UCR Policies and Procedures

Printer Friendly Version

For a hardcopy pdf of this document, contact the Office of Compliance (2-8246).

Policy Title:               Petty Cash Funds


Policy Number:         200-72


Responsible Officer:

Campus Cashier Coordinator,

Director of Student Business Services/Main Cashiers Office

Responsible Office:

Student Business Services/Main Cashiers Office

Origination Date:


Date of Revision:


Date of Last Review:



Guidance Concerning Petty Cash Funds


I.          Policy Summary

·       Petty Cash funds are used to secure goods and services whenever payment by cash is the most cost-effective method of payment and the transaction confirms to these policies and procedures.

·       All Departments that use petty cash in excess of $100.00 per month (average) are required to establish a departmental petty cash fund

·       Departments that have only occasional use of petty cash funds, (under $100.00 per month), may be reimbursed for expenditures through the campus Main Cashier's Office on an individual transaction basis or may use a Procard.

·       The maximum expenditure per transaction is $100.00 plus tax. A purchase may not be separated into two or more groups to circumvent this limit.

·       The funds may not be used for cashing personal checks or for other personal use. Petty cash funds are to be used for OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY BUSINESS ONLY.

     Note:  "Change funds" are not petty cash funds. Information regarding change funds can be found in UCR P&P 200-12.


II.          Establishment of Department Petty Cash Fund

   A memo of request, along with the Petty Cash Fund Authorized Form is required. Visit www.sbs.ucr.edu for this form and further information.


III.          Change of Custodian

A memo of request, along with the Petty Cash Fund Authorized Form is required. Visit www.sbs.ucr.edu for this form and further information.


IV.          Termination of Department Petty Cash Fund

A memo of request, along with the Petty Cash Fund Authorized Form is required. Visit www.sbs.ucr.edu for this form and further information.


V.          Reimbursement for Expenditures

Reimbursement to the fund custodian may be requested on an as-need basis (vouchers must be submitted within 60 days of the date of purchased). To request reimbursement the fund custodian must:

·       Prepare an online ePay Request for the amount of the expenditure.


Attach proof of expenditure for the amount requested, along with completed petty cash vouchers. 

Note:  In most instances each proof of expenditures/sales receipt will require a separate voucher form to be completed. In instances where one individual is being reimbursed at one time for multiple transactions, one voucher may be submitted. However, any personal item included on the same receipt must be clearly indicated as personal and cannot be reimbursed. Any transaction requiring special approval should follow the same guidelines required by policy/procedure governing that expenditure.

·       Upon completion of review, a reimbursement check will be generated.

Note:  Incomplete requests for reimbursement or vouchers not fulfilling all requirements of this policy will be returned to the custodian without reimbursement. Petty cash reimbursements will continue to be subject to Internal Audit review during departmental audits. 


VI.          Reimbursement through Campus Main Cashiers Office

Those department which do not have a petty cash fund may be reimbursed for expenditures through the campus cashier. To request reimbursement through the campus cashier, department personnel must go to the Main Cashiers Office and present an acceptable proof of expenditure for an acceptable item accompanied by a completed petty cash voucher, signed by a department staff member authorized to approve expenditures to department accounts.


Reimbursements will not be made until all of the requirements have been met. Reimbursements are not made through the mail.

  Note:  Departments which have a petty cash fund may not be reimbursed through the Main Cashiers Office unless extenuating circumstances warrant exception. Exceptions must be authorized by the Director of Student Business Services or designee.


VII.          Proof of Expenditures

When an item or service is purchased, a receipt must be obtained. This receipt must       contain, as a minimum, the following elements:

·       Date of purchase

·       Name of vendor

·       Description of merchandise/service

·       Total amount paid, including tax, if applicable

·       In the case of handwritten receipts which do not include a preprinted vendor name, the vendor name along with a "Received By" signature of the vendor must appear.

Receipts in excess of 60 days from date of purchase will not be reimbursed.


The following items represent acceptable proof of expenditure only when all of the additional requirements indicated have been fulfilled:

·       Personal checks. Personal checks are acceptable as proof of expenditure only when no other form of receipt is obtainable. Reimbursement for purchases by personal check must be approved by the department chair/head and the original check or a photocopy of both sides of the check (with the department head's custodian's request for reimbursement).

·       Personal credit card sales slips. Most credit card purchases generate both a cash register receipt (or similar) and a credit card sales slip. In these cases, submission of both of these documents is required and acceptable for reimbursement. However, in those instances when only a credit card sales slip is produced, the sales slip is acceptable only when authorized and approved by the department chair/head.

·       Telephone or mail credit card sales. In the case of a credit card purchase by telephone or mail, you must wait until your statement that shows the charge is received and submit the original or if you do not wish to wait that long, you may have your credit card company fax or mail you proof of that purchase and charge and submit that.

·       Lost Receipt" payments. Should an occasion arise in which a cash receipt is lost, but the proof of expenditure is obvious (e.g. the merchandise is on hand), the individual requesting payment must prepare a declaration indicating the loss of the receipt and all the elements required for an acceptable proof of expenditure (Section H. 1.above). They must then obtain the department head's authorization and signature for reimbursement. The fund custodian may use this declaration as proof of expenditure for fund reimbursement.


The following items do not represent acceptable proof of expenditure:

·       Photocopies of receipts. Only original receipts are acceptable (The one exception to this requirement is personal checks.).

·       Adding machine tapes

·       Altered receipts


VIII.          Items that MAY NOT be Purchased Using Petty Cash Funds Without Special Approval 


Required Approval


Health & Safety

Bottled Water

Appropriate Vice Chancellor/Dean

Decorative Items: (e.g., plants, except for scientific use, pictures, paintings, posters, vases, wall hangings, pillows, flowers, rugs, etc.)

Appropriate Vice Chancellor/Dean

Draperies, Floor and Wall

Health & Safety/

Coverings and Upholstery

Architects & Engineers/Physical Plant

Heaters and Fans (other than for research application)

Physical Plant

Fire Fighting Equipment

Health & Safety

Foodstuffs, Beverages, Catering, Food Preparation/Serving Equipment (other than for Food Services areas, animal/insect diets and classroom demonstration)

Appropriate Vice Chancellor/Dean

Protective Clothing

Health & Safety

Personal Use Items: (e.g., Briefcases, Clothing_other than protective or costume, gifts, radios, etc.)

Appropriate Vice Chancellor/Dean

Repairs to Personal Property

Department Head

Safety Glasses

Health & Safety

Telephone Attachments/Digital Information Systems

Academic Computing

Telephone Attachments _ Voice/Recording


Wooden Furniture

Appropriate Vice Chancellor/Dean


See UCR P&P(s) 200-42 and 200-44

Membership in Professional & Community Organizations

See UCR P&P 650-50


IX.          Blanket Special Approval

Certain functions require the purchase of one or more of the above restricted items on a routine basis (e.g., cookies for the Children's Development Center). These functions may petition blanket special approval for SPECIFIC ITEMS from the approval source indicated in Section I which, when approved, may be copied and attached to any requests for reimbursement for the purchase of those restricted items. No further specific approval is required for these purchases.


         X.          Items that MAY NOT be Purchased Using Petty Cash Funds


·       Explosives/Firearms

·       Controlled Substances/Narcotics/Dangerous Drugs

·       Consultants

·       Purchases from University Employees and Near Relatives

·       Radioactive Items

·       Rental of Real Property

·       Repairs to the Plant & Grounds

·       Items in Excess of $100.00 plus Tax


XI.          Lost or Stolen Funds


In the event of theft or loss of petty cash fund, the campus Police and the Student Business Services Manager must be notified immediately. Additionally, a letter explaining the circumstances of loss must be sent to the Student Business Services Director or his/her designee as well as a request for reimbursement of the loss. Upon review and approval of the Student Business Services Director or designee, an ePay request for petty cash replenishment will be generated and sent to the custodian.

Note:  The reimbursement of lost/stolen petty cash funds are charged to the custodian department.


 XII.          References


Accounting Manual Chapters:


·        C-173-61 Cash: Petty Cash Disbursements


Business and Finance Bulletins:

·        BUS-49 Cashiering Responsibilities and Guidelines

 Contact Student Business Services/Main Cashiers Office with any questions.