Policy 26 - Petty Cash

Approved Executive Committee of the Board of Governors 67.23

PETTY CASH

POLICY

1. Each faculty or service can maintain a petty cash to ease the reimbursement of expenses.

2. Faculties and services that collect fees can request a cash fund (different from a petty cash) to have all the denominations required to give change.

3. To obtain a petty cash or a cash fund, faculty and service executive directors or administrative officers must submit a written request, authorized by their dean or director, to Financial Services.

4. This policy applies only to petty-cash management. Cash fund management is covered under Policy 27, Control of invoicing, remittances and deposits.

5. The larger the fund, the greater the incentive for and the severity of theft. Hence, petty-cash funds must be kept as small as possible.

6. The petty-cash fund value must not exceed the lesser of:
  •  a) the amount needed to settle small accounts over a one-month period, or
  •  b) $1,500, or
  •  c) up to $5,000, subject to the approval of Financial Services.
7. Petty cash may be used only for the payment of minor expenses not exceeding $300 (plus tax), and in keeping with the restrictions in section 9. In exceptional cases where this amount must be exceeded (c.o.d. invoices, for instance), the transaction must be fully explained and documented on the voucher.

8. Petty cash must be kept in a locking cash box, which itself must be stored in a secure place. In addition, the fund must be under the control of one custodian only, who is personally responsible for its safety and management. The custodian may not be a person authorized to approve budget expenditures.

RESTRICTIONS (also refer to item 7. above)

9. It is forbidden to use petty cash for the following purposes:

a) to pay salaries, wages, honoraria, etc.
b) to cash cheques
c) to grant loans
d) to pay travel expenses specified in Policy 21
e) to pay travel-related registration fees specified in Policy 21
f) to reimburse personal expenses (parking tickets, medical certificates, etc.)
g) to purchase liquor
h) to reimburse lunch, party, reception, flower and gift expenses
i) to buy coffee and soft drinks, except for official meetings with visitors.

10. Wherever possible, if a contract has been negotiated by Materials Management Services, miscellaneous supplies must be bought from the designated supplier.

REPLENISHMENT

11. The petty cash must be replenished at least once a month and especially before the end of March and the end of April each year.

12. To obtain a reimbursement, managers must follow the Petty-Cash Management Procedure on Financial Services’ Web site (http://www.uottawa.ca/services/finance/forms/dpns-pc-e.htm).

13. It is strictly forbidden to replenish the petty cash with funds from other sources; such funds must instead be returned to Financial Services, as required by Policy 27.

DISBURSEMENTS

14. Every disbursement must be supported by a voucher. Please refer to the Petty Cash Management Procedure for more information.

15. Expenses to be reimbursed through petty cash must be submitted within 30 days of being incurred. Older vouchers can be rejected.

16. All vouchers require the written approval of the person authorized to approve expenditures from the budget being charged, or by this person's authorized representative.

17. Payments chargeable to research grants or contracts require the approval of the principal investigator or his or her authorized representative.

18. Cash advances may be made to staff members for an authorized expenditure. The advance must be supported by a properly approved voucher stating the purpose of the advance.

AUDIT

19. Petty-cash management is subject to spot checks; the fund must always contain the correct balance in either cash or vouchers, hence the importance of keeping reconciliations up to date all the time.

WARNING

20. Anyone failing to observe this policy is subject to disciplinary measures, including dismissal.

INTERPRETATION

21. The Director of Financial Services is responsible for interpreting this policy. The application of the policy is the joint responsibility of faculty and service administrators and the Director of Financial Services.

22. Please refer to the Petty Cash Management Procedure for more information.

EXCEPTION

23. No exception may be made to this policy without the written consent of the Vice-President, Resources.

Revised November 8, 2006

(Financial Services)

Back to top