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Basic Cash Control: Terminology

What to Know

Several terms used in the Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-49 need to be defined to help you understand the University's cash handling policy. The basic terms fall into one of the three following categories:

  1. What is considered cash
  2. Defining Cash Handlers and Fund Custodians
  3. Cash Handling Roles
What is considered "cash"

When most of us think of cash (and who hasn't), we tend to think of paper money and coins. And that is certainly true.

But Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-49, the UC policy related to cash handling, when it refers to cash, it is really talking about a much broader spectrum of financial items. The goal of this page is to clarify the various forms of payment and other items that are included in the University's definition of cash.

In the USA, our currency is expressed in dollars and cents. Both bills and coins, in all denominations, make up our currency.

Cash as defined in BFB BUS-49 includes all of the following:

Cash and cash equivalents

  • Currency
  • Checks
  • Credit card recordings
  • Money orders
  • Bank notes
  • Traveler's checks
  • Cashier's checks

Securities are items that are easily transferable or converted into currency ($$$)

  • Stamps
  • Tokens
  • Parking permits
  • Tickets - for example for entertainment, meals


  • Debit & credit ACH Transactions
  • Other forms of electronic funds transfers (EFTs)

All of the above items are treated the same and will be referred to as cash. When you are asked how much money does your unit receive or handle, you need to include all of the above items.

Cash handler positions per policy

Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-49, the UC policy related to cash handling, defines the following cash handling positions:

  • Cashier
  • Cash Handler
  • Departmental Cash Handler
  • Fund Custodian

The job duties associated with each of these terms are listed in the next topic segment. Once you know the cash handling title that matches the duties you perform, you will be better able to comply with the applicable BUS-49 policy requirements. Understanding the differences in the job titles will also aid in your understanding of the University's cash handling policies.

Defining cash handlers

Cashier: A person who works in a main cashiering station. The primary function of this individual is cash handling, payment processing and preparing deposits that go directly to the bank.

These are the two main cashiering stations at UCSC:

  • Campus Cashier's Office
  • University Extension (UNEX)

Cash Handler: A person who frequently handles cash, processes payments and prepares deposits to a main cashiering station. A few examples of units at UCSC with this level of cash handling include:

  • Arboretum Gift Shop
  • Bay Tree Bookstore 
  • Event Ticket Office
  • Ocean Discovery Shop at Long Marine
  • Office of Physical Education & Recreational Services (OPERS)
  • Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS)

In BUS-49, a unit with this level of activity is called a sub-cashiering unit. There are approximately 50 sub-cashiering units at UCSC. In general, this type of unit operates cash handling equipment, e.g. a cash register, and routinely deposits to a main cashiering station.

Departmental Handler: A person who infrequently handles cash or processes deposits. Examples of the types of funds that may be received and processed include gifts, donations, and telephone or photocopy reimbursements.

In BUS-49 a unit with this level of activity is referred to as a cash handling department/unit.  In general, deposits to a main cashiering station occur only occasionally for this type of unit.

Fund Custodian: A person who has been assigned responsibility for administering either a petty cash or change fund.

Cash Flow

Here's a visual representation of how cash flows from cash handling units and sub-cashiering stations to the bank.


NOTE: UCSC cash handling equipment, including cash registers and point of sale systems, must meet minimum requirements. See BUS-49 or contact the Internal Audit or Cashier's Office for additional information.

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