Capital Assets and Financial Management

DBMG - Petty Cash



  • Overview

      A petty cash fund is either a short-term or a long-term cash advance from the university to the department head or official custodian designated by the department head.  Generally, petty cash is used as a fund for cashiering operations or to make purchases of minor items necessary for departmental business..

  • University Policy
      • Petty cash funds are established through the Office of the University Bursar (OUB) by completing a petty cash request form 
      • The person requesting the petty cash fund is referred to as the fund custodian and must be a Virginia Tech faculty member, classified staff employee, or a graduate assistant participating in a research project. Both the fund custodian and the department head are responsible for the proper use of the fund and for the repayment of the fund
      • OUB reserves the right to deny requests based on the purpose/justification of the request, unauthorized department approval, the amount of the fund, the planned safeguarding of the fund, or any past due, outstanding petty cash or University balances owed in the fund custodian’s name 
      • Funds are subject for review or audit by authorized University Officials at any time
  • Departmental Responsibilites
      • Determining if a petty cash fund is warranted.
      • Requesting the petty cash fund from the Bursar’s Office and any increase or decrease in the fund.
      • Appointing a custodian for the fund.
      • Ensuring that a custodian is properly trained to manage the fund in compliance with University policies.
      • Reviewing and approving each reimbursement request form, which certifies that payment is in order and that:
        1. Goods and services purchased are acceptable and allowable by University policies.
        2. The account to be charged (and other information) is correct.
        3. Funds are available for payment.
      • Requesting approval from the Bursar’s Office to open a checking account for the fund (as necessary based on university policy).
      • Notifying the Bursar’s Office when the custodianship of the fund changes.
      • Reporting shortages or thefts immediately to the Internal Audit department, Campus Police, and Bursar’s Office.
      • Periodic surprise count of petty cash funds by supervisor or others independent of the petty cash peration(s).
  • Internal Controls
      • Ensuring adequate facilities and procedures are in place to safeguard petty cash assets from theft or misappropriation.  At a minimum, this would include the following safeguards:
        1. Providing safekeeping facilities commensurate with the size of the fund.
        2. Limiting access to the fund to a minimum number of employees.
        3. Requiring frequent reconcilement of the fund by someone other than the custodian.
        4. Keeping petty cash funds separate from other funds.