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Welcome to this edition of the USFSCO newsletter, Business Cents. Our goal for this newsletter, is to provide updates on recent or upcoming changes in the cash handling policies and other Account Receivable related functions and activities that could affect you, our customers, in processing your departmental transactions. In this edition you will find information regarding the best browser to use for submitting the Online Department Deposit form, another counterfeit incident, upcoming dates and deadlines, and more.
1. Online Department Deposit form: IE browser recommended
USFSCO received a few reports of issues when opening the Online Department Deposit form in Chrome or Firefox internet browsers; however, no issues were reported when using IE (Internet Explorer). We also heard from a couple of MAC users who were experiencing issues with the Adobe form. USFSCO recommends the use of IE (Internet Explorer) for the best experience using the Department Deposit Form.
The online Department Deposit form is a universal deposit form located here on the OBFS Policy & Procedures website. This form was designed to offer cash handling departments across all campuses a uniform downloadable pdf deposit form to be used for daily deposits whether submitted to the Cashier Operations electronically, via courier, or in-person. While use of the form is not mandatory, USFSCO does encourage departments to use it in place of other generic Report of Cash Sales/Money Received forms.
2. Petty Cash & Change Fund: 1st Quarter Recon 100%, Upcoming Changes and 2nd Quarter Recon
Petty Cash custodians did a fantastic job in getting their 1st Quarter (FY15) Reconciliations completed - THANK YOU! USFSCO is currently working to improve the online forms and information available regarding petty cash and change funds. In 2015, you will see a separation of the petty cash and change fund forms and training. In addition, the general information on the OBFS website has been updated to provide up-to-date information and links to current forms.
As mentioned in previous editions of the Business Cents, USFSCO would like to remind all petty cash custodians to replenish spent funds regularly, but at least quarterly. Receipts should be replenished in the same quarter as they were paid out. In addition, if your petty cash fund is not turning over at least 8 times during the course of a year, USFSCO highly recommends our custodians to either decrease the amount of their petty cash fund or close it completely. If you are the custodian of a change fund, and it is no longer being utilized, please consider closing your change fund. Reducing or eliminating unnecessary funds help protect custodians and departments from loss due to mishandling, theft, or misappropriation.
During the first week in October, a security-related enhancement called SiteMinder became effective. This enhancement requires you to login/authenticate using your University login credentials before you are able to access the petty cash/change fund website.
REMINDER: 2nd Quarter reconciliations are due January 15, 2015.
3. Counterfeit: Another incident
In November two incidents involving counterfeit $20 bills took place on the UIS campus. After the initial incidents, the UIS department affected implemented a precautionary measure of checking each $20 bill presented. This swift action led to the detection of a third attempt to pass another counterfeit $20. The suspect took back the $20 bill and ran off. The department contacted campus police to investigate the attempts, and due to information obtained, the suspect was later apprenhended by the police.
Reminder of other counterfeit incidents this year: A counterfeit $100 bill was detected after department deposited it on the UIC campus. Earlier in the year, several counterfeit $5 bills were circulating on the UIUC campus.
USFSCO is updating the OBFS Cash Handling Policy and Procedures section of the OBFS Policy and Procedure manual to provide additional details and appropriate actions to take if a counterfeit bill is detected in your office.
Reminders if you receive a questionable bill:
- Keep the bill, do not return it to the person who gave it to you.
- Your safety is priority
- Explain to the presenter that the bill(s) presented for payment appears to be counterfeit and request a new form of payment
- If the presenter reacts in a non-threatening manner, explain the process that police are called, not because they are in trouble, but to gather information on the origination of the counterfeit
- Observe the payer for identification details and description to pass along to the police
- Report the incident to your campus police immediately via published emergency contact information. If the bill is accepted and later detected, the department accepting the counterfeit bill will be charged back for the amount of the counterfeit bill.
- Your office may establish a code phrase that doesn’t alert the payer, but signals the campus police should be contacted
For additional resources and education on detecting counterfeit bills, check out the Know Your Money link at http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.
Calendar year end is a busy time for most departments and a shortened month due to the holiday break. To help ensure your department’s revenue is recorded in an accurate and timely manner, please have your deposit(s) delivered to your campus Cashier Operations office by 2:00pm on December 23, 2014.
Reminder: Deposits not delivered to the Cashier's Office are the responsibility of the department to properly secure during the winter break. That is the last business day for the month of December and the 2014 Calendar Year.
USFSCO Offices will resume regular business hours on Monday, January 5, 2015.
Whether your department is new to cash handling or will have a new source of funds you are collecting, here are a few resources to keep in mind as you set up your cash handling procedures and best practices:
- USFSCO -
- Cashier Operations - collecting funds, preparing deposits…
- ARO Operations - Banner AR Detail Code request, Banner AR Policy...
- University Accounting (UAFR) - cfoapal request, accounting assistance, Fund reconciliation assistance...
- Other University departments - There may be a department on your campus or another campus handling a similar process. Why reinvent the wheel if you can implement best practices already being used. Feel free to contact your campus cashier office, we may be able to assist you in locating a department contact on another campus.
6. Upcoming Dates and Deadlines
- December 20th - End of Fall Term
- December 23rd - End of Month / End of Calendar Year Deposits due by 2:00pm
- December 24th - January 2nd - USFSCO closed for winter break
- January 5th - USFSCO offices resume regular business hours
- January 12th - UIC First Day of Spring Term
- January 15th - 2nd Quarter Petty Cash Reconciliations Due
- January 19th - USFSCO offices closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- January 20th - UIS / UIUC First Day of Spring Term
- January 30th - End of Month Deposits due by 2:00pm
- February 27th - End of Month Deposits due by 2:00pm
- February 28th - Spring Term Tuition and Fees due
- March 16th - 20th - UIS Spring Break
- March 23rd - 27th - UIC/UIUC Spring Break
- March 31st - End of Month Deposits due by 2:00pm
7. Other USFSCO Functions & Resources: General Accounts Receivable (GAR)
In the last issue of Business Cents, we mentioned that USFSCO performs the official billing function for all campus units that use the Banner Accounts Receivable (Banner AR) system, and that Account Receivable Operations (ARO) assists campus units to understand and comply with Section 5 –Receivables of the OBFS Policies and Procedures Manual.
Approximately 95% ($1.32 billion in FY14) of the University’s total receivables are tuition charges. But non-student charges, also known as General Accounts Receivable (GAR), comprise an important revenue stream for the University and campus units that provide invaluable goods and services to customers and the community.
ARO and Student Loans & Collections (SLC) partner with campus units to navigate and utilize Banner GAR. For assistance with GAR account creation, assessment, billing and payment application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tamara Chapman at email@example.com or 217-333-4849, or Susan Cotter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-244-6022.
For assistance with delinquent GAR accounts, please contact Atif Hasan at email@example.com or 312-996-9344.
8. Common Inquiries / FAQs:
Q: As a custodian (of a petty cash or change fund), and planning to be out of the office for a month, is it necessary for me to complete a Change of Custodian form?
A: Yes, any time you anticipate being out of the office for an extended period of time, please have another person in your department take over responsibility of being the custodian of your fund until you return. A Change of Custodian form would be completed and then approved by the department verifier/approver. When you return from the extended leave and plan to resume as the custodian, another Change of Custodian form should be completed and approved.
Q: Is there a list of prohibited items that cannot be purchased with petty cash funds?
A: Yes. See the list below as a reference.
PETTY CASH PROHIBITED LIST OF ITEMS:
- Professional membership dues
- Professional development fees
- Work uniforms (includes boots, shoes, etc.)
- Food (includes any meals, along with refreshments for meetings, alcohol, etc.)
- Coffee club
- Gift cards
- Cannot be used as change funds
- Personal services
- Travel advance/expenses
- Purchase items that will be on your biennial inventory
- To cash personal checks
- Limit single purchases to $100 or less per purchase per vendor. Simultaneous purchases (stringing) may not be made to circumvent these limitations.
*With options such as the P-Card, iBuy and employee reimbursement, petty cash funds should only be used in rare cases and for only minimal expenses.
**Postage can be purchased with a P-Card unless it is reconciled against a state fund.
***If you are unsure of the eligibility of an item(s), contact USFSCO prior to making the purchase.
If you or someone on your team is new to the university or new in their role handling department deposits or Banner AR transactions, feel free to contact the appropriate USFSCO unit to ask questions or request training.
UIC Cashier Operations
UIS Cashier Operations
UIUC Cashier Operations
USFSCO ARO (Account Receivables Operations)
USFSCO Returned Checks
USFSCO – Student Accounts Customer Service - for additional information about student billing questions
USFSCO Student Money Management Center (SMMC) – The SMMC maintains an educational website with tons of financial resources. SMMC also provides peer-to-peer mentoring and delivers group financial education sessions for University of Illinois students. In addition, the SMMC services include: Saving Tips and Tricks, Financial Literacy Materials, Budgeting Assistance, Financial Workshops, Seminars, Webinars, and more! Check out their website at http://www.studentmoney.uillinois.edu/ for more information.
Please do not reply directly to this email, as this is an outgoing email account only. Send all email correspondence to USFSCOhelp@uillinois.edu.
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