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Section 11: Cash and Investments

Petty Cash Funds Policy

Effective Date:


Approved By:

Lenora Chapman, Associate Vice President, Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:


For Assistance Contact:

Director of Financial Services and University Bursar


This guideline describes the procedures for establishing and maintaining a Petty Cash Fund and for receiving reimbursement for certain departmental purchases.


Authority is provided by the University of Texas System  Policy - UTS166 - Cash Management and Cash Handling Policy.


Table of Contents

A. General Information

Petty cash funds provide departments with cash on hand for immediate use. Departments without an established petty cash fund may also request reimbursement for certain eligible purchases from Fiscal Services.

The petty cash fund should never be used for personal use. Any funds expended for personal use, even temporarily, will be considered theft.

B. Eligible Purchases and Purchase Limits

Purchases qualifying for reimbursement through petty cash include lab, office, shop and industrial supplies and parts.

Purchases not qualifying for reimbursement through petty cash include travel expenses associated with a Request for Travel Authorization (outside of Bexar County), items that will not remain on UTSA property, payments to individuals for services performed and entertainment expenditures.

NOTE: Entertainment includes, but is not limited to food or drink purchases whether for preparation or already prepared, takeout, or dine-in. See Financial Management Operational Guideline (FMOG) – Business Related Hospitality and Entertainment Expenditures for more information.

State and local taxes should typically not be reimbursed except on agency (9200 )funds. A Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate must be presented to the vendor to request an exemption.

The limit for petty cash purchases is $50 per day, per vendor.

  • A purchase is defined as the total amount purchased from a given vendor, per day.

NOTE: Obtaining several receipts for less than $50 each in order to avoid this limitation is not allowable.

  • This limit does not apply to approved Mileage/Parking reimbursements for travel within Bexar County. See Reimbursement for Approved Mileage/Parking for Travel within Bexar County for more information.

C. Departmental Petty Cash Funds

Departments may establish a permanent or temporary petty cash fund.

  • Permanent petty cash fund: Can be used for emergency purchases necessary to the departments' operations, such as small supplies, sales tickets for on-going special events, etc.

  • Temporary petty cash fund: Is generally small and can be used for ticket sales, or to provide change for a one-time event. Depending on the length of the event, the funds should be deposited back into the Cost Center within a few days from the date they were assigned.

Each department is accountable for the fund it has been assigned. This fund should be reconciled at all times. Each department is responsible for maintaining all receipts and insuring that the total of petty cash on hand plus any receipts not yet submitted for reimbursement always equal the authorized amount.

Each department using a petty cash fund must maintain documentation on file which includes:

  • A cash handling procedure for the department;

  • An authorization for each petty cash fund used by the department;

  • Records to indicate who has been assigned custody of the department's petty cash funds.

  • Details of the security provided for the fund, including where the fund is secured when not in use.

  • Reimbursement receipts with corresponding backup and records showing incoming and outgoing transaction flow.

It is the specific responsibility of supervisory personnel to review cash handling documents which are prepared by staff reporting to them and to ensure proper controls are implemented to safeguard the funds.

The Petty Cash Change Receipt form should be used to make changes to the fund (custodians, location of fund, amount, etc.). The form must be signed by the responsible person and returned to Fiscal Service-Collections.

When a department no longer needs the petty cash fund, it must deposit the petty cash funds back to the proper Cost Center by submitting a Deposit Transmittal Form to Fiscal Services.

D. Appointing a Petty Cash Custodian

A custodian for the temporary or permanent departmental petty cash fund must be appointed by the authorized signer on the Cost Center. The petty cash custodian must attend the Cash Handling 101 training class (AM 560) prior to being assigned a petty cash fund. See the Human Resources Training & Development website for a class schedule.

Departments may appoint a sole custodian or a primary and alternate custodian for a petty cash fund. If appointing an alternate custodian, the department may select a part-time benefits eligible employee.

Once appointed, the custodian must sign for the petty cash fund at the Fiscal Services Office at their campus. A copy of the signed form is maintained in the Fiscal Services office until the petty cash fund is returned to Fiscal Services.

In the event the custodian ceases employment with the department/university, they must return the petty cash fund to Fiscal Services or arrange for a new custodian to be assigned to the petty cash fund. Failure to return the petty cash fund to Fiscal Services or to assign an individual as the replacement custodian may delay or prevent the original custodian's clearance process from UTSA.

E. Requesting a Departmental Petty Cash Fund

Departments must email Fiscal Services at to request a permanent or temporary petty cash fund at least three days in advance of an event, if applicable. The email must be sent from the authorized signer on the Cost Center that will be used for the petty cash fund.

NOTE: A memo may also be sent (by the authorized Cost Center signer) to the attention of Fiscal Services – Collections, Associate Bursar/Collections.

The request must include:

  • Custodian name and job title

  • Cost Center and approval of the authorized signer on the Cost Center from which the petty cash funds will be made available
  • An explanation for the use of the petty cash fund (including the length of time the petty cash fund will be needed)
  • Date funds will be picked up
  • If establishing a temporary fund, indicate the date the funds will be returned
  • Amount of the petty cash fund
  • Description of how funds will be secured within department

Once approved, Fiscal Services will complete the Petty Cash Custodian Receipt (based on the information above) and will forward it to the department via campus mail for the Custodian's signature.

The original, signed form must be returned to Fiscal Services – Collections via campus mail or in-person at MB 3.108. Fiscal Services – Collections will notify the custodian when the funds are available for pickup.

NOTE: The petty cash release will not be issued until the Petty Cash Custodian Receipt form is signed.

F. Securing and Processing Cash

Cash processing areas should be secured from entry by unauthorized persons and stored in a safe, locked drawer or cabinet when not in use. Cash in unlocked drawers or cabinets should never be left unattended.

The cash handling and record keeping functions should be segregated to the greatest extent possible. If the office is small and separation of duties is impracticable, supervisory personnel who do not handle cash should perform specific verifications to provide reasonable and sound internal controls.

When cash exchanges hands it should be counted by both parties and recorded on a log. The log should contain the date, amount, purpose of the purchase and the signatures of the individual receiving the cash and the individual issuing the cash.

After the purchase, the original purchase receipt and any change should be returned to the custodian and the cash log should be updated.

Receipts must detail what is purchased and reflect the cost of the product or service. The custodian must confirm that the totals of purchase receipts and change equal the total cash initially issued. Any discrepancies should be resolved immediately.

G. Theft or Burglary

Losses involving suspected theft or burglary from a pending deposit or departmental petty cash fund — regardless of the dollar amount — must be documented as follows:

  • Departmental petty cash funds: Document on a Petty Cash Reimbursement form as a shortage (debit) using account 44452 and submit to Fiscal Services to replenish the departmental fund.

These losses must also be reported to the Office of Internal Audit, Office of Financial Services and University Bursar and University Police before the close of business, followed by a written report within one business day.

H. Petty Cash Reimbursement Procedures

A Petty Cash Reimbursement form must be prepared to replenish the cash fund or to reimburse departments without a petty cash fund for eligible purchases. Each form must contain original valid receipts and must be signed by individuals with signature authority on the Cost Center (s) being charged.

For departmental petty cash funds, a Petty Cash Reimbursement form must be completed at least once a month, preferably twice a month, for example, the 1st and 15th of each month. When the form is submitted to Fiscal Services Office, cash will be given to the custodian who must immediately return this cash to the departmental Petty Cash fund to replenish the fund for those purchases.

If an individual requests reimbursement for petty cash purchases, then they must present a completed and signed Petty Cash Reimbursement form at either Fiscal Services Office location.

The individual requesting petty cash reimbursement may authorize another employee to pick up the reimbursement on their behalf by completing the Proxy Authorization section of the reimbursement form. Departments taking advantage of this option should implement internal controls and departmental oversight to avoid abuse, which at a minimum would include monthly account reconciliation and tracking of all reimbursements.

NOTE: Do not complete this form if you are requesting reimbursement for mileage and/or parking for travel within Bexar County. See Reimbursement for Approved Mileage/Parking for Travel within Bexar County for more information.

This form must include:

  • Name of individual to be reimbursed
    NOTE: This person must present a photo ID to be reimbursed for eligible purchases.

  • Total amount of reimbursement

  • Valid Cost Center to be charged

  • An original signature of an authorized individual on the Cost Center being charged. (If the individual to be reimbursed is also the authorized signer, the individual's supervisor should sign the form)

  • Description of item(s) purchased with a brief explanation of the usefulness of items if not obvious.

Petty cash reimbursements should be submitted within the same fiscal year in which the purchase was made so that expenses are reported properly on the Annual Financial Report (AFR).

I. Reconciling the Departmental Petty Cash Fund

At any given time, the total amount of the fund should be reconcilable. Good internal controls include a monthly internal accounting of the fund. This verification should be conducted by the responsible person, preferably someone besides the petty cash custodian(s).

Maintaining documentation of the reconciliation is recommended. Any shortage or overage of $50 or more should be immediately reported to the office of the Director of Financial Services and University Bursar.

  • If the fund is over, deposit the overage, annotate the Deposit Transmittal to reflect the overage usingaccount 44452, and attach a copy of the deposit slip to the reconciliation.

  • If the fund is short, prepare a Petty Cash Reimbursement voucher for the amount of the shortage, add notations on the voucher to reflect the shortage, and attach a copy of the voucher to the reconciliation.

Fiscal Service-Collections department reconciles all funds monthly to ensure that temporary funds are returned on a timely basis and that balances in UTShare/ PeopleSoft reconcile to authorized fund balances.

To ensure departments comply with all financial provisions, the Office of Internal Audit and Fiscal Service-Collections will conduct random audits of petty cash funds.

J. Requesting an Athletics Petty Cash Fund for Student Hosts

The Athletics Department must request a Travel Advance within the established timeframe to Disbursements and Travel services (DTS) to request an athletics petty cash fund for a student host.

Once approved, a check is generated and is made payable to the specified payee. The check is sent to Fiscal Services where the payee has the option to cash the check with Fiscal Services or deposit the check in their bank account. Unused money must be returned using a Deposit Transmittal Form.

Replenishing an Athletics Petty Cash Fund

A Petty Cash Reimbursement-Athletics Recruitment form along with the Student Host Receipt/Instructions form must be submitted to Fiscal Services via campus mail or in-person. Fiscal Services will process and notify Athletics when the replenishment funds are ready to be picked up.

K. Reimbursement for Approved Mileage/Parking for Travel within Bexar County

If your mileage/parking reimbursement request is for local UTSA business travel (within Bexar County) and not related to a travel authorization, then you can submit a completed and approved Mileage/Parking Log for Travel Reimbursement form at either Fiscal Services office for processing.

NOTE: The individual to be reimbursed must present a photo ID to be reimbursed for eligible expenses.

Employees with a title of Dean or a Vice President and those employees whose receive a car allowance or are provided a car are not eligible to receive mileage reimbursement within Bexar County.

Fiscal Services does not require the submission of the MapQuest® verification of mileage, but this verification should remain with the departments' documentation.

The individual requesting mileage/parking reimbursement may authorize another employee to pick up the reimbursement on their behalf by completing the Proxy Authorization section of the reimbursement form. Departments taking advantage of this option should implement internal controls and departmental oversight to avoid abuse, which at a minimum would include monthly Cost Center reconciliation and tracking of all reimbursements.

NOTE: The $50 petty cash limit does not apply to reimbursements for Mileage/Parking for local travel within Bexar County. Also, the petty cash reimbursement form does not need to be submitted in addition to the Mileage/Parking log.


Term Description


The person who has physical possession of the fund. Custodians are designated by the responsible person or Department Manager.

Proxy Authorization

The authority given to a person to act on behalf of someone else.


Accounts are 5-digit codes used to categorize transactions for reporting purposes. Every accounting transaction must have an account assigned to it.

This Chartfield captures the nature of the financial transaction that is entered into the system.


An amount of money actually on hand that exceeds the listed amount in records or books.

Responsible Person

Generally the department head. The responsible person appoints custodians and should ensure that proper internal controls are in place.


When the total petty cash fund minus receipts pending replenishment is less than the amount of the original petty cash fund disbursed, this constitutes a deficit or shortage.

Student Host

Entertains prospective student-athletes, such as providing campus visits and tours. For more information, see the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Manual - Student Host.


Lasting or existing for a limited amount of time.

Valid Receipt

Proof of purchase in the form of a valid receipt must be obtained from the vendor and must include:

  • Name of vendor

  • Date of purchase

  • Amount of purchase

  • Itemized listing of items purchased



  1. Deposit Transmittal Form

  2. Mileage/Parking Log For Travel Reimbursement

  3. Petty Cash Custodian Receipt

  4. Petty Cash Reimbursement

  5. Petty Cash Reimbursement – Athletics Recruitment

  6. Petty Cash Change Receipt

  7. Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Tax Exempt Certificate)


Date Description


  • Updated DEFINE information for transition to UTShare/ PeopleSoft.


  • Updated office name and location for new departmental petty cash fund requests. Departments must send petty cash fund requests to the Fiscal Services – Collections office, located in the Main Building.

  • Removed parking as an ineligible reimbursement type for employees with a title of dean or vice president. These employees are eligible for parking reimbursement within Bexar County.


  • Clarified process for individuals requesting reimbursement for petty cash purchases:

    • Submit completed and signed Petty Cash Reimbursement form at any Fiscal Services office location.

    • Must not complete a Petty Cash Reimbursement form for mileage/parking reimbursement requests for local travel.

  • Added procedures for authorizing another individual to pick up a reimbursement on a payee's behalf to the Petty Cash Reimbursement and Reimbursement for Approved Mileage/Parking for Travel within Bexar County sections.


Published guideline.

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