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Petty Cash Guidelines

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The following guidelines should be used when requesting an advance, settling, or disbursing petty cash.  These policies are in place to protect the interest of the university and employees.  The following policies are meant to serve as a standard and guide for the distribution and settlement of petty cash; however, these policies may be changed or altered at any time to ensure that our best practices our maintained for auditing and accountability purposes.  Any modifications must be approved by the Business Office Manager, Assistant Comptroller, Comptroller, or V.P. of Business and Finance.

Petty cash is an imprest fund that is used only for expenditures of an incidental nature. There are two methods of withdrawing funds from petty cash:

  • The reimbursement method: Petty cash may be used to reimburse an individual for a purchase that was made using his/her personal funds. Upon presentation of an original itemized receipt (i.e., vendor invoice, register receipt) and proof of payment to support the expenditure, the petty cash custodian will reimburse the individual for the exact amount (minus sales tax) of purchase.
  • The advance method: The business office may advance petty cash to an individual in anticipation of a purchase. Since the purchase has not yet been made at the time of the petty cash withdrawal, the amount withdrawn may vary from the amount of the actual petty cash requested. Documentation (for settlement) must be submitted to the business office within a reasonable time (10 calendar days). If the actual expenditure was less that the amount advanced, the individual must return the excess cash together with valid documentation. If the actual expenditure was more than the amount advanced (which required an individual to use their personal funds), the individual may be reimbursed for the excess amount after submitting adequate documentation to support the expenditure.
  • All advances on petty cash tickets must be settled within 10 calendar days.
  • maximum of $200 can be advanced or settled for any department or organization per day
  • Petty cash may only be approved by the individual responsible for the respective general ledger budget line (President, Vice- Presidents, Comptroller, Directors, Managers, Deans and Department Chairs).  If another approver designee is needed an email must be sent from the responsible individual to with the name (sample of signature), title, and GL account(s) they are authorized to sign on.  The designee’s approver authorization will be good for the current fiscal year.  A new request must be sent at the beginning of the new fiscal year. 
  • The university does not pay taxes on items purchased through petty cash [the exception is entertainment expenses at a local restaurant]. Out of town (50 mile radius from San Antonio) receipts must be approved by the Accounts Payable manager. Sales Tax Exemption Certificate are available in the Comptroller’ Office and Business Office.
  • Original itemized receipts must be submitted when settling a petty cash advance or requesting a reimbursement. A copy of a credit card receipt is not valid in lieu of original itemized receipts and will not be accepted to settle or reimburse a petty cash ticket.  Handwritten or manual receipts will NOT be accepted to settle or reimburse a petty cash ticket unless the receipt has the company name imprinted on the receipt along with a contact number.   
  • Consumable office supplies (i.e. calculators, pens, ink cartridges, note pads, etc.) should be purchased through the Purchasing Department.  Petty cash should be used for office supplies not found in the Heights Office Products catalog. 
  • Small Furniture and equipment (6588) cannot be purchased through petty cash.  Any items purchased must be done through the Purchasing Department following the Purchasing Department Guidelines.
  •  Bottled water, coffee, and soft drinks for office personnel and/or break rooms should not be purchased through petty cash. 
  •  Telephone reimbursements will not be processed through petty cash; reimbursements should be processed through Accounts Payable.  No Exceptions!
  • All Athletic petty cash request using restricted and non-restricted accounts (ex. 10010-7xxx-xxxx-xxxx) must be approved by the Grants Accounting Office. 
  • Restricted accounts (ex. 2xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) must be approved by the Grant’s Accounting Office prior to requesting an advance or settlement from the Business Office.
  • Agency accounts (ex. 7xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) must be approved by the Comptroller’s Office prior to requesting an advance or settlement from the Business Office.
  • Petty cash that is used to purchase breakfast, lunch, or dinner for entertainment purposes (i.e. staff meetings, guest speaker, candidate interviews) must be supported with the names of the attendees and the purpose for the meeting.  Reimbursements and settlements will not be approved without correct documentation.
  • Receipts submitted for reimbursement or settlement must correspond to the description of the petty cash ticket and account number designated on the ticket.  Any adjustments to the accounts will require a new petty cash ticket and the return of funds advanced.
  • Yearly renewals (i.e. Membership fees, Web Domain Renewals, Equipment Rentals) must be processed through Accounts Payable.
  • Gift card (for appreciation, prize, award etc…) should not exceed $50. The purpose of gift card and names of recipients must be documented on petty cash request.
  • Gift cards for appreciation/compensation of a UIW employee (Faculty, Staff, Student-Employee) cannot exceed $25.
    • Gift cards for UIW employee must be approved prior to purchase by the Comptroller, Asst. Comptroller or V.P. of Business and Finance.
    • Gift cards over $25 that is appreciation/compensation to students employees/faculty/staff will be added to their W-2.
  • Electronics and Furniture (i.e. cameras, printers, computers, laptops, phones, chairs, electronic accessories, etc.) must be purchased through the Purchasing Department. 
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be purchased using petty cash unless approved by the Comptroller or Business Office Manager. 





Updated: 12/8/2014