Office of the Controller

Petty Cash Fund

The purpose of a Petty Cash Fund is to provide for the low-value purchases of non-stock supply items for which a FlexCard cannot be used, and they are governed by to UCSB Policy 5255, Operation of Petty Cash Funds.

How to obtain a Petty Cash Fund?

  1. Complete a Petty Cash Fund Application. The Application must include:

  • the need for the Petty Cash Fund
  • the amount required
  • the proposed Custodian's name
  • the facilities available for securing these funds
  1. Complete a Miscellaneous Direct Payment Form made payable to the Custodian (when completing the information requested, select "CASH ADVANCE" and "UC Employee" and explain the purpose of the petty cash fund in the "IN PAYMENT OF" section).
  2. Once signed by the Department Head, the department sends the application and the Miscellaneous Direct Payment Form to Business & Financial Services (Mary Lee - MC 2041)
  3. If the Business & Financial Services Director approves the application, the form is signed and forwarded for processing.
  4. Business & Financial Services processes form and writes the check.
  5. Business & Financial Services contacts the Custodian of the Fund to pick-up the check.  At that time, the Custodian signs a form acknowledging receipt and responsibility for the Fund.  
  6. The Custodian cashes the check at the Cashier’s office.

How to use a Petty Cash Fund?

  • All expenditures from the Fund must be supported by receipts.
  • Receipts must be legible, dated, itemized, and indicate the amount of the purchase and name of the vendor.
  • Receipts must be signed by the Purchaser, indicating the receipt of the purchases or services
  • Receipts must show evidence of having been paid, that is marked “Paid”, or otherwise voided so that they may not be reused and submitted more than once for reimbursement.
  • Receipts are to be accumulated and retained with the Fund for subsequent reimbursement
  • The Petty Cash Fund Custodian will request reimbursement as needed throughout the fiscal year.  Outstanding receipts must be cleared at the end of each fiscal year.
  • The total receipts plus the cash on hand must equal the specified amount of the Petty Cash Fund at all times.

What items may not be purchased / reimbursed with a Petty Cash Fund?

  • Items that cost more than $150.00
  • Entertainment Expenses, including food
  • Travel Expenses
  • Any low-value item specifically prohibited in UCSB Policy 5342, Low-Value Purchases
  • Any items for personal use
  • Personal loans or personal check cashing

How is the Petty Cash stored?

  • The Petty Cash Fund must be kept separate from any other funds
  • Maintained with adequate security and, when not in use, kept in a locked compartment/receptacle or safe consistent with the guidelines in UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-49.

How to increase / decrease a Petty Cash Fund?

  1. To increase the amount of the Petty Cash Fund, the department sends the request and justification along with a prepared Miscellaneous Direct Payment Form to Business & Financial Services.  If approved, Business & Financial Services will contact the Custodian to pick up and sign for the check.
  2. To decrease the amount of the Petty Cash Fund, the department sends a request to Business & Financial Services and explanation for decreasing the Fund. The department Custodian turns in the excess amount to the Cashier’s Office.

How to reimburse a Petty Cash Fund?

  1. To reimburse the fund, the department submits a Miscellaneous Direct Payment Form accompanied by all receipts to Business & Financial Services:
    1. The form is to be made payable to the Custodian.
    2. All receipts are to be mounted on paper.
    3. The total of all receipts per page is to be indicated on each page.
    4. The form must be approved by a person with signature authority who is neither the Petty Cash Custodian, nor an employee who reports to the Fund Custodian.

How to change Custodians?

  1. To transfer the custody of a Petty Cash Fund from a designated Custodian to another employee, the department completes a Change of Custodian Form and sends it to Business & Financial Services.
    1. The form documents:
      • The department head’s approval of the change of Custodian
      • The new Custodian is aware of his or her specific responsibilities related to custody of the Fund
      • The total cash and receipt equal the specified amount of the Fund.
    2. Prior to a Custodian leaving a position or leaving the University, a new Custodian should be designated by processing the Change of Custodian Form.
  2. Prior to a Custodian leaving a position or leaving the University, a new Custodian should be designated by processing the Change of Custodian Form.

How to return a Petty Cash Fund?

  1. If the department head decides a Petty Cash Fund is no longer needed, the Custodian is responsible for notifying Business & Financial Services and returning the Fund to the Cashier’s Office
  2. Prior to turning in the Fund to the Cashier’s Office, the Fund should be reimbursed with no outstanding receipts.
  3. Prepare a Deposit and Recording Advice (DARA) form using the following Information:
    1. Loc: 8
    2. Account: 110200
    3. Class Code: 0351
  4. Deposit fund at the Cashier’s Office with the Deposit and Recording Advice form and obtain the cash receipt from Cashier.
  5. Send the original (top copy) of the DARA and the original receipt to Business & Financial Services.

How to report the Theft of a Petty Cash Fund?

  1. The department must notify the Campus Police immediately.
  2. The department is to keep the area source, being careful not to disturb any potential evidence

How to replenish a Petty Cash Fund after a Theft?

  1. The department head sends to Business & Financial Services a request to replenish the fund. The request is to include:
  • Date and hour of theft
  • Date theft reported to Campus Police
  • Amount of theft
  • Circumstances involved
  • Prevention taken against similar occurrences
  • Name of Custodian
  1. The department attaches a Miscellaneous Direct Payment Form to the letter, to replace the amount stolen from the fund (the department’s Supplies and Expenses funds will be used to reimburse the stolen funds). Business & Financial Services contacts the Custodian to pick up and sign for the check at the Business & Financial Office.

Forms