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When cash is involved, public entities need to take extra precautions to prevent fraud. One situation where cash is prevalent is when tickets are sold, for example, at a school event or for a public swimming pool. Ticket sales present an opportunity for “skimming,” the taking of cash before it is recorded on the entity’s books.

Using pre-numbered tickets is one method to guard against skimming. When the sale of tickets is reported, the person responsible for the ticket sales should turn in the corresponding amount of cash and the correct number of unsold tickets, and obtain a receipt for what they've turned in.

To properly document ticket sales, entities should develop a form that records the starting and ending numbers on the tickets sold at an event and the total amount of money collected. The number of tickets sold multiplied by the ticket price should equal the amount of money collected.

The form that records this information should be signed by the ticket seller(s) and maintained by the entity as supporting documentation. Someone other than the ticket seller(s) should confirm that the number on the first ticket used for the next event begins where the numbers on the tickets for the prior event ended. Following these precautions can reduce an entity's risk of an employee skimming from ticket sales.


Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 08/19/2016

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