Petty Cash Funds


Petty cash funds are maintained by some departments for business purposes. Petty cash funds are not to be established for travel advances.

General Policies

  1. A custodian of a petty cash fund is authorized to make cash disbursements from the fund only for the purpose for which the fund was established. 
  2. Petty cash funds are not to be commingled with other College or personal funds.
  3. Petty cash funds must be reconciled periodically using the Reconciliation of Petty Cash Fund form. The Business Office will contact departments to complete this process.

Allowable Types of Petty Cash

Petty cash funds are established to enable departments of Hamilton College to achieve their assigned objectives. They may only be established for the following specific purposes:

  1. Change Funds: Change funds are generally used in cashiering functions on the campus (for example, in Student Billings and in the Library). Most often advances of this type are of a permanent nature. Change funds custodians may exchange cash for different denominations directly through the College’s Business Office.
  2. Small Purchase or Expenditures Funds up to $250: Expenditures may be made from a petty cash fund up to $250 and must also follow the College’s purchasing regulations. 

Supporting documentation for expenditures is essential to obtain reimbursement to petty cash funds. A completed petty cash reimbursement form charging the appropriate departmental account must be sent to Student Accounts, with the receipts attached.

Responsibility for Petty Cash Funds

  1. Each petty cash fund established is assigned to one individual who is designated as the fund custodian and who has exclusive access to and control of the fund. The fund custodian is responsible for these funds and for making whatever provisions are necessary to properly safeguard the fund.
  2. If the petty cash fund must be maintained in cash, the custodian, in conjunction with the department head, is personally responsible at all times for appropriate and adequate arrangements for safekeeping these monies.
  3. The custodian is responsible for keeping accurate records of the fund. The most important types of records are those supporting disbursements, such as invoices.
  4. At the end of each month, the custodian should reconcile the petty cash fund to ensure that all monies are accounted for.

Control of Petty Cash Funds

The following controls over petty cash funds should be exercised by the custodian:

  1. Counting Funds: Funds must be counted and the amount certified periodically (as part of the reconciliation process) and whenever they are transferred from one person to another.
  2. Limiting access to funds: Access to petty cash funds must be limited to the person responsible for the fund.
  3. When not in the physical possession of the responsible person, funds must be secured in containers to which access is limited by key or combination.

Replenishing Petty Cash Funds

  1. For a petty cash fund that supports the purchase of goods and services, replenishment is made by preparing a reimbursement request. The reimbursement request must summarize the supporting documentation by budget line. The petty cash request must be sent to Student Accounts and accompanied by supporting documentation. Upon submission to the Business Office the staff will issue funds equal to the amount of the petty cash request and reach out to arrange pick up of the funds.

  2. For change funds, requests for currency and coin orders can be sent directly to  Student Accounts.


Contact Name

Business Office

Office Location
Philip Spencer House
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m..
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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