A Petty Cash Fund is a cash fund kept secured for immediate use when a UVM purchase order or a UVM purchasing card cannot be used. Petty Cash transactions are overseen by Financial Reporting & Accounting Services, within University Financial Services

Petty Cash Funds are maintained by a designated Custodian, who must be an ongoing, permanent UVM employee. Generally speaking, the fund should need replenishment at least once a month; that is, the total of the expenditures over a four-week period should equal the amount of the fund. This will vary, of course, but the objective is to minimize the chance of significant theft. If the fund does not need replenishing at least once a month, then it is too large.

The Petty Cash User Guide (PDF) describes the various types of petty cash funds; how to open, replenish, reduce, and close a fund; the necessary forms for each step of the process; and how petty cash accounting entries are created.

Types of Petty Cash Funds

  1. Standard Long-term Petty Cash Funds (10050) – Long-term, based upon an ongoing and revolving use of the funds for which replenishments are done on a frequent and regular basis. An example would be a departmental Petty Cash Fund.
  2. Change Funds (10052) – May be short-term or long-term in nature and are used exclusively for making change in a cash register or for a specific event. Some examples would be a change fund in the cash register at the Fleming Museum, a change fund for vending machines at the library, or a change cash box for a sporting event ticket sales. These funds should not be mixed with other types of Petty Cash Funds.
  3. Subject Cost Petty Cash Funds (10051) – have an end date by which they will be closed out, and are used for subject payments in research studies. An example would be a specific study within the Psychology department. These funds should not be mixed with other types of Petty Cash Funds or be used for anything other than subject payments to individuals. There are strict IRS reporting laws associated with these accounts. All subjects must complete a Payment Acknowledgement form which is turned in with the replenishment form for IRS 1099 reporting. Additional information for these types of payments can be found at the Research Participant 1099 tax reporting information.
  4. Short-term/Event Petty Cash Funds (10053) – These are short-term funds provided for a specific event or project, and have a definite end date by which they are to be closed out. An example might be Orientation, Graduation, or a student life event.

Proper Uses of Petty Cash Funds

  • Emergency situations where a purchase order cannot be obtained.
  • Payment of subject costs, in order to protect the subject’s anonymity, through a Subject Cost Petty Cash Fund.

Misuses of Petty Cash Funds

  • With the exception of Subject Cost Petty Cash Funds, Petty Cash should NEVER be used to pay employees, individuals or businesses for services rendered.
  • Petty Cash should never be used to circumvent another UVM Policy. For example, one should not use funds from a Petty Cash account for travel advances, or because an emergency loan was denied.
  • Never open a separate bank account outside of UVM with Petty Cash Funds. If a check needs to be written to an individual, a Check Request Form (Excel) processed by the Disbursement Center should be used.

Petty Cash Approval Hours

Monday, Tuesday, and Friday: 9am-noon
Wednesday and Thursday: 1:00-4:00pm

333 Waterman Building, 85 South Prospect St.

Treasury Services Hours

Monday-Friday: 9:00am-noon and 1:00-4:00pm

220 Waterman Building, 85 South Prospect St.

Contact Financial Reporting & Accounting Services

  • Renee Hunt, General Accounting Manager, 656-9865
  • Malik Sevlic, Reconciliation & Petty Cash Specialist, 656-7360