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Collection Security Guidelines
The collection security guidelines provide internal controls
designed to safeguard cash, checks and other types of tender
received by departments. Some controls may not apply to every area
but safeguards need to correspond to associated risk. Managers
should ensure that their area is in compliance with this policy. Any
additional site specific procedures should be documented.
B. Collection Safeguards
- All funds received by the campus are to be deposited to
appropriate University financial system accounts established and
approved by the campus Controllerís Office and bank accounts
established by the University Treasurerís Office. Under no
circumstance should a University unit hold or open a bank account
for the purpose of accepting and/or disbursing funds that relate to
- Checks received by revenue-producing areas must be made
payable to the University of Massachusetts (Name of the Operation).
The detailed deposit instructions can be found at this link
Bursarís Office should be contacted to obtain directions on the use
of restrictive endorsement stamps for deposits.
- Checks, credit cards, order forms, etc., often contain
personally identifiable information (PII) that must be protected
under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93H. Bank and credit card
account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other data must be
properly safeguarded. Refer to
for more information.
- Unless specifically approved otherwise by the Controllerís
Office, checks should be accepted only for the exact amount of
purchase. When possible, proper identification (driverís license,
student ID) should be obtained and written on the check.
- Receipts totaling $500 or more need to be deposited to the Bursarís Office within 24 hours. Receipts totaling less than $500 need to deposited to the Bursarís Office within 72 hours. Any area that makes deposits less frequently than prescribed must obtain written approval from the Controller. Note; section D. 1. Below, ďchecks can be sent through campus mailĒ.
- Unattended cash must be kept in a safe or secured locked area,
and access to collection areas should be restricted.
- There should be appropriate segregation of duties in the
collection and deposit process. At a minimum receipts should be
verified by someone other than the person who collected the
- Operations that need revolving change funds should request the
funds through the Controllerís Office. Change funds should be drawn
from and posted to the Universityís financial system account as an
advance. Change funds should not be obtained by using operational
receipts. The amount of the change fund should be the amount
necessary for operations and should be adjusted for cyclical
- Cash disbursements for materials, supplies, or personal
services from the cash receipts or from change funds are prohibited.
All expenditures must be made from approved accounts, following
campus procurement policies.
- Payroll checks, personal checks, or checks made payable to
the University or any unit of the University may not be traded for
cash from collections or change funds.
- Returned Checks: Checks returned for non-sufficient funds
(NSF) should be posted to the financial system. Areas should attempt
to recoup funds as soon as possible, requesting that replacement
funds for NSF checks be in the form of cash, certified check, or
C. Reconciliation of Collections
The following processes are designed to ensure amounts collected
are forwarded to the Bursarís Office, deposited and recorded in the
- All receipts should be recorded on a control document (receipt
form, cash register, tickets register, meter, etc.) at the time of
the transaction. Control documents should be reconciled to the
amount to be deposited. Deposits should be reconciled to the ledger.
- Ideally, no more than one person should work from the same
cash drawer. Minimally, each person collecting funds should have
their own lockable cash drawers or method to establish
accountability. Each drawer should be separately reconciled to the
receipts recorded for that drawer.
- A record of cash overages and shortages should be maintained
and regularly reviewed by a manager. Variances should be
investigated by the manager and, if necessary, corrective action
taken. Overages should not be held to apply against future shortages
or for other purposes.
- The campus is responsible under State Internal Control
legislation (Chapter 647) to report to the State Auditorís Office
any cash and/or property shortages, thefts, losses or variances. A
loss occurs when funds were received but lost before being deposited
or if funds in the control of the area are misplaced or misused.
Each collection area is required to submit a monthly report to the
campus Controller specifying any instances of such activity or to
report there were no such occurrences. Reminders of the reporting
requirement are issued via email by the Controllerís Office and
replies to the email reminders may be used to report on the monthís
- Any loss totaling more than $50 should be immediately reported
in writing to the Controller explaining the situation and any
actions taken to correct the situation. A monthly report of all
instances is prepared by the Controller and forwarded to appropriate
offices. Additional audit or review of the operation may result from
- Collection and change fund reconciliations should be done at
least at the beginning and end of each shift, preferably not in view
of the public.
- Records regarding collections and subsequent reporting and
handling should be maintained for three years.
D. Cash Bags
Cash bags are used by areas that have high levels of collections
to deliver deposits to the Bursarís Office teller window or drop
box. Cash bags will be opened by the Bursarís Office the next
business day. Sealable single use deposit bags are an acceptable
alternative to using lockable permanent bags.
- Whenever cash is transported from one building location to
another, it should be in a locked bag and the bag should be
concealed. Checks can be sent through campus mail. However, cash can
never be sent through campus mail. When sending checks through
campus mail, departments should use a manila envelope rather than
standard size envelopes.
- Bags are numbered and assigned to specific areas. Keys should
be assigned by the collection site to specific individuals. If a bag
becomes damaged, it should be returned to the Bursarís Office for
- Each bag should contain the collections and a summary of the
collections signed by the individual(s) responsible for the deposit.
A confirmation of the deposit will be returned to the collection
site. The confirmation should be matched to the siteís records of
E. Safe and Revenue Repository Controls
It is important that combinations or keys providing access to the
safes or other secured locked areas be tightly controlled.
- The area collection manager must maintain the following
information for each safe under his/her control: internal control
number, location, custodian, date of last safe combination change,
and listing of persons having access to the combination. The
knowledge of safe combinations and number of keys should be limited
to the least number of people possible.
- All safes must be kept locked except when cash is being taken
out or being put into the safe.
- The custodian of the safe must have signatures of the persons
who receive safe combinations or assigned keys.
- Each area is required to have procedures in place for
accessing locked locations and periodically making combination
changes for safes.
F. General Items
- Unannounced reviews of a collection areaís operation may be
done at the discretion of University and/or campus administration.
- Inappropriate administration of University assets could result
in disciplinary action by the campus against all individuals
involved in the action. If an obvious theft has occurred, the
University Police should be contacted immediately. Persons who
suspect a misappropriation or other financial irregularity may have
occurred should contact the campus Controllerís Office. For more
information, see the Fraud Policy at
Room 405 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9272
Tel: (413) 545-0806
Fax: (413) 545-6088
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