4.2 General principles
- Separate custody of cash from accounting-Staff holding custody of cash, either by being responsible for the safekeeping of funds or by being directly responsible for incurring cash expenses, should not have access to recording accounting entries into CARE’s books.
- Fraud and corruption-Fraud and corruption are unacceptable and should not be considered limited to simple theft or misappropriation. Conflict of interest by favouring certain suppliers or individuals and influencing decision-making are also examples of corruption. Staff should be committed to the ‘Total disclosure’ principle by agreeing to report any allegation or incident of actual or potential fraud through the management line and to the internal audit department, and by showing support and advice on investigations and further actions.
- Bookkeeping-In instances where Scala/Sun/Serenic is not used at an emergency operations office, all cash transactions must be recorded in transaction ledgers and submitted for booking in Scala/Sun/Serenic to the nearest location at least on a weekly basis. Transaction ledgers maintained on-site must be updated daily and reconciled before submitting records to the nearest location where Scala/Sun/Serenic is available. Cash reconciliations must be prepared at least monthly by someone independent of the cash receiving, processing and recording activities.
- Safekeeping of cash-All cash and cash equivalents must be kept in a locked box in a safe or cabinet. Petty cash floats must also be stored in a safe or cabinet overnight. An office receipt must be issued, these must be pre-numbered, and the receipt books must be kept under lock and key.
- Cash counts-As a key control, cash counts are required to take place, and to be reconciled against cash book records, at least once a week and when responsibility for the cash is transferred between staff members. Cash counts need to be countersigned by a non-finance manager (see section 3).
Transfer of cash between offices/sub-offices-In emergency operations where banking services are not available, it may be necessary to physically hand-carry cash from the nearest office to the site where the emergency operation takes place. All cash transfers between sub-offices must be documented, with signature evidence of the transfer of responsibility between staff members. These cash transfers (i.e. by hand) are limited to a normal maximum of USD20,000 or equivalent unless there is additional authorisation as set out in section 4.4 Physical cash limits (hand-carrying cash and transfer between sub-offices). Another (and preferred) alternative to CARE staff hand-carrying cash is using a cash facilitator (see section 4.7 Cash facilitation ) who, for a fee, will perform the required banking duties on behalf of CARE.