Community Campus Delegation 301: Checks

Purpose

To describe the authority for the control and issuance of checks.  

References

Statewide Accounting Manual P-73: Accountability for ChecksStatewide Accounting Manual P-74: Issuance of Handpay Checks

Statewide Accounting Manual P-79: Disposition of Check Copies

Statewide Accounting Manual P-101: Signing University of Alaska Checks  

Definitions

Handpay Checks: Checks that are hand prepared, in contrast to checks that are scheduled and generated by the Banner System.

Policy

Delegation Authority
Check Cashing—Campuses have the authority to cash checks subject to the following requirements and restrictions:
  1. $100 maximum
  2. For students and staff only: business managers may approve exceptions for certain visitors and others associated with the university
  3. Appropriate identification is required, i.e., student or employee ID, driver’s license or military ID
  4. No second party checks (checks not listing the university as payee) except for:
    1. Cashier’s checks
    2. Money orders
    3. State or federal treasury warrants
    4. Travelers checks
    5. Others as approved by the business manager
  5. No stale dated checks (over 90 days old)
  6. No post dated checks (dated after the actual transaction date)
  7. No counter checks (checks not imprinted with the name, address and bank account number information
Exceptions:
  1. University of Alaska travel advance checks may be cashed for amounts in excess of the $50 limit.
  2. Business managers may approve individual exceptions.
  3. Local administrative practices may be more restrictive.
Control of Check Stock—The Directors/President have the authority to designate employees with the responsibility of controlling check stock. All check stock must be requested from the Statewide Accounting Services General Ledger Section. The custodians must be trained to manage the check stock in conformance with Statewide Accounting Manual Procedure P-73. An appropriate segregation of duties must be maintained. All checks issued and used must be sequentially accounted for by a reconciliation of the check log with the check register. A procedure for managing check processing must be maintained and approved by UAA Accounting Services. Instances of missing, lost or stolen checks must be reported immediately to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance.

Handpay Check Approval—Campuses have the authority to processes and approve handpay checks in conformance with Statewide Accounting Manual Procedure P-74, subject to the dollar limitations of the delegation authority.

Check Approval Limit/Signature Authority—Local approval of issuance of checks up to the maximum of $50,000. Campuses may locally prepare, review, approve, validate and distribute checks up to the specified limit. Approval must be evidenced by initials on the original check and the payables copy prior to signing. Checks exceeding the limit require UAA Accounts Payable review and approval. Validation and distribution of those checks will be made at the Campus level following the approval. A request for approval must have appropriate backup documentation including PO, invoice, and receiving report. This documentation may be submitted by Fax.

Delegation Criteria
Adherence to the referenced procedures with attention to the following internal control requirements:
  1. Existence of an adequate local review process consisting of the following audit steps:
    1. Verify the existence of the appropriate supporting documentation, i.e., an approved check request or invoice packet.
    2. Determine that each invoice packet contains matched invoice, purchase order (or signed LPO).
    3. Insure that the invoice is an original or a "certified" billing copy.
    4. Compare check amount with invoice amount—less any discounts taken.
    5. Verify that discounts have been taken.
    6. Compare the address on check with remittance address specified on the invoice. If the address is different, use a windowless envelope.
    7. Verify that the account numbers on the check agree with the account numbers on the requisition or purchase order.
    8. Insure that LPO purchases reflect an immediate delivery.
    9. Signify check approval by initialing the check in the upper right hand section of the stub.
    10. Obtain further approval if local approval limits have been exceeded.
  2. Separation of the following duties:
    1. Custody of check stock
    2. Printing of checks
    3. Payables function
    4. Check review and approval for validation (approver must not have access to the blank checks)
    5. Access to signature plates (check custodian must not have access to the signature plates)
    6. Distribution of checks
  3. Providing secure storage and limited access to blank checks and signature plates.
  4. Mailing of checks directly to the payees. Checks held for pickup must be authorized and signed for when received (identification is required).
  5. Accountability of check number sequence; maintenance of check logs.
  6. Accountability of voided and spoiled checks; proper cancellation of checks.
  7. Proper cancellation of paid invoices.
  8. Issuance of handpay checks only in exceptional situations as per the Statewide Accounting Manual section P-74. Adequate documentation, explaining the reason for issuing the handpay, must be placed in the file.
Applicability
All community campuses have the limited check authority expressed in this policy unless special limits or requirements are set by the Vice Chancellor for Administration.

Effective: 10/25/2005