Petty cash funds enable schools and departments to reimburse employees for out-of-pocket business expenditures up to $100. A department head designates an individual to administer the petty cash fund and initiates the request for a petty cash fund. The Office of the Treasurer (OOT) establishes funds, oversees custodians and tracks reconciliations.

Department Head and Designated Custodian

The University has three types of petty cash funds:

  1. Cash Fund: Established for departmental use and emergency small-dollar purchases where the use of alternative means (e.g., PCard) is not feasible. The size of a petty cash fund will be determined by the business needs of the requesting department. A single fund will be limited to no more than $500 cash on hand, unless special written approval is obtained from the OOT.
  2. Change Fund: Established by a department and used to give small-denomination change to customers when they are paying for goods and/or services. It must be reconciled daily. The size of a change fund is determined by the business needs of the requesting department. Refer to Topic Overview: Selling Goods & Services.
  3. Checking Account: Established in departments that make small check disbursements by mail (e.g., purchase of subscriptions or refunds) or must make immediate payment (e.g., cash-on-delivery [COD] payment for goods delivered by a courier). The size of a petty cash checking account is determined by the business needs of the requesting department. A single checking account, opened by the OOT with the bank, will be limited to no more than $2,500, unless special written approval is obtained from the OOT.
Department Head and Designated Custodian

Department Head

Custodian 

The Office of the Treasurer (OOT) 

  • Review and approve or deny requests of petty cash fund initiation, decrease, increase and closure
  • Fund petty cash accounts with Payment Services
  • Establish checking accounts with the bank
  • Oversee custodians
  • Track reconciliations annually

Financial Support Center (FSC)

  • Provide the PTAE information to custodians when closing or decreasing the fund
Department Head

The department head designates an employee to be the petty cash custodian. The designated employee assists the department head in making informed business decisions and must become certified as a petty cash custodian.

Designated Custodian

The designated custodian must be certified before the account can be funded. 
 
To ensure that custodians are up to date with their petty cash requirements, and that the OOT is current with its fiduciary oversight, a short annual recertification administered on STARS is required of each petty cash custodian.

The Custodian is then granted access to the Petty Cash module within the Expense Requests System to administer the fund.
 

Department Head

Once a Petty Cash fund type is determined, submit a Support Request to the OOT for approval, providing the required information:

  • Department head:
    • Name
    • Work address
    • Job title
  • Petty cash fund:
    • Fund type
    • Business need
    • Reason(s) why alternative payment methods are not feasible 
    • Amount
    • Check signer’s name(s) - for checking account only; the individual(s) who will have signing authority on the account (not the petty cash custodian)
  • Petty cash custodian:
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Work address
    • SUNet ID
       
Office of the Treasurer

After the OOT approves the fund opening request, and the custodian’s certification is verified, the OOT funds the petty cash account.

Cash Fund
The OOT initiates a request in the Expense Requests system to issue a check through Payment Services to the designated custodian. The petty cash custodian receives the check through ID Mail. 

Checking Account
The OOT opens the checking account with the bank and deposits the funds. The petty cash custodian receives the checkbook from the bank.

Certified Custodian or Department Head

In the course of administering the petty cash fund, the certified custodian and department head take on the following tasks:

Certified Custodian

Department Head

Certified Custodian Working with Department Head

The petty cash custodian remains accountable for the petty cash fund until the fund is closed or a new custodian is officially designated and certified.
 

Certified Custodian or Department Head

When the petty cash fund is no longer needed, the certified custodian or department head can close it. Refer to How to: Close a Petty Cash Fund.
 

Questions?

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