Petty Cash Procedures

Petty cash funds are used for small purchases when a purchasing card is not convenient, for making change from sales, programs, fines or various fees related to the department, and for research participant incentive payments.  The following is a list to guide departments regarding petty cash:

Petty Cash Uses:

  • Use primarily for small supply expenses and change for departmental related sales or fees
  • No advancement of any kind (no IOUs)
  • No personal items such as flowers, gifts, cards, food, etc. unless part of a research participant incentive payment.
  • No registration or prepaid items
  • No travel related reimbursements (gas, rental, parking, etc)
  • No cashing personal or payroll related checks

Safeguarding Funds:

  • Ensure that petty cash funds are in a secure place with access limited to petty cash manager and only those who need to access the funds ( we recommend no more than 2 other persons)
  • Create an access log, with date, name, time and reason for accessing funds
  • Perform periodic counts with one person present to ensure balance is correct and funds are not missing.

Accounting for Petty Cash:

  • Periodically review the petty cash balance with the operations of the department to ascertain if the petty cash should be adjusted up or down
  • Receipts should be submitted weekly for petty cash fund reimbursement
  • Cash plus receipts should always equal imprest amount (i.e. Petty Cash fund of $100 when audited has $60 on hand must also have receipts totaling $40)
  • Do not commingled petty cash funds with other office/personal funds

All petty cash funds are subject to surprise audits.