Petty cash in a drawer

Petty cash funds are approved under limited circumstances when other payment options are not available. Generally a P-Card can handle most small expenditures. The 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). Petty cash funds must be formally requested and approved and may not be independently created by holding back deposits or receipts for such use.

There are two types of cash funds approved for use at UNLV:
● Petty Cash Funds - Cash funds established to provide individual departments with
small amounts of cash to make direct purchases.
● Change Funds - Cash funds established to provide service organizations with sufficient
coins and currency to provide change for operational purposes.

Opening/Increasing a Petty Cash/Change Fund

A Vice President or Dean may request a petty cash or change fund be established at any appropriate level, i.e., department, office, etc. The request must be in memo format to the UNLV Controller containing the following information:

  • Organization (department) where the fund will be established.
  • Justification for the fund.
  • The name, job title, and telephone number of the designated fund custodian.
  • Where (building and room number) the fund will be stored.
  • The requested amount of the fund.
  • The length of time the fund will be needed.

Once the Controller has approved this request, the custodian should “Create an Expense Report for Petty Cash/Change Fund Establishment ” in Workday.

Policy, Procedures, And Guidelines

General Cash Fund Controls

  • All cash funds are set up with the approval of the Controller. The authorized amount for a Petty Cash/Change Fund will depend on the activity it will support.
  • All cash funds should be maintained under the control of a single employee designated as the custodian. The fund custodian is responsible for ensuring the total value of the fund is always on hand and that the fund is used in a legally authorized manner. Additionally, the custodian must safeguard the fund and immediately report any discrepancies to the UNLV Controller. The fund should be counted and reconciled by the fund custodian regularly. (At least weekly with supporting documentation of reconciliation.)
  • The use(s) of each cash fund is subject to audit and periodic unannounced cash count by the Controller’s Office and the Campus Audit Department. All counts will be documented on a reconciliation statement. The fund custodian must be present during all cash counts and audits. Any auditor requesting to count a fund should present proper identification.  If there are any questions regarding the identification of an auditor requesting to count a petty cash or change fund, the fund custodian should contact the Controller’s Office at 702-895-3517.
  • A petty cash fund is established to allow departments to make small cash purchases. Funds are not authorized for advances of any type, cashing of personal checks, loans, “IOUs”, gifts, awards, etc.
  • Cash overages/shortages must be cleared, at a minimum, weekly. Any cash shortage of $25.00 or more must be reported immediately, in writing, to the Controller. The memo must fully explain the circumstances that resulted in the shortage, and what corrective action is being taken. If there is a shortage due to theft, a police report must be filed with Public Safety immediately and a copy sent to the Controller. It is advisable that the custodian notifies the Vice President or Dean that requested the fund.
  • All funds must be securely stored at all times. The fund amount determines the type of storage security necessary. Minimum fund security should include a locked cash box placed in a secure (lockable) cabinet or desk.
  • To minimize possible theft or misappropriation, the fund custodian should maintain only one set of keys under his/her own care. In case of theft, the custodian must immediately file a police report with Public Safety.
  • The Controller may withdraw a fund authorization and close the fund if there are recurring shortages or the fund is not maintained in accordance with procedures and guidelines.

Petty Cash Fund

Petty cash funds are established to provide for small purchases that cannot be handled by use of a P-Card or through the Purchasing Office. Petty cash funds are for appropriate authorized purchases only and may not be used for any payments otherwise prohibited under any UNLV policy.

Operation of a Petty Cash Fund

  • The amount of each fund will remain constant.
  • The fund will be reimbursed periodically, for the amounts paid out, upon presentation and surrender of satisfactory evidence of such disbursements.
  • The evidence will be submitted, along with a properly completed and approved expense report, to the Accounts Payable Department for review and processing.
  • The general fund reimbursement check will be made payable to the Petty Cash Custodian and the check will be mailed to the custodian’s address on file in Workday.
  • The amount of the reimbursement check should always be for the exact amount of the disbursements made from the funds. Replenishment for shortages or requests to increase the fund will be submitted separately.
  • Reimbursements need only be made as frequently as the fund requires replenishment, but no less than annually. However, all petty cash funds should be replenished near or at the close of the fiscal year (June 30th) to ensure that all expenditures are recorded in the proper accounting cycle.

Approved petty cash expenditures include but are not limited to:

  • Customary and ordinary supplies needed on an emergency basis that can’t be purchased using the P-Card. All expenditures must be consistent with purchasing policies.
  • Postage due, package, and mailing.

Payment for entertainment and similar personal services are not appropriate petty cash expenditures.

Prior to any purchase, if in doubt about whether the purchase is authorized or not, call the Vendor Team Supervisor (702-895-1157) and discuss the transaction. If approved, request a written approval be sent to the custodian. The approval should be attached to the receipt and reimbursement request.

Change Funds

Cash funds established to provide service organizations with sufficient coins and currency to provide change for operational purposes.

  • Change funds should be established for any University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) organization that makes direct sales of goods or services to the public. Change funds may also be established to provide change for vending machine operations.
  • The fund should be of sufficient amount to provide for a normal day’s business activity.
  • The custodian should count and reconcile change funds at the end of each shift or business day. Overages and shortages should be recorded daily.
  • Business receipts should be deposited daily. (The Controller may grant exceptions to this policy on an individual basis.)
  • Change funds will not be used to cash personal checks.
  • Change funds may not be used for any purchase of goods or services.
  • Checks must be immediately endorsed for deposit. Contact the Cashier’s Office to obtain information on how to purchase an endorsement stamp.

Create an Expense Report for Petty Cash/Change Fund Establishment

Once the Controller has approved this request, the custodian should “Create Expense Report” in Workday.

  1. The Business purpose should be Petty/Cash/change fund establishment.
  2. The Expense item field should be petty cash or change fund.
  3. The Worktags should be your department account with all other worktags by default.
  4. The Fund should be changed to “FD890 Pooled Cash and Banking”.
  5. The Reimbursement Payment type should be “Check” or “Direct Deposit”.
  6. The Memo field should be completed with “To establish a petty cash fund or change fund”
  7. Appropriate support for establishing the fund should be attached (approval from Department and Controller).
  8. The check will be made payable to the custodian and mailed to the address on file in Workday.

A Petty Cash or Change Fund must be transferred or closed before a fund custodian transfers to another department or receives his/her final paycheck and clearance from the university. See Closing/Decreasing a Petty Cash/Change Fund.

Login to your Workday account for additional information and instructions.

Replenishment of Expenditures From a Petty Cash Fund

The fund custodian must “Create Expense Report” in Workday for all unpaid fund expenditures to date. This amount, when added to the cash remaining in the fund, should equal the authorized amount of the petty cash fund.

  1. The Business purpose should be “Petty Cash Replenishment”.
  2. The appropriate program worktag should be charged for each invoice.
  3. The Expense item field should be charged to the appropriate spend category for the types of expense. Invoice receipt amounts must be individually entered in the expense report and not consolidated on a single expense report line.
  4. Copies of Invoice receipts and appropriate support must also be separately attached to the appropriate expense line.
  5. The Reimbursement Payment type should be “Check”.
  6. The Memo field should be completed with “To replenish a petty cash fund”.
  7. Click submit to route for appropriate approvals in Workday.
  8. The check will be made payable to the custodian and mailed to the address on file in Workday.

Cash Shortages

To replenish a cash shortage the fund custodian must “Create Expense Report”.

Process

  1. The Business purpose should be “Petty Cash Replenishment”.
  2. The appropriate program worktag should be charged. Shortages are funded from a departmental account.
  3. The custodian will select “SC0453 overage/shortage” for the expense item.
  4. The custodian will enter the statement, “To replace cash shortage discovered on (date)” in the memo field of the expense report.
  5. If the shortage was due to theft, the custodian should attach a copy of the police report to the expense report.
  6. The Reimbursement Payment type should be a “Check”.
  7. Click submit to route for appropriate approvals in Workday.

Cash Overages

The custodian should immediately clear a cash overage by depositing, with the UNLV cashier, the overage into a departmental account. The custodian should enter “overage (date found)” in the “description” field of the cash receipt. A copy of the cash receipt should be attached with supporting documentation.

Cash Receipts in Workday are processed as “Cash Sale”. Cash Sales procedures include the steps below and are consistent with the business process utilized within Workday, “cash sales” are initiated by the role serving as a “cash sales specialist”.

Record Cash Sale

Process
  1. Type into the search box: “record cash sale”.
  2. On the screen, for the company, select: UNLV.
  3. On the screen, for the customer, select: customer by customer group > cash sales > cash sales – internal use.
  4. Payment type: select what the customer is using.
  5. Enter the reference number in the box scroll down to complete the invoice.
  6. Revenue category (to the left): Other Operating Revenue > select
  7. Line Item Description
  8. Extended amount: Enter total

This is a sale and a debit to “cash in transit” not “cash”. This transaction will deposit in the ledger (cash) when it is cashiered by entering “customer deposits” (see “Recording the Deposit”).

Record Deposit

This role is performed by the “Cashiering Specialist”

Process
  1. Create customer deposit.
  2. Enter the total amount of all deposits.
  3. Check the box of all deposits and hit submit.

This completes the transactions to record the transaction and the deposit of the transaction.

All funds must be securely stored at all times. The fund amount determines the type of storage security necessary. Minimum fund security should include a locked cash box placed in a secure (lockable) cabinet or desk.

To minimize possible theft or misappropriation, the fund custodian should maintain only one set of keys under his/her own care. In case of theft, the custodian must immediately file a police report with Public Safety.

The Controller may withdraw a fund authorization and close the fund if there are recurring shortages or the fund is not maintained in accordance with procedures and guidelines.

Changing a Fund Custodian

  • All outstanding expenditures must be replenished prior to changing custodians.
  • The fund custodian must prepare a memorandum transferring custody of the fund to the new custodian. This memorandum will contain the name of the fund and the cash amount transferred. It must be signed by the previous custodian, the new custodian, and the Dean or Director of the department where the fund is housed. This memorandum must be forwarded to the Controller prior to the new custodian requesting replenishment of the fund.

Assigning a Temporary Custodian

The permanent fund custodian must prepare a memorandum transferring temporary custody of the fund to the temporary custodian. This memorandum will contain the name of the fund, the cash amount transferred, and the dates of temporary custody. It must be signed by the permanent custodian, the temporary custodian, and the Dean or Director of the department where the fund is housed.

Closing/Decreasing a Petty Cash/Change Fund

  • All outstanding expenditures must be replenished prior to closing a fund. The cash level must equal the authorized amount.
  • The fund custodian must deposit all cash into the Cashier’s Office. The deposit will be recorded into the account that originally funded the petty cash/change fund. If the fund custodian has any questions regarding this deposit, contact the Controller at 702-895-3517.
  • The fund custodian must take the cash receipt to the Controller.
  • The Controller’s representative will verify that the total of the cash receipt is equal to the authorized fund amount.
  • When the fund is reconciled, the Controller’s representative will prepare a memorandum releasing the fund custodian of responsibility. The Controller’s representative and the custodian will sign the memorandum. 

Contact Us

Questions: generalaccounting-group@unlv.edu
Telephone: 702-895-3957
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday