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The school year will begin soon, so it’s a good time for schools to review some basic internal control procedures for payments received from students, parents, and members of the community. Here are some basics worth following:

  • Provide a sequentially pre-numbered receipt to the person turning in the payment. If a teacher/coach collects the payments, the teacher/coach should use a pre-numbered receipt book. At a minimum, the teacher/coach should maintain a list of the individual payments received, including whether the payments were cash or checks (and the check number). The teacher/coach should be provided with a receipt when the funds are turned into the main office for deposit.
  • Indicate on the receipts whether the payment was in the form of cash or check and, for checks, indicate the check number.
  • Use pre-numbered tickets for events and document the starting and ending numbers of the tickets sold at the event. Have someone other than the ticket seller reconcile the number of tickets sold to the money collected.
  • Segregate duties so the person preparing the deposit slip is not the person collecting the money. Have someone other than the person preparing the deposit slip verify that the description of the deposit on the supporting receipts agrees with the funds actually being deposited (e.g., cash vs. check amounts on the receipts match the deposit; the receipted checks are the checks actually being deposited).


Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 08/24/2012

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