Chapter 4 – Cash and Credit Card Receipts

(Amended 9/93; 5/95; 9/97; 9/98; 3/06; 1/08; 2/08; 10/12; 9/17; 12/17; 11/19/19)

4.1 Receipt of Funds

No money may be received on behalf of the University by any unit without local desktop cash handling procedures approved by Accounting and Financial Reporting. The University cash handling policy requires that every unit administrator and employee responsible for overseeing, receipting, depositing, or reconciling cash and its equivalents undergo the departmental and staff certification process.

Refer to the cash handling policies and procedures document located at the following web address:

4.2 Deposit of Funds

(Amended 4/03)

Persons authorized to receive money for the University are accountable for all money received by them and must deposit such money promptly at the bank designated by the University. No part of these funds may be used for refunds or to pay bills or expenses unless special approval has been received from Accounting and Financial Reporting.

Refer to the cash handling policies and procedures document located at and to information about the e-deposit system at

4.3 Return Checks

(Amended 9/17)

Any payment not honored and returned to The University of Iowa will be charged back to the account accompanied by a $30.00 returned-check handling charge, where applicable.

4.4 Credit Cards

(Amended 3/06; 10/12; 4/14; 12/17; 11/19/19)

Any unit may request authorization to become a University of Iowa credit card merchant by completing a  Merchant Account application request ( Upon approval by the University Controller and IT Security Office, Treasury Operations will assist the new credit card merchant by providing the necessary information and training required to comply with the University's credit card handling policy and payment card industry data security standards. The procedures outlined in the policy are mandatory when processing, recording, and reconciling credit card sales. Under no circumstance should a unit contact any credit card processor to obtain the ability to accept credit cards for the sales of goods and/or services.

Any unit accepting credit cards also must be in compliance with the University of Iowa cash handling policy. Noncompliance with either policy may result in the loss of privileges to process credit card payments and the revocation of credit card merchant status.

Refer to the credit card acceptance and security guidelines documents located at:

4.5 Change Fund Advances

Requests for advances of cash to be used for making change must be made through Workflow to Accounting and Financial Reporting. The amount of each advance should be kept at a minimum needed to transact business, and arrangements for safekeeping must be made by the department.

4.6 Miscellaneous Cash Advances

(Amended 2/08; 9/17; 11/19/19)

For events that require cash payments such as payments to research subjects, student athlete recruiting and meal expenses, and other specialized program expenses, departments must submit requests for advances through Workflow to Accounting and Financial Reporting. Each request must provide an explanation of the need for the cash advance. Every reasonable effort should be made to identify an alternative to the use of a cash advance. Alternatives include direct payments, procurement cards, and the use of the ProTrav system for travel advances and reimbursements.

  1. Requests for cash advances must be submitted on the Request for Approval of Change Fund or Cash Advance Workflow form in order to provide the information below:
    1. purpose of advance;
    2. length of time the advance will be needed;
    3. account number and class code to which reimbursements and adjustments will be charged;
    4. signatures of both the person responsible for the account and the authorized administrator; approval through the University Workflow application is acceptable in lieu of a signature.
  2. Submit "Routing Complete" email as an attachment to an e-voucher to Accounting and Financial Reporting for approval. Requests for cash advances in excess of $1,000 shall be referred to the University Controller or Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting for approval. The requester will pick up a check from Accounts Payable and cash the check. Wells Fargo is the recommended location for check cashing because a fee is not charged; other banking locations will assess a fee to cash the check. The requesting department is responsible for safekeeping of the check and cash.
  3. When cash payments are required as a consequence of contractual arrangements, a copy of the contract must be presented with the request for an advance.
  4. Departments delaying return of advances will not be allowed further advances without either the clearing of those in question or the approval of the University Controller or Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting.
  5. When the need for the advance is complete, the department must return the unused cash, the Return of Cash Advance form, and receipts to Accounting and Financial Reporting to clear the outstanding advance.
  6. All receipts will be verified on advances being cleared. Any questionable receipts will be referred to the University Controller or Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting.
  7. Receipts from student organizations will require a summary listing approved by an officer of the group and the proper official in the department administering the groups.
  8. Change or cash advances cannot be used to cash personal checks. Requests for exceptions to this check-cashing policy should be directed to the University Controller.

4.7 Prohibited Cash Advances: Local Sports Clubs

(Amended 5/95; 9/97)

Local sports clubs, associated formally or informally with The University of Iowa athletics programs, shall not issue cash advances to students and University employees. The University of Iowa Athletic Department shall assure that all local sports clubs receive periodic reminders regarding their role in support of University of Iowa athletic teams.

4.8 Other Applicable University Policies and Procedures

(Amended 3/06)

See V-2.3a Transfers of Funds to The University of Iowa Center for Advancement; V-22 Travel Regulations; and the cash handling policies and procedures document located at