Dealing with money coming in
Receiving direct payments, cheques and cash
From direct debits to cash and cheques - know how to deal with money that comes in
This guidance is part of our finance procedures.
Direct payments into bank accounts
Parents and carers can make online payments directly into your unit or level bank account. This is a great way to avoid dealing with too much cash.
You'll need to give them these details about your account:
- Name of the bank
- Name that the account is under. This should be the unit’s name as it appears on GO.
- Bank account number. This is an eight digit number.
- Sort code. This is a six digit number, usually in the format 00-00-00.
- A suggested reference for their payment, for example, their child's name and what the payment is for.
Once a payment's been received into the unit or level bank account, contact the parent or carer to let them know. You could give them a printed or handwritten receipt, or send them an email or a text.
Other ways to receive direct payments into your bank account are using card readers and account-to-account payments, which let you receive these payments in-person.
Card readers, like those used in restaurants or by small businesses, can be bought or rented. Many charge a percentage fee for each payment made. There's lots of options out there, so have a think about whether the cost is worth the benefit.
Account-to-account payments, which are sometimes called A2A payments, transfer money directly between accounts. They can be set up to happen automatically and instantly. Account-to-account payment providers will charge a fee per transaction or per month, so you’ll need to you consider whether the cost is worth the benefit and whether it would work well for your unit.
If you are charged for transferring payments or a transaction fee for the use of a card reader or account-to-account payment, you must record the total donation amount as income, and record the charges in your accounts as expenditure.
Receiving cheques and cash
Some parents and carers might prefer to make payments with cash or by cheque. You should try to accommodate this where possible. When you get money in this way, make sure it's processed properly.
When given cash, you need to:
- Provide the parent or carer with a receipt or other record that the cash or cheque has been received. This could be a printed or handwritten receipt, an email or a text.
- Keep it separate from your personal money. You could have a separate purse or wallet just for unit money, to make sure it never gets mixed up.
- Record details of who has given you the cash, what it is for, and how much it is. Note this down straight away so you don't forget any details and keep it together with the cash to avoid any confusion later on.
- Keep the cash safe and secure until you can bank it. Make sure no one else in your household can access it, even accidentally.
- Pay it into the unit or level bank account as soon as possible. Depending on which bank or building society your account is with, you might be able to pay in cash at a post office branch.
When receiving cheques, be sure to:
- Confirm that the cheque is made out to the correct name for your unit or level account. This should be the name as it appears on GO.
- Record details of who has given you the cheque, what it is for, and how much it is. Make a note of this straight away and keep it together with the cheque to avoid any confusion later on.
- Keep the cheque safe and secure until you can bank it.
- Pay it into the unit or level bank account as soon as possible. If you use an online banking app, you may be able to deposit cheques by taking a photo in the app.