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How To Set Up and Manage a Petty Cash Account

As mentioned, petty cash can make things nice and convenient but does carry certain risks. If you follow some best practices, you can reduce the risks that come with petty cash, and protect yourself and your employees. Keeping a small amount of cash in your office or at your store makes it much easier for office managers, bookkeepers, and supervisors to cover occasional small purchases or expenses. The balance in the petty cash account is now $300, which is where it was originally authorized to be. Petty cash is a small amount of actual cash that a company has on hand to purchase items that cost so little that cutting a check doesn’t make sense or isn’t realistic.

But if you find that most of your petty cash is not being used, the fund amount might be too large. You should deposit the surplus petty cash into the company bank account. If you’re planning to create a petty cash fund, there are three basic procedures that are essential to follow. These procedures will allow you to keep your funds safe and to keep track of your funds. Petty cash funds should be reconciled at regular intervals to double-check that everything is balanced and accurate.

  • Determine the sum of all of the receipts from purchases made in the current accounting period.
  • In the financial world, it also refers to a company’s highly liquid assets—funds in checking or other bank accounts, money market funds, short-term debt instruments, or other cash equivalents.
  • If small businesses don’t understand how to handle it properly, problems will eventually arise, such as theft.
  • Since, by definition, petty cash is still a company’s funds, it, too, has to appear on financial statements.

Properly tracking petty expenses and ensuring you have a healthy, accurate cash balance isn’t so bad when you follow the tips above. Petty cash or a petty cash fund is a small amount of money available for paying small expenses without writing a check. Petty Cash is also the title of the general ledger current asset account that reports the amount of the company’s petty cash.

Understanding Petty Cash

Cash, in many cases, remains the quickest, simplest, easiest way to pay for things. It works well to cover small impromptu expenses—like a tip for the kid delivering pizzas to the lunch meeting, or cab fare home for employees working late. It saves the hassle of reimbursing people or expecting them to pay out-of-pocket for work-related items.

Use our product selector to find the best accounting software for you. As a practical entrepreneur, you can’t expect everything to go your way. These costs can be urgent, and you may have to handle them immediately. So ditch the pen and paper, switch to a digital solution, and make petty cash management a walk in the park.

Consider petty cash software to streamline all expenses

If there’s a shortage or overage, a journal line entry is recorded to an over/short account. If the petty cash fund is over, a credit is entered to represent a gain. If the petty cash fund is short, a debit is entered to represent a loss. The over or short account is used to force-balance the fund upon reconciliation. While petty cash funds only take care of small expenses, these funds still need to be managed correctly.

Petty cash is a small amount of cash kept on hand to cover small, and often unexpected, expenses that pop up during a business day. You might use money from the petty cash fund to pay for minor expenses such as postage, Uber fares, or reimburse someone $10 for bringing in a box of donuts. After entering all expenses, it’s time to record the replenishment. First, click Add Deposit then fill out all the required information. Heather needs a $315 reimbursement to bring the petty cash balance back to $500.

The dos and don’ts of petty cash

Hence, the sum of all receipts plus the ending balance should be equal to the petty cash of $500. In the petty cash policy document, we should state that the petty cash fund is $500 with Heather Smith as the custodian. She should also sign the document to transfer the petty cash fund accountability to her. If everything adds up and you’re simply burning through petty cash regularly, evaluate your spending and look for areas to cut. For example, if you’re buying tons of office supplies week after week, maybe you should look into bulk ordering the supplies to cut down on spending. For more details on how petty cash transactions are recorded in accounting, read our “What Is Petty Cash in Accounting?

The petty cash custodian brings all the slips or vouchers to the business’ bookkeeper, cashier, or accountant. The petty cash receipts are logged into the company’s General Ledger as credits to the petty cash account, and probably debits to several different expense accounts. When the petty fund is replenished, usually by drawing on a company-issued advantages and disadvantages of bonds check, it’s recorded as a debit to the petty cash account and a credit to the cash account. When the cash balance in the petty cash fund drops to a sufficiently minimal level, the petty cash custodian applies for more cash from the cashier. This takes the form of a summarization of all the receipts that the custodian has accumulated.

Get QuickBooks

Petty cash is only the physical coins and notes that you have put aside for small expenses. It’s kept differently from cash on hand, as is separated from the rest of the business operations. Alongside always getting a receipt, there are several other petty cash guidelines to protect your business and its assets. Determine the sum of all of the receipts from purchases made in the current accounting period. If not, it looks like you might need to get the magnifying glass out and do some investigating. First things first, balance the books by counting how much money is left in your petty cash tin.

If you’re looking to manage your petty cash fund well, it will take time and effort. With QuickBooks’ cloud accounting software, you’ll not only be able to access your financial information on the go, but you’ll also be able to save time and money and ensure data security. Once you begin creating the petty cash float, your petty cash account book entry will show a debit of the amount deducted to your petty cash fund. At the same time, it will show a credit of that same amount to your bank account.

While cash isn’t likely to completely disappear from society, we can’t deny that going digital makes petty cash management a whole lot easier. Especially for managing remote team expenses, where employees still need access to petty cash but won’t necessarily have physical access. At any given time, the records should show all purchases that have already been made, how much cash has been taken and what the purchases were for. Most companies tackle the handling of petty cash with a petty cash log book of sorts. Essentially some place to record how much has been removed for purchases. Luckily, there are some software alternatives (we’ll get into that later).

Making sure that any expense you reimburse has a receipt is also helpful. For example, for Jane to get reimbursed for the donuts she purchased for the meeting, she needs to provide a receipt. The receipt will be used later as back up for recording the petty cash transaction as an expense in your general ledger. Your postage machine just stopped working, and you need to send one of your employees to the post office fast to get some stamps. The only problem is she has no cash and her credit card is maxed out. If you have more than one employee, you could delegate managing the account.

If the remaining balance is more than what it should be, there is an overage. Although there can be minor variances, when unbalanced, the source of the discrepancy should be identified and corrected. The custodial duties generally include enforcing petty cash rules and regulations, requesting replenishments, and dispensing funds. And with the latest software, like Connecteam, users will no longer need to manually write down how much petty cash they require. With just a couple of clicks, users can quickly fill in some forms and receive approval in a matter of seconds. Nowadays, software like Connecteam can be key in monitoring the use of petty cash to ensure the practice isn’t misused and that the numbers balance at the end of the day.


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