A Beginner’s Guide to Petty Cash: Managing and Recording It



what is petty cash used for

The convenience of petty cash enables easier tracking of small expenditures and reduces administrative burden. Petty cash is a small amount of cash that a business sets aside for small, incidental expenses. This could include expenses such as office supplies or refreshments.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but a discrepancy might simply be down to human error (it happens!). Double-check the maths and the receipts before moving into more suspicious reasons for missing petty cash. In a pinch, petty cash is sometimes used to provide change for customers when your tills are out. It’s easy to see why many choose to dip their fingers into the petty cash box and keep things simple instead. As a separate designated area for small expenses, petty cash is used on the daily. Whether it’s the receptionist popping out for a book of stamps or you need to get a bunch of flowers for someone’s birthday.

Make sure everyone uses the petty cash log

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends filing out petty cash slips and attaching them to receipts to record and document petty cash expenses. Also, the employee is obtaining a personal benefit and decreasing productivity as it is likely he wastes work-time by doing this. This should be avoided because it affects productivity, it is unethical and also it costs to the company. Local units are responsible for deciding to establish a petty cash account and choosing a Custodian, weighing the relative risks and benefits involved.

  • Business owners usually keep a small amount of cash in a safe or lockbox that they use to pay for unexpected items.
  • The most common way of accounting for petty cash expenditures is to use the imprest system.[2] The initial fund would be created by issuing a cheque for the desired amount.
  • If you have an office manager, they’re the most likely choice to manage the petty cash fund.
  • A petty cashier might be assigned to issue the check to fund the petty cash drawer and make the appropriate accounting entries.
  • The English word “petty” derives from the French petit, which means “small” or “little.” Likewise, “petty” means minor or insignificant.
  • Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more.

In some tubs, these duties are performed at the Tub Finance Office and in others at the departments. Recording and tracking your petty cash and credit card spending with the same software will mean that all expenses are in a centralised place. This makes it much easier for your finance department analysts to spot spending patterns and make a new (and improved) strategy. Now, this isn’t due to a lack of trust in the other team members. It’s because these chosen team members will be trained in filling out petty cash vouchers, asking for receipts and approving petty cash purchase decisions. An increasing dependence on credit, debit cards and mobile payments in the UK means that the forward-thinking company is quickly catching up to our near cashless society.

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For instance, it can be used for minor necessities like office supplies or for reimbursing minor travel expenses. Thus, understanding and effectively managing Petty Cash is a key facet of healthy financial management in a business setting. As part of a company’s cash, a petty cash fund is drawn on its checking account, cashing that check and giving the currency and coins to the custodian. If money from the fund is used for expenses, the custodian will use petty cash receipts or vouchers to replace that cash. When the fund is replenished, the expenses will be recorded in the general ledger. Cash on hand is any accessible cash the business or liquid funds have.

  • These organisations can also have a restriction on which positions or employees can use this payment option.
  • Any time a member of the team needs access, they should first be granted a petty cash voucher.
  • As soon as the petty fund is replenished, it is recorded as a debit to the petty cash account and credit to the cash account.
  • The petty cash custodian is charged with distributing the cash and collecting receipts for all purchases or any uses of the funds.
  • Local units are responsible for deciding to establish a petty cash account and choosing a Custodian, weighing the relative risks and benefits involved.
  • With Wise Business expense cards you can improve petty cash management by providing a better oversight since the transactions are easily trackable on the app.

These worksheets come in different forms but generally require similar information. The best way to control the account is to designate one person in the office to be responsible. In his article for the Institute of Internal Auditors, bank auditor Umair Danka notes that there’s a significant risk of petty cash being spent on non-business activities. To combat this, make sure your employees understand upfront what petty cash can and can’t be spent on. Start by deciding how much money you will need each day, both to make change for customers and to make small cash payments.

What are the drawbacks of manual branch petty cash management?

“Children are a great joy, but they take every penny you make- and then some.” In 2013 the U.S. Department of Agriculture calculated that it costs a middle-income family $245,340- to raise a child from birth to age 18, not including the cost of college. Why do his parents want Joey and his girlfriend https://www.bookstime.com/ to wait a few years before starting a family? They feel that it’s important to work for a few years and save some money before starting a family
B. Petty cash funds provide a convenient way to pay for small expenses, but keeping cash in any office entails risk of misuse or theft.

what is petty cash used for

If you find yourself going through petty cash rapidly, you can increase the amount of petty cash you keep on hand. Also, take a few minutes to see what you’re spending petty cash on. If you use accrual accounting, the top-up may be credited from accounts payable instead of cash. Without a physical, dedicated place to keep the petty cash, you’ll probably lose track of it, and/or make so many exceptions to when you use the petty cash that it stops being useful. While petty cash is a relatively small amount of money, it can be easily stolen or abused if you don’t handle it right.

Traditionally in most companies, the petty cash is stored in a cash box or drawer under the custody of the petty cashier. As we mentioned earlier, petty cash is used instead of cash or check to pay for small expenses in a company. Also, it takes a considerable amount of time for the check to be signed and processed.

To ensure you have an efficient petty cash custodian, it is imperative you get someone who has knowledge of accounts, or someone who has experience managing cash before. As such, make sure your petty cash is sufficient but not in excess. This will ensure you are using just the right amount of money to pay for your minor expenses.

Plus, a petty cash box can help you work with vendors or other businesses that aren’t yet fully digital. When dealing with a cash-only business, and without a petty cash box, you’d have to send someone down to the nearest ATM each time. Even though a petty cash system is (as the name suggests) cash-based, it still requires the full-blown accounting treatment. This means that petty cash undergoes reconciliation periods just like other expenses do. Having petty cash is the surest way of paying for minor expenses without wasting much time using other rigorous payment options. It is always good to instruct the petty cash custodian to create a petty cash transaction log to help you keep abreast with the custodian.

what is petty cash used for

Then, record the replenishment by debiting the petty cash account and crediting the bank account you used to refill the fund. Petty Cash is an important financial term used in business, and it signifies a small amount of cash kept on hand for miscellaneous expenses. It’s crucial because it allows for the petty cash efficient handling of small, unplanned expenses without going through the cumbersome process of making a formal cash withdrawal. It’s accounted for through the ‘Petty Cash Account’ and usually kept under lock and key, tracked through a record, the petty cash log, and constantly audited for discrepancies.


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