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Cash Management Policy and Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University,’ ‘CDU’) takes a cashless approach. 

(2) Cash handling is only permissible, by exception, when it is necessary for operational purposes and alternate non-cash arrangements are unavailable or unsuitable, or where it aligns with the University’s educational offerings, e.g. VET courses that include cash handling training.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This policy and procedure aims to:

  1. provide guidance on the requirements for the safe handling, receiving, safeguarding, transporting, depositing and recording of University cash assets;
  2. ensure that cash management practices are consistent and transparent; and
  3. safeguard and protect University cash assets and staff involved in the receipting and collection of cash or cash equivalents.
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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy and procedure applies to all University staff, students, contractors and volunteers with responsibility for any part of the  handling of the University’s cash assets.

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Section 4 - Policy

Cash management principles

(5) The University aims to limit cash handling to a minimum to reduce opportunity for fraud, ensure a safer working environment and facilitate efficient business processes.

(6) Electronic payment and receipting facilities must be used where possible.

(7) All cash handling must be:

  1. correctly receipted;
  2. appropriately reconciled;
  3. held in a locked and secure location, preferably a safe; and
  4. safely transported to the bank by an approved staff member.

(8) The University does not accept foreign cash currency.

Forms of cash assets

(9) The following are cash assets: 

  1. Cash;
  2. Cheques;
  3. Cabcharge eTickets (Cabcharge); and
  4. Vouchers and pre-paid cards (such as food vouchers and gift cards).

(10) Any Faculty or organisational unit seeking to use cash must request an exemption from the Associate Director Financial Performance. Requests for exemption must be emailed to payables@cdu.edu.au and explain why cash use is necessary for teaching or student services.

(11) Any Faculty or organisational unit handling cheques, Cabcharge eTickets, or vouchers and pre-paid cards must immediately notify Finance by emailing payables@cdu.edu.au.

Students and volunteers

(12) Students and volunteers handling University cash assets must be directly supervised at all times by an area manager who is a staff member of the University.

Staff

Segregation of duties

(13) Segregation of duties must be maintained in order to safeguard the University’s cash assets. 

(14) Responsibility over cash handling should be clearly delineated and assigned to specific individual(s) to ensure accountability.

(15) No individual should have more than one of the following responsibilities:

  1. cash asset receipting;
  2. end of day cash counting, recording and reconciliation;
  3. reviewing and approving cash counts and reconciliations and the safe and secure storing of cash assets; or
  4. transport and banking of cash assets.

(16) The individual reviewing and approving the reconciliation must sign and date the reconciliation form.

(17) If it is not possible to segregate duties due to a lack of available staff, alternative arrangements must be approved by Finance by emailing treasury@cdu.edu.au.

Collection and banking

(18) Cash and cheque collections must be recorded on a daily basis.

(19) Cash and cheque collections must be banked on a regular basis:

  1. Daily for cash balances $2,000 or more; and 
  2. Weekly for cash balances below $2,000.

Reconciliation

(20) Cash float, Cabcharge, voucher and pre-paid card reconciliations and the related receipts must be provided to Finance on a monthly basis via email at payables@cdu.edu.au.

(21) Each area in the University that handles cash must ensure their cash handling and recording meet the requirements of this policy and procedure. 

Theft, fraud or loss

(22) Suspected theft or fraud must be reported to the area manager level or above who must then report it to the Police within one day of the suspected theft or fraud being discovered. 

(23) No later than one day after a suspected theft, fraud or loss of University cash assets, the area manager must formally notify the Vice-President Governance and University Secretary via email at governance@cdu.edu.au. Details of the police report must be provided.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Cash float

(24) A cash float is used to make change on cash transactions.

(25) A cash float may not be used for personal purposes.

(26) A cash float must be enclosed in a lockable container and secured location, preferably a safe.

(27) The delegated cash officer of the cash float is responsible for the safety and security and is accountable for the cash on hand and disbursement of funds.

(28) The cash officer must ensure that cash on hand  plus receipts equals the initial cash float advance.

(29) The cash officer must submit a monthly cash float count reconciliation to payables@cdu.edu.au. Cash float reconciliation can be found in Section 1 of the Cash Management Reconciliation Worksheet.

(30) The cash officer must email payables@cdu.edu.au completed Sections 1 and 3 of the Cash Management Reconciliation Worksheet when a cash float is being handed over to a new cash officer.

(31) When surrendering a cash float, the funds are to be transferred by EFT to Charles Darwin University’s operational bank account and remittance of payment is to be emailed to payables@cdu.edu.au.

Cabcharge

(32) Cabcharge must only be used for official, approved University business.

(33) Cabcharge cannot be used by staff who hold a University Corporate Card.

(34) The allocation of Cabcharges to users must be based on approved and actual expected business requirements.

(35) Cabcharge officers can order Cabcharge eTickets by completing the Cabcharge eTicket Request / Authority eform in eCentre.

(36) Accounts Payable may limit the stocks the Cabcharge officer can hold at any one time. Accounts Payable may require the Cabcharge officer to use Cabcharge already held before issuing any more.

(37) A Cabcharge officer may not hold more than 20 Cabcharges at any given time, unless approved by Accounts Payable.

(38) The Cabcharge officer must always keep Cabcharges in a locked and secured location, preferably a safe.

(39) The Cabcharge officer must always be able to account for all Cabcharges currently held or issued by using an up-to-date Cabcharge Request and Allocation Register.

(40) The Cabcharge officer must submit a monthly Cabcharge eTicket reconciliation to Finance via email to payables@cdu.edu.au. Cabcharge eTicket reconciliation can be found in Section 2 of the Cash Management Reconciliation Worksheet.

(41) The Cabcharge officer must email payables@cdu.edu.au the completed Sections 2 and 3 of the Cash Management Reconciliation Worksheet when Cabcharges are being handed over to a new Cabcharge officer.

(42) Where a Cabcharge officer leaves the University and is not transferring remaining Cabcharge to a new Cabcharge officer, any unused Cabcharge eTickets must be returned to Accounts Payable area before departure.

(43) On a monthly basis the Payables officer will prepare a journal to allocate the charges received from Cabcharge. The Journal will be sent to the Accounting Services Team via emailing ledgers@cdu.edu.au for processing.

(44) Cabcharge officers must cross check monthly charges applied to cost codes against the general ledger and reference the amounts by updating the Cabcharge Request and Allocation register.

(45) If a Cabcharge is damaged, lost or stolen then the Cabcharge sequence number must be reported to Accounts Payable by emailing payables@cdu.edu.au. Accounts Payable will cancel the Cabcharge.

(46) Users returning unused Cabcharges must contact the issuing Cabcharge officer. When returning unused Cabcharges, the Cabcharge officer must update the register. 

(47) Cabcharges must not be destroyed unless users are instructed in writing by the Cabcharge officer or Accounts Payable.

Vouchers and pre-paid cards

(48) Vouchers and pre-paid cards, regardless of the value, are considered cash equivalents and must be stored in a locked and secure location, preferably a safe. 

(49) Vouchers and pre-paid cards must:

  1. be purchased using either a University Corporate Card or (depending on value) University Purchase Order no sooner than 30 days before the date of use or distribution;
  2. be within that person’s financial delegation; and
  3. adhere to the principles of the responsible use of University funds.

(50) Staff are prohibited from personally purchasing vouchers or pre-paid cards for business purposes. They will not be eligible for reimbursement regardless of circumstances.

(51) Pre-paid cards (such as gift cards) may only be distributed for the following purposes:

  1. prizes at University events;
  2. prizes, recognition awards or tokens of appreciation for students;
  3. prizes for University staff;
  4. thank you for a volunteer, as long as the volunteer is not a University employee, student, researcher, or a contractor currently under contract;
  5. to students for emergency situations, e.g., following a critical incident/emergency;
  6. compensation for study subjects in studies approved by the College Dean; and
  7. as part of a scholarship, grant and bursary, including ‘grocery only’ or fuel card. 

(52) Vouchers and pre-paid cards cannot be used as a bonus, honoraria, or other means of compensation to University staff, volunteers, students, researchers or contractors. 

(53) Vouchers and pre-paid cards must not be distributed in lieu of cash compensation.

(54) Where applicable and in line with the University Gifts and Benefits Policy, staff who receive vouchers and pre-paid cards must declare them to the University via the Gifts and Benefits eform in eCentre. Fringe benefits tax may apply depending on the nature and value of the gifts and benefits provided to staff. Any applicable tax will be charged to the provider's cost centre. Please contact treasury@cdu.edu.au for advice.

(55) All vouchers and pre-paid cards must have a maximum individual value of $100. Values in excess of this will be considered non-compliant with this policy and procedure. If a higher value is required, then multiple cards may be given to the recipient; however, the combined value to a single recipient must not exceed $250 unless approval has been provided by Finance by emailing payables@cdu.edu.au.

(56) Vouchers and pre-paid cards must be acquitted within 30 days of use or distribution.

(57) Vouchers and pre-paid cards purchased in a calendar year must be used in that calendar year and not carried over to the following year.

(58) The area purchasing the vouchers and pre-paid cards need to maintain a register of the cards held; the same register should be used to record who has received the card and for what purpose.

(59) On receipt of the voucher and pre-paid cards, the receiver should sign an acknowledgment of receipt which should form part of the register mentioned above.

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Section 6 - Non-Compliance

(60) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(61) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure - Employees and Complaints Policy - Students.

(62) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.