Petty Cash Funds (archived February 2012)

Archived: Archived
Effective Date: December 17, 2004
Steward: Director of Business Services
Approval Authority: President and Vice Presidents
Approval Date: December 9, 2004
  • General
  • Administrative Units may maintain two types of petty cash funds according to the State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) 85.50-70 and RCW chapters 43.88.195 and 42.26:
    • Petty cash (Imprest) funds - used to make payments when issuing a check is not practical, economical, or timely.
    • Change funds - used solely for making change in across-the-counter cash transactions.
  • The College maintains a central petty cash fund and change fund in the cashier’s office and a number of departmental petty cash and /or change funds throughout the College.
  • The College’s procurement VISA card is designed to be used for the majority of purchases formerly reimbursed through petty cash.
  • Any reimbursement under $100 will be via petty cash, reimbursements over $100 will be reimbursed via A-19, except travel reimbursements and expenses outlined under 2. (b).
  • Advances are strongly discouraged and will be approved only for special circumstances, when the College procurement card cannot be used and the items are not available through regular College purchasing channels. For approved advances over $100 a check will be issued.
  • Petty Cash Fund
  • Establishing a departmental petty cash fund

Before requesting the establishment of a petty cash fund or increasing the amount of an existing fund, the responsible administrator will ascertain that the goods or services to be purchased cannot be obtained in a timely manner from an on-campus vendor, i.e. the Bookstore, or an off-campus vendor using standard Purchasing procedures. To request a petty cash fund, the administrator will send a memo to the Director of Business Services at least ten days in advance.

The memo must include the following information:

    • Purpose of the fund.
    • Amount of petty cash needed, usually a one-month supply, with an explanation as to why the amount is necessary (such as frequency of use).
    • Name of the custodian or person who will be responsible for the fund.
    • Name and organization code of the department that will assume responsibility for the expenditures.
    • Security procedures and facilities.
    • Specific location of the funds including building and room number.

The Director of the Business Services will notify the administrator if the request has or has not been approved. If approved, a check will be produced and be available at the Cashier's Office. The assigned custodian will sign a Petty Cash Assignment form when the check is picked up. If there is a change in the custodian, the administrator will send a memo to Business Services and the new custodian must sign a new Petty Cash Assignment form. The new custodian should insure that the fund is replenished to the original amount before accepting it.

  • Use of central or departmental petty cash funds

Only appropriate and legitimate purchases are reimbursed from a petty cash fund. Business Services will carefully monitor the use of these funds . Unauthorized uses of petty cash include the following:

    • Entertainment expenses
    • Fines
    • Honorariums
    • Stipends
    • Personal items
    • Personal Services
    • Travel expense reimbursements
  • Safeguarding the petty cash fund
    Petty cash funds exceeding one hundred dollars will be placed in a checking account at a local bank unless there is a demonstrated need to maintain cash in the department and there are adequate security facilities available. Notify the Director of Business Services of the bank name, location, account number and when the account is opened. The account should be titled "TESC (name of department) Petty Cash Account". The fund custodian is responsible for ensuring that the bank statement is reconciled each month. An employee other than the custodian should reconcile and sign the bank statement (SAAM 85.50.50e). Cash should be safeguarded by placing it in a secure location such as a safe, vault or locked drawer. Petty cash funds and associated documents will not be commingled with other funds. Missing petty cash must be reported to the Director of Business Services. Campus Police must be notified if theft is suspected. All suspected thefts are to be treated confidentially since an investigation may be ongoing.
  • Processing petty cash transactions

The following procedures are used for central petty cash processing:

    • Person requesting reimbursement/advance fills out a Petty Cash Voucher.
    • Petty Cash Voucher with receipts, if applicable, is submitted to Business Services-Accounting for review and approval.
    • Accounting forwards approved Petty Cash Voucher to the Cashier’s Office.
    • Requestor picks up cash/check at the Cashier’s Office.
    • If a cash advance is issued, advance must be settled within 5 working days with Accounting. Exceptions require approval of the accounting manager.

The following procedures are used for departmental petty cash processing:

    • The person requesting funds describes the nature of the purchase to the custodian
    • If the custodian determines that the planned purchase is appropriate, they will provide the individual with a check or cash for the amount of the purchase.
    • The custodian prepares a brief memo to be filed with the fund, which includes the date, amount disbursed, name of person receiving the funds, nature of purchase, and the custodian's initials.
    • After the purchase is completed, the person making the purchase will give the custodian the receipt for the purchase and any change. The receipt must be signed by the purchaser and the description of the item listed if it is not shown on the receipt.
    • At any time, the cash, receipts, and cash outstanding (as documented by the file notes) must equal the original amount issued by the Director of Business Services. Petty Cash funds are subject to audit without notice by the Director of Business Services and State of Washington auditors.
  • Replenishing petty cash

Petty cash funds should be replenished monthly, and at the end of the fiscal year. To request reimbursement of petty cash expenditures, a Washington Invoice Voucher A-19 summarizing all expenses may be submitted to Accounts Payable. Receipts should be arranged in chronological order and attached the to the A-19. The voucher needs to be completed as follows:

    • List the name of the Petty Cash Fund under "Vendor or Claimant".
    • Under description, type "To reimburse petty cash per attached receipts".
    • List receipts in chronological order on the invoice and indicate the date of purchase, check number or cash, vendor, item purchased, and receipt number.
    • Add all expenditures and indicate the total.
    • Show the organization and account codes that will assume the expenditure.
    • The fund custodian signs under "Prepared By".
    • The account administrator signs under "Organization Approval Signature".
    • Business Services requires approximately one week to process each request. When completed, a check will be available at the Cashier's Office.
  • Closing a petty cash fund
    When a petty cash fund is no longer needed, all outstanding receipts must be processed and the total fund (in cash or check) will be returned to the Cashier's Office. The Cashier's Office will need the organization code from which the fund was originally issued. If a checking account was established, this account must be closed and Business Services must be notified.
  • Recall

The Director of Business Services may recall a petty cash fund when no activity has occurred for a period of three months.

  • Change Funds

To request a permanent change fund, the administrator will send a request to the Director of Business Services at least 10 days in advance. The memorandum should include the same information required for a petty cash fund. The procedures for safeguarding and closing a change fund are the same as for a petty cash fund. Requesting a change fund will require establishing a cash collection point as outlined in the College’s Cash Handling Policy (