V. Financial procedures


F. Check signing machine

To request a check-signing machine, authorized managers must send a written request to the Financial Services business security officer. The request must include:

  • Justifiable business reasons for requesting the check-signing machine;
  • Address where the equipment will be located.

1.   Internal controls

There are two keys for the machine. One key is used to insert the signature plate into the machine and one activates the machine.

The signature plate and insertion key must be stored in a locking safe, bar lock file cabinet, or other secured area when not in use. The machine activation key must be stored in a separate secured area from the signature plate and key.

Each office with a check-signing machine will keep an updated record of who has access, the custodian, to the signature plate and corresponding key and who has access to the check-signing machine activation key.

·        The signature plate custodian controls the signature plate and key, is responsible for maintaining the log of signed checks, and accounting for the sequential check numbers in the log. A back-up person will also be designated.

The check-signing machine custodian cannot have access to the signature plate, signature plate insertion key, or blank check stock and shall not have delegated signature authorization.

The manager will:

  • Establish internal controls to safeguard the blank check stock, the signature plate, and the insertion key;
  • Make sure custodians do not have expenditure decision authority;
  • Include duties and responsibilities in the appropriate section of the employee’s position description;
  • Make sure custodians have read and understand the rules, policies and procedures related to their designated role;

o   Note: No single individual may have access to all parts of the check issuance process, up to and including: the signature plate key, the machine activation key and the revolving fund check stock.

2.   Using the machine

The person who activates the machine cannot approve expenditures and must have documentation of the authorized expenditure request; this is typically be the financial clerk with access to the daily check stock. A back-up person will also be designated.

·        Note: All other methods of payment should be explored prior to issuing a revolving fund check.

Fold the check at the perforation line before inserting into the check-signing machine to make the signature to appear in the correct authorizing field on the check.

For machine repairs contact Contracts and Procurement.

3.   Log of checks issued

Enter the date, check number, number of checks issued, and beginning and ending meter totals for checks signed by the check-signing machine on the MSC 249, Stock Control Log.

The log should be signed by the check issuer and the plate keeper at the time the check is signed by the machine.

Managers will review the logs routinely for check number irregularities, verification of meter recordings, and general internal controls. The MSC 249A, Revolving Fund Check Issuance Log will be used to track checks signed by the check signing machine.