Petty Cash

For departments with a large number of ongoing minor expenses, establishing and using a petty cash fund is more efficient than issuing a large number of cheques.

A petty cash fund may be used for:

  • purchases not exceeding $50 in value (Policy 119)
  • office purchases
  • purchases by research grants
  • purchases by other trust funds within the department.

Petty cash funds cannot be used for honorarium or other expenses including subject payments require issuance of a tax form (e.g., T4, T4A, T4ANR or T5).

Establishing a New Petty Cash Fund

  1. Complete a manual Requisition for Payment form (QReq).
  2. Obtain a QReq transaction number.
  3. Identify the “custodian” (person who disburses, replenishes, balances and is responsible for the security of the fund).
  4. Fill in the custodian's UBC employee ID in the Payee box and Location Code in the Justification box.
  5. Identify in the Details of Payment section of the speedchart that will be used for petty cash replenishment. Note: For petty cash requests greater than $200, state the reason in the Details of Payment section.
  6. Charge account 118000, department's fund code and Dept ID under the section called 'Line Information and Charges'.
  7. Obtain the signature of the person with departmental signing authority (e.g., Dean, Department Head, Grant Holder, etc.).
  8. Send your document by campus mail to Revenue Accounting, Attention: Petty Cash Clerk.

After it has been reviewed by Revenue Accounting and a Project/Grant (PG) number has been assigned, the QReq will be sent to Financial Operations for processing. Petty cash cheques will be issued to the custodian identified on the QReq.

Note: The Department’s operations are not charged for new petty cash or change floats established by your department.

Cashing Petty Cash

UBC Vancouver

Cashing petty cash up to $500:

  • Visit the Scotiabank branch; one time setup is required.
  • Provide your name, department and phone number by email to Jean Forward or Michael Chan, 48 hours prior to cashing your cheque at the bank.
  • Requires two pieces of identification (1 photo identification (driver's license or passport) and your UBC Faculty/Staff card).
  • Branch address is 5960 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4.
  • Branch hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30am – 5pm.

Cashing petty cash greater than $500:

  • Deposit the petty cash cheque into the custodian’s personal bank account.
  • Withdraw the cash from the bank account.
UBC Okanagan and Off-Campus Units

For UBC Okanagan and off-campus units, all petty cash cheques must be deposited and withdrawn from the custodian’s personal bank account.

Increasing the Petty Cash Amount

  1. Follow the "Establishing a New Petty Cash" procedure.
  2. Enter the amount you want the petty cash increased by.
  3. Explain in the Details of Payment section that this is a petty cash increase.
  4. Ensure that the QReq includes the assigned petty cash PG.
  5. Provide explanation in the Details of Payment section if the total of the initial petty cash and the purposed increase amount exceeds $200. You may also attach your explanation on a separate memorandum signed by a departmental authorized signatory.
  6. Send the QReq by campus mail to Revenue Accounting, Attention: Petty Cash Clerk

Once reviewed by Revenue Accounting, the QReq will be sent to Financial Operations for processing. Petty cash cheques will be issued to the custodian identified on the QReq.

Decreasing the Petty Cash Amount

  1. Deposit the excess amount into bank using a Cash Receipt (Canadian) form. Refer to Bank Accounts and Deposits Procedures for specific steps.
  2. Credit account 118000, department’s respective fund code, DeptID and the assigned petty cash PG.

Replenishing Petty Cash

  1. Ensure the custodian retains all original receipts for all expenses reimbursed out of petty cash funds. 
  2. Balance the petty cash when funds near depletion. The total of all receipts on-hand plus the amount of cash on hand should equal the total petty cash. 
  3. Request from Financial Operations a payment equivalent to the balance depleted:
Replenish Petty Cash Manually
  1. Complete a manual Requisition for Payment form (QReq).
  2. Charge the appropriate expense accounts and your department PG, under Line Information and Charges (see Note).
  3. Write “Replenish Petty Cash Fund” in the Details of Payment section.
  4. Write the custodian’s name (person who disburses, replenishes, balances, and is responsible for the security of the fund) in the Payee box.
  5. Check payment method EFT or cheque.
  6. Attach receipts. The amount to replenish should equal the value of the receipts.
  7. For lost receipt(s), complete the Lost Receipt form by providing an explanation of the nature of the expense, and obtaining signatures from the custodian and the Departmental signing authority.
  8. Obtain the signature of the person with departmental signing authority (e.g., Dean, Department Head, Grant Holder, etc.) on the QREQ.
  9. Send your document by campus mail to Financial Operations.
Replenish Petty Cash Online

Registered SmartForms users should go use FMS Live.

Online Payment Tool users should log into OPT on the FMS Management Portal. Please refer to the Claiming Goods and Services Reimbursement in OPT for instructions.

  1. Charge the appropriate expense accounts and the department PG. Make sure to charge the appropriate expense accounts and the custodian’s department operations PG for replenishment. Account 118000 and the assigned petty cash PG is only for establishing the initial petty cash fund.
  2. Enter “Replenish Petty Cash Fund” in the description section of the form.
  3. Enter the Custodian's name in the payee section.
  4. Check payment method: EFT or cheque.
  5. Attach scanned receipts. The amount to replenish should equal the value of the receipts. Please refer to the Attaching Receipts, Invoices or Supporting Documentation to an eForm instruction.
  6. For lost receipt(s), complete the Lost Receipt form by providing an explanation of the nature of the expense, and obtaining signatures from the Custodian and the Departmental signing authority. Attach the form per instruction above.
  7. For all other OPT training instructions, please visit Learning Resources.

Changing the Petty Cash Custodian

  1. Complete the Project/Grant Request (Non-Research Only) form.
  2. Write “to change custodian from (name of current custodian) to (name of new custodian)” in the Description (PG Name) box.
  3. Write the assigned petty cash PG in the PG Number box. This form must be signed by an authorized signatory other than the custodian.
  4. Send the completed form by campus mail to Revenue Accounting, Attention: Petty Cash Clerk.

Closing Petty Cash

  1. Complete a Journal Voucher form.
  2. Fill out the form and make sure the Journal Voucher value is equivalent to the amount of the receipts, which represents the petty cash balance depleted.
  3. Attach original receipts to the Journal Voucher form.
  4. Deposit the remaining cash into the bank by following the Bank Accounts and Deposits procedure and charging account 118000, department's fund code, DeptID, and the assigned petty cash PG.
  5. Send the Journal Voucher and all receipts, as well as a copy of the Cash Receipt form (either printed copy from online form or the “Financial Services” copy from the deposit form for manual users) to Revenue Accounting (Attention: Petty Cash Clerk).

Reporting Stolen or Lost Petty Cash

  1. Report the incident to Risk Management Services, Assistant Manager.
  2. Prepare a QReq for the amount of stolen cash.
  3. Charge department’s expense accounts. Account 118000 is only used for establishing and closing petty cash fund.
  4. Send your QReq by campus mail to Revenue Accounting, Attention: Petty Cash Clerk.

Annual Verification of Petty Cash

  • At fiscal year-end, Revenue Accounting will send a confirmation of balance(s) to each manager responsible for petty cash.
  • The manager and the custodian should both sign the confirmation letter to confirm the balance(s) is (are) correct.
  • If the balance(s) on the confirmation letter is (are) not correct, please notify Revenue Accounting, Attention: Petty Cash Clerk.