The new audit on city departments shows a need for improvement on cash-handling. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

City departments’ money management need improving

City departments need to better handle cash collected for San Francisco through fees, according to a recent audit by the City Controller’s Office of six departments for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The audit, released last week, includes Police, Public Works, Recreation and Parks, Public Health, Municipal Transportation Agency and the City Hall Events departments, though the recommendations did not name specific departments.

Of the eight selected cash collection points examined in the audit, cash-handling processes were found to be “generally adequate” at one spot, while five need “some improvement” and two need “major improvement,” according to the audit.

The audit also determined that, among 28 total findings, the timely endorsement and depositing of cash receipts, training staff in cash-handling procedures, recording and monitoring cash and the physical safeguarding of cash receipts need improvement.

However, the audit found that controls over cash collections have improved overall since the annual audits began. This is the fifth of such audits.

The audit states that departments “generally concurred” with the audit’s findings and agreed to implement a majority of the 36 recommendations.

Recommendations that aim to help city departments further strengthen their cash handling controls include creating and enforcing policies to endorse all checks immediately upon receipt, depositing cash collected by the business day following its receipt, and providing annual cash-handling training to staff along with records of such activities.

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