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 Finance’s books.
Obtaining Approval for a New Imprest Account
To open a new imprest account, special approval from Revenue Accounting and Treasury is required. The department head must first contact Revenue Accounting and Treasury specifying the reason why they require an imprest account. The circumstances in which an account is approved are either one or both of the following:
- 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)
- 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
- Complete a Requisition for Payment form (QReq).
- Identify the department and the custodian (person who disburses, replenishes, balances and is responsible for the operation of the account) in the Payee box
- Identify the Location Code in the Justification box.
- Identify in the Details of Payment section the speedchart, which will be used for imprest account replenishments.
- State the reasons you require an imprest account fund in Details of Payment section.
- Charge Account 112100, Fund G0000 and your DeptID for initial fund. A PG number will be assigned by Revenue Accounting.
- Obtain dual signatories (persons with departmental signing authority e.g., Dean, Department Head, Grant Holder, etc.)
- Send QReq by campus mail to Revenue Accounting, where a Project/Grant (PG) number will be assigned.
Note: The Department’s operations are not charged for the new imprest account established by your department.
Increasing and Decreasing the Imprest Account Amount
- Follow the procedure for "Establishing a New Imprest Account ".
- Enter the amount by which you want the imprest account increased.
- Explain in the Details of Payment section the reason for the increase.
- Ensure that the QReq includes the assigned imprest account PG.
- Send QReq by campus mail to Revenue Accounting.
Decreasing the Imprest Account Amount
- Deposit excess amount into the bank using a Cash Receipt (Canadian) form. Please refer to Bank Accounts and Deposits Procedures for specific steps.
- Credit the imprest account: Account 112100, Fund G0000, your DeptID and the assigned imprest account PG.
Replenishing the Imprest Account
- Ensure the custodian retains all original receipts for all expenses reimbursed out of imprest account funds.
- Balance the imprest account when funds near depletion. The total of all receipts on-hand plus the amount of bank balance less list of outstanding cheques should equal the total imprest account.
- Complete a QReq, charging the appropriate expense accounts for each of the expenditures and your department’s PG.
- Write "Replenish Imprest Account Fund" in the Details of Payment section.
- Write the Department and the Custodian (person who disburses, replenishes, balances and is responsible for the operation of the account) in the Payee box.
- Attach receipts. The amount to replenish should equal the value of receipts accompanying the requisition.
- Send documents by campus mail to Financial Operations.
The assigned imprest account PG and account 112100 is only for establishing the initial fund. Replenishments are charged directly to your department’s operations.
Changing an Imprest Account Signatory
- Complete a Project/Grant Request (Non-Research Only) form, indicating the name of the new signatory.
- Obtain authorized signatory from a person other than the new signatory.
- Send the form by campus mail to Revenue Accounting.
Closing an Imprest Account
- Complete the Journal Voucher form for the amount of the receipts you have on hand.
- Explain the general detail of receipts under Description of Transaction.
- Make sure each receipt has its own journal entry line.
- Obtain dual authorized signatories.
- Attach receipts to the Journal Voucher form.
- Deposit any remaining cash into the bank using a Cash Receipt (Canadian) form crediting Account 112100, Fund G0000, your DeptID, and the assigned imprest account PG. Please refer to Bank Accounts and Deposits Procedures for a detailed explanation of how to deposit funds manually and online.
- Send the documents by campus mail to Revenue Accounting.
Reconciling an Imprest Account
- Prepare a monthly reconciliation of the imprest account, comparing the balance per bank to the balance in the department’s records.
- Report any significant differences to the Manager of Revenue Accounting.
Monthly reconciliation must be reviewed by your Department Head.
Annual Verification of Imprest Account Balances
- At fiscal year-end, Revenue Accounting will send a request for confirmation of balances to each manager responsible for imprest accounts.
- The manager and the custodian should both sign the confirmation letter to confirm the balance is correct. If the balance on the confirmation letter is incorrect, notify Revenue Accounting.
- Return the signed confirmation letter to Revenue Accounting for auditing purposes and keep a copy for your files.