to safeguard cash collected;
    • Understood by staff;
    • Carefully followed by all staff.
  7. Any Cash Handling area requesting to accept payment by credit cards must be certified as a credit card processing site and the method of processing credit transactions must be approved by the Director of SBS. This certification will include, but is not limited to, the site becoming PCI compliant, the secure handling of charge card numbers, data collection, system security, physical security, disaster recovery, reporting, reconciliation, privacy policies and continuing audit results.
  8. Departments requesting wire transfers to a University bank account must notify SBS in advance of each expected transfer and provide the amount and account number to be credited.
  9. All fees to be collected by departments must be preapproved by the Cabinet.

The Director of SBS will conduct required annual cash handling training and Internal Audit should complete periodic reviews.  Departments will lose their ability to collect cash if their employees do not attend the mandatory training and the privilege to handle University funds can be removed from any area that does not adhere to the policies, procedures and guidelines.


Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Student Business Services




Change/Review/Approval Date:
February 15, 2016

Policy Effective Date: July 1, 2016