4-OP-D-2-B Cash Management

Responsible Executive: Finance and Administration

Approving Official: Vice President for Finance and Administration

Effective Date: September 14, 2023

Last Revision Date: New January 1, 2014, May 15, 2018 (formatting only), September 14, 2023

      1. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to help ensure the accountability and safeguarding of university cash. Department heads and unit managers that collect university funds remain primarily responsible for ensuring that adequate control procedures have been put in place and maintained to secure collections and change funds. This policy has been established to provide a framework for guidance and coordination in this area and for establishing minimum control standards relative to cash handling. 
      1. Cash – Cash is defined to include coin, currency, checks, and money orders.

      2. Cash collection point – A cash collection point is defined as a location within a department, unit, or other entity that collects more than $5,000 in receipts annually. This does not include entities whose collections occur infrequently and are for the recovery of expenditures. All cash collection points must be authorized by the Controller’s Office before collections begin and be reauthorized every three years.

      3. Cash collection point custodian (custodian) – The employee who requests the fund is considered the custodian. The custodian is responsible for the proper use and protection of the fund. 

      4. Change fund – A set amount of money used by a department to make change for customers who are purchasing goods or services. The selling of such goods or services must have been previously approved through appropriate channels.

      5. Electronic funds transfers (EFT) – The electronic transfer of money from one bank to another. EFTs comprise both automated clearing house transactions (ACHs) and wires. EFTs are processed centrally by the Controller’s Office.

      6. Receipts – For purposes of this policy, receipts are the collection of money from a customer in the form of cash and/or debit and credit card transactions processed outside of the Controller’s Office managed payment solution.

      7. Remote desktop deposits – Check deposits processed by a department using a bank-authorized remote check scanner.

      1. Any department or unit collecting cash and/or debit and credit card transactions processed outside of the Controller’s Office managed payment solution is required to obtain written authorization from the Controller’s Office before accepting cash. A Cash Collection Point Application should be submitted to the Controller's Office at least four weeks before the start of the collection date. Once approved, departments or units must be reauthorized as cash collection points every three years.
      2. Only those departments or units that can demonstrate the ability to establish appropriate control procedures and comply with prescribed cash-handling guidelines will be approved as cash collection points. If departments or units function as cash collection points without receiving the required authorization from the Controller's Office, they incur the risk of losing budgetary spending authority for the funds collected, in addition to the possibility of incurring other appropriate disciplinary action. Any significant changes within a cash collection point relating to personnel duties or procedures should be brought to the attention of the Controller's Office before implementing the changes.
      3. The Controller's Office periodically reviews cash collection points and may require that employees of the areas attend periodic training. In addition, the University Office of Inspector General Services (OIGS) and the State Auditor General's office routinely conduct audits of cash collection points. Failure to follow appropriate procedures may result in audit criticism and the loss of authority to serve as an authorized cash collectio
      1. It is recognized that no one control model effectively or efficiently fits the needs of all cash collection points. However, there are certain standard control procedures expected to be in place, unless there is a demonstrated and justifiable reason for not doing so. In such cases, there is an expectation that alternative or compensating control procedures be in place. The standard control procedures generally expected to be established at each cash collection point are as follows:
        1. For collections received in person, proper receipting devices should be used (cash registers, cashiering terminals, and pre-numbered receipt forms).
          1. Funds should be receipted at the initial point of collection and all customers should be provided a receipt or cash register tape.
          2. Cash registers should have appropriate control features and the operator should not have the ability to reset totals.  See the Departmental Cash Handling Procedures and Internal Control Questionnaire for a listing of appropriate control features. 
          3. Only official university receipt forms obtained from the official FSU printing partner may be used unless an exception is granted by the Controller's Office. 
          4. Unused pre-numbered receipt forms should be adequately secured and accounted for. The individual receipting the cash and issuing the individual receipt forms should sign for the pre-numbered receipt forms that they have been assigned to use.
          5. If official university receipt forms are no longer needed, they should be delivered to the Controller's Office for proper disposal.
          6. Voided receipts or transactions should be approved by supervisory personnel. All copies of the voided receipt form should be retained by the department.
          7. Collections received through the mail or delivered to the Controller’s Office secure drop box should be receipted or logged using the Controller’s Office template and restrictively endorsed at the earliest point in the collection process. These receipts or logs should subsequently be compared with the deposit and collections recorded.
        2. Cash handling duties should be assigned so that collections, deposit preparation, and reconciliations are assigned to different employees. In addition, employees who handle cash should not be assigned duties for creating invoices or updating accounts receivable or general ledger records.
        3. Different employees should not work simultaneously out of the same cash drawer. A drawer close-out should occur for each shift change. 
        4. Deposits, including remote desktop deposits, should generally be made daily. Exceptions may be granted in writing upon request by the Controller’s Office.
        5. Cash collections and change funds should always be adequately secured. Cash drawers should be locked when a cashier must be away from their workstation. Safe combinations should be changed whenever staffing changes occur among those that know the combination.  
        6. Persons with assigned cash handling responsibilities should be provided clear written departmental procedures regarding their responsibilities for the handling and control of cash collections or change funds.
        7. It is prohibited to extend personal loans or to cash personal checks from cash collections or change funds.
        8. Police background checks must be performed on any employees who will have cash-handling responsibilities.
      1. Checks received should be made payable to Florida State University (FSU).
      2. The identity of the individual presenting a check in person should be validated.
        1. For checks received from university students, faculty or staff the following information should be recorded on the check:
          • Full name
          • Residence address
          • Home Phone number
          • Last eight digits of their FSU Card number
        2. For checks received from individuals other than university students, faculty or staff, validation may be performed by either:
          1. Reviewing a driver’s license or state identification, specifying the state of issuance of the presenter, and recording the identification number and state of issuance on the check;
          2. OR
          3. Recording the following information regarding the identity of the presenter on the check 
            • Full name
            • Residence address
            • Home phone number
            • Business phone number
            • Place of employment
            • Gender
            • Date of birth
            • Height
      3. Refer to the Returned Check List Report provided by the Controller's Office to determine if individuals have previously tendered a dishonored check. Checks should not be accepted from individuals on this list.
      4. Checks should be restrictively endorsed and logged upon receipt. Restrictive endorsement stamps should be obtained from the Controller's Office.
      1. Departments conducting business with external entities who would like to electronically transfer payments into the university’s bank account should contact the Controller’s Office directly at ctl-Customerpmt@fsu.edu. The Controller’s Office will provide the customer with the necessary banking information. Payers remitting payments via electronic funds transfer should also request that payment remittance be submitted to ctl-EFT@fsu.edu to ensure timely processing. At no time should departments provide university bank account information to customers or other external entities. Departments should obtain the remittance information for each payment from the external entity.
      1. Arrangements to accept credit and/or debit card payments should be made through the Controller's Office. Please refer to the university’s Payment Card Policy (4-OP-D-2-G) and visit the Controller’s Office Merchant Services website.

      2. Locations that only accept credit card payments using the Controller’s Office managed payment solution (and no other types of currency) are not required to be certified as a cash collection point.

      1. Daily sales reports should be prepared with overages and shortages appropriately noted and accounted for. Deposits should be made intact and agree with the totals of the daily sales reports.
      2. The deposit is to be forwarded to the Controller’s Office drop box or directly to the bank. Deposits should not be transmitted to the Controller’s Office through campus mail. Departments should ensure that appropriate security is provided when deposits are transported across campus or from off-campus sites. 
      3. Departments not processing deposits directly in the cashiering system or through the Controller’s Office managed payment solution must submit a  Departmental Deposit Form to the Controller’s Office regardless of how the deposit is routed to the bank. 
      4. Credit and debit card transactions are to be settled daily. 
      5. For all deposit types, supporting documentation and a Departmental Deposit Form should be forwarded to the Controller’s Office within two business days of settlement and/or deposit receipt.
      1. Employee cash advances, for non-travel purposes, are typically used for change funds and human subject incentive payments. Employee cash advances can only be requested by permanent university employees. The employee requesting the funds is considered the custodian. The custodian is fully responsible for the funds and is required to always keep cash advances safe and secure. 

      2. There are two types of (non-travel) employee cash advances:

        1. Permanent advance – A permanent advance is used for change funds. These advances do not have an end date. Change funds are used to make change, generally for customers who are using cash to purchase a good or service from the university. No expenditures or disbursements can be made from a change fund. As a result, the balance of a change fund will always remain the same. If a need arises in a department to obtain a permanent advance for an activity other than a change fund, an exception may be provided by contacting the Controller’s Office.

          • To establish a permanent advance for a change fund, the department should select an employee who will serve as custodian. The custodian will provide the Controller’s Office with a complete Cash Advance Custodian Setup Form followed by the Permanent Employee Cash Advance Form.

          • The designated custodian is responsible for the safekeeping of the fund. The fund must be segregated from all other department-maintained funds. The custodian of the permanent advance and a department-approved official will be asked periodically to physically count the cash and document the counts.

          • A permanent advance must be closed when the cash advance is no longer needed. The department is responsible for notifying the Controller’s Office if a change in custodians should occur. It is the responsibility of the department to verify that any employee separating from the department has closed all cash advances in their name. Failing to do so may result in the department being held responsible for the repayment of any outstanding funds. 

        2. Temporary advance – A temporary advance is used for human subject incentive payments and other temporary cash needs. These advances must be closed out within 6 months from the issue date, or 60 days after the sponsored project ends, whichever comes first. All human subject incentive payments should be processed using a temporary cash advance. If extenuating circumstances arise that do not allow adequate time to process a cash advance, the custodian must contact the Sponsored Research Administration before any funds are disbursed. An approved IRB protocol must be in place to receive a cash advance for human subject incentive payments. Non-resident aliens must be paid through payroll; they cannot be paid by an employee cash advance.

      3. All Employee cash advances are subject to audit by the Controller’s Office. Cash advances should be reconciled monthly; with funds either being replenished or the cash advance partially closed if additional funds are not needed. The amount of cash on hand plus receipts or supporting documentation of funds spent must always equal the total amount of the advance. Custodians who fail to follow employee cash advance procedures (including returning funds by the advance due date) are subject to payroll deduction for the advance amount. In the event of a theft, an FSU police report must be completed, and the theft reported to the Controller’s Office and the Office of Inspector General Services.

      1. The primary mission of the university is the creation and dissemination of knowledge through instruction, research, and public service. In carrying out this mission, it is often necessary for university departments to provide goods and services. Sales of goods and services by the university should be undertaken only when those goods or services are directly and substantially related to and are in support of the university’s mission. University departments should be aware that external sales of goods or services may be subject to Florida sales and corporate income tax and/or federal income tax such as Unrelated Business Income. Concerns or questions regarding state and federal tax issues should be addressed to the  Controller's Office. 
      1. All university funds are required to be deposited through appropriate university bank accounts. The University Controller has responsibility for the provision of banking services for the university. Accordingly, bank accounts in the name of Florida State University or accounts using the University’s tax identification number can only be established by the University Controller. University departments should never open an account with a bank or credit union without  expressed written authorization from the University Controller.
    • This policy shall be reviewed by the Associate Vice President for Finance & Administration (AVP) every seven years for its effectiveness. The AVP shall make recommendations to the Vice President for Finance and Administration for any modification or elimination.
    • Specific Authorities:
      Florida Statutes Section 832.07 Prima facie evidence of intent; identity