PETTY CASH, PETTY CASH
AND CHANGE FUNDS
- 1.0 Purpose
This document sets forth University policy for establishing,
managing, reimbursing, and closing petty cash and change funds.
Note: The Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections is responsible for policy regarding
establishing, setting limits, and closing departmental petty cash funds,
while Procurement Services is responsible for policy regarding allowable
expenditures and reimbursing petty cash funds.
A petty cash
fund is established through an advance of funds by the Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections
to a University department. Departments may establish a petty
cash fund to handle small, unanticipated purchases from vendors when
immediate payment is required and the formal University purchasing and
billing processes are impractical or cannot be used.
must NOT be used to pay vendors when a University Purchasing Card,
Purchase Order, or Payment Voucher could be used. Departments are
strongly encouraged to use the University Purchasing Card in lieu
of petty cash whenever possible. All petty cash purchases and
reimbursements must adhere to State and University procurement policies
A change fund is a specific amount of
cash kept in departments and used to make change for services rendered
by the department.
2.2 Overall Fund Limits
special written approval is obtained from the appropriate Dean or Vice
President, a departmental petty cash fund is limited to $500 in
cash on hand and $2,500 in checking.
Individual petty cash
expenditures are limited to a maximum of $100.
funds are limited to $200 unless special written approval is
obtained from the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
2.3 Establishing, Changing, or Dissolving a
Petty Cash or Change Fund
The head of each department or
activity must designate a specific individual to act as Petty Cash
Custodian. Petty Cash Custodians must be salaried employees of the
University of Virginia. Custodians may not be undergraduate students,
graduate students, wage, or temporary personnel.
Head and Petty Cash Custodian must sign and submit the "Request for
Petty Cash, Petty Cash Checking, or Change Fund" form in order to
establish a petty cash, petty cash checking, or change fund. This form
must be submitted to the Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections.
The Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections has the
final authority to establish a fund.
Checking account requests must
include a Bank of America
Corporate Signature Card. All checking account reimbursements must
be made using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) via the Automated Clearing
The "Request for Petty Cash, Petty Cash Checking, or Change Fund"
form must also be filled out and submitted to the Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections
departments wish to increase, decrease, or close one of these types of
2.4 Managing a Petty Cash Fund within
The Petty Cash Custodian is responsible for
managing the department's petty cash fund and should be the only person
in the department to sign checks and disburse actual cash. The custodian
is also responsible for providing for the balancing and reconciliation of their petty cash
fund(s) at least every 30 days regardless of the amount of the
Departments should also appoint a separate
individual to review and approve petty cash payments and disbursement
vouchers and, in the case of a petty cash checking account, reconcile the monthly petty cash bank statement. This
person shall not have the authority to sign checks or disburse actual
cash. The bank statement should be delivered to the person responsible
for reconciliation directly from the bank, unopened, and should remain
in his or her sole control until the reconciliation has been completed.
If the payments under review by the authorized official or employee
mentioned above include reimbursements to the person conducting the
review, then another authorized official or employee should be
designated to review and approve the Payment Voucher. The alternate
review shall not have the authority to sign checks or disburse actual
cash. If it is not feasible to have both a custodian and an approving
official, the department head or fiscal officer must document all
exceptions in writing and send them to the State Comptroller for review
It is the responsibility of both the fund
custodian and the department head to limit the use of the fund to
legitimate and allowable University related revenue refunds and/or
questions concerning allowable expenses including 1099 reportable expenses can
be answered by Procurement Services.
Petty cash funds are non-transferable, i.e., anytime there is to be a
change of custodian, a new "Request for Petty Cash, Petty Cash Checking,
or Change Fund" form (Form RC-50) should be submitted to
the Associate Comptroller, Revenue and Collections PRIOR to the time the predecessor custodian is to be relieved
Accounts Payable will not reimburse a petty
cash fund unless a "Request for Petty Cash, Petty Cash Checking, or
Change Fund" form is on file indicating the name of the CURRENT
NOTE: This process is required for temporary changes
as well. The former and new custodians should perform a petty cash
refund reconciliation at the time of transfer, and both should sign the
All petty cash, petty cash checking and change funds shall be subject
to periodic audit by the University's external auditors and by the
University's Internal Audit Department. Both the head of the department
and the Petty Cash Custodian shall be jointly responsible for insuring
that the funds are properly safeguarded. When not in use, the funds
should always be stored in a secure, locked container.
If a loss or theft of
these funds occurs, such loss must be refunded to the University's
central accounts. As the Petty Cash Custodian is responsible for
following all relevant policies and procedures in safeguarding these
funds, loss from negligence will be their personal responsibility.
Other losses must be restored to the central accounts from the department's own funds. The University Police
Department should be contacted for advice on the proper methods for
safeguarding the fund. All thefts MUST be reported to the University
Police Department, Office of Risk Management, and the Internal Audit
Department immediately.It is the responsibility of the custodian of a checking account to remit to the State all unclaimed checks. These checks, if not cashed by
the payee within the designated time, are considered unclaimed property and
belong to the Commonwealth. Contact the Associate Comptroller, Revenue and
Collections for procedures to be followed in remitting unclaimed property.
will pay for the monthly bank maintenance fee and individual
transactions fee for the petty cash checking accounts, but departments
will be responsible for the cost of checks and each petty cash checking
account will be
automatically charged. These costs must be recovered through the normal petty cash
2.5 Petty Cash Uses, Limits and Restrictions
Petty Cash must be used to make official University of
Virginia purchases only. University faculty, staff, and students should
anticipate expenses and arrange payment by one of the following methods:
Purchasing Card, Limited Purchase Order, Purchase Order, or Payment
Voucher. Petty Cash should only be used when payment by one of these
preferred methods is not possible.
- Individual Petty Cash expenditures are limited to a maximum of
- Petty Cash should not be used for recurring expenses.
- Petty Cash may not be used to make reimbursements.
- Petty Cash may not be used to purchase gifts, cards, or
- Petty Cash may not be used to make salary advances or
- University faculty, staff, and students may seek up to $100 in
advance from their department's Petty Cash fund to cover expenses such
as parking, tolls, taxis, etc., that may arise as part of a day trip
on official University business.
- University faculty, staff, and students may also seek up to $100
in advance from their department's Petty Cash fund to cover the
expense of a certified business meal. When petty cash is used for this
purpose, the original hard copy of the Certified Business Meal form
and the Petty Cash Reimbursement form must be forwarded to Procurement
- Petty Cash must not be used to make payments for services with the
sole exception of payments to research study participants for
taking part in a research study or survey. Departments are responsible
for ensuring that payments to a single individual do not exceed $100
per transaction and $599.99 per calendar year. In all cases, the
department must maintain a record of the name, address, and Social
Security number of the study participant as well as the name and date
of the study.
2.6 Documentation and Records
Departments must maintain a file of Petty Cash
vouchers and screen prints in voucher number order. This documentation
must be kept in departmental files for a minimum of 3 years plus the
current fiscal year.
- 3.0 Definitions
- 4.0 References
- 5.0 Approvals and
Previous version in effect from 8/19/01 to 11/01/02 available
in policy archive.
Previous version in effect from 9/14/00 to 8/19/01
in policy archive.
Previous version in effect from 4/5/94 to 3/7/00
in policy archive.