1504 - Deposit of Cash Receipts

Document purpose

To establish sound cash management practices and safeguard cash receipts against theft or loss


December 1986


May 2021


May 2023

Responsible Office




The Policy

  1. Cash Receipts Handling & Deposits

    • Cash is defined as currency, coin, checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks, bank drafts and other similar instruments.
    • Cash receipts must be deposited within one business day of receipt. Cash or checks received on non-business days must be retained in a secure location and deposited the next business day.
      • If a check is received that does not belong to the recipient’s department, checks should be delivered to Cash Management immediately. Departments should not delay deposit by trying to find the proper recipient.
    • Checks should be restrictively endorsed by writing “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, For Deposit Only” on the back of the check immediately upon receipt. If desired, departments can order an endorsement stamp through Cash Management.
    • Cash receipts should be protected at all times through the use of locked cash drawers, cash registers, locked boxes, etc.
    • Cash and checks may only be deposited in accordance with one of the University approved deposit options listed on Cash Management’s website: https://www.finance.upenn.edu/banking-receiving-funds/depositing-funds/.
      • Depositors bringing cash receipts to be processed centrally, should do so irregularly, not traveling at the same time each day.
      • Depositors using Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) must maintain a secure, locked location for storing checks once they are scanned for deposit. Checks should be held securely for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 30 days. After the required holding period, checks must be shred by an employee or placed in a University shred bin. Checks should never be placed in the trash.
      • RDC scanners may only be used on campus. Employees are prohibited from taking checks off campus.
      • Depositors must ensure that checks are prepared accurately. This includes ensuring checks are signed, checks are not postdated, and the numeric and legal (written) amounts are consistent. Cash Management can only give credit for the legal amount.
      • Photocopies of checks should never be used to replace an original check for deposit.
      • All cash receipts must be deposited into a bank account designated and/or approved by the University.
      • Foreign checks must be brought to the Franklin Building for deposit by Cash Management. Each foreign check must be prepared on a separate deposit and must not have any other payments included on the deposit.
      • Departments will be charged a returned check fee for any check that is returned unpaid for any reason.
  2. Reconciliation

    • It is the responsibility of the Financial Administrator to reconcile deposit accounts on a monthly basis, consistent with Financial Policy #1402, Monthly Closing/Reporting.
    • Depositors must notify Cash Management if they do not receive an electronic receipt via email within two business days.
    • Depositors must notify Cash Management if they received an unrecognized deposit to their ledger account or they are missing a deposit within 5 business days.
  3. Segregation of Duties

    • Schools/Centers must ensure that adequate segregation of duties is in place.
    • Cash handling duties can be divided into four stages: receiving, depositing, recording and reconciling. Ideally, all four stages would be performed by different individuals. The purpose of this segregation of duties is to minimize the opportunity for an employee to misappropriate funds and avoid detection. In a smaller department, it may not be feasible to fully segregate all of the cash-related duties. In these circumstances, management must rely on compensating controls to mitigate the risk that cash is misappropriated (e.g., increased monitoring). Excerpt taken from Office of Internal Audit’s Operational Internal Controls.
    • Depositors should follow all guidance regarding Operational Internal Controls provided by the University’s Office of Internal Audit: https://oacp.upenn.edu/audit/audit101/internal-controls-guidance/operational-internal-controls/.
  4. IRS Reporting Requirements

    • The University of Pennsylvania is required, under section 60501 of the Internal Revenue Code, to file Form 8300 (Report of Cash Payments in the amount of $10,000.00 or greater) within 15 days of receipt of cash from an individual or corporation in one or more related transactions.
  5. Identifying and Reporting Theft

    • Employees must always use diligence when handling University cash receipts. This includes safely storing University funds until deposited or destroyed, restricting access to safe areas, and properly training new employees on proper cash handling procedures.
    • Departments receiving cash should purchase a counterfeit detector pen to help identify counterfeit bills. All bills $50 or higher should be checked for authenticity.
    • Depositors must notify Cash Management and Public Safety of stolen cash or checks.
    • If an employee suspects fraudulent or suspicious activity within their department, employees may contact Cash Management (215-898-7256 / dofcashmgmt@upenn.edu), or the University’s confidential reporting and help line 215-P-Comply. Employees may also use the online reporting tool at upenn.edu/215pcomply.
  6. Failure to Comply

    • Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action and/or possible job termination.