Petty Cash Process

Purpose and Use of Petty Cash Fund

The petty cash fund is intended to serve the onsite small amount emergency or incidental cash disbursement needs of departments and programs or for transactions of an infrequent or extraordinary nature in connection with approved University activities.  Consequently, an employee may purchase incidental supplies which require the employee to personally make payment at the point of purchase.  Petty cash should be used in this manner only when absolutely necessary and can be used to reimburse individuals for non-travel, out-of-pocket expenditures when normal purchasing practices are infeasible or impractical.  The fund cannot be used as a method to bypass the University's Accounts Payable and Purchasing systems.

Petty cash funds may NOT be used for the following:

  • Travel expense reimbursements. Use the travel expense report (TAER) - (See Section 7.0).
  • Travel advances. All travel activities need to be reported through the travel reimbursement process.
  • Reimbursement for items that are to be purchased through the purchasing system according to the university purchasing policy (See Section 2.0).
  • Payments to vendors for invoices submitted directly to the department for approved non-PO purchases. Continue to send these invoices to Disbursements for processing and payment via the SPA (See Section 1.3).
  • Payments to independent contractors, consultants, awards, etc., to non-university employees. These should be processed through the appropriate payment process as identified in Sections 1.3 and 2.0.
  • Payments to employees for services, awards, bonuses, etc. These should be processed through the appropriate payment process as identified in Sections 1.3, 2.0 and 4.0.
  • Items/receipts in excess of $300.
  • Payment of sales or excise taxes on any purchases within Michigan since Wayne State University is a tax exempt organization and does not reimburse Michigan sales tax.
  • Cashing of personal checks or providing personal loans (IOUs).   This includes advancing cash from a petty cash fund for purchases.
  • Purchases which are required to be reported in a specific manner such as, but not limited to, personnel services, travel expenses, payroll advances, and business meals.
  • Purchase of other items which are prohibited under petty cash procedures:
    1. advertising
    2. alcoholic beverages and tobacco
    3. animals (laboratory)
    4. automotive repairs
    5. bottle deposits
    6. chemicals
    7. clothing
    8. controlled substances
    9. cylinder gases and liquid nitrogen
    10. donations
    11. food and beverages
    12. flowers
    13. hazardous materials
    14. leases and rentals
    15. letterhead, envelopes business cards, and other printing
    16. maintenance agreements
    17. personal items
    18. post office box rentals
    19. professional services
    20. sales tax
    21. seminars and memberships
    22. subscriptions
    23. telephones
    24. traffic tickets

Use the  Petty Cash Voucher Form to:

  • Purchase materials, supplies and services totaling $300.00 or less for a single transaction
  • Payment of nominal subject fees ($10.00 or less)

Quick Links:

WSU Petty Cash Fund Request Form
Petty Cash Balancing Worksheet
MI Sales Tax Exemption Form
Research Reimbursement Form - Exhibit A