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Credit Card, Purchasing and Payment Policies: Have You Reviewed Yours?

Credit Card, Purchasing and Payment Policies: Have You Reviewed Yours?

The past few months, we've seen a growing number of investigations due to incorrect use of credit cards, school fuel cards, county fuel cards and other forms of credit that are paid using state funds. The issues that are occurring are sometimes due to anything from incorrect understanding of the law to simple embezzlement. It might be a good idea to review all credit card, purchasing and payment policies. One of the primary places schools use credit and debit cards is to prepare for concession stands.  

The amount of concession activity that occurs from the first week of November to the third week of March is dizzying. It is important that you remind those individuals who get concession supplies to keep personal purchases separate from district purchases. Additionally, cash payments are not acceptable payments for items or services to ensure the district adheres to proper accounting procedures. Every year we have new employees who are supervising concession stands in districts for various reasons; it is best to assume that all employees working in concessions need to be reminded of their fiscal duties.  

Activity Fund custodians have hard jobs this time of year due to the amount of cash they must account for and deposit. Make their job easier by including reminders of proper protocol for everyone involved. Keeping gate at a Monday junior high basketball night is not the favorite portion of most people’s teaching career, but the proper completion of gate revenue accounting is still important. One other item that will make everyone’s life easier is to have the AD confirm the referees prior to a game so checks can be printed.  

Further, there is an increased emphasis on transparency and documentation of purchases and revenues. The public expects public schools to be accountable for all the revenue and expenditures that are made within a school year. It is much easier to do training prior to a problem than to have to go through the machinations required to resolve a problem after it has occurred. If you want to double check your procedures, visit with your staff, contact your auditor or call us. If you would like to schedule a training, just let me know.

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