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Back to Policy Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs
Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs

Policy Number: VIII-6.00(C)

University of Maryland, College Park Policy and Procedures Concerning Cash Register Control


I. Policy

In order to enable departments to maintain proper accounting records, and to ensure control of funds obtained from cash register activity, UMCP requires all cash registers used on campus to meet certain standards. In addition, all cash registers must be operated according to established procedures to ensure funds are properly collected and to prevent theft. Any cash register not purchased through the established University procurement methods shall be removed immediately by the Department of Procurement and Supply.

II. Requirements for Cash Registers

It is the responsibility of the requisitioning department and the Department of Procurement and Supply to ensure that all cash registers meet the following criteria:

  1. There must be a non-resettable grand total, which must include all recorded transactions.
  2. There must be a printed sales journal capable of providing complete details of all recorded transactions with random access of related transaction totals.
  3. In order to provide evidence of payments, one or both of the following features must be available:
    1. There must be provision for printing an itemized customer receipt, or
    2. There must be provision for validating inserted forms with register printed figures.
  4. There must be consecutive transaction numbers for all recorded activity. These numbers should appear on both the sales journal and the customer's record supporting evidence of payment.
  5. There must be a "no sale" key to reflect those instances where the cash register drawer is opened without a sales transaction being recorded.
  6. The register must accommodate "split" (combination cash check or charge) payments.
  7. Electronic cash registers must have a nonvolatile memory capable of protecting all register totals for a minimum period of 100 hours in the event of a power loss.
  8. Where several electronic registers are to be operated on line simultaneously:
    1. Registers must have input/output buffer for storing transaction data prior to transmission.
    2. Buffers must be of sufficient capacity to normally accommodate a complete transaction.
    3. When buffer capacity is reached before a transaction is completed, there must be some means for precluding the loss of transaction data.
    4. Automatic transmission of data is preferable; however, if a key must be depressed to transmit same, there must be some means for protecting data when a cashier attempts to enter multiple transactions without depressing said key.
    5. Transaction data must be protected in the event several registers attempt to transmit simultaneously.
  9. Specialized key-control locks must be provided for (a) limiting cashier's activities to recording transactions only and (b) giving supervisors sole access to the transaction totals and, if applicable, the performing operation.
  10. There must be two copies of a detailed instruction manual. One copy should be sent to the Office of the Internal Auditor, the second retained by the user.
  11. The Office of the Internal Auditor should receive a copy of all documents supporting the cash register purchase. Said documents should be submitted on a current basis upon completion of the transaction.

III. Rentals

In lieu of a non-resettable grand total, registers with a functioning reset counter may be utilized.

  1. It is not necessary to obtain two copies of a detailed instruction manual if adequate operating instructions are provided to those who will operate said rental registers.
  2. The criteria for rental cash registers is the same as those acquired by purchase. The following exceptions apply to short- term leases of six months or less:

IV. Procedures for Operation

  1. Prior to placing a register into operation, the Campus Comptroller must be notified to secure register readings necessary to provide an initial point of accountability.
  2. After a cash register has been placed into operation, all usage must be recorded daily on a cash register report form which can be found in the Campus Form Book. The format of the report must be approved in advance by the Campus Comptroller.
  3. The cash register report must contain a complete description of all cash register errors, adjustments, etc., with appropriate cross reference to the cash register tapes on which the exceptions appear.
  4. Preparation of a report must take place at the conclusion of each operator's cashiering activities, and should be accomplished in the following manner in order to obtain a dual verification of cash register operations:
    1. The operator is responsible for initially counting the funds and recording the date, register identification number, and an analysis of the subject funds (total removed from cash register less authorized change fund equals the amount to be deposited). The operator then signs the report and hand carries it to the supervisor together with the related funds.
    2. The supervisor counts the funds received and resolves any discrepancies with the operator. The supervisor completes the register report by inserting the opening and closing register readings and any adjustments necessary to arrive at the amount to be deposited. After signing the report, the supervisor forwards the funds, less the change fund returned to safekeeping, to the department head or a designee for deposit.
  5. Monthly activity reports are required for all cash registers regardless of use or non-use. This report is due to the Campus Comptroller no later than 15 days after the last working day of the month. The following information must be included:
    1. For registers in use, an analysis by individual cash registers should be made of all deposits with the Cashier's Office. Copies of these reports should be retained for reconciling the related data to the Comptroller's Office accounting statements.
    2. For registers not in use, a total reading should be taken on the last working day of each month. A separate listing should be prepared giving each cash register's identification number, location, total reading, and reason for inactivity.
    3. The reset counter number should be read on the last working day of the month and said number indicated on the related report.
    4. The monthly reports must be reviewed by the department head or a designee.

V. Maintenance/Disposal

Any planned action concerning repair, maintenance or disposal of cash registers must be reported in advance to the Comptroller so that appropriate action may be taken to maintain the accountability for funds received as well as for the registers themselves.

VI. Inventory Record

Cash registers should be periodically verified with the University's inventory records. Any discrepancies should be brought to the immediate attention of the Campus Comptroller's Inventory Accounts Section.