Petty Cash

For departments with a large number of ongoing minor expenses, if there is a need for cash payments, then establishing and using a petty cash fund is reasonable.

Alternative methods to petty cash listed below should be considered first:

  • Using UBC VISA Card
  • Paying expense first, then requesting reimbursement through OPT. Reimbursement is through direct payment to the employee's bank account
  • Using parking coupons: UBC departments may purchase Digital Visitor Parking Coupons in advance to pay for the parking of departmental guests. Parking coupons are pre-sold and are valid at the North, Rose Garden, Fraser, West, Thunderbird and Health Sciences Parkades. Request parking coupons or contact UBC Parking for more information at parking.support@ubc.ca

If, after considering these alternatives, it is determined that a new Petty Cash Fund is indeed required, proceed to the instructions below.

A petty cash fund may be used for:

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

Custodian Sign Off is required to request a new Petty Cash Balance or request an increase to an existing Petty Cash Balance. Please follow steps below.

  1. Complete the New Petty Cash Request Form
  2. Complete a Requisition for Payment form 
  3. Send the completed New Petty Cash Request form together with the Requisition for Payment Form to Revenue Accounting, attention to petty cash clerk at petty.cash@ubc.ca
Instructions for completing the Requisition for Payment Form
  1. Obtain a QReq transaction number.
  2. Identify the “custodian” (person who disburses, replenishes, balances and is responsible for the security of the fund).
  3. Fill in the custodian's UBC employee ID in the Payee box and Location Code in the Justification box.
  4. 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.
  5. Charge account 118000 in an existing departmental G PG,  fund code and Dept ID under the section called 'Line Information and Charges'. The G PG selected to hold the balance is usually the departmental operating PG.
  6. Obtain the signature of the person with departmental signing authority (e.g., Dean, Department Head, Grant Holder, etc.

After the information has been reviewed by Revenue Accounting and a request has been assigned, it will be sent to Financial Operations for processing. Petty cash cheques will be issued to the custodian identified on the form.

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

Cashing Petty Cash

Cashing petty cash up to $500 - UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan:

One time setup is required at one of three designated Scotiabank branches in person over bank counter; 

  • Provide your name, department and phone number by email to Otto Wong, 48 hours prior to cashing your cheque at the bank.
  • Requires two pieces of identification  (driver's license, passport, UBC Faculty/Staff card)

Scotia Bank Branch addresses:

  • 5960 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
  • 999 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1K5 
  • 940 Kane Rd - Unit 108, Kelowna, BC, V1V 2J9

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.

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 Requisition for Payment and the New Petty Cash Request Form (with custodian sign off) 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

The department must monitor and notify Revenue Accounting of any change in custodian or PG Manager.

  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 Safety & Risk 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

  • A local petty cash count and reconciliation must be executed at least once annually and a record of the reconciliation retained to evidence the count.
  • The manager and the custodian should both sign the confirmation letter to confirm the balance is correct. 
  • Each unit must complete the Annual Finance Certification Questionnaire in which units are asked "If your unit has a Petty Cash balance, has there been a 'petty cash count' at least once during the year together with confirmation that the custodian is actively managing the security of the cash? 
  • If a count is not performed annually, or appropriate records are found to be lacking, the petty cash balance will be closed immediately.
  • Questions should be addressed to petty.cash@ubc.ca