Procedures for Department Cash Management

Title: Department Cash Management Procedures
Effective Date: 06-22-2009
Issuing Authority: Controller
Contact: Tonya Malz at or 507-786-3539
Last Updated: 09-23-2019

Purpose of Procedures

Departments are not allowed to handle cash, checks or credit cards except when it is considered absolutely necessary.  Departments are also not allowed to set up electronic payment portals including Square, PayPal, or other methods without prior approval by the Controller.

All college related financial activity must go through the college’s banking accounts.  Departments, including Student Organizations, are not allowed to open off-campus bank accounts.

The College strives to safeguard and minimize the cash that is being handled by individual departments around campus.  These procedures are intended to provide guidance to departments regarding the handling of payments received and charges to students.

Who needs to know these Procedures

These procedures apply to all St. Olaf faculty, staff, and student organizations.


Departments should utilize the following options before handling cash, checks or credit cards:

  • Sale of Goods in the Bookstore: Departments should utilize the Bookstore for the sale of any items.  The bookstore has the capability and training to handle cash receipts and the collection/remittance of sales tax.  Examples include lab supplies, music supplies, art supplies, and course packets.
  • OleCard Point of Sale (POS) System: If a department has frequent occurrences where it collects money from students, the department should email a request to Nate Engle at in the Finance Office for an OleCard POS System.  If it is determined that the department will have enough activity to justify the cost of a OleCard POS System, one will be installed for the department and they will be able to collect money from students and employees from their Ole$ account, without having to physically handle any cash.  If a department has an event or rare occasion where it needs to collect money from St. Olaf students or employees, please consider checking out an OleCard POS System.  This will enable the department to swipe OleCards to collect the money from students and employees, instead of handling cash.

If it is determined that the Bookstore and OleCard are not viable options and the department must collect payments, they should follow these procedures for handling cash, checks or credit cards:

  • All checks received for payment must be immediately stamped “For Deposit Only” with a stamp provided by the Business Office.
  • Cash and checks in excess of $300 must be kept in a safe approved by the Controller or left in the Business Office depository overnight for safekeeping.
  • Cash and checks less than $300 must be kept in a locked drawer or file cabinet in a room with restricted access.
  • Cash, checks, and credit card deposits should be sent to the Business Office daily, using the Business Office Deposit Form.
  • Departments should be aware of any sales tax implications, and must break out and report any sales tax on the Business Office Deposit Form in a timely manner.  For questions about sales tax, please contact John Arndt at or 507-786-3659.
  • Credit card receipts or other documentation containing credit card numbers must be kept in a secure location the same as cash or checks or shredded if no longer needed.

To comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and anti-money laundering regulations, we are required to report the following to the US Treasury:

  • Money order transactions that aggregate $3,000 or more
  • Cash purchases that aggregate $10,000 or more and
  • All suspicious illegal activity