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Petty Cash

Guidelines for Petty Cash Funds
In GSE&IS, Petty Cash is used as a method of making payments to research/project participants ONLY after all other options to make payment through the University’s payment systems are exhausted. Additionally, if a specific research project requires the use of cash as a protocol/treatment of the study, then cash may be used.

Guidelines for Payment

  1. Payment via check through the purchasing system
    • Requires name, address, social security number (SS#)
    • Request for payment from payee
  2. Petty Cash Fund
    • Described/anticipated in the scope of work of the project and IRB application
    • Participant group does not have SS# or does not have access to banking privileges
    • Turn-around time between participation date and receipt of payment less than 3-5 working days.

*Note: Gifts cards are considered “cash equivalents” and should be handled the same as cash.

Advantages of Using Petty Cash

  • immediate payment
  • may meet protocol/treatment requirements

Disadvantages of Using Petty Cash

  • Continuous replenishment of Petty Cash funds based on study needs
  • Coordination of cash on hand with volume of payments to participants, i.e., potential disruption to data collection activities
  • Stringent policy and documentation requirements
  • Cash is maintained in a locked safe at all times
  • Potential for theft and potential exposure of cash couriers to unsafe conditions
  • Custodian is personally responsible for management of the fund, including potential re-repayment of misplaced funds

Highlights of Petty Cash Fund Policy

  1. Authorization and Approval
    1. Petty cash funds are authorized and approved by Corporate Accounting.
    2. A fund is used only in accordance with the purposes agreed to at the time the fund is authorized and always conforms to established University policies and procedures.
    3. Check requests to reimburse a petty cash fund are approved by a responsible employee who does not have direct access to the petty cash fund. Fund reimbursement is made payable to the fund custodian.
  2. Custodial and Security Arrangements
    1. Cash and cash reimbursement vouchers are stored in a locked receptacle (i.e., safe, etc.).
    2. Custodial responsibility for a fund is assigned to only one employee. Custodial responsibility can be re-delegated internally to cover absences of less than three weeks. The Assistant Vice Chancellor Corporate Financial Services must be notified in writing of re-delegation when an absence exceeds three weeks.
    3. Petty cash is not to be deposited into an unauthorized or non-University bank account (i.e., do not use a personal checking/savings account).
  3. Review and Reconciliation
    1. The fund custodian makes disbursements ONLY based on receipt documenting the expenditure.
      1. Original receipts are required in order to prevent duplicate reimbursements.
      2. Personal checks and IOU’s may not be accepted as valid receipts.
      3. Any person receiving cash must sign an approved reimbursement voucher or receipt for cash received.
    2. The fund custodian shall balance the fund at least monthly and whenever the fund is replenished.
      1. Total cash on hand plus receipts for cash disbursed should equal the authorized amount of the fund.
      2. Shortages or overages are reported and promptly investigated by departmental management.
    3. Funds are periodically verified through surprise counts.