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Petty Cash Imprest Funds and Reimbursements

General Information

Petty cash imprest funds are provided to enable departments to make cash conveniently available for minor business expenditures.

The preferred method of reimbursements is by check, requested via a properly authorized and documented check request.

Petty Cash cannot be used for salaries or wages, travel advances, items prohibited by University policy, or for cashing personal checks.

Purchases for which a University Purchase Order is required may not be made via Petty Cash.

Administration of the Petty Cash Imprest Fund

The fund custodian has primary responsibility for the Petty Cash funds:

  • Safekeeping
  • Distribution
  • Accounting

The Petty Cash Fund and receipts are to be maintained in secured storage with access limited to the custodian at all times.

A Petty Cash withdrawal request must be prepared for each reimbursement requested.

The request form includes the following information:

Note that original documentation must be attached and the approval of the Organization Manager is required for withdrawals.

  • Date
  • Name of Requester
  • Total Amount
  • Fund, Area, Organization and Subcode
  • Description and Amount for each accounting code
  • University-related purpose of expenditure
  • Required approval and date
  • Recipients’ signature

Expenses Eligible for Petty Cash Reimbursement

Expenses may be reimbursed via Petty Cash in the following circumstances:

  1. Reimbursement of occasional business-related expenses of less than $60.00.

  2. Reimbursement of an expenditures by a clerical, maintenance or similar level employee.

  3. Payments for meal money and similar subsistence allowances to employees or students.

    The Petty Cash Custodian is responsible for obtaining from the requester a list of such payments, showing the:
    • Date
    • Purpose of the expenditure
    • Individual employee/student signatures
  4. The $60.00 limit does not apply in situations where a preset allowance is involved, such as:
    • Meal money for employees working overtime, or
    • Subsistence allowances for students.
  5. Payment for food for students or other events, when payment to the vendor by CheckRequest would be inappropriate. An invoice from the vendor must be attached to the Petty Cash Withdrawal Request.

  6. An emergency expenditure involving personal injury or other serious situation.

Policy for Internal Controls

The establishment of strong internal controls for cash receipts or disbursement is necessary to prevent mishandling of funds and to safeguard against loss.

Internal controls are also designed to protect employees from inappropriate charges of mishandling funds by defining his/her responsibilities in the handling process.

All staff handling cash are expected to adhere to the internal controls safeguards listed below.

Note: Any staff member who believes that these controls are not in place or are not being followed should notify the Controller immediately.

Internal Control Safeguards

  1. Staff member handling cash expenditures must, therefore, ensure that all expenditures:
    • Are properly documented and approved
    • Are for Fordham University business purposes
    • Clearly state the business purpose on the authorizing document
  2. All cash operations are subject to review by the Controller’s Office and the University’s internal and external auditors.

  3. Petty Cash custodians will be expected to re-confirm the amount of the Petty Cash fund under their control when requested to do so.


Use the following steps to receive reimbursement for petty cash expenditures for those who have an established petty cash account:

  • Summarize Petty Cash Withdrawal Requests by accounting code to arrive at the total reimbursement request. Note: The sum of your reimbursement request and the remaining cash on hand should equal the amount of the original imprest fund.

  • Enter total reimbursement requested and accounting code information on a Check Request form.

    Make the Check Request form payable to the fund custodian.

  • The Summarized Petty Cash Check Request form (aggregate of all individual requests) is forwarded to the Controller or Assistant Controller for final review and authorization.

    Forward the Check Request form and originals of all documentation to the Accounts Payable Department at Rose Hill for processing.

  • A reimbursement check will be issued to the fund custodian for the amount requested. The reimbursement check may be cashed privately by the custodian. Reimbursement checks may also be cashed on:
    Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 12:30 noon at Lincoln Center (Cashiers Function of the Enrollment Services Group), or

    Monday – Fridays 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Rose Hill (Controller’s Office – Room 525D, Faculty Memorial Hall)

Training Sessions

The Controller’s Office will conduct training sessions on the operation of Petty Cash funds by request as needed and for all new custodians.

If you would like to attend a training session, or have any questions about the operation of a Petty Cash Fund, please contact the Office Manager in the Controller’s Office.

Closing, Transferring or Adjusting a Petty Cash Imprest Fund

  1. Contact the Controller’s Office at Rose Hill.
  2. If the fund is being completely closed, turn over the following to a representative of the Controller’s Office:
    • Receipts
    • Documentation
    • Remaining cash balance

    The sum of your reimbursement request and the remaining cash on hand should equal the amount of the original imprest fund.
    Note: The representative will cancel the original Agreement to the outgoing custodian.

    If the fund amount or the custodian is being changed, a new agreement form should be:

    • Completed and signed by the custodian and supervisor.
    • Forwarded to the Controller’s Office at Rose Hill.

    Note: The old agreement will then be cancelled.