Departmental Petty Cash Funds


Handling Contributed Securities.

Regarding unrestricted security donations, the broker should be informed of the contribution at the time the security is received by the Finance Office and instructed to liquidate the investment at the Comptroller’s discretion; however, it should be understood that this would anticipate liquidation within a relatively short period of time subject only to the broker’s ability to execute orders in a favorable manner.

It is standard practice for the Comptroller to immediately liquidate all securities received as gifts unless otherwise directed by the President or Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs.

The Comptroller will prepare quarterly a list of all securities on hand in the Finance Office along with all securities contributed during the quarter, the market value of the securities at the date of receipt, and the income realized from securities liquidated during the quarter. A copy of this summarization should be furnished to the  Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs to keep him  informed of the securities currently being held in the Finance Office as well as the proceeds from liquidated securities.

Funds received from liquidation of these securities should be deposited in the appropriate accounts in accordance with the College’s policy on cash management.


Transferring Budgeted Funds to Restricted Fund Balances.

Generally accepted accounting principles do not allow the College to transfer money from current fund budgeted income and expense accounts. Similarly, such transfers of money cannot be made out of appropriated or restricted fund balances into current fund budgeted income and expense accounts. Also, gifts may not be made from departmental budgets (such as memorials) and transferred to the College Annual Fund, restricted accounts, or the Endowment.

Appropriated and restricted fund balances can be set up or increased only in the following ways:

  • An outside gift to the College restricted for a specific purpose.
  • Transfers from other restricted or appropriated fund balances set up previously.
  • Transfers from the current fund unrestricted and unappropriated fund balance (the net excess of all prior years revenues over expenses less transfers; i.e. year end surplus).

Appropriated and restricted fund balances can be decreased in the following ways:

  • Charging invoices and other expenses which are for the designated purpose of the account directly against the appropriated or restricted fund balance.
  • Transfers to other appropriated or restricted fund balances.

Departments which realize that they have incorrectly charged an invoice against one of their current fund budgeted expense accounts should send a memo directly to the Accounting Manager similar to the model below:

On (date), I incorrectly charged invoice (number) paid to (vendor name) in the amount of $(amount) to account (account number and name). This entire invoice (or part of this invoice in the amount of $ amount) should be charged against account (account number and name). Please correct this error.
    Signature of Department Chair or Manager

Departmental Petty Cash Funds.

Establishment of Petty Cash Fund.
A petty cash fund is intended for incidental purchases for which the College purchasing system or departmental credit card cannot be used but which are appropriate budgeted College expenditures. A request for the establishment of a petty cash fund in an amount of $100 or less is made by submitting a memo or email to the Director of Accounting. For establishment of a fund larger than $100, please submit the request directly to the Comptroller.

The memo or email must include a statement of justification for establishment of the fund, the amount requested, the designated custodian of the fund and the signature of the department chair or manager. Include a check request form in the name of the custodian. All amounts under $100 may be cashed at the Bursar’s Office window.

Operation of a Petty Cash Fund.  A receipt must be obtained for all purchases from the petty cash fund. As the fund nears depletion, the custodian must submit a completed Bursar’s voucher, with receipts attached totally the amount requested, to obtain a reimbursement. The amount of the voucher will be charged to the appropriate Banner index codes noted on the voucher  request. Each time a reimbursement is requested, or at least monthly, the custodian must reconcile the petty cash fund by confirming that the total cash on hand plus the receipts for expenditures equal the approved amount of the fund. If it does not, please notify the Director of Accounting immediately.

Expenditures are reviewed by the Bursar and Accounting. Any disallowable expenditures will not be reimbursed- though the department and/or custodian will remain responsible for the unreimbursed amount.

Security of Petty Cash Fund. The fund must be kept in a secured locked location. Access should be restricted to the custodian. The custodian is personally responsible for the total authorized amount of the petty cash fund and should use due care when it is in his/her possession.

Increasing a Petty Cash Fund. If the petty cash fund needs to be reimbursed more than one time per month, the fund should be increased. To request an increase in the petty cash fund, a written request of explanation should be submitted to the Director of Accounting.

Closing the Fund. When a custodian who established the fund is no longer employed by the College department or no longer the custodian, the fund must be closed and re-established with a new custodian, if desired. The custodian closing the fund must notify the Director of Accounting, in writing, to clear the liability.

Surprise Petty Cash Counts. Petty cash funds and related expenditures are subject to surprise counts and internal audit at any time in the fiscal year. Inappropriate use of funds or lack of documentation to balance the petty cash fund may be cause for dismissal of the custodian responsible for the fund.

Bursar’s Office Fund and Cash Vouchers.

Bursar’s Office Fund.
Check Cashing Service: Checks are cashed for students, faculty, and staff with a limit of $100 per check. Checks are totaled and deposited daily to Fund 111000, Account 110011 “checks for cash.”

Vouchers. Bursar’s vouchers are used to reimburse departments for cash purchases of $100 or less. Vouchers are used by departments instead of establishing a petty cash fund in cases where purchases are infrequent. Vouchers must be approved by the department chair. Account numbers and receipts must be attached.


Internal Audit.

Internal Audit.
It is a standard function of the Finance Office to conduct periodic reviews of financial and internal control systems, safekeeping of College assets, and the administrative procedures related to college finances or protection of assets.. These procedures are meant to augment the annual audit performed by the College’s external accounting firm.

Audit. Surprise cash counts of the Bursar’s Office will be conducted by the Comptroller at least once each year. Surprise audits of department petty cash funds will also be conducted approximately once each year. The audit will include not only petty cash funds and related receipts but also will include checks receipted on miscellaneous programs and students receipts as appropriate. Auxiliary enterprises which handle cash receipts from programs for the community or general public should consult with the Comptroller about proper record keeping and cash handling.


Cash Management.

General Procedures.
The Comptroller has the authority actively to manage all cash and to invest funds not needed immediately in short-term, fixed income securities to yield reasonable rates of return at an acceptable level of risk. The cash management operations will include the procedures outlined below:

Cash Receipts. All cash receipts, regardless of the source, will be sent from the various departments immediately to the Bursar’s Office for deposit to the main operating account. The Bursar’s Office will prepare a daily deposit which will be picked up by the armored car service each morning in time to be delivered to the bank by 2:00 p.m. In the case of large checks received after the armored car pickup, the Comptroller may arrange for a special deposit to receive credit at the bank that same day. The proper fund balance will be credited through the interfund accounts. The opportunity cost of uninvested cash held, even temporarily, on the campus is substantial.

Cash Disbursements. Non-salary disbursement checks will be written once a week for release at 2:00 p.m. each Friday. Individuals requesting checks must do so by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday in order to have the check written and released the following Friday. Unforeseeable emergencies which require an exception to this policy must be approved by the Comptroller.

Vendor invoices with allowable discounts will be scheduled for the Friday preceding the last day of the discount period. These checks will be written on this day but will be held in the safe until they are mailed or released in order to arrive timely at the vendor’s office. Other payments which are due at fixed dates during the month will be handled similarly.

Vendor invoices with no allowable discounts and check requests without a specified payment date will be scheduled for payment at the end of the month. Approved invoices and check requests received by the Finance Office will be paid on the Friday immediately preceeding the due date of the contract or vendor’s terms of agreement.

Payroll. The College’s main depository bank has been authorized to transfer daily from its operating account to the payroll account any amounts necessary to cover payroll checks which clear that day. These accounts are designed to carry a zero balance at all times.

Revised March 17, 2008.
In effect April 26, 2004.
Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs