Cash collection is the highest risk area of internal controls at any institution, especially a facility that has concession sales. Cash has no natural trail and is susceptible to many forms of fraud and theft. In general cash handling can be segregated into three stages:
The receipt of cash at a concession stand is arguably the most sensitive stage of cash handling. Employees are often the largest perpetrator of inconsistencies and cash receipts can be misappropriated in the process. Many controls can be implemented to mitigate the risk at this stage such as cash limits, separate cash registers, unique log-ins for registers, video cameras, and supervisors actively watching the employees take in the cash receipts.
Once cash has been collected, moving that cash from the collection site to depositing it in the bank becomes crucial. Ideally, this would be a different individual than those charged with cash collections. Controls to mitigate risk during depositing can be daily register summaries, third party deposit agencies, and segregation of duties between preparation and recording deposits. In addition, pay special attention to any employees that are consistently under on the cash count. If there is a trend, then there is a good chance that there is employee theft.
The final stage to ensure collection was made and properly recorded is reconciliation. If proper controls have been implemented, errors and issues related to cash handling are expected to be caught at this stage. Controls such as daily reconciliations of cash register summaries to bank deposit summaries can be used to ensure controls in prior stages have been performed as designed.
If you are experiencing issues relating to cash collections or suspect controls could be stronger, an independent review of your internal controls can be beneficial. This service can be pivotal in identifying and mitigating risks relating to internal controls.
After graduating with an accounting degree in 2006, Adam was immediately hired as a staff auditor. He joined LSL in 2013 as an audit manager to oversee a variety of audit engagements and to train staff. Among private companies, he has particular experience with auto dealerships, manufacturing and construction. In addition, he has experience working with entertainment venues including convention centers, stadiums, arenas and theaters. He performs 401(k) audits for larger companies as well as reviews, compilations and audits of financial statements. He will also consult on best practices and controls for specific areas of a client’s business or organization.
You can reach Adam at 714-672-0022.
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