Petty Cash Policy

whats petty cash

Most retail businesses keep a cash drawer as do healthcare practices. Bench gives you a dedicated bookkeeper supported by a team of knowledgeable small business experts. We’re here to take the guesswork out of running your own business—for good.

A petty cash management system helps companies ensure that the funds are used appropriately and the transactions are properly documented. Having such a system in place serves as an internal control to protect the business against theft and fraud, and it supports the larger, general ledger reconciliation process.

  • Petty cash is simply any physical cash your business keeps on hand to pay for small, unplanned expenses.
  • Disadvantages of petty cash funds include their vulnerability to theft and misuse, and the need to monitor and balance them periodically.
  • It should only be accessible by you or the designated employee.
  • Cash on hand means the real money you have on your person and in the petty cash fund.
  • In most small stores or offices, petty cash might be a hundred dollars but would rarely amount to more than that.
  • An amount of $100 would typically be sufficient for most small business needs as the expenses to be covered are for small amounts.
  • In exchange for the receipts, they will receive the new funds.

Don’t keep replenishing your petty fund without looking at the books every so often. If you’re spending lots of one particular thing like postage stamps, it might be beneficial to bulk buy instead.

How To Do A Petty Cash Reconciliation

Cash, in many cases, remains the quickest, simplest, easiest way to pay for things. It works well to cover small impromptu expenses—like a tip for the kid delivering pizzas to the lunch meeting, or cab fare home for employees working late. It saves the hassle of reimbursing people or expecting them to pay out-of-pocket for work-related items. Petty cash refers specifically to money—literally, coins and bills—that a company keeps on hand for small outlays, usually because using cash is easier than using a check or credit card. The custodial duties generally include enforcing petty cash rules and regulations, requesting replenishments, and dispensing funds.

whats petty cash

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Reconciling Petty Cash

By having a petty cash cashier and a petty cash custodian, the dual-process helps to keep the funds secure and ensure that only those authorized have access to it. Notice that the petty cash account is debited or credited only when the fund is established or when the size of the fund is increased or decreased, not when the whats petty cash fund is replenished. Original requests for petty cash funds must be submitted to the Controller for approval using the “Request for Petty Cash” form. Petty cash funds may be initiated with balances of $25 or $50. Larger requests for petty cash will only be approved when supported by specific documentation regarding need.

The petty cash journal entry is a debit to the petty cash account and a credit to the cash account. Petty cash is not usually a significant expense for your company.

whats petty cash

You can find out more information about the requirements for petty cash and recordkeeping by reading IRS Publication 583. When the check is cashed, the funds will be added to petty cash so that its original level is restored. Even though the expenses running through your petty cash funds are small, they will still need to be managed properly. Tracking all of your petty cash expenses as part of your bookkeeping system ensures that all tax-deductible expenses are captured. Each time you tap into a petty cash fund—that is, take money out—a slip or voucher should be filled out. This acts as a receipt, logging the amount of the withdrawal, the date, the purpose, and other details. Increasingly, these slips are electronic ones, entered in a digital spreadsheet or ledger.

The Pros & Cons Of Petty Cash

They’ll usually keep it in a lockbox or a cash register, and will have some kind of system in place to make sure none of it gets lost. Petty cash is a small amount of actual cash that a company has on hand to purchase items that cost so little that cutting a check doesn’t make sense or isn’t realistic. It is often used to reimburse employees for relatively low cost purchases, such as a birthday cake for an employee or breakfast treats for the morning staff meeting. There are many ways an organization can enhance the management of its petty cash fund to address some of the pitfalls and challenges of a traditional, paper-based approach. While it is important to have a thorough process in place for documenting the transactions in the petty cash fund, a traditional paper-based approach has many limitations. Not surprisingly, petty cash funds are vulnerable to misuse and could even lead to outright fraud.

  • BlackLine Account Reconciliations manages and reconciles all petty cash accounts via a centralized system.
  • A cash fund for paying small charges, as for minor office supplies or deliveries.
  • It’s best to put your petty cash policy in writing and provide some examples of appropriate expenses.
  • In addition to the record, ask employees to take pictures of receipts to verify the details of petty expenses.
  • It sure would be nice to have some spare cash around to pay for these small business expenses, wouldn’t it?

The amount of the reimbursement is equal to the documented expenses. The completed “Petty Cash Replenishment Request” should be signed by the Petty Cashier and approved by the Department Head, who also ensures that the expenditures have a valid business purpose. The Petty Cashier takes the completed and approved “Petty Cash Replenishment Request” to the Cashier’s Office commercial window where it will be checked for accuracy. The cashier will also sign the replenishment request and then will enter the expense and cash receipt information and will issue cash replenishment. Petty cash, just as the name implies, is for small amounts of cash and little expenses. Larger expenses are easier to track with a check or debit card, so it’s a good idea to keep your petty cash fund to $100 or so.

Make sure that it’s small enough to prevent employees from stealing it but large enough to prevent the need to replenish it too often. Choose a dollar amount that will cover small expenses for a month or so. Typically, a petty cash fund between $100 and $500 is suitable for many small businesses. Petty cash is a convenient way to cover expenses too small to pay for with a business check.

However, the availability of petty cash doesn’t mean that it can be accessed for any purpose by any person. Many companies employ strict internal controls to manage the fund. Often, a few individuals are authorized to approve disbursements and can only do so for expenses related to legitimate company activities or operations.

As long as everyone understands how to use petty cash and doesn’t abuse it, that money can be used quickly and efficiently. Buying office supplies that are inexpensive and need to be replaced right away to keep the office running.

Reliance On Custodians

The custodian would need to debit all vouchered items in this scenario. If there are discrepancies, they should be credited or debited to the cash over and short expense account. This is an income statement account—within the general ledger of a company—in which shortages or over-shortages of cash are recorded. With this solution, petty cash reconciliations follow an automated workflow that ensures proper review and approval of account data, and maintains appropriate segregation of duties.

This helps ensure accountability and protects against theft or fraud. Handing employees money rather a credit card with access to a credit line might seem like a better option – but both solutions are fraught with difficulty. The journal entries are made when the custodian receives new funds in exchange for the receipts. Train the petty cash custodians in how to evaluate requests for petty cash, how to fill out vouchers in exchange for cash payments, and when to request replacement cash when cash levels are low. Set up locked petty cash boxes or locked desk drawers, including a supply of petty cash vouchers. It may be necessary to create an alarm that will sound if a box or drawer is improperly accessed.

As your company grows, so will the amount and frequency of random expenses. A petty cash fund provides an easy way for your employees to cover these costs and using a formal system helps with bookkeeping. Companies often use petty cash to pay for small office supplies, postage, flowers, cab fares and other small purchases as well as to reimburse someone for bringing in something like lunch or coffee. General LedgeA general ledger is an accounting record that compiles every financial transaction of a firm to provide accurate entries for financial statements. The double-entry bookkeeping requires the balance sheet to ensure that the sum of its debit side is equal to the credit side total. A general ledger helps to achieve this goal by compiling journal entries and allowing accounting calculations.

What Are Some Typical Petty Cash Expenses?

All forms are automatically documented, filed and organized so petty cash custodians can later respond, and manage petty cash requests when needed. Somewhere along the line, the petty cash cashier will need a check from the business to acquire the literal cash that’s stored in the office. Petty cash is a part of your money on hand, which also includes all the other funds you have accessible. This includes the cash that hasn’t been deposited to the bank yet or smaller coins for change. You can use the petty cash for whatever you like as long as it’s business-related, make sure you document all your transactions accurately. Be as specific as possible, so there’s no doubt that it was a business expenditure when it comes to tax time. Petty cash money used for small, everyday expenses in an office etc.

However, the difference is so minor that it is completely immaterial to the results in the financial statements. Thus, the difference is only reconciled when the petty cash box must be replenished. Examples of common incidental expenses the petty cash fund can be used for are small amounts of office supplies, business meals, and gas. This is the only amount of cash that is not immediately deposited in the bank account after it is received. Since companies have to safeguard cash from theft and fraud,internal controlsin place to make sure employees and other people can’t steal it.

whats petty cash

For everyone else, establish a ticket system that requires manager approval before money can be distributed. Reconcile the record to ensure the fund’s balance is correct before replenishing it. In the case of discrepancies, speak to the employee who made that expense and figure out the source of the error. Break down your budget and look at what random expenses occur most frequently to help determine what should be allocated for and what should be classified as a petty cash expense. A small fund of money for incidental expenses, as in an office.

Petty cash funds are small, but they do need to be managed properly. You’ll want to ensure that the money isn’t mishandled, and you’ll want to make sure that those little expenses are accounted for when tax time rolls around. Here’s how you can set up an effective, easy-to-manage petty cash system. If there’s a shortage or overage, a journal line entry is recorded to an over/short account. If the petty cash fund is over, a credit is entered to represent a gain. If the petty cash fund is short, a debit is entered to represent a loss. The over or short account is used to force-balance the fund upon reconciliation.

Typically, you will want to limit the number of individuals who have access to petty cash funds. The petty cash is controlled through the use of a petty cash voucher for each payment made.

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