University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Internal Controls to Minimize Risk Over Cash Receipts

(Approved by the Provost by authority of Executive Order No. 4 and the Executive Vice President by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  Policy

A university unit that handles cash must have both an awareness of and show a commitment to strong internal controls for cash receipts. Management of a University unit has the responsibility for establishing and maintaining the proper environment of internal controls. This environment is established by the unit's organization with written procedures; it is maintained by awareness through regular communications between management and staff and through management's commitment by example and review. Internal controls are necessary to prevent mishandling of funds and to safeguard against loss. Strong internal controls also protect employees from inappropriate charges of mishandling funds by defining responsibilities in the cash handling process.

All University units collecting cash must develop and implement procedures that address the following elements of cash receipts:

  • Accounting for cash as it is received;
  • Separating individual cash handling duties;
  • Safeguarding the handling and storage of cash;
  • Depositing cash promptly;
  • Reconciling cash activity in a timely manner;
  • Monitoring of the process by administrators not directly involved.

The policies and procedures used herein conform to state accounting policies and guidelines furnished by the Office of Financial Management and are consistent with recognized standards for internal controls related to cash handling. See the State Administrative & Accounting Manual Section 85.50 (Cash) for further details.

2.  Procedures

Guidelines to departmental procedures that address the key elements of cash receipt controls are available on the web.

3.  Additional Information

For further information contact the Financial Management Administration or the Internal Audit Department:

  • Phone:
  • Financial Management, 206-543-4993
    Internal Audit, 206-543-4028
  • Email:
  • Internal Audit,

    May 1, 2002.