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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

10.4.1 Obtain Approval to Handle Returned Checks

Policy Statement

University Bursar recovers and collects all returned checks received and deposited by cash handling units. If University Bursar exhausts all reasonable collection efforts (e.g., in-house, outside agency, state offset), and a returned check is uncollectible, it is included in University of Illinois System-level write-off approvals and protocol. Any unpaid portion of the original returned check amount will be charged back to the original unit at the time of write-off.

University Bursar may grant permission for some authorized cash handling units to assume responsibility for any/all returned check handling and related recovery activities. The decision to do this would apply to all cash handling units within a college, unit, or administrative level. The units will also assess and retain the $25 administrative service fee. Unit communications regarding payment options to their customers/payors should state that the University of Illinois System assesses a $25 returned check charge for any check payment returned by the bank.

Regardless of what a unit decides, if a check is returned from the bank and University Bursar determines the unit did not process it according to the policies and procedures in 10.2.1 Accept Checks as Payment, it will be returned to the unit to recover funds and charged back to originally credited C-FOAPAL as shown on the Department Deposit form.

Reason for the Policy

To ensure compliance with University of Illinois policy and procedures as it relates to processing returned checks.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all University of Illinois Cash Handling Units that receive and deposit checks.


To obtain approval to handle returned checks:

  1. Develop written procedures and internal controls that are in compliance with the requirements in 10.2.1 Accept Checks as Payment and 10.1.2 Implement Internal Controls for Handling Cash and/or Checks, including unit procedures for handling returned checks.
  2. Complete the Returned Checks Delegated Agent form for unit approval to handle returned checks.

Forms Used in this Procedure

Returned Check Handling

Related Policies and Procedures

10.2.1 Accept Checks as Payment
10.1.2 Implement Internal Controls for Handling Cash and/or Checks
10.4.2 Handle Returned Checks (Approved Units Only)

Additional Resources

Unit Cash Handling Procedures - Sample Template
Unit Cash Handling Procedures - Sample Template Instructions
University Bursar office locations and hours:


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

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