What Is Cash in Transit?

by Cynthia Gaffney - Updated September 26, 2017
Armoured Car

Cash in transit defines money or items of value in the process of moving from one location to another, such as coins or banknotes. In accounting, cash-in-transit can refer to a special account to record these events. This methodology allows businesses to accurately track transactions that take place at month-end when one financial period closes and another begins. Cash being moved through an armored car or other such service from one location to another also falls under the category of cash in transit.

Cash in Transit

In accounting practice, companies use cash in transit as an account name in their chart of accounts. Accountants make an entry into this account when the money is traveling between two locations. Once the money reaches its destination, the transaction is zeroed out and put into the correct account. For example, any cash or banknotes that are moved from one location to another on the last day of the month, must be included in accounting activity for proper representation on financial statements. Publicly held companies must include cash-in-transit account activity in financial documents, it they have any, to comply with generally accepted accounting principles as required by law.

Deposits in Transit

Deposits in transit is another name used for a slight variation of the same accounting concept. A company may have received money in the form of cash or checks and recorded them on its records, but the money has not shown up on the company's bank statements. For example, at month end a retail store receives money in exchange for goods on June 30. The cash and check deposit goes into the bank after hours or on a weekend. The transaction would be recorded on the company's June financial statements as a cash deposit that is "in transit" on June 30, since the bank will not show the funds received until July.

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Bank Reconciliations

At the beginning of each month in a firm's accounting cycle, the prior month's bank statement must be reconciled to the financial statements from the same period. This process includes adjustments for cash in transit. Additionally, it helps spot errors made by the bank that may involve improperly recorded check or cash deposits. Bank reconciliations also highlight improper entries in the financial statements, such as transposed numbers or checks that were actually deposited, but not entered into the firm's accounting system.

Armored Services

Armored car services and similar companies provide cash-in-transit services to retail stores, banks or businesses that receive a lot of cash. Many businesses use armored cars to pick up cash and checks during the business day and transport them safely to the bank. An armored car service may pick up deposits, replenish an ATM machine or bring coins to a business, such as a casino. Many companies use this type of service to decrease the amount of risk involved in having employees handle cash. Additionally, removing any excess cash allows businesses to limit exposure to theft from employees or external parties.

About the Author

Cynthia Gaffney has spent over 20 years in finance with experience in valuation, corporate financial planning, mergers & acquisitions consulting and small business ownership. She has worked as a financial writer and editor for several online finance and small business publications since 2011. A Southern California native, Cynthia received her Bachelor of Science degree in finance and business economics from USC.

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