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Procedure for Using Petty Cash

Approval Date: 2014-12-01

Effective Date: 2014-12-01

Responsible Unit: Department of Financial and Administrative Services


1. The maximum expenditure through the use of Petty Cash is $75 (including taxes). Expenditures greater than $75 require the use of a Direct Pay, Procurement Card or Purchase Order, in accordance with these policy guidelines.

2. When the volume of petty cash transactions is sufficiently high, the Director of Financial and Administrative Services, when requested, may provide a unit with its own petty cash float. The unit’s petty cash float is used to reimburse the unit’s employees for expenses incurred on behalf of the University. When such a float is provided, the following guidelines are to be strictly followed:

2.1 Maximum reimbursement is $75 (including tax). To be reimbursed, the following information is required:

  • The original itemized invoice from the vendor.
  • Accounting information.
  • An authorized signing authority for the account being charged.

2.2 When presented with an invoice for reimbursement through the unit petty cash, a Petty Cash Voucher must be completed. The petty cash voucher, with invoice/receipt attached, will be prepared by the custodian and the appropriate approval obtained prior to reimbursement. Credit card receipts are not considered acceptable receipts for purposes of this policy. The petty cash voucher must be signed by the employee being reimbursed as proof of receipt of funds.

2.3 The employee responsible to approve all petty cash reimbursements will not be the custodian of the float, and will be an authorized signatory on the account being charged.

3. Replenishing Petty Cash

On a bi-monthly basis or as required, the petty cash float is to be replenished by the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. The vouchers are to be summarized on the Petty Cash Summary Sheet.  The total of the summary must agree with the total of the petty cash vouchers. Total vouchers as per the summary, plus remaining cash float, must equal the float issued.

4. Safeguarding of Petty Cash

4.1 The custodian is responsible for safeguarding petty cash and must ensure that the petty cash box is locked in a filing cabinet or safe when not in use.

4.2 Keys allowing access to the petty cash fund are the sole responsibility of the custodian. Thefts of petty cash funds are to be reported to the Campus Enforcement and Patrol, Office of the Chief Risk Officer, and the Department of Financial and Administrative Services immediately. The custodian is personally responsible for all losses attributed to negligence on his/her part.

4.3 As expenditures are made, place the receipts in a cash box or locked drawer to replace the money expended. The receipts and the cash on hand must always equal the total amount of the imprest fund for control purposes. Receipts should be kept separately from the cash.

5. Payments Not Allowed

The employee responsible for the petty cash is encouraged to seek advice from the campus financial administrator prior to making questionable payments which are not specifically addressed in the Schedule of Purchasing Authority and Approvals or Special Purchase Approvals. The following types of payments are not permitted from petty cash:

  • Personal items of expenditure, such as babysitting, business bags, briefcases, kitchen supplies, thesis costs, word processing services, seminar or course fees, gratuities, etc.
  • Reimbursement of coffee supplies is strictly prohibited with the exception of supplies required by the Unit Head for hosting.
  • Christmas trees, decorations, cards, flowers or gifts for staff members, their families or other dependants.
  • Travel expenses, entertainment expenses and car allowances will be settled by cheque issued from the Department of Financial and Administrative Services in accordance with the appropriate policy, unless other arrangements have been made.
  • Casual help, overtime and special payments for employees.
  • Parking violations or any traffic offenses whether incurred by University owned, leased or private vehicles.
  • Cashing of personal cheques, making loans or advances.

6. Reimbursement from the central petty cash floats

6.1 Central petty cash floats are maintained in Financial and Administrative Services on the St. John’s Campus and in the Bursars Office at Grenfell Campus.

6.2 Each unit of the University should have a supply of Petty Cash Vouchers. 

6.3 The completed and approved Petty Cash Voucher, plus the original vendor invoice/receipt for the expenditure, should be within a week of making the expenditure.

6.4 Employees are not permitted to authorize reimbursement of expenditures to themselves.


Policies using this procedure:


University Policies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000