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Petty cash Wikipedia

petty cash definition

This is the British English definition of petty cash.View American English definition of petty cash. Because petty cash is capable of providing an economic benefit as is, it is always considered a current asset. Petty cash is small amounts kept for paying small expenses that would occur during normal operations. For example, the company has a delivery coming in at the end of the week. The overseer updates the petty cash with cash earlier the week to ensure that the delivery fees can be paid. Often, limited individuals are authorized to approve disbursements and can only do so for expenses related to legitimate company activities or operations.

When a petty cash fund is in use, petty cash transactions are still recorded on financial statements. The journal entry for giving the custodian more cash is a debit to the petty cash fund and a credit to cash. Petty cash transactions are still included on financial petty cash definition statements even when a petty cash fund is in use. When petty cash is used to make purchases, no accounting journal entries are made; instead, they are only made when the custodian needs more money and receives fresh money in return for the receipts.


Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support. The key benefits of using petty cash are its speed, convenience, and simplicity. Petty cash may also cover regular, essential expenses such as cleaning products, postage stamps, or milk for the workplace fridge.

petty cash definition

Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com. “Petty cash” and “cash on hand” sound a lot alike, and they do overlap.

Petty Cash Fund in Accounting

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. Creating your petty cash — A petty cash fund is created by withdrawing money from your bank account and handing it over to the petty cash overseer.

  • This should be kept in a safe place, such as a locked desk or cabinet.
  • The use of a petty cash fund can circumvent certain internal controls.
  • Though the petty fund is available in cash and can be considered cash on hand, the cash on hand is not always petty cash.
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  • Petty Cash funds will not be replenished for amounts paid in Utah Sales Tax without exception authorization from the cognizant Dean or equivalent position.

A petty cash fund can be used to pay for office supplies, greeting cards for clients, flowers, catered lunches for staff members, and employee expense reimbursement. There are a few best practices that you should follow when using petty cash. This will help you stay organized and ensure that the petty cash fund is being used properly. This will help you avoid running out of money and having to dip into other funds. Finally, be sure to choose a responsible person to manage the petty cash fund.

Replenishing the Petty Cash Account

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Petty cash is a small sum of money kept on hand by business to meet unexpected small-ticket expenses that may emerge during normal business operations. Despite being a small amount of money, petty cash still needs to be recorded for tax purposes. Petty cash allows businesses to make minor purchases without providing a receipt through an expense reporting system, which can reduce the time spent bookkeeping for small items. Petty cash is a small amount of cash that is used to make incidental cash purchases and reimbursements, such as for delivered meals. Petty cash can mitigate the effects of the more cumbersome accounts payable process, which involves the issuance of a check. This definition explains that petty cash is a small amount of money that is used for incidental expenses.

Definition of Petty Cash

The bookkeeping entry for this initial fund would be to debit Petty Cash and credit bank account. This cheque would then be cashed to acquire the actual cash needed for payments. Disbursement of petty cash — Every payment out of the petty cash fund will not be journal as a single entry. A single journal entry will be added at the end of the day or after a period for the total payments made from the petty cash. The journal entry will contain the breakup of the total cash payments. Petty cash has a number of advantages over other methods of payment, such as checks and credit cards.

  • Petty cash allows businesses to make minor purchases without providing a receipt through an expense reporting system, which can reduce the time spent bookkeeping for small items.
  • When the available petty cash is replenished, the costs will be reflected in the company’s general ledger expense accounts.
  • Petty cash refers specifically to money—literally, coins and bills—that a company keeps on hand for small outlays, usually because using cash is easier than using a check or credit card.
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  • You set your own rules about which expenses can be reimbursed and how much the petty cash account can cover.

Petty cash reconciliation is required to be done at regular intervals to make sure the fund balance is correct. The custodian has to get the total of all the receipts to make sure that the resulting figure matches the amount taken out from the office drawer. The journal entries are made when the custodian receives new funds in exchange for the receipts. Petty cash is the cash amount used to settle small expenditures that companies make from time to time.

What are the two types of petty cash?

There are two types of petty cash books. They are: Columnar petty cash book. Imprest petty cash book.

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