Receiving Cash

When receiving cash, you should adhere to the appropriate controls. These affect how you handle daily processing of transactions and specific forms of payment.

Keep in mind that neither departments nor student organizations are permitted to open their own separate bank accounts. All deposits must be made through the University.

Daily Processes

Cashiers should start each day's business with new beginning cash and their own cash drawer. Cash drawers should never be shared. If you have no register, authorize a specific person to receive cash.

During the business day, if you interact with a face-to-face customer, you should offer them the option of a transaction receipt. You may need to charge sales tax on the sale of some goods or services at your event. To limit the amount of cash change needed for your event, we recommend that you charge whole dollar amounts that also cover the Ohio sales tax. Sales tax for Butler County is currently 6.5% (.065) of gross sales. For tax-related assistance (e.g., whether you should collect tax), you can email us at TaxCompliance@MiamiOH.edu.

Should a cashier need to void or refund a transaction, the cashier's supervisor should first review and approve of the void/refund. You should include documentation for all voids and refunds to the daily balancing reports.

At the end of a shift, cashiers should balance their business. You should designate someone else to verify independently that the cash received matches the cash register report of business by the cashier. We suggest performing this review while preparing the day’s deposit. Record immediately all cash received, regardless of whether you use a register.

At the end of a business day, prepare a deposit, which should reflect the total collected cash and void/refund documentation.

Handling Specific Forms of Payment

Determine your cash handling controls based on the forms of payment you accept. 

Coins, Currency, Checks, and Money Orders

Hold all coins, currency, checks, and money orders (and their receipts/reports) in a secure manner (e.g., in a locked location) until they are deposited. Restrict access to secure location(s) using keys or combinations, and limit who is authorized to access them.

All checks and money orders should be made payable to Miami University. You should endorse the back of all checks with the following:

  • "For deposit only"
  • "Miami University"
  • Your department or student organization name

Do not cash any checks or money orders, or make any expenditures from revenues you have collected. Make any expenditures or donations to outside groups through Buyway.

Credit Cards

Your department or student organization can accept credit card payment for sales made in person, by telephone, by postal mail, or through an internet application that is secure and compliant with the University Policy for Payment Card Data Security. These transactions may be completed through credit card readers, wireless readers, registers, and various online software (as pre-approved by the University). To accept credit card payments, you must follow the guidelines below.

Please note: All departments and student organizations transacting credit card business will have card fees recorded as an expense to their appropriate ledger accounts. Our office typically processes these fees monthly. Fees are typically 2–3% of gross credit card sales, based on University contracts.

Data Security

Regardless of which form of credit card transaction you use, it is of paramount importance that the University protects credit card customer's privacy and data and maintains compliance with Miami's Policy for Payment Card Data Security. Everyone storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder information is required to follow this policy, which ensures compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). These are twelve basic requirements grouped into six categories for establishing and maintaining a reliable and secure payment processing environment. A merchant's total VISA transaction volume over a one-year period determines their "level," which in turn determines the necessary requirements for actual formal compliance validation. Because the University could face penalties for failing to comply with these standards, you must follow the standards at all times. If you fail to do so, we may ask your department to discontinue credit card transactions. Any exception to this policy requires the approval of the Chief Investment Treasury Officer and the Information Security Officer, who review such requests on a case-by-case basis.

To further ensure the security of customers' credit cards, you can do the following:

  • Hold all credit card receipts you receive in a secure manner (e.g., in a locked location) until they are deposited. Restrict access to secure location(s) using keys or combinations and limit who is authorized to access them.
  • Refuse to accept credit card information via email (or send such information to another department via email).
  • Refrain from storing full credit card information in a customer database or electronic spreadsheet.
    • If you distribute customer card number receipts or information outside of your department, it must show only the last four digits of the credit card number. The rest of the credit card number should be redacted (i.e., sufficiently marked out so it is not readable when held to a light).
    • If you securely store paper records containing credit card numbers, all but the last four digits should be redacted within 60 days, or as soon as refunds, chargebacks, or disputes are no longer likely (no more than 180 days).

Please note: If you feel that credit card records may have been compromised in any way, whether through malicious intent or due to a weakness in the handling and processing of credit card transactions, notify our office or University Information Security immediately.

Ways to Receive Credit Card Payments

If your department wishes to transact business using credit cards, you must contact our office to set up the process.

Review the following approaches to gain a sense of which approved method might be most appropriate for you, based on how regularly you will need to make credit card transactions, as well as the scope and budget of your needs:

  • For a regular, ongoing need, you may wish to purchase a stand-alone credit card reader or mobile wireless unit (for processing with the credit card present). These range in price from $700–900.
  • If you have a moderate, but ongoing need to process card transactions (where the customer and card may not be physically present), you may consider an option called i-terminal.
  • For departments working to purchase large software systems, contact the following departments (in addition to our office): Purchasing, IT Security, General Counsel. These departments help facilitate, review, or approve of any software purchases. Once a contract is set, our office will apply for the necessary merchant IDs to facilitate credit card transactions to our bank accounts. We will also work with your departmental personnel to develop deposit transmittals to the ledger system that will reconcile to bank amounts.
  • If you have a temporary need for the ability to accept credit cards (e.g., specific events), departments can contact us ahead of time to inquire about reserving a loaner card reader. Student organizations should contact the Armstrong Student Center (513-529-2266) to reserve one.
    • All persons overseeing credit card sales using a loaner reader are required to sign a form as an "owner." You will complete and sign the Application Ownership form (and receive a copy of it) when you pick up the reader (from either us or the ASC). Signing the form acknowledges your responsibility for:
      • Reviewing University credit card policy
      • Understanding sales tax compliance, accepting credit card fees
      • Confirming the index code for charging card fees
      • Reviewing transactions for legitimacy and appropriateness
      • Card handling
      • Completing a batch settlement each end-of-day (instructions come with the unit)
      • Forwarding all receipts to the student organization treasurer for 4 years' retention
      • Safeguarding of any equipment issued to them as owners
    • As owner, you are responsible for completing the procedure to reflect the cash and credit card transactions in the University ledger account system and retaining bank receipts and daily batch settlement reports. This includes completing an online Deposit Survey (see Depositing Cash). You will jeopardize your groups's claim to revenue from your event and/or your ability to obtain a loaner reader in the future if you fail to:
      • Promptly deposit any cash to the PNC bank
      • Batch out the loaner reader each end-of-day having activity
      • Complete the survey in a timely manner
    • Please note: Lost, broken, or stolen equipment will be charged to the department/student organization responsible for the unit as per the signed Application Ownership form. These typically cost $700-900.

Disputed Charges

If a credit card customer disputes a charge posted to their credit card statement, the amount will be reversed and deducted from our bank account. These are called "chargebacks" and can occur for both legitimate and fraudulent reasons.

The University's bank provides our office with information and gives us a stated period of time to defend our right to the funds (if applicable) or decide in favor of the customer. We pass this information on to the responsible area to take an appropriate action, research and provide all receipts and documentation, and send the required information back to us. If we are disputing the chargeback and provide satisfactory documents, our bank will reverse the chargeback and our bank account will be credited. If not, our office will perform the appropriate cash entry to record the loss to the department or student organization.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Automated Clearing House (ACH) Deposits

We encourage and facilitate the use of electronic deposits, such as EFT and ACH. 

EFT is the electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another via computer-based systems without bank staff intervention. Various types include direct deposit, credit card, e-checks, and wire transfers (including international wires such as SWIFT).

ACH is an electronic network for processing computer-based transactions in batches between participating depository institutions. Transfers include direct deposit, payroll, and vendor payments.

To accept EFT and ACH forms of payment, you must request that our office complete the required vendor forms with banking information. We require departmental contact(s) and/or ledger account information to ensure proper recording of deposits.

Gifts and Donations

A gift is an irrevocable contribution of money or property from a donor to the University. Donors are given a receipt appropriate for claiming the gift as a donation on their tax returns. Donors can designate a department or area the gift will benefit, but they cannot have any further involvement once the University accepts the gift. For example, a professor cannot make a gift to the University that supports her own research. Similarly, a donor may not give a gift to fund a particular student’s tuition.

The Office of Advancement processes all charitable gifts or donations to Miami. Gift checks should not be deposited directly to the bank by a department or organization. Centralized depositing of charitable gifts by Advancement ensures proper receiving, recording, and acknowledgement of donations. Without an official University receipt, the donor may not be able to take an IRS tax deduction for the gift given. Donor information is recorded in a database for historical tracking of the donor's relationship to the University.

When accepting gifts/donations/sponsorships please be sure to obtain donor names and addresses. Forward this information along with the checks to the Advancement office using a securely sealed campus mail envelope.

Grants

Grants are funds the University receives for a specified purpose. The University Accounting staff handles the receiving, processing, and tracking of all grants (internal and external) awarded to Miami University departments and organizations. Any questions may be directed to grantsandcontracts@miamioh.edu.

External grant checks should not be deposited directly to the bank.

Departments may apply for grant funds through the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS).

Need Help?

Contact: 

  • Office of Investments and Treasury Services (513-529-7020)
  • University Information Security Office (513-529-9252)