Imprest Accounts

An imprest account is an actual bank account set up to issue payments (by cheque) for unique recurring activities.

Cash is advanced centrally to the department. Departments manage their own imprest accounts. The funds advanced to the department are not charged to the department; they are recorded in the books as a cash balance.

Obtaining Approval for a New Imprest Account

To open a new imprest account, special approval from Treasury Accounting and Treasury is required. The department head must first contact Treasury Cash specifying the reason imprest account is required. The circumstances in which an account is approved are either one or both of the following:

  1. A need to pay for services or goods immediately on the spot (eg. Chan Center, to pay performers after the performance or Dairy farm, to pay the farmers when resources are delivered)
  2. A lack of access to Financial Operations in remote locations (eg. India liaison office, required to pay rent by cheque locally)

Establishing a New Imprest Account

  1. Once the request for opening a New Imprest Account is approved by Treasury and Treasury sets up the account and create a cost center/program
  2. Identify the bank account holder's name for the direct deposit ( UBC Department name) in the Workday supplier module.
  3. Treasury transfer the funds via Bank Account Transfer for Settlement in Workday

Increasing the Imprest Account Amount

Treasury will transfer funds via Bank Account Transfer for Settlement in Workday. Contact Treasury Cash if an increase is required.

Decreasing the Imprest Account Amount

  1. Deposit the excess amount into the bank using the 'Record Cash Sale' function in Workday.  
  2. Select the ‘Imprest Account’ revenue category.  

For more details about how to make a cheque/cash deposit, please refer to the Record Cash Sale Against 'Misc. Cash Receipt' Customer article in the Workday Knowledge Base.

Replenishing the Imprest Account

To replenish the Imprest Account, use the Spend module to request a payment. Financial Operations will process the replenishment. The key difference from establishing an Imprest account is that the transaction will be charged to the actual expense item (instead of ‘Imprest Account’) that is specific for the transaction. Ensure ‘Imprest Account’ is added in the memo line for reporting.

  1. The custodian needs to retain all original receipts for all expenses reimbursed out of the Imprest Account.
  2. Attach receipts to the request for payment. The amount to replenish should equal the value of the receipts.
  3. Replenishments are charged directly to your department’s operations.

Changing an Imprest Account Signatory

  1. Contact Treasury Cash copied to the Treasury Accounting Manager to indicate the name of the new signatory together with local authorization. 
  2. Treasury will direct the process to obtain new signatures.

Closing an Imprest Account

  1. Complete any outstanding reimbursements.
  2. Deposit the amount of the Imprest ceiling using 'Record Cash Sale' and follow 'Decreasing Imprest' instructions above.
  3. Notify Treasury Cash copied to Treasury Accounting Manager that the Imprest account is closed.

Standardized Bank Reconciliation Process for Imprest and Department Designated bank account

Department Designated Accounts (incoming funds only) and Imprest Bank Accounts (funded to a ceiling and have cheque issue facility) are not reconciled by Treasury Accounting centrally. The responsibility for these bank account reconciliations is with the Departmental Finance Directors to which the bank accounts are allocated.

  1. At each month-end, business units or departments are required to submit a copy of each month-end bank reconciliation to Treasury Accounting *, comparing the balance per bank to the balance in the department’s records. Finance Directors develop appropriate reconciliation procedures for the systems in place locally. Monthly reconciliation must be reviewed and signed off by the Finance Director.
  2. Treasury Accounting conducts a high-level review by the Bank Reconciliation Clerk against supporting documentation and for approval of the Finance Director.

* Treasury Accounting is working with ISC to set up an email address for Department Designated Accounts and Imprest Bank Accounts to receive the monthly bank reconciliation. Before this is done, all the bank reconciliations shall be sent to Tiantian He

Annual Verification of Imprest Account Balances

At fiscal year-end, Treasury Accounting will submit the March signed bank reconciliation to the external auditors. Also, the annual Finance Certification Questionnaire will need to be signed by responsible Finance Directors:

“If your unit has an Imprest Bank account or a Department Designated Bank Account, has there been a monthly review of the bank account reconciliation and submission of the approved month-end bank reconciliation to Treasury Accounting?”