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.
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.