Petty Cash Guidelines

The following guidelines should be used when requesting petty cash. These policies are in place to protect the interests of the university and its employees. The following policies are meant to serve as a guide for the distribution and settlement of petty cash; however, policies may be changed or altered at any time to ensure that our best practices are maintained for auditing purposes. Any modifications must be approved by the Business Office Manager, Assistant Comptroller, Comptroller, or V.P. of Business and Finance. 

Petty cash can be withdrawn using either the reimbursement method or the advance method: 

The Reimbursement Method

Petty cash may be used to reimburse an individual for a purchase that was made using his/her personal funds. Upon presentation of original, itemized receipts to support the expenditure, the individual will be reimbursed for the exact amount (minus sales tax) of the purchase.

The Advance Method

Petty cash funds may be released to an individual in anticipation of a purchase. Documentation to settle the petty cash ticket must be submitted to the business office within 10 calendar days. If the actual expenditure was less than the amount advanced, then the individual must return the excess cash along with valid documentation. If the actual expenditure was more than the amount advanced (and personal funds were used), then the individual may be reimbursed for the difference.

What do I need to complete a petty cash settlement?

  • Original, itemized receipts must be submitted when settling a petty cash request.
    • copies of receipts are not valid and will not be accepted
    • printed receipts from online purchases must be approved/signed by the respective budget owner
    • handwritten receipts will not be accepted
  • Receipts must correspond to the description of the petty cash ticket and account number designated on the ticket. Any adjustments to the accounts will require a new petty cash ticket, and a return of the funds advanced
  • Receipts for business travel (e.g., gas, taxi, hotel) made out-of-town (outside a 50-mile radius from San Antonio) must be approved by the Accounts Payable manager
  • Receipts for entertainment must include names of attendees and business purpose
  • Proof of event (flyer, email blast, etc.) with information about the event (date, location, time, purpose)

Petty Cash Guidelines

  • All advances on petty cash tickets must be settled within 10 calendar days
    • advances must be settled in order to process any future petty cash requests
  • A maximum of $200 can be advanced for any department/organization per day
  • Petty cash may only be approved by the individual responsible for the respective general ledger budget line (President, VPs, Comptroller, Directors, Managers, Deans, and Department Chairs). If another approver is needed, please email Nora Cadena at with the name, sample of signature, title, and GL account(s) they are authorized to sign on.
  • The university does not pay taxes on items purchased through petty cash
    • tax on entertainment expenses at local restaurants is allowed
    • sales tax exemption forms are available in the Comptroller's Office and the Business Office
  • Meals that involve UIW personnel should be during the appropriate mealtimes with a business-related purpose
  • Gifts to employees for recognition/appreciation may not exceed $25 ($100 for retiring employees)
    • the purpose for the gift and names of recipients must be documented on the petty cash request form

The following accounts require additional approval before requesting petty cash

  • All petty cash requests for Athletics (for both restricted and non-restricted accounts) require approval by the Grants Accounting Office
  • All petty cash requests for restricted accounts (ex. 2xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) require approval by the Grants Accounting Office
  • All petty cash requests for agency accounts (ex. 7xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) require approval by the Comptroller's Office
  • Petty cash for flowers/gifts of condolences for death, hospitalization, or birth/adoption of a child must first be approved by Human Resources, and may not exceed $100

The following items may NOT be purchased with petty cash

  • Office supplies (pens, ink cartridges, note pads, etc.) and small furniture/equipment (account 6588) should be ordered through the Purchasing Department
  • Annual renewals (membership fees, web domain renewals, equipment rentals, etc.) and conference registration fees must be processed through the Accounts Payable department
  • Alcoholic beverages (requires approval from VP of Finance, Business Office Manager, or Comptroller)
  • Restaurant tips exceeding 20%
  • Personal expenses (including but not limited to):
    • birthdays, going away parties, showers, gifts, meals, flowers, tickets to university/school-sponsored events, etc.