The Kings County Treasury subscribes to a Lockbox Service through Bank of America, our service bank, exclusively for the receipt of State of California checks. The service has been very successful in accelerating receipt of funds and increasing interest earnings.
Rather than being mailed to Treasury depositors, checks issued by the State of California are mailed to a P. O. Box in Sacramento. Bank of America picks up these items daily and deposits them to the Kings County Treasurer’s demand deposit account. The Bank presents them the same day for payment to the State Treasurer’s Office. Since the settlement is effectively the same day, the funds are immediately available for investment.
Bank of America faxes copies of all the checks and remittance advices to the County Treasury. The remittance advices, which identify the source of the funds, are used by Treasury staff to notify the appropriate treasury depositor. The communication is either via telephone, fax, or e-mail. The depositor then prepares and forwards (usually via fax) a deposit permit for entry into the Treasury accounting system.
By minimizing the mail and float time, the funds start earning interest at least five days sooner than for a physical check delivered through the mail. For FY 08-09 assuming a seven-day delay, approximately $50,000 in additional interest earnings was generated from using the Lockbox Service. It is the most efficient way to receive State funds. However, there are still millions of dollars in State checks being deposited over the counter in the Treasury and not going to the Lockbox.
We encourage all treasury depositors, who receive State of California checks, to direct payments initially to the Lockbox and to review current programs to verify or redirect payments to the Lockbox. The Lockbox address is:
P. O. Box 1406
Sacramento, CA 95812
Policies for County Depts. & Agencies
This booklet has been prepared by the Kings County Treasurer-Tax Collector with the cooperation and assistance of the Kings County Auditor. Its purpose is to present an overview of our banking functions and services, and to assist you in working with our Financial Services Team. We welcome your comments and suggestions
Accepting Cash & Checks
In each section of this manual, you will find policies that relate to the various types of cash receipting activities. Listed below is a summary of the major cash receipt policies that should be used as a reference.
- All money that is received must be deposited in the bank or transmitted to the Treasurer's office within 48 hours.
- Foreign checks and travelers checks should not be accepted unless:
- The words "U.S. Funds" appear on the check.
- The check is drawn on a US bank.
- The check is MICR encoded along the bottom edge with the 9 digit Federal Reserve routing number.
- Cash should not be given back as change to a customer for a personal check, company check or cashier's check.
- Check endorsement information, which is the name of the department/agency, location of facility or account number, must be placed on the back of the check at the top 1.5 inches. The rest of the check must be left clear for the bank's stamps.
- Always double-check your balance tape before depositing money in the bank or the Treasury office. All revenue received must be accounted for on the Deposit Permit.
- Accepting Coin - Not Required!
Counting Currency & Coins
To insure consistent accuracy, the following method should be used to count currency. This method ensures that no bill is double-counted. Always recount the money as many times as necessary to come up with the same total twice. This means you will always count a stack of currency at least two times. In a secure area:
- Separate bills into denominations with all the bills facing up.
- Beginning with the highest denomination, count the currency.
- Place the stack in one hand.
- Transfer one bill at a time from your hand to a table or other flat surface as you count it.
- Check each bill as you count to ensure correct denomination.
- When complete, count it again.
- If your totals do not agree, repeat the count until they do.
- Stack the currency in order with the lowest denomination on top and the highest denomination on the bottom.
Kings County is not currently accepting credit cards.
The County's primary bank is Bank of America. Through B of A, we have established a Cash Concentration deposit account for use by County departments/agencies. Depositing departments/agencies receive unique deposit slips which allow the Treasury to identify the depositing department/agency. The department faxes the deposit permit to the Treasury. We process the deposit and fax it back to acknowledge its receipt. If your department/agency is interested in such an arrangement, please contact us.
The Deposit Permit is used for posting all financial receipts into the treasury.
- It is authorized and required by Government Code Section 27009.
- It contains the coding required certification for the Auditor-Controller-Clerk or the Office of Education to post your deposit to your funds on the books of the County.
Should the Deposit Permit not be properly completed, it may delay crediting your funds and affect your quarterly interest apportionment. Following are some general rules that apply to Deposit Permits
- The Deposit must reflect the amount of cash, change required, checks, county or school warrants, and Direct Deposits (payments directed to our service bank).
- The sum of the detailed coding lines MUST EQUAL THE TOTAL AMOUNT BEING DEPOSITED. If they do not, data entry errors may occur bringing with them additional effort to correct them.
- Each line of code MUST BE PROPERLY COMPLETED. If they are not, data entry errors may occur bringing with them additional effort to correct them.
- By completing the Deposit Permit, you are stating the amount shown is the true and correct amount due the Treasurer under Government Code Section 24353. The Deposit Permit MUST CARRY AN AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE in order for the Treasurer to accept the deposit.
- The Deposit Permit must be presented concurrently with the deposit.
These general rules apply to all Deposit Permits presented to the Treasurer in person, fax, mail, e-mail, or wire transfer.
The federal government mandated that all federal payments be made electronically as of January 1, 1999. Use of electronic payments is expected to grow substantially. Should a department of the federal government contact you regarding electronic payment, contact the Treasurer's office for assistance. Any electronic payments must be receipted on a deposit permit as direct deposits.
The United States Treasury Department has the responsibility for issuing currency for the United States. U.S. currency takes the form of notes engraved on special paper and comes in seven denominations, each bearing a portrait of a different famous American. These are as follows:
In addition, the face of the bill contains key elements: the denomination, Federal Reserve bank seal, serial number, and Treasury Department seal. The reverse side of a bill is similar for all denominations. The value designations also differ, but appear in ten places on the bill. The Great Seal of the United States appears in the center of the bill, under the words "In God We Trust."
Look at a dollar bill and take special notice of the following parts as you handle it:
- The value amount of each bill is numerically posted on all four corners on both sides.
- The value is written out across the bottom of the face side.
- The Federal Reserve seal appears to the left of the portrait, embossed over the written dollar amount.
- The unique serial number of the bill appears in both the lower left portion and the upper right portion on the face of the bill.
- The number of the Federal Reserve district that issued the bill appears near all four corners on the face of the bill.
- Denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 have a unique strip running the height of the bill just left of the portrait. This strip can be seen by holding the bill to the light.
- There is a hologram of the portrait to the right which can be seen by holding the bill to the light.
Objectives & Responsibilities
The goal of the County's cash management function is the accurate and secure receiving, receipting and processing of payments received at various locations throughout the County. This includes payments that are processed manually, through department/agency cash registers, or through automated systems.
The Treasury office offers support and training to County departments and depositing agencies including guidelines and procedures for proper cash receipting. It is the responsibility of the County Treasury office to resolve deposit problems with the County's bank, no matter what department/agency made the deposit.
Department/agency supervisors are responsible for the safekeeping of money that is received and the prompt deposit of those funds into the bank or the transfer of these funds to the Treasury department. Departments/agencies are expected to provide secure surroundings for employees who handle cash and keep them informed of all County receipt rules and procedures.
Properly trained cashiers are expected to be accurate and efficient when processing customer payments, making change, or accepting checks. They are also expected to safeguard County funds against loss, and to establish and maintain good customer relations.
There is no such thing as "just a cashier" in the County of Kings. As far as most citizens are concerned, you are a representative of local government! When citizens or customers come to a County office to pay for something, they expect to talk to someone who is knowledgeable as well as pleasant. If they have questions about their payment, they expect to receive prompt and accurate answers. When they leave, you are the one that they will remember. Just a cashier? Think again!
The function of receiving money is a very important one in the County. What you do includes one or more of the following distinct yet inter-related areas of responsibility:
- To receive payments from customers which can be cash, check, or other form of money
- To establish and maintain good customer relations
- To perform operations according to established County and departmental/agency procedures
- To protect the assets of the County through sound accounting, reporting and loss prevention practices
- To deposit all monies received and complete all cash receipt forms promptly and accurately and to balance cash daily.
Frequently, checks deposited are returned unpaid by the makers bank. The reasons for return include:
- Insufficient Funds (NSF)
- Account Closed
- Payment Stopped
- Unable to Locate
- Signature Missing
- Refer to Maker
When a check is returned, our account with the bank is charged for the item. The Treasury Office will determine from which department/agency the check came, and create a Debit deposit charging that department/agency for the Returned Item. It is then your department's/agency's responsibility to adjust your records and, following your departmental/agency procedures, attempt to recover payment.
Receiving Money from a Customer
Receiving Currency and Coins
The following are the steps to be used when receiving currency and coins from a customer:
- Put away all currency and coins from the last transaction before starting a new transaction.
- Count all cash and coins in the presence of the customer
- Separate the currency from the coins
- Separate coins into denominations
- Count each coin denomination separately
- Count each currency denomination separately
- Verify the grand total against the amount listed on the billing or invoice
- If any discrepancies exist between your total and the customer's total, count the money again. If a discrepancy still exists, ask your supervisor to count the money.
Giving change to a customer is one of the most important jobs of a cashier. If the amount given to the customer is incorrect, either the person will feel cheated or the department/agency will lose revenue. Either way, you will be out of balance at the end of the day. To be certain that the amount given to the customer is correct, change should be counted at least two times. Once when you count it out of the cash drawer and a second time when you count it back to the customer. Below is an example of how to count back change:
Example: The customer's bill was $67.31 and he gave you $100.00
Cashier: "Your bill was $67.31 out of $100.00. Your change is:
|(count four pennies)
(count one nickel)
(count one dime)
(count two quarters)
(count two ones)
(count one ten)
(count one twenty)
Give the customer the receipt.
Put the amount received in the drawer.
Close the drawer.
What Makes a Check Valid
Several requirements must be met to make a check negotiable or valid.
- The check must have a current date. The check should neither be stale dated nor post dated. A stale dated check is a check dated 180 or more days in the past. A check dated in the future is a post dated check.
- The check must have a maker. A maker is a company or individual who is paying for a County service. The County prefers that the name and address of the maker is pre-printed on the front of the check.
- The amount must appear twice. It must be both spelled out and printed in numbers. If there is a discrepancy between the written amount and the amount in numbers, the written amount supersedes the amount in numbers.
- The check must be signed by the maker or drawer.
- The check must be made payable to the department/agency. Acceptance of a check that has a 2nd endorsement (2 party check) is at the department's discretion. It must be endorsed by the original payee and made payable to your customer. Your customer must endorse the back of the check and make it payable to your department. Your department must endorse the back of the check.
- The County must have certain information about the person writing the check. This information is:
- Full name of person writing the check
- Home address
- Home telephone number
- Business address (if applicable)
- Business telephone number (if applicable)
All or part of this information may already be on a separate form or on the front of the check. If any of it is not, you should ask for it and record it on the front of the check. The name of the department/agency, location of facility, or account number should be either stamped or written on the back of the check in the space for endorsement.
Finally, if the routing number and account number are not pre-printed at the bottom of the check, you should not accept the check.
Types of Checks
A check is issued to transfer funds from one party to another. The term "negotiable instrument" means that when properly endorsed, the check is payable to the holder when presented at the issuer's bank.
The drawer or "maker" is the party issuing and signing the check. The drawer may be one or more individuals acting on their own behalf, or the drawer may be one or more individuals authorized to act on behalf of a company, corporation, partnership or municipality. The drawee is the party upon whom the check is drawn, usually a bank or trust company.
The payee is the party to whom payment is made. The check can be payable to one or more individuals, to a business, corporation, partnership, municipality, or government agency. When accepting checks for the department/agency, always ask the customer to write "County of Kings" (and/or department/agency name) as the payee.
Personal checks are the most common type of check. Personal checks belong to people who maintain demand account balances at banks. Ensure that the maker's name, address and telephone number appear on the check. No cash back may be given for a check transaction.
Company checks may appear similar to personal checks. Some have a carbon paper strip attached for the company's own bookkeeping system. Some are computer prepared. Company checks may also have stubs or copies attached. Many of these checks have special instructions printed on them. Instructions may be "Look for the watermark on the back of this check before cashing", or "The colors of this check change from top to bottom" or "Two signatures required." These instructions are designed to assure that the payment is truly authorized. Failure to follow these instructions may expose the County to loss.
This is a check drawn by a bank on its own funds. Since only the failure of the bank would cause the check to be dishonored, they are usually accepted readily. However, as with a personal or company check, the payee should be "County of Kings Department/Agency" and no cash should be given back as change. Cashier's Checks are also known as :
- Bank Checks
- Teller Checks
- Branch Checks
- Managers Checks
- Official Checks
Personal Money Orders
A personal money order is a check purchased from a financial services vendor for cash. The purchaser fills in the date, the payor, and the payee's name and address. Vendors usually restrict the maximum amount for which they will issue a money order. This amount is printed on the face of the money order. For example, on the money order may be printed the words "not to exceed $300.00." If the amount of the money order is more than the "NOT TO EXCEED" amount, you should not accept it.
These checks, sold by banks, are similar to money orders. They are signed by the purchaser on the face of the check when purchased, and countersigned when cashed, either on the face or on the back. When using a traveler's check at a County facility, the customer must countersign and write in the payee in the presence of the cashier. Traveler's checks should be processed the same as any other check.
No foreign items including checks, money orders, travelers checks should be accepted unless the words "U.S. Funds" or "U.S. Dollars" appear on the check, and a Federal Reserve routing number is MICR encoded at the bottom of the item. The Federal Reserve routing number is a nine (9) digit number appearing on the lower left of the check. Generally, this number allows the item to be processed through the bank system. Without this code, the item is subject to bank collection charges which, in many cases, exceed the value of the payment. If there is any doubt about the item, contact the Treasurer's office for guidance. Any foreign items accepted are to be forwarded to the Treasurer's office for processing. Item must be $300.00 or more before it can be sent for collection. DO NOT INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR REGULAR DEPOSIT WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FROM THE TREASURER'S OFFICE. (Any collection fees incurred for converting the item to US dollars will be charged to your department/agency.)
All checks should be endorsed upon receipt. The endorsement is written or stamped in the area indicated on the back of the check. (Refer to "Accepting Cash and Checks," Item 4).