Policy 5405 – Permanent Cash Advance Policy and Procedures

Effective Date: 2/20/2004

Responsible Office: Office of the Comptroller

This policy outlines the University rules and procedures for the proper handling of permanent cash advances authorized to various University departments by the Office of the Comptroller.


  1. Permanent cash advances are used to provide operating cash to University departments that have cash (currency and coin) transactions on a regular basis as part of their function.

  2. Permanent cash advances may also be provided to permit certain miscellaneous small purchases of supplies, materials, and services.

  3. Only University-authorized permanent cash advances are permitted. Departments are not permitted to establish petty cash funds from cash collected. The full amount of cash collected must always be deposited with the Cashiers’ Office or directly into a University bank account in a timely manner. Cash collected is not to be used to make disbursements or refunds, and deductions may not be made to pay expenses.

  4. Only University employees (full, part-time, and student) are permitted to handle the permanent cash advance funds.

  5. Access to permanent cash advance should be restricted and a custodian should be assigned as the responsible party for the advance. The cash must be safeguarded from fire and theft and stored in a locked safe, cabinet, or drawer depending on the amount of the advance.


  1. A department having a demonstrated, on-going need for a petty cash fund may request the establishment of a permanent cash advance for its use by submitting a request in writing to the Office of the Comptroller. This written correspondence should fully explain the department’s need for a permanent cash advance, as well as designate an appropriate University employee as custodian of the advance. This request must be approved by the department and appropriate dean or division head (if required).

    Note: If a department demonstrates a need for temporary cash funds for a one-time, annual, or quarterly special event or group travel, the department may request a temporary cash advance by submitting a written request to the Office of the Comptroller. The procedures for obtaining a temporary cash advance are outlined in the Temporary Cash Advance Policy #5406.

  2. A strict accounting of the permanent cash advance is required of the departmental custodian. At all times the sum of cash on hand plus the receipts on hand and/or in the process of being reimbursed must equal the amount initially obtained upon establishment of the advance.

  3. To reimburse the permanent cash advance for small purchases made, the department must complete a petty cash form and submit it to the Purchasing Office for approval. The petty cash form and its supporting documentation must include the amount of the purchase, date, clear description of item purchased, name of vendor, signature of department head and appropriate dean or division head (if required), and a brief description of purpose. Upon approval by the Purchasing Office, the petty cash form and its documentation should be presented to the Cashiers’ Office for cash reimbursement.

  4. The Office of Internal Audit, Office of the Comptroller, and/or the Legislative Auditor may conduct an unscheduled count of any permanent cash advance at any time.

  5. A department should immediately contact the Comptroller, University Police, appropriate Dean or Division Head, and the Office of Internal Audit if monies are found to be missing, or if there is suspicion of theft or diversion of funds.