Cash Handling: ACG0012
Effective Date: July 01, 1997
Last Revision Date: April 02, 2018


Cash Handling

(Policy ACG-0012)

I. Purpose of the Policy

This policy outlines UC Santa Cruz-specific requirements related to the handling of cash and cash equivalents associated with the payment of tuition, fees and other charges, the sales of ancillary goods and/or services, any other university business, and are an implementation of UC Business & Finance Bulletin BUS-49.

This policy incorporates guidance from the pertinent provisions of Ch. 1000,§ 1719 of the California Civil Code. Where conflicts exist between Civil Code and that guidance, the California Civil Code shall take precedence.

II. Definitions

Cash – Coins and paper currency

Cash Equivalents – Money Orders, Travelers Checks, Cashier’s Checks, Certified Checks, Credit/Debit Cards, or anything that be easily exchanged for cash.

Cash Handling Department – Campus operating unit that typically collects cash or cash equivalents and deposits to a Main Cashiering Station. These units typically do not perform cashier activities as a primary function.

Check – a written order made through a standard printed form or an electronic authorization directing a bank to pay money as instructed

Good faith dispute – A disagreement in which the court finds that the drawer had a reasonable belief of his or her legal entitlement to withhold payment, such as for services not rendered or products not delivered.

Maker – a person or entity drawing (writing) a check

Presenter – a person who presents a check as payment or in exchange for cash

Subcashiering Station – Campus operating unit from which collections are deposited to a Main Cashiering Station. These units typically perform cashier activities as a primary function and operate cash handling equipment.

III. Detailed Policy Statement

A. Cash Handler Background Check

1. All individuals, including employees, students and volunteers, handling UCSC cash must successfully pass a background check prior to engaging in cash handling duties.

a. In certain situations, students and volunteers may obtain a variance to this requirement from the Student Business Services Director if all of the following requirement are met:

i. Performing a background check presents a financial hardship to the department materially exceeding the financial and reputational risk of not performing the check.

ii. Sufficient mitigating controls are in place to manage the risks that might reasonably result from not performing the check

b. If a variance is approved, the cash handling unit must comply with the following requirements:

i. On a quarterly basis, submit a report to the Payment Card Coordinator listing all employees, students, and/or volunteers handling cash, each’s background check status, and other information needed by the Student Business Services Director necessary to evaluate risk.

ii. Promptly notify the Payment Card Coordinator of changes to cash handling controls.

c. A variance is subject to review and renewal every two years.

B. Cash Deposit

1. Cash deposits must be made on a weekly basis or by the end of the day accumulated cash receipts exceed $500, whichever occurs first.

2. A cash deposit with an over or short amount exceeding $25 requires the following special handling:

a. A memo explaining the difference accompanying the deposit.

b. If the amount of a short is $100 or more, and theft or defalcation is suspected, a report must be filed with UCSC police. The case number must be provided with the memo explanation.

C. Check Acceptance

1. At a minimum, in accepting check payments, a subcashiering station or cash handling department must comply with the following requirements:

a. Verify the check presenter’s identity

b. Record the important check presenter identifying information

c. Forbid accepting checks from individuals having unpaid charges resulting from a returned check

2. Each cash handler must use an individualized endorsement stamp unless the cash handler initials or handwrites a uniquely-assigned cashier number near the endorsement stamp once a check is tendered.

D. Returned Check

1. The maker of a check returned by the bank is subject to the assessment of a service charge, in addition to fees recovering all costs of collection; the maker’s check cashing privileges will be suspended until full payment is received.

2. A returned check must be redeemed with cash, certified funds, or a money order.

3. Late payment fees will be assessed on the presenter’s account having a past due balance caused by a returned check.

4. Service charges and other fees will not be assessed if the presenter stops payment on the check in order to resolve a “good faith dispute”.

5. If full payment for the amount of the check and cost recovery fees are not received within 30 days from the date of issuance of a payment demand letter, the presenter will be liable for at least $100, and up to triple the aggregate amount of the returned check, less any partial payments, not to exceed $1,500.

6.  A student’s enrollment is subject to cancellation if a check payment applied to the student’s account is returned, and it is not redeemed within 30 days of the date of notification by the University. Grades may be withheld and future enrollment barred until the student’s account is paid in full.

a. Check writing privileges may be suspended for the balance of an academic year after an individual presents four (4) paper or electronic checks that are returned by the bank.

b. The Student Business Services Director is delegated the authority to waive, in writing, cost recovery and late payment fees based on a review of circumstances, such as if the check was returned due to a bank error, a direct deposit of social security or government benefit assistance payment is delayed, or an error was made on the part of the University.

E. Cash Storage and Security

1. A subcashieringstation and cash handling departments must properly safeguard cash collections held overnight. If this is not possible, the cash must be deposited at the Main Cashier’s Office by the end of the business day.
2. Subcashiering stations and cash handling departments with cash funds exceeding $25,000 are required to use a safe with separate lockable compartments or individual cash drawers for each cashier to maintain accountability at all times.

F. Audit

1. All campus cash handling departments and programs are subject to a periodic, scheduled or unscheduled audits by Audit and Management Advisory Services, the Campus Payment Card Coordinator, or an office of Financial Affairs.

IV. Getting Help

The campus Student Business Services Office provides training and assistance to campus units including help with completing forms, training and providing policy interpretations.

If you need help with ...  Contact ...
General assistance, training, and policy interpretation Payment Card Coordinator, Cashier’s Office, 459-2930,

V. Applicability and Authority


This policy applies to any department or program accepting payments on behalf of UC Santa Cruz.

This policy supersedes the Campus Cashiering, Check Cashing, and Returned Checks (ACG0012), dated 07/1/1997.

The campus Vice Chancellor for the Division of Finance, Operations and Administration (FOA) is the campus authority for the Cash Handling policy, with implementation authority delegated to the Campus Controller. This policy was reviewed and approved by Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, Tromp on 08/10/2018. This policy will be reviewed every five years.

VI. Related Policies/References for More Information

Related Policies and Procedures 

UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS 49: Policy for Cash and Cash Equivalents

Personnel Policies for Staff Members PPSM 21: Selection and Appointment

UC Office of the President Background Checks, Critical Functions Guide


    California Civil Code, Chapter 1000, Section 1719 Obligations Imposed by Law

VII. Revision History

April 02, 2018: Provisions related to check cashing were deleted because the service was eliminated after the adoption of the current 1997 version of the policy. Provisions related to handling of returned checks were updated. Requirements more specific than those provided in UC cash handling policy (BFB BUS-49) related to cash handler background checks and securing cash have been added. Policy provisions were reorganized and edited to conform to current UCSC policy-writing standards. Terminology has been updated to maintain consistency with the related and guidance.

July 01, 1997: new policy.