Some university departments require cash on hand to pay for small miscellaneous items or to make change for cash operations such as ticket or food sales. Cash to pay for small, miscellaneous items is described as a petty cash fund and the balance generally ranges from $50 to $100. Cash to make change is described as a change fund and the cash balance is dependent on the scale of operation for which cash will be collected.
Requests for establishing a petty cash or change fund should be forwarded to Carol Palmer in the Business Office. Required procedures for administering these funds are outlined below.
Petty Cash Fund
One employee in the department is designated responsibility for maintaining the petty cash fund in a secure location. Only this employee is authorized to withdraw cash from the fund.
If a student or employee needs to be reimbursed for a departmental purchase from the petty cash fund, the substantiating receipt should be provided to the employee responsible for the petty cash. This person will initial the receipt and withdraw an equal amount of cash from the fund. The cash is given to the person to be reimbursed and the receipt maintained with the cash fund.
In some cases, petty cash will be advanced for the purpose of making a small dollar purchase. The person accepting the advance should sign a receipt statement for the advance which states the person's name, amount and date of the advance. Once the purchase has been made, the receipt and any unused funds should be returned to the employee responsible for administering the petty cash fund. The receipt statement for the advance should be returned to the person who originally received the advance.
A petty cash fund is not to be used to cash checks for departmental employees. At all times, the cash and the substantiating receipts for disbursed cash should equal the total beginning balance of the petty cash fund. Petty cash should never be used to issue salary advances or payments. Employees who have not been paid for worked hours should go to the Business Office for assistance.
When the cash balance becomes low, the receipts should be attached to a petty cash request with information below and brought to the Business Office. Cash equal to the total amount of receipts will be disbursed to replenish the petty cash fund.
One or more employees in a department may be deemed responsible for administering the change fund, depending on the scale of cash operations. Departments may require temporary change funds for one or two events per year or they may have a permanent change fund with balances increasing during busy periods and decreasing during slower periods.
Change funds should be locked in secure locations when not in use such as a safe for larger funds or locked file cabinets for smaller funds. Attention should also be given to maintaining the change funds in a secure manner while the funds are actually in use. Examples include cash registers and cash boxes with physical access limited to key employees responsible for collecting cash and making change.
Since many people pay with checks, these sometimes are collected in change funds. The employee accepting the check should ensure that the payee is St. Lawrence University, the amount, both numeric and written, is correct, and the check is signed.
Each change fund has a minimum balance that should be maintained at the department. Cash in excess of this balance should be deposited at the Business Office as soon as possible with a cash remittance report. Checks within the change fund must be deposited within a week of collection.
Business Office employee will audit department petty cash and change funds at a minimum of once every two years. The audit is conducted to ensure that the assigned cash is still held by the department, that these procedures are being followed, and that adequate controls are in place to secure the cash.