The board of education should authorize a single signature check, that of the district Treasurer and authorize the use of a check-signing machine. The value of having and using a check-signing device is to reduce the time consumed in the signing of checks as well as provide increased security and control over the issuance of checks. The Treasurer must keep personal control and custody of his/her signature plate, must either sign the checks personally or be present when the checks are run through the check signing machine, and must maintain a log of the checks written. If the board appoints a Deputy Treasurer, to serve in the absence of the Treasurer, a separate signature plate is required for the Deputy Treasurer.
The safeguards, which are listed below, should be the subjects of board policy. A written policy governing the use of the check-signing machine should be developed by the board of education with the assistance of the business official and the chief administrative officer of the district. This policy should cover the points, which follow:
- The Treasurer should retain a key to the check-signing machine and should not surrender or delegate that responsibility to any other individual. The Treasurer should be present and should control the affixing of the signature when checks are run and should compare the checks against the approved warrant and certified payroll.
- Checks, signature plate and the check-signing machine should not be available to unauthorized individuals. The check-signing machine should be maintained in a protected area. The signature plate should be removed and retained by the Treasurer. The signing of blank checks should be expressly forbidden.
- The Treasurer will record the first and last number of checks run, the date of the run, the sequential number of voided checks within each run and maintain and sign the check-signature register. All void or spoiled checks should be marked and retained. An inventory record, requiring user signature, should be kept and sequential use audited and verified.
- An individual who is not a member of the business office staff should audit the register. This audit should be conducted at intervals approximating the payroll periods to verify the accuracy of the register against the machine's tally counter. Further, reconciliation should be made promptly (if possible, reconciliation should be completed the same day that cancelled checks and statement are received from the bank).