Departmental Petty Cash Funds


The Treasury Reporting area of Treasury Services is responsible for the establishment and oversight of Department Petty Cash funds. Individual departments often need access to petty cash for change funds or participant studies. On these occasions, departments may request a petty cash fund to be maintained within their department. One fiscal person within the department takes responsibility for the fund. This person is the petty cash custodian.

  • Custodian has sole responsibility for safekeeping, maintenance, proper usage of funds. Check cashing is PROHIBITED.
  • Treasury Reporting must be notified of changes in custodian.
  • Funds must be maintained at the authorized amount at all times, which can be a combination of cash and any unreimbursed receipts.
  • Funds are subject to review by Audit and/or Treasury Reporting.
  • The funds are monitored with regard to and accountable to Treasury Services Policies and Procedures section 5.32.
Establish, Increase/Decrease, Close a Fund +
Change Custodian +
Petty Cash/Change Fund Reconciliation +
  • Treasury Services Policies and Procedures section 5.32.
  • Custodian is required to prepare a written reconciliation of funds monthly, but can be more frequent due to size of fund or operating cycle of department.
  • Suggest use of Monthly Petty Cash/Patient Study Fund Reconciliation form.
  • Written reconciliations are to be reviewed and approved in writing by the fiscal administrator or Department Head.
  • Formal, annual reconciliation required by Treasury Reporting. Notice is sent each May with a response deadline in June.
  • Department Vice President and Audit notified if annual reconciliation response is 30 days late.
  • All discrepancies must be resolved prior to fiscal year end (June 30th).
Petty Cash Reimbursement +
  • Utilize a Direct Pay Form or Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher, as applicable.
  • Expenditures less than $25.00 should be consolidated and periodically reimbursed.
    • amounts of $25.00 or greater should be reimbursed monthly
    • amounts less than $25.00 should be reimbursed quarterly
  • Departmental petty cash funds can be utilized to reimburse for incidental business expenditures.
  • Employees on payroll direct deposit will receive reimbursements directly to their designated payroll direct deposit account.
  • Employees not on payroll direct deposit will receive a reimbursement check mailed to their home address
  • Utilize the Corporate Purchasing Card to the extent possible.
Petty Cash and Research/Patient Studies Funds Replenishment +
  • Petty cash funds used for research/patient studies cannot be replenished via Petty Cash Reimbursement process.
  • A Direct Pay Form must be used.
  • Petty cash custodian is vendor.
  • Attach all Substitute W-9 Form.
  • Special instructions available.
  • Petty cash checking accounts are accountable to the same policies and procedures as regular petty cash funds.
  • When reimbursement is ready, a check is mailed to the department, payable to the custodian.
  • The custodian may cash the check at a bank branch or the University cashier's office. (Please call ahead to cashiers (828-8774) if the check is for a large dollar amount.)
Loss or Theft of Petty Cash/Change Fund +
  • Treasury Services Policies and Procedures section 5.32.
  • Must be reported to the VCU Police and Treasury Reporting upon discovery.
  • Department is responsible for reimbursing or replacing funds.
  • Losses/theft over $200.00 could be reimbursed.
  • Complete a Notice of Potential Bond Loss Form.
Suspension or Termination of Fund +

Failure to comply with the guidelines established for the petty cash/change fund may result in the suspension or termination of the fund.

If one or more of the following conditions are identified during an audit by Treasury Services or University Assurance Services, the fund may be suspended up to 6 months. Multiple occurrences of conditions below may result in longer suspension or immediate termination based upon

Treasury Management review:

  1. Funds not maintained at the appropriate level;
  2. Change of custodian forms not submitted;
  3. Monthly reconciliations not completed;
  4. Monthly reconciliations not appropriately reviewed;
  5. Annual reconciliation not completed by June 30.

If one or more of the following conditions are identified during an audit by Treasury Services or Assurance Services, the fund will be immediately terminated and any missing funds will be charged to the department:

  1. The money in the petty cash/change fund has not been secured in a locked cash box, locked file cabinet or safe;
  2. Inappropriate or unauthorized use of the petty cash/change fund (including but not limited to check cashing, loans to staff or personal use);
  3. The money in the petty cash/change fund has been commingled with personal or other departmental funds;
  4. The money in the petty cash/change fund is missing;
  5. The fund has been inactive for more than 6 months; and/or
  6. Any recurrence of a previously suspended fund violation.
Petty Cash Training +

The Petty Cash Training is offered as a web based course designed to give an overview of the Petty Cash/Change Fund policies and procedures. The Custodian and the Dean/Department Head must complete the mandatory web-based training and test annually. New custodians and the Dean/Department Head must complete the web-based training and test prior to receiving a Petty Cash/Change Fund.

Please use the following instructions to access the Petty Cash Training and Test. The average time for the training and test is less than 30 minutes each. Questions should be directed to Blanca Marquez, Accountant, at (804)828-8907 or by email at

  2. Log in with your eID and password.
  3. Click on the Courses tab in the top row.
  4. In the Course Search box, key in the words ”Petty Cash” and click Go.
  5. Click the Enroll button and follow the prompts to complete the required training.
  6. After viewing the presentation, click on the Back tab and follow the prompts to complete the required test.