Petty cash funds are intended for small purchases (when a purchasing card is not present/convenient), which are restricted by the Board of Regents’ fund policy, or as a ‘change bank’ for departmental related sales, programs, fine or fees (if applicable).  Departments should safeguard funds carefully, and periodically review use of petty cash funds to ascertain if the balance should be adjusted up or down or the petty cash fund discontinued.

Departments should adhere to the following:

  1. Keep in secure location with access limited to only necessary staff members (recommend no more than 2 persons other than the primary custodian). 
  2. Document any change in primary custodian assignment; the immediate supervisor should:
    • Notify the Bursar.
    • Verify and document the petty cash funds in hand at the time of transition.
  3. Periodically count the funds, with two people present, to ensure balance is correct and funds are not missing.  Cash plus receipts pending reimbursement should always equal imprest amount.
  4. Process any discrepancy in fund balance to department’s over/short account.  Contact the University Head Cashier or the Bursar for assistance if you are unsure how to process an over/short.
  5. Use for small supply purchases in instances when a purchasing card is not present or convenient to use.
  6. Use for making change from departmental related sales, programs, fines or fees; thus, maintain smaller denominations and change in petty cash as needed.  The Bursary Cashiers can provide change when requested.  Please provide advance notice if requesting large quantities of change or smaller denominations.
  7. Submit receipts without delay for petty cash fund reimbursement (at least within two weeks of purchase date). 
  8. Subject to surprise petty cash audits at any time.  If petty cash funds are removed from department premises at any time, a record should be kept in the department of amount removed, person responsible, and purpose of fund usage away from department.
  9. Ensure none of the following purchases or activities are allowed:
    • No advancement of any kind (no IOUs)
    • No personal items (flowers, gifts, cards, food, etc.), unless part of a research participant incentive payment (under special pre-approved arrangements)
    • No registration or prepaid items
    • No travel related reimbursements (gas, rental, parking, etc)
    • No cashing personal or payroll related checks
    • No commingling of petty cash funds with other office/personal funds

If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please contact the University Head Cashier or the Bursar at 333-5725.


Last updated 4/20/2018