Petty Cash

Purpose:  Procedures for the handling of petty cash are designed to provide accountability for moneys received in accordance with accepted standards of internal controls.
References:  MAPP 05.01.01, SAM 03.A.07
PT. I: General Statement
PT. II: Policy Provisions
PT. III: Custodian Responsibilities
Review and Responsibility: 
  • Responsible Party: Director, NSM Business Operations
  • Review: Every two years, on or before August 31
  • Director, NSM Business Operations - Fred McGhee
  • Dean, NSM - John Bear
  • Date of Dean's Approval: 09/01/2008

I. General Statement

Procedures for the handling of petty cash are designed to provide accountability for moneys received in accordance with accepted standards of internal controls. All employees of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are responsible for complying with the policies and procedures described below. Failure to adhere to these policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action being taken against the employee. The charging of fees or agreements to provide services for compensation are prohibited except with specific knowledge and authorization of the department head, the college/division administrator, the Budget Office, and the appropriate vice president. Compliance with these procedures will protect employees when questions arise and protect the University from criticism by auditors and other reviewing officials.

All employees have an obligation to report any suspected theft, fraud, embezzlement, or any other irregularity causing a loss of cash. Employees who are aware of criminal activity and fail to report such may be subject to disciplinary action. Employees are required to cooperate with any police or audit investigation, and they may be requested to keep their knowledge of the investigation confidential.

II: Policy Provisions

Departmental petty cash funds will be authorized only in extraordinary cases where need and accountability can be demonstrated. All departmental cash funds require the approval of the college business administrator and the Treasurer.

An individual will be assigned the responsibility of the petty cash fund. The Petty Cash Custodian will complete an "Acknowledgment of Receipt of Funds & Policies and Procedures Related Thereto" Exhibit A - SAM 03.A.07 and a copy will be retained by the department.

The petty cash fund will be established for a designated amount from which payments and/or reimbursements for small dollar expenses may be made.

The maximum amount of petty cash to be expended, reimbursed, and/or advanced per transaction is $100.00. Reimbursements greater than $100.00 will be processed through Accounts Payable.

A properly completed "Voucher Request Form For Disbursement of Petty Cash" Exhibit B - SAM 03.A.07 and acceptable documentation is required for cash reimbursement.

Proper documentation for reimbursement can consist of the following:

  • Original, numbered receipt with company name and address imprinted, which includes an itemized listing or description of the items purchased. Receipts should be taped to an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper.
  • Carbon copies of receipts are acceptable but must be certified by the department head as a valid receipt, which has not been previously reimbursed.
  • COD charge lists are acceptable only if they are marked paid and signed by the individual delivering the items, or stamped paid with a company stamp and signed by the individual delivering the items.
  • Cash register tape that has the company’s name and date of purchase at the top of the tape, and all items are circled and described by individual seeking reimbursement.
  • Hand written paper receipts that contain the full name, address and telephone number of person from whom purchased and is signed by this person.

Petty cash funds will be replenished by the custodian on or before the last day of each month and must be replenished on or before the last day of the fiscal year.

Requests for replenishment of petty cash funds:

  • Department prepares a voucher payable to Student Financial Services (vendor 0000007916, address 21) for authorized petty cash transactions.
    • Receipts must be uploaded to the voucher Documents page.
    • Fund custodian's signature must be included in the voucher backup, unless the fund custodian is the voucher Creator or Department Approval.
    • Department submits the voucher into workflow choosing the Dept-AP path.
  • Accounts Payable approves the voucher. (SFS will not reimburse petty cash funds unless the voucher has been approved by AP.)
  • Fund custodian goes to Student Financial Services (Room 9, E. Cullen) to get cash reimbursement for petty cash fund.
    • Fund custodian provides SFS with a valid photo ID and a printed voucher coversheet, which indicates AP has approved (see Approval History at bottom of voucher coversheet).
    • SFS gives the fund custodian the amount of cash indicated on the voucher coversheet to reimburse the petty cash fund.
    • Fund custodian must sign the voucher coversheet acknowledging receipt of cash.
    • SFS uploads the voucher coversheet signed by the fund custodian into the voucher Documents page.
  • The above procedures only apply to departments with authorized petty cash funds.

III: Custodian Responsibilities

  1. Safe and secure storage.
  2. Petty cash fund will be kept separate from all other funds.
  3. Ensure that each transaction is for the established purpose.
  4. Provide proper documentation to support each expenditure.
  5. Balance the fund each time a disbursement is made or a minimum of once a month.
  6. Report non-balance of the fund to the chief financial officer or designee in a timely manner.
  7. Report theft from the fund to the chief financial officer and the university police department.