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Petty Cash Policy and Procedures


  1. The Department Head is ultimately responsible for the basic safety and control of the Cash fund, regardless of who actually handles the transactions, and reimbursements.
  2. Petty cash funds are for the purpose of infrequent or emergency departmental purchases. All other purchases must go through the purchase order process via a requisition/request for payment.
  3. Under no circumstances can petty cash be used for personal expenses or loans.
  4. Petty cash funds must be locked in the cash box at all times when not in use. (Use caution when accessing the fund so it does not become common knowledge where keys are kept etc.)
  5. Without prior notice, petty cash funds are subject to audit, by either the Internal Auditor and/or the Controller's Office, to the amount of the established fund. Overages and shortages to the fund will be written up at the time of the audit.
  6. Petty cash funds must be closed out and reconciled at the end of each fiscal year.
  7. Cash can only be reimbursed by the Controller's Office when supported by receipts.
  8. Travel advances, meals, mileage, or other travel related expenditures cannot be reimbursed using a petty cash fund.
  9. Misuse of the petty cash fund, (for example: personal loans or expenditures, and overages, or unexplained shortages) will result in the confiscation and revocation of the fund.
  10. Upon discovery, all missing funds, or significant shortages, must be reported immediately to both Public Safety (ext. 4400) and the Controller's office (ext. 4327)
  11. Prior to a change in custody, a petty cash fund must be audited, reconciled, and reimbursed. Notify the Controller's Office (ext. 4327), in advance of any anticipated custody change.


  1. A petty cash fund is initiated by a Department Head's request, in writing through the Controller, with final approval of the Vice-President of Finance. Once, approved, a locking cash box needs to be obtained. After Physical Plant has secured this box in a locking desk or file cabinet, the Controllers Office is notified and a numbered receipt book is issued. Finally, the cash fund is distributed through the Controller's Office.
  2. Never allow multiple persons access to the petty cash (Multiple access reduces Control)
  3. The fund should be replenished on a regular basis to correspond with accounting closings and ensure that all expenses have been recorded.
  4. When replenishment funds are required, the department custodian should bring a summarized list of expenditures, with receipts and applicable department account numbers to be charged, to the Controller's Office. The department will be given cash to reinstate the fund to the authorized level. Petty cash reimbursements should be scheduled in advance by calling the Controller's Office (ext. 4327)
  5. All reimbursements requests will be checked for math and proper documentation. Proper documentation consists of a pre-numbered petty cash slip and a receipt from a third-party vendor. Hand written receipts are not considered proper documentation.
  6. All petty cash numbered slips must be signed, approved by Department Head, include the amount, reason for expenditure, date, and Fund, Organization, Account and Program numbers.
  7. Petty cash slips must be used in numerical order. Void slips must be noted as Such, and the original yellow copy left in the receipt book. Cash, receipts, and slips must be kept up to date, organized, and available for audit at any time.
  8. Expenditures should be coded to the correct Fund, Organization, Account and Program.
  9. If there is a question regarding the correct Fund, Organization, Account or Program to be used, contact your department head or the Controller's Office.
  10. Whenever possible, do not pay sales tax on purchases, Wentworth is an educational institution and is exempt from all sales taxes. Exemption are available from Purchasing to be presented to vendors as necessary.
  11. Purchase advances should be written on a petty cash slip in the amount of the advance and adjusted to the actual amount of the expense after the return of the receipt and change.
  12. Any questions regarding policies and procedures, requests on how to obtain a petty cash account or replacement receipt books, or any other general questions regarding purchases and documentation should be directed to the Controller's Office.