University Policies
Policy Contact
Financial Services Cashier’s Office Email 401-863-1280

Cash and Check Handling Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the requirements for proper Cash and check handling by departments.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to any individual or department/office/unit associated with the University that conducts business through currency (i.e., Cash and Cash Equivalents), or otherwise handles Cash or check transactions. This applies across the University, including student groups and affiliates.

3.0 Policy Statement

Brown University is dedicated to ensuring the proper handling of Cash and checks through its business activities, as well as ensuring security, Stewardship, and accurate financial reporting. Departments may impose more restrictive controls than those required by this policy.

3.1 Internal Controls

The following internal control principles govern Cash and check management. In addition to preventing financial loss, these controls promote security and accurate financial reporting.

  • Consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Safeguarding assets
  • Authorization
  • Segregation of Duties
  • Second level review and approval
  • Reconciliation

Departments must have written documentation of how they comply with this policy.

3.2 Receipt and Deposit of Cash and Cash Equivalents

3.2.1 Cash Handling

The following requirements apply to Cash handling:

  • Restrict Cash access to as few employees as practicable.
  • Count Cash in a non-public, secure area that is not easily visible to others.
  • Deposit all Cash receipts intact without any portion being retained and used for departmental expenditures. Cash must not be withheld from a deposit for the purpose of adding to or creating a petty Cash fund.
  • Petty Cash funds are obtained, increased, or decreased only in accordance with the Petty Cash Policy.

3.2.2 Check (and other Cash Equivalent) Handling and Inspection

All checks received must be inspected against the following requirements prior to being deposited:

  • Must be made payable to Brown University. Third-party checks (checks made payable to another party and endorsed over to Brown University) are not acceptable.
  • Must be payable in U.S. dollars and drawn on a U.S. Bank.
  • Must be signed, dated, and meet banking standards.

If a department is in receipt of a check that does not belong to them, the check must be delivered to the Cashier’s Office promptly for research and proper credit. Foreign Checks

Foreign checks may be acceptable in certain approved circumstances. Foreign checks under $200.00 are never acceptable. Contact the Cashier’s Office for more information.

3.2.3 Deposits

All deposits must be made promptly, on the same business day if possible. If Cash or checks must be held overnight, they must be kept in a secured area, such as a safe or locked drawer. Cash or checks must be deposited no later than the next business day.

All deposits must be made in accordance with Cashier’s Office procedures. Cash or Cash Equivalents must not be sent via interoffice mail. Departments may request Armored Car Service, subject to approval by Financial Services.

3.2.4 Documentation and Reconciliation

Each department must maintain adequate documentation of their deposits, which includes, at a minimum, a deposit log with the date, a list of items deposited (e.g., name on check, check number and amount; total of Cash), and the total deposit. Never make physical or scanned copies of checks.

Each department is responsible for reconciling receipts to their general ledger and identifying and addressing any discrepancies promptly.

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions:

Armored Car Service: A service that picks up deposits of Cash or Cash Equivalents from pre-assigned University locations and delivers them to the University’s bank or Cashier’s Office on a scheduled basis.

Cash: Currency and coin.

Cash Equivalent: Any asset readily convertible into Cash (i.e., personal or business check, money order, travelers check, certified check, cashiers/bank check).

Segregation of Duties: Also known as separation of duties. Having more than one person required to complete a task. It is an internal control designed to mitigate error and fraud.

Stewardship: Careful and responsible management of the University assets under one’s jurisdiction.

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors and employees with student oversight duties are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure and enforce compliance with it.

Financial Services: Provide written authorization or denial before the undertaking of any new Cash handling operation or activity.

The Cashier’s Office: Collect and deposit all University funds in accordance with federal, state and University regulations; develop and implement standardized Cash receipting and Cash handling policy and procedures.

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures

7.0 Related Information

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws and requirements.

7.1 Related Policies

7.2 Related Procedures


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Contact Information:

Financial Services Cashier’s Office Email 401-863-1280

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Policy was put into new University standard format.

Previous policy version(s) superseded by this policy:

  • Cash and Check Handling Policy: Effective Date: June 2013