Business Procedure Manual

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Northern Illinois University

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Cash Funds


Procedure No. 4-6

Issued 7/2001

There are two types of cash funds:

1.        Working cash or change funds to be used in a cashiering function during the normal routine of conducting University business. These funds are used only in making change, cashing checks, etc., and are involved with the receipting of money. Examples of areas using these funds are the Bursar’s Office, the Holmes Student Center and the residence halls. The restrictions and policies pertaining to working funds are contained on the Request for Working Fund form.

2.        Petty cash advances to be used by department heads or individuals for the cash purchase of small items or services. This includes payments to program participants of small dollar amounts. Participant must sign the form acknowledging receipt of cash.

Petty Cash Advances

The University will, upon written justification, advance an individual a petty cash fund on an imprest basis. These funds are to be used for the cash purchase of small items or services for the University. The individual who receives the petty cash fund is held entirely responsible for the total monies advanced. The fund must be returned when it is no longer needed or upon the request of the Assistant Controller. On an annual basis the Accounting Office will evaluate the use of and need for each petty cash advance.

The following restrictions and policies pertain to all petty cash advances:

1.        The petty cash advance should be replenished on a timely basis via a check request form. Current valid receipts must accompany the check request and should clearly indicate the business purpose of the purchases.

2.        The petty cash expenditure should be under $50.00.

3.        The petty cash advance is to be used for University business only. Personal loans, hold checks, etc. are not permitted. Misuse or abuse of the advance will result in an immediate recall of the total amount advanced.

4.        The petty cash advances are not to be used for travel or meal expenses. These expenses are reimbursable on a travel voucher. (See 4-31 Travel.) However, Parking and toll expenses may be reimbursed through petty cash, (providing no other travel expenses are incurred).

5.        All petty cash advances are subject to audit, at any time, by the internal audit staff of the University. The individual receiving the advance is responsible for the accounting and safekeeping of the fund. Any shortages of the fund are the responsibility of this individual.

6.        The petty cash fund is to be immediately closed should the person responsible for it terminate employment or be reassigned.

Opening a Petty Cash Advance

A Request for Petty Cash Advance form should be completed by the individual responsible for the petty cash fund. Approval of the Department Head is required. The form should then be forwarded to the Assistant Controller for final approval. If approved, a check will be drawn from the University’s working cash fund, payable to the individual requesting the advance. A slightly different form, Request for Working Fund should be used to request a change fund.

Reimbursing the Fund

Reimbursement of a petty cash advance is made by completing a check request form and attaching receipts to support the request. A check is issued to the individual responsible for the petty cash fund not to the petty cash fund itself. It is the individual’s responsibility to cash the check and replenish the fund. The check request should be coded with the chart field combination of the department being charged.

Closing the Petty Cash Fund

The amount of the petty cash fund, intact, should be deposited with the University Bursar. The individual’s copy of the original Request for Petty Cash Advance form should accompany the deposit, and a written receipt will be returned to the individual.


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