Reimbursements & Petty Cash Overview

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Start here if you are new – Introductory information to help you get started.

Overview on Low Dollar University Expenses

The PCard is the preferred purchasing method for low dollar business expenses, other than travel.  When use of a PCard is not possible, and a personal expense is established, the expense may be reimbursed from a petty cash fund.


Overview on Low Dollar University Expense (Petty Cash) Reimbursement

At CSU Stanislaus any personal expenditure on behalf of the University, other than travel, under $50.00 must be reimbursed using the Petty Cash process


Overview on University Expense Reimbursement for Amounts Over $50.00

Direct Payment is the process for reimbursing employees for personal expenditures made on behalf of the University. (How to file Direct Pay request) Direct Payment cannot be used for the following:


Overview on Reimbursement for Travel Expenses

Travel expenses will only be reimbursed for university related travel that has been approved prior to the travel event. Traveler must submit an authorized Travel Request prior to the travel date. Reimbursement of travel expenses paid by the traveler results from the traveler filing a Travel Claim within 30 days of the travel event.

If the traveler uses a Travel PCard to pay part or all of the travel expenses, there will be no reimbursement. Travel PCard charges are paid directly by the University through the direct billing from USBank, issuer of the Travel PCard.


Overview on Reimbursement of American Express Personal Liability Government Card Charges

American Express, in a joint effort with the State of California Department of General Services, provides a personal liability credit card solely for commercial business purposes and business travel. Any charges to the card are the responsibility of the employee and must be paid in full within a maximum of 60 days.  For more information go to About American Express Government Card.

Request for reimbursement of travel expenses paid with the American Express Government Card must be submitted as part of the Travel Claim. (Travel Request & claim form)

Request for reimbursement of business expenses, other than those which are part of a travel event, must be submitted on a Direct Pay Request – Employee form.

The fastest method for receiving a reimbursement is through Direct Deposit (EFT).


Overview on Petty Cash Policy

The CSU Stanislaus CFO (Vice President of Business & Finance) or his/her delegate may authorize establishment of petty cash funds at department offices or other approved locations. Requests and authorization for such funds must be documented in writing.

A petty cash fund must be assigned to a specific individual as custodian. The custodian will be responsible for the amount advanced and should be trained on their responsibilities before accepting a petty cash fund. Evidence that the custodian has received the proper training should be documented.

Petty cash funds must not be comingled with other funds.

The petty cash fund will be closed out when a given petty cash fund is no longer needed, or upon termination or departmental transfer of the custodian. Transfer of funds to a successor is not authorized. If a successor is to be furnished a petty cash fund, a new cash fund request is required.

With any one vendor or payee in a day, petty cash purchases may not exceed $50.00. Splitting a transaction into multiple reimbursements is not allowed. When an expense is made, a receipt must be obtained which contains the following:

  • Date; name of vendor or payee; amount paid.
  • Positive evidence that a payment was made (i.e., a cash register receipt or a hand written receipt on which the word "paid" appears).
  • Description of the supplies or services purchased.
  • Signature indicating receipt of the supplies or services.

Expenses that cannot be paid from petty cash include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Invoices from vendors,
  • Payments for services to employees or independent contractors,
  • Loans and advances.

When not in use, the fund's currency and coin must be placed in a safe or locked receptacle kept in a properly secured area.


Overview on Petty Cash Fund Custodians

A petty cash fund must be assigned to a specific individual as custodian. The Cash Fund Custodian is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that the cash fund box is safeguarded at all times, preferably in a locked safe.
  • The amount of cash issued at the time of setup.
  • Reviewing Petty Cash Vouchers for Reimbursement to determine that it meets the university requirements for reimbursement. (Petty Cash Policy)
  • Not making cash advances out of the Cash Fund.
  • Not comingling petty cash funds with other funds.
  • Reconciling the amount of cash and the Reimbursement Vouchers to the amount of cash at setup (i.e., if $200 original setup amount, remaining cash and total of reimbursement vouchers must total $200).
  • Requesting replenishment of the Cash Fund as needed.
  • Reporting a theft from the Cash Fund.


Overview on Petty Cash Fund Audits

An unannounced cash count and reconciliation of petty cash funds will be performed on a periodic basis by someone other than the fund custodian. The frequency of the periodic counts can be determined by the campus CFO based on the amount of funds at risk. Reconciliation of cash balances must be performed in the presence of the petty cash/change fund custodian and must be documented.

Cash funds audits will occur at least quarterly.