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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

10.1.2 Implement Internal Controls for Handling Cash and/or Checks

Policy Statement

Each unit authorized to collect cash and/or checks is responsible for exercising internal controls to ensure appropriate stewardship of public funds and provide employee protection.

Cash handling units are subject to an audit by the Office of University Audits and/or a review by University Bursar at any time.

Reason for the Policy

Units authorized to collect cash and/or checks must establish and follow internal controls to minimize risk, safeguard the University’s assets, and ensure compliance of policies and procedures.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all University of Illinois Cash Handling Units.


To implement internal controls for handling cash and/or checks:

  • Do not cash personal checks for any reason or amount or return cash to a customer if the check exceeds the amount due to the University of Illinois System.
  • Deposit all cash and/or checks received. Do not use cash and/or checks received to pay bills or expenses of any kind.
  • Immediately report significant, recurring, or problematic cash shortages to the unit business manager, University Bursar Cashier Operations, University Police, and/or University Audits.
  • Keep each cashier’s cash drawer accessible by assigned cashier.
  • Make sure that someone other than the person receiving cash and/or checks is responsible for a daily reconciliation of receipts and/or authorizing refunds.
  • If the unit has multiple cash receiving areas, periodically rotate the cashiers’ responsibilities and locations to reduce the risk of fraud.
  • Obtain approval from Treasury Operations Merchant Card Services before accepting credit or debit cards. Work with Merchant Card Services to ensure compliance with all Merchant Card Services policies and procedures.
  • Record all cash and/or checks when received on approved pre-numbered cash receipt forms or electronic or mechanical means such as cash registers.
  • Lock cash and/or checks in a fireproof safe or cabinet when it is not possible to deposit them on the day received. Units are responsible for any loss due to theft, fraud, or negligence.

Related Policies and Procedures

10.1.1 Obtain Approval as a Cash Handling Unit
9 Audits, Internal Control, and Business System Security
21 Merchant Cards


First Published: February 2008 | Last Updated: March 2023 | Last Reviewed: March 2023

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