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Petty Cash Policies and Procedures

The Department of Materials Management is responsible for administering the expenditure of all non-personnel funds in accord with established University policy. Because there are some vendors who conduct their business on a cash basis and some occasions when it is advantageous for departments to make minor cash purchases, the petty cash procedure allows for the direct expenditure for sums, not to exceed $100.00 per purchase.

Instructions for use by Departments:

1. An individual may either pay for purchases from personal funds or request an advance from the Department of Materials Management upon signing a temporary receipt.

NOTE: Tulane University is exempt from state sales tax. Individuals may obtain a letter explaining Tulane's tax-exempt status, from the Department of Materials Management, and use this letter when making petty cash purchases in order to avoid paying the state sales tax.

WARNING: Do not use this tax-exempt letter in order to make purchases for any other use other than for Tulane's use.  University policy prohibits the use of this tax-exempt status by individuals for their own personal gain.  The Department of Materials Management reserves the right to decide whether or not to reimburse an individual for state sales tax when it is paid.  The determination will be based on the commodity being purchased.

2. When requesting reimbursements made from personal funds, the individual must complete a Request for Payment Form, with the supporting original cash sales receipt or invoice attached, and obtain the required Departmental and Business Office approvals. The approved Request For Payment Form is then presented to the Department of Materials Management, and the individual is reimbursed for the amount expended.  An accumulation of petty cash receipts may be combined on a single Request For Payment Form in order to expedite processing and the approval process.  If an advance has been received prior to purchase, the original cash sales receipt or invoice and the unexpended balance of the advance are to be returned to the Department of Materials Management.

3. The completed Request For Payment Form must include the appropriate account number and natural account to be charged, and the supporting original cash sales receipt or invoice must show the sales date, the amount, and the signature of the individual receiving the cash.

4. Two or more receipts from the same vendor bearing the same date, and which in total exceed the $100.00 amount, will be questioned and may be disallowed.

5. University policy prohibits cash transactions between departments, as the Interdepartmental Transfer (I.T.) Form is to be used in these instances.

6. Department or Budget Heads are responsible for petty cash expenditures made by members of their departments.

7. All petty cash expenditures will appear on the monthly budget statements, as charges to the applicable account number and natural account, with the name of the Purchasing Manager used as the description.

8. A series of minimal cash purchases may not be made in order to avoid regular established purchasing procedures.

9. No petty cash reimbursement for Health Sciences Center departments will be made for supply type items, or their equivalents, which can be obtained normally through the HSC Storeroom.

10. No petty cash reimbursement will be made for travel expenditures, entertainment, and dues or membership payments.

11. Under certain circumstances, requests for petty cash advances for more than the $100.00 limit may be allowed after pre-approval is obtained from the Director of Financial Services.

January 16, 1996 (Revised September 12, 2002)