University Receipts and Deposits

University Policy: 
602
.4
Executive Summary: 

This Policy and related procedures define the responsibilities of University employees who routinely handle Cash receipts as a part of their normal business operations. Infrequent or one-time Cash receipts are also subject to this Policy and must be deposited with the University Cashier’s Office in accordance with State statutes and procedures herein.

I.    Policy Statement and Purpose

All payments received by the University must be receipted and deposited in accordance with applicable State statutes and the University’s Cash Management Plan.  All payments received must be substantiated by the use of an electronic system, Cash register, mail log, admission ticket(s), or the issuance of pre-numbered receipts.

Safeguarding assets is vital to University operations, and it is important that employees who have access to Cash be aware of their responsibilities. Adequate internal controls are maintained at both the institutional and departmental levels to ensure the security of University assets.

II.   Definitions

A. Cash:  Currency, coins, checks, money orders, credit/debit card payments, and electronic funds transfers (ACH/Wire transfers).

B. Receipt: A document serving as proof of payment and provided to the payer for payments made to University Collection Points, including all payments and deposits submitted to the University Cashier’s Office.

C. University Collection Point: A department or other entity that has been authorized by the University Controller, or authorized designee, to collect funds on behalf of the University.

III.  Applicability/Scope

This Policy and related procedures apply to all academic and administrative units, organizations, and employees of UNC Charlotte.

No department may collect Cash on behalf of the University without authorization from the University Controller, or authorized designee, and without complying with the procedures in Section IV below. Receipted funds may never be used for personal loans, making change, or petty Cash.

All Cash received on behalf of the University must be receipted and deposited in the University Cashier’s Office in accordance with procedures in Section IV below.  Cash received includes, but is not limited to, proceeds received from sales, services, gifts, grants, contracts, fines, rebates, tuition and fees, collections on student accounts receivable, scholarships, special fees, fines and penalties, special billings, and departmental receipts.

IV.  Procedures

Departments receiving Cash as a part of their normal operations are responsible for developing and maintaining a detailed, written receipting process consistent with University Policy and established procedures, as enumerated below.  Processes may include additional internal controls tailored to the specific department, depending on the size, amount, and complexity of the activity. Procedures must be updated whenever there is a significant change in the process, and at a minimum, must be reviewed by the department head on an annual basis.  All funds and receipting procedures are subject to audit by the University Internal Auditor and the Office of the State Auditor.

A. Approval to Receipt Funds

Only those departments or units that have requested and received approval through the University Controller’s Office will be authorized to function as a University Collection Point. Procedures for requesting this authorization will depend on the payment method to be accepted, as follows:

  1. Currency, coin, and checks: Contact the University Cashier’s Office
  2. Payment (Credit/Debit) Cards: Contact the University PCI/eCommerce Office
  3. Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH/Wire Transfer): Contact General Accounting

Collection approval and the identification or establishment of a new fund through Treasury Services or the University Budget Office must occur prior to any Cash being collected. Before making deposits, depositors must contact the University’s Financial Reporting Accountant to confirm the proper revenue account code to use.

B. Separation of Duties

Departments must carefully consider internal controls when developing Cash receipting processes and procedures to ensure that:

  1. All Cash is receipted and recorded accurately;
  2. All Cash is properly safeguarded during the time between collection and deposit;
  3. All Cash is deposited on a timely basis in accordance with the University’s Cash Management Plan;
  4. Checks are endorsed immediately upon receipt;
  5. Credit/debit card transactions are balanced and recorded daily;
  6. All receipts are reconciled to accounts daily; and
  7. Supporting documentation is kept in accordance with the University’s records retention schedule. Refer to University Policy 605.3, Retention, Disposition, and Security of University Records

Each of the duties of receipting, recording, and reconciling should be performed by different individuals. Depending on the type of department, number of personnel involved, level of activity, and the total amount being collected, compensating controls may need to be established where staff limitations exist.  At a minimum, an employee with no Cash handling duties must verify that the amount of Cash matches the amount on the receipts and mail log, if used, or Cash register, and prepare the deposit.

C. Receipting

Departments must provide a Receipt for all payments collected in person at the time they are received. All checks received on behalf of the University must be made payable to the “University of North Carolina at Charlotte” or “UNC Charlotte” in U.S. dollars, restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt, and deposited with the University Cashier’s Office, according to State statutes.  All funds received by the University Cashier’s Office will be summarized and deposited to the bank within one business day and reported directly to General Accounting for entry into the State’s Cash Management System.

1. Receipt Books

UNC Charlotte-issued Receipt books will be used to substantiate Cash payments collected in person when a Cash register or ticketing system is not used. The University Cashier’s Office will issue pre-numbered Receipt books to permanent, full-time University employees upon receiving a Receipt Book Request Form. Refer to Obtaining and Using a UNC Charlotte Receipt Book for additional procedures. Once issued, the Receipt books become the responsibility of the person signing for the book until they are returned to the University Cashier’s Office. Issued and outstanding Receipt books will be periodically examined and reconciled by the Internal Audit Department.

Completed or unused Receipt books must be returned to the University Cashier’s Office. The Cashier will check in the returned Receipt book and issue a new Receipt book upon request. Handwritten corrections are not permitted on any receipt. If a correction or refund must be made, the Receipt must be voided. In order to balance a deposit against the Receipt book, all copies of voided receipts must be included in the Receipt book any time a Receipt is voided or a refund is made.

2.   Receipt Book Exceptions:

a. Mail Log

Currency and coins should never be mailed to the University.  Mail should be opened by two employees when possible. Checks received must be noted on a mail log, and accompanied with remittance information to properly identify and apply the payment. No Receipt is required, since the cleared check drawn on the payer’s bank account serves as their proof of payment.

b. Cash Register

A system-generated, sequentially numbered Receipt must be given to the payer along with any applicable change once the sale is entered in the Cash register.  At the end of each business day, the Cash register must be closed out by removing all Cash from the drawer, separating out the day’s receipts from any change funds assigned to the register, and reconciling the receipts to the register tape. Any Cash shortages or overages must be recorded. Change funds must be kept at the minimum amount required for normal operations, and Cash drawers must not be used by more than one Cashier at a time.

c. Admission Tickets

Receipts are not required for funds received from the sale of admission tickets that are either pre-numbered or show the section, row, and seat for which they were sold.  Ticketing procedures, including discounting/complimentary information, must be developed and maintained by the ticketing office.

d. Incidental Receipts

One-time Cash receipts received by departments that do not routinely accept University payments are not subject to advance approval from the University Controller’s Office. However, departments must follow all other Cash handling procedures related to depositing, safeguarding, and reconciling the funds in Sections IV.D, E, and F below.

Any other exceptions to this Policy must be approved by the University Controller’s Office.

D. Depositing

The University Cashier’s Office is responsible for receipting and depositing all University funds to authorized University banks and ensuring that a complete and adequate record exists of each transaction. Departments generally do not deposit directly to University bank accounts. Exception requests must receive written approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance.

1.   Frequency:

a. Currency, coins, and checks

To comply with the Daily Deposit Act, all cumulative currency, coin, and check receipts of $5,000 or more must be deposited and recorded with the State Treasurer, through the University Cashier’s Office, on a daily basis. An exemption may be granted by the State Treasurer for cumulative currency, coin, and check receipts under the $5,000 threshold, so long as the funds are safeguarded and deposited at least once per week.  Cash received from vending machines, parking meters, and other secured Cash collection machines are considered received when the funds are removed from the devices. If a department receives Cash that cannot be readily identified for a purpose, the department must contact the University Cashier’s Office for direction immediately.  Note that these funds are still subject to the Daily Deposit Act.

b. Credit/debit card payments

In accordance with NC G.S. 147-86.22, the University accepts electronic payments to the maximum extent possible and in a manner consistent with sound business practices. The eCommerce Office is responsible for oversight of payment card processing operations.  Since payment card transactions are automatically deposited with the State Treasurer, the settlement of all funds must be reported to the University Cashier’s Office no later than noon of the day that the funds appear in the settlement account, regardless of the dollar amount.

2.   Student Accounts: For acceptable methods of payment on a student’s account, refer to the Niner Central Payment site.

3.   Sponsored Award Accounts: Payments for sponsored awards must be forwarded directly from the department to Grants and Contracts Administration, which is then responsible for depositing funds with the University Cashier’s Office.

4.   Gifts: Only gifts from University foundations may be deposited through the University Cashier’s Office. All other gifts, including funds received for the purpose of establishing scholarships to students where the University determines the recipient, must be deposited with the appropriate foundation in coordination with University Advancement through Treasury Services. Refer to University Policy 602.2, Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts.

5.   Department Accounts: Cash must be deposited using the following methods, and in accordance with the Daily Deposit Act described in Section VI,D.1 above. 

a.     Currency, Coin, and Checks: The Deposit Form for Cash and Checks must be used to present deposits to the University Cashier's Office, along with the Receipt book, mail log, or point of sale/Cashiering system report as supporting documentation. Cash registers must be closed out daily. The reconciliation, including the name of the operator and reconciler of the Cash drawer, will be used to substantiate all deposits. All deposit documentation must include a form indicating any overages or shortages in Cash. Currency, coins, and checks must be hand-delivered; they must not be transported via campus mail.

b.     Payment (Credit/Debit) Cards: All departments accepting credit/debit cards for payment must comply with the Payment (Credit/Debit) Card Processing Standard. The Payment Book Receipt (PBR) Form must be used to report daily sales total (net of refunds) settlements to the University Cashier’s Office, along with a copy of the sales report from the card processor as supporting documentation. Refer to the Payment (Credit/Debit) Card Procedures for additional guidance.

c.     ACH/Direct Deposit: If a third party requests to make multiple payments to the University in a fiscal year through EFT/ACH/Direct Deposit, contact General Accounting, who will determine whether to authorize this payment method. (Authorization will generally not be given to third parties making a single payment.)  ACH deposits must be accompanied with remittance information to properly identify and apply the payment. The department must provide General Accounting with the fund and account information necessary to process the receipts.

d.     Wire Transfer: If a third party requests to pay the University with a wire transfer, contact General Accounting. General Accounting will provide the department with a Wire Transfer Form to be completed by the department and given to the third party with instructions on how to send the payment. The department must send a copy of the completed form to General Accounting so that once the wire is received it is applied to the correct fund and account.

6.   Returned Checks: In accordance with N.C.G.S. 25-3-506, the University will charge a $25 service charge for any check (paper/ACH) denied or returned.

E. Safeguarding Funds

Each department or unit is responsible for the safeguarding of funds it receives on behalf of the University. Currency, coins, and checks must be kept in a secure, locked drawer or box, preferably in a safe or vault, until deposited with the University Cashier’s Office. Refer to University Policy 602.3, Petty Cash & Change Fund Policy.  Access to keys to Cash boxes and restricted files must be limited to a minimum number of essential employees. Safes and vaults must not be left unlocked or in a “set” position when unattended. Money must never be left in a Cash drawer overnight. In the event of a loss or theft of funds, failure to follow this Policy may result in the department covering the loss from departmental trust funds, along with the rescindment of Cash collection abilities.  All losses or thefts must be reported immediately to both Campus Police and the University Controller.

F. Reconciliation

Amounts collected by the University Cashier’s Office will be reconciled by General Accounting to the amounts deposited and posted to the University accounting system on a daily basis. Departments must reconcile their receipts at the time of deposit, and reconcile deposits to the University accounting system at least monthly. These procedures are necessary to ensure that all funds deposited into the University’s bank are properly recorded in the general ledger system and to detect any data entry errors, bank errors, or employee theft.

V.   Roles and Responsibilities

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance will issue standards, guidelines, and supplemental procedures to assist departments in implementing this and other related policies.

The responsible party assigned to each fund must ensure their department’s procedures for handling receipts: 1) adhere to this Policy and accompanying procedures; 2) comply with all applicable State statutes and regulations; and 3) are designed with effective internal controls to help ensure proper stewardship of University assets.

All employees, including those who accept University funds, are subject to a background check completed by the University’s Human Resources department.

All employees have a duty to report fraud per University Policy 804, Standards of Ethical Conduct and to report and investigate suspected improper activities per University Policy 803, Reporting and Investigation of Suspected Improper Activities and Whistleblower Protection.