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
      • A petty cash fund may be established, increased, or decreased by sending a written request to the Office of the University Bursar.
      • Petty cash advances are limited to departments that show a frequent need for the funds or to a department or individual who has a need for cash on a more short-term basis. 
      • A department’s fund may be decreased by the Bursar’s Office if it is determined to be excessive. 
  • 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.
      • 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 the Bursar’s Office.
  • 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.