This policy provides guidance for the authorization, establishment and replenishment of Petty Cash Funds, including appropriate uses and security standards. The purpose of a Petty Cash Fund is to allow for the reimbursement of necessary and reasonable minor business expenses in an efficient and cost effective manner. Petty Cash Funds are limited to reimbursement of faculty, staff, and visitors for small expenses not to exceed $80 (taxi fares, postage, office supplies, and unexpected emergencies). Petty Cash Funds may also be used for incentive cash payments for human subject research with the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The policy describes the use of petty cash for appropriate business transactions, including the observance of internal controls over Petty Cash Funds, in order to minimize the University's risk of financial loss.
This policy provides guidance for the authorization, establishment, and replenishment of Petty Cash Funds, including appropriate uses and security standards. Each individual, school, and department who uses petty cash should review and understand this policy.
First Issuance: February 1, 2010
The University maintains a number of Petty Cash Funds. The Office of the Controller authorizes the establishment, modification and closure of these accounts. Establishment and increases in Petty Cash Funds must have appropriate DAF approval at the department level and, if it is a Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) department, the CUMC Controller's Office must also approve. Petty Cash Fund requests should be submitted only when other payment options are not available (refer to Columbia University's Business Expense Policy and the Procurement Card (P-Card) Policy). The Office of the Controller will follow up with departments to confirm no other payment options were available before granting the establishment of a non-Human Subject petty cash account.
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