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Petty Cash, Temporary Cash and Change Funds

Petty Cash Funds

Revised 4/2012

A Vice President and/or Dean may request the establishment of a working petty cash fund at any appropriate level, (i.e. division, department, office, or station). Funds may be requested by sending a memo and a completed "Request for Payment" form, leave account number blank, to the Controller. The memo must designate a fund custodian, purpose and location of the fund including a description of how the funds will be secured. If approved, a check will be issued in the name of the custodian from a central university petty cash fund account. The fund custodian will be the authorized signer on the fund. Petty cash funds must be formally requested and may not be independently created by holding back deposits or receipts for such use.

Imprest Basis

Once established, each fund will be maintained on an imprest basis, which means the cash in the fund and the receipts/documentation of expenditures made from the fund must always add to the total fund amount. The custodian will be reimbursed upon completion and submission of a "Petty Cash Reimbursement Voucher" with supporting documentation (original receipts) to Accounts Payable. The reimbursements are to be scheduled as needed, but made at least quarterly and within the same fiscal year as the expense was incurred.

Account Coding Responsibility

The custodian is responsible for properly coding the petty cash disbursements on the "Petty Cash Reimbursement Voucher". It is the responsibility of the custodian to coordinate with the account manager any charges to the manager's account and to obtain proper signature authorization for account(s) being charged.

Because the reimbursement check is made payable to the custodian, the custodian's direct supervisor (or higher) is required to approve the petty cash reimbursement voucher.

Petty Cash Limit

  • Reno Campus - $100.00
  • All Other Areas - $250.00

Exceptions to the above limits may be approved on an individual basis. Written justification for the increase should be submitted to the Vice President and/or Dean for their approval and then forwarded to the Controller for final approval of the increase.

Purchases or Transactions Authorized

The following lists the authorized purchases, which may be made from a petty cash fund.

These expenses should be paid from petty cash only if the university purchasing card is not accepted by the vendor.

  • Miscellaneous postage, postage due, package mailing, and P.O. Box rental
  • Freight bills, either freight in or out
  • City/county dumping fees
  • Miscellaneous supplies
  • Emergency purchases

Purchases or Transactions Unauthorized

The following transactions are prohibited:

  • Cashing personal checks for the convenience of employees or students
  • Short-term loans
  • Purchase of new equipment
  • Purchase of radioactive or other hazardous materials
  • Travel Claims or advances
  • Any purchase where normal university procurement procedures are available (Request for Payment (RFP), Purchasing Card)

Security and Accountability

The assigned custodian is to maintain the petty cash fund in a locked cash box, placed in a secured file cabinet or desk. To minimize possible theft or misappropriation, the custodian will maintain only one set of keys and reconcile the cash fund on a weekly basis. If the petty cash fund is lost or stolen the fund custodian should notify the Controller's Office immediately.

The Controller, NSHE Internal Audit, or campus auditors may make a surprise cash count of the fund to assure the fund is intact and the evidence of disbursements held there in lieu of cash are proper.

The Controller's Office should be notified by the current fund custodian or his/her supervisor when the petty cash fund custodian changes. When a custodian leaves the university or transfers departments, the fund should be counted by a supervisor.

When no longer needed, petty cash funds should be returned to the Cashier's Office for deposit into the central university petty cash/change fund account 1299-0005.

The Controller's Office will contact the fund custodian in May or June of each year to verify the fund balance and determine the on-going necessity of the fund.

Temporary Cash Fund

Revised 2/2010

A Vice President and/or Dean may request the establishment of a temporary cash fund at any appropriate level, (i.e. division, department, office, or station). These funds are most often established to make small dollar cash payments to participants in studies approved by the university. Funds may be requested by sending a memo to the Controller which designates a fund custodian, the purpose and location of the fund and a description of how the funds will be secured. If approved, a check will be issued in the name of the custodian from a central university cash fund account.

The assigned custodian is to maintain the cash fund in a locked cash box, placed in a secured file cabinet or desk. To minimize possible theft or misappropriation, the custodian will maintain only one set of keys and reconcile the cash fund on a weekly basis. If the cash fund is lost or stolen the fund custodian should notify the Controller's Office immediately.

For projects where the funds are disbursed all at once or over a short period of time the fund custodian must submit to Accounts Payable a "Petty Cash Reimbursement Voucher" which lists the names of the participants paid, the amount of cash distributed to each and the account number to be charged at the end of the project.

For projects with participant payments that cover multiple cycles or occur over an extended period of time cash should be requested only in the amount needed for each cycle. The fund can be replenished as needed upon completion and submission to Accounts Payable of a "Petty Cash Reimbursement Voucher" with supporting documentation that lists the names of the participants paid, the amount of cash distributed to each and the account number to be charged. These reimbursements are to be scheduled as needed, but need to be made at least quarterly and within the same fiscal year as the expense was incurred.

If any cash remains at the end of the project the cash should be taken to the cashier's office for deposit into account 1299-0005.

This fund must be used only for the purpose requested by the Dean or Vice President and approved by the Controller. These funds may not be used to make purchases for the department or project.

Change Fund

Revised 2/2010

A Vice President and/or Dean may request the establishment of a change fund at any appropriate level, (i.e. division, department, office, or station). Funds may be requested by sending a memo and a completed "Request for Payment" form, leave account number blank, to the Controller. The form can be located at http://www.cis.unr.edu/WebFormsPDF/forms/Request_For_Payment.pdf. The memo must designate a fund custodian, purpose and location of the fund including a description of how the funds will be secured. Fund custodians must be faculty or classified staff. If approved, a check will be issued in the name of the custodian from a central university petty cash/change fund account. Change funds may be requested for any unit that makes cash sales for which change may be required.

Change funds must be formally requested and may not be independently created by holding back deposits or receipts for such use.

Change funds should be maintained at a constant balance with revenues collected from sales deposited as required by the university cash handling policy. All funds received must be deposited promptly with the Cashier's Office.

  • Receipts in excess of $500 must be deposited within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Lesser amounts must be deposited within 72 hours of receipt.
  • All checks must be endorsed upon receipt of the check.

Temporary change funds may be requested for special, one-time events for which change is needed. The request for a temporary change fund must include the date the fund is expected to be returned. These funds should be closed out as soon as they are no longer needed and should be delivered to the Cashier's Office for deposit into the central university petty cash/change fund account 1299-0005.

The Controller's Office should be notified by the current fund custodian or his/her supervisor when the custodian changes. When a custodian leaves the university or transfers departments, the fund should be counted by a supervisor.

If the change fund is lost or stolen the Controller's Office should be notified immediately.

The Controller, NSHE Internal Audit, or campus auditors may make a surprise cash count of the fund to assure the fund is intact.

When no longer needed, change funds should be returned to the Cashier's Office for deposit into the central university petty cash/change fund account 1299-0005.

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