PETTY CASH, PETTY CASH CHECKING,
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.
Petty cash 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 and procedures.
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
Unless 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.
Change 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
The Department 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 when departments wish to increase, decrease,
or close one of these types of funds.
2.4 Managing a Petty Cash Fund within Departments
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 and approval.
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 expenses. Special 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 of responsibility.
Procurement Services 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 custodian.
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 reconciliation form.
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
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
The University 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 reimbursement
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 for capital outlay projects.
- Petty Cash may not be used to make reimbursements.
- Petty Cash may not be used to purchase gifts, cards, or flowers.
- Petty Cash may not be used to cash checks or to make salary advances
- 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
- 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 Reimbursing Petty Cash, Petty Cash
Checking, and Change Funds
Petty cash funds must be reimbursed no less often than every 30 days
during the year regardless of the amount of the reimbursement. The
petty cash fund is replenished by submitting a Payment Voucher to
Procurement Services which includes the original paper copy of the
Petty Cash Fund Reimbursement form and all receipts to support
the disbursements made from the fund. Original petty cash vouchers
are sent to Procurement Services along with a screen print of the
corresponding payment voucher. The screen print must be signed by
the Petty Cash Custodian, department head, or Dean, Vice President,
or Designee as required.
All petty cash funds in excess of $200 must be reimbursed through
All petty cash funds must be reimbursed at fiscal year-end, so that
no unreimbursed vouchers remain outstanding at June 30. The custodian
and the department head will be required to confirm to Accounting
Services the amount of petty cash currency and coin on hand as of
June 30 each year. Surprise counts of petty cash funds will be made
periodically by the Internal Audit Department. All petty cash funds
must also be reimbursed by December 31 to allow for proper reporting
of taxable payments.
All unclaimed checks from petty cash funds are considered unclaimed
property. If any check is not cashed by the payee within the designated
time, and the payee cannot be contacted for disposition, the funds
must be remitted to the University of Virginia. Remittance of unclaimed
checks is to be coordinated through Accounting Services.
2.7 Documentation and Records Retention
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
3.0 Definitions [Top]
- 4.0 References [Top]
- 5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]
Previous version in effect from 11/01/02 to 03/05/03 available in policy archive.
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 available in policy archive.
Previous version in effect from 4/5/94 to 3/7/00 available in policy archive.