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Petty Cash: Overview and Guidelines

Petty cash fund

A department's petty cash fund is used to reimburse allowable low-value expenses for items which generally can't be purchased through established UCSD procurement procedures.

Change fund

A department's change fund is used to provide change for cashiers and customers who pay by high-denomination bills.

Each department must establish a custodian for the fund. This person is directly responsible for controlling and disbursing the cash.

Before establishing a petty cash or change fund

Departments are required to review these documents below and to comply with annual cash handling training:

Establishing a petty cash or change fund

  • Complete the application (PDF).
  • Submit the completed Petty Cash/Change Fund form to the Cash & Merchant Services team through a Service & Support ticket
  • A team member will notify you of the outcome of your application. If your request is approved, Disbursements will issue and mail the check to the fund's custodian.

Internal controls

Once the fund is established, departments must follow these internal controls:

  • Cash count and verification of funds must be performed periodically, at least quarterly, by someone other than the custodian. Verification of cash balances must be performed in the presence of the custodian. Results must be documented and reported to Cash & Merchant Services
  • Petty cash and change funds are subject to periodic cash counts without prior notice.
  • Prior to June 30 of each year, Internal Controls & Accounting will mail each custodian a Certification of Possession form for verification of university's funds.
  • For annual fiscal year closing, each June 30, all pending petty-cash reimbursements must be submitted to Disbursements.
  • Completion of the UC Learning eCourse for cash handling is required annually.
  • Use the Change of Custodianship Form (PDF) to update the custodian on file.

Managing or obtaining reimbursements

Questions? Submit a ticket by logging onto the Business & Finance Services & Support portal (GET HELP) and select the “Related to…” option > Petty Cash or Change Funds