University organizational units may be provided a designated amount of cash for payment of incidental expenses of a nominal amount that require cash payment and that are not appropriately billed by invoice and paid by voucher or warrant. Petty cash may be used to pay incidental expenses, study subjects (non-confidential) and health-related human subjects (confidential). Such payments shall be in nominal amounts and otherwise allowable by university policy.

The use of petty cash to make purchases is an exception to the university’s standard procurement methods. CU Marketplace or the procurement card are preferred methods to make small dollar purchases. Alternately, departments can identify frequently used vendors and consider setting up standing purchase orders through the PSC.

Petty cash funds are typically less than $500, but in no case can it exceed $5,000 issued to a single custodian. The actual authorized amount is determined by operational needs. Any speedtype can have no more than one petty cash fund. Those using restricted Funds (30, 31, 33 and 34) may only be used to benefit the restricted purpose. With the exception of CU Medicine (Denver campus), agency funds (those in fund 80) cannot establish petty cash funds.

Petty cash used for study subject payments should be established exclusively for this purpose. See the Study Subject Payments section on the Proper Use of Petty Cash Funds page.

Refer to the PSC Procedural Statement: Petty Cash & Change Funds for additional information.