Tales from the Business Office

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  • 1.  Petty cash procedures

    Posted 09-16-2022 08:02 AM
    Now that audit time is coming to a close for this year I wanted to post quickly about petty cash.  There are pro's and cons to using a cash box and though most schools use reimbursements now, the cash box still exists in some locations.  Some thoughts to keep in mind with a Petty Cash Box:
    Make sure your accounting policies and procedures include how to manage the cash box.
    Decide what an appropriate balance is to have in the box.
    Keep an accurate log of the funds
    Always have 2 or more signatures when cash is handed out or turned back in.
    Keep receipts
    Change matters!  Even Pennies, nickles and dimes add up.
    Your log should include:
    • Date
    • Name of Requester
    • Total Amount being distributed
    • Purpose of the funds
    • Recipients' signature and Log holder's signature
    • Receipt after purchase
    • Signing back in of any change after the purchase.
    • A tracking of reconciling the purchases with the accounting department
    • A means of aquiring new funds when the balance is low that includes multiple signatures
    • A balance reconciliation as often as needed (no less than once per month)
    Does your school have a petty cash and do you have other safe-guards in place?

    Trisha Leitem
    Assist. Director of School Services
    Fort Lauderdale

  • 2.  RE: Petty cash procedures

    Posted 10-10-2022 08:53 AM
    Thank you Trisha for these very helpful best practices for handling petty cash on campus. For campuses that elect to or are thinking of going completely cashless do you have any additional best practices for utilizing a school credit card or debit card for expenses rather than having a petty cash box? Also, when implementing these policies, should they come from the Business Manager as a site based decision or should these policies be determined by the school's Governing Board?

    Christine Mentis
    Services Manager
    Charter Support Unit

  • 3.  RE: Petty cash procedures

    Posted 10-12-2022 11:44 AM
      |   view attached
    Hi Christine!
    Thanks for the great questions.  Many schools are going cashless now which is a great step as electronic transactions are much easier to track.  For those that are using credit cards, it is recommended that cards either be assigned to individuals who have to sign off on a usage agreement (sample attached) or that cards are signed out and back in for a specific pre-approved use.
    I would actually caution schools from using debit cards.  There is just too much room for error in their use.  If an employee neglects to submit a receipt of purchase then there is no record of the transaction and what it was for.
    The source of any school policy should be a collaboration between the school leader(s) (including Business Managers) and the Governing Board.  Policies need to be actionable, reasonable and need to work well for those implementing them such as Business managers, but the Governing Board is responsible for establishing what school policy is.  Working together to find out what is best for day-to-day business would be ideal.

    Trisha Leitem
    Assist. Director of School Services
    Fort Lauderdale