Petty Cash Guidelines

The Petty Cash reimbursement process is only available to those departments that have received advance approval for, and have previously obtained an actual Petty Cash fund.  Petty Cash funds are only allowed in certain, limited situations (ex - a change bank needed to operate a retail cash register drawer, etc).  The majority of UNM departments are able to operate without a Petty Cash fund, and instead use alternatives such as PCard, reimbursements in Chrome River or Requisitions/Purchase Orders for their purchases. 

General Information on Petty Cash

  • Departmental Petty Cash funds are only allowed either for change banks for retail cash register drawers, or in rare cases where other University Processes will not suffice for their purchases (PCard, reimbursement in Chrome River or Requisition/PO).
  • The Petty Cash Custodian is the departmental person responsible for the safekeeping and reconciling of the department’s Petty Cash fund. 
  • Purchases with Petty Cash are limited to $100 per vendor per day.
  • A Petty Cash fund should be replenished either monthly or when accumulated receipts total $200 – whichever occurs first.
  • The types of purchases allowed to be made with a Petty Cash fund are extremely limited (see below).

 Allowable Petty Cash expenditures (with a valid UNM business purpose) include:
  1. Purchase of Goods
  2. Payment to U.S. Post Office:
    • Stamps for appropriate special purposes such as fund raising.
    • Mailing of items when time is critical
  3. Basic photocopying
  4. Meals with outside guests, including tax and tip, although the request must adhere to the general UNM policies for entertainment (Click here for more information):
    • Function must be a hospitality event that includes both University employees and invited guests of the University, or
    • Meals for search committee members and candidates.
    • For guests numbering 20 or less, a list of attendees (name and affiliation) is required.
    • For guests numbering more than 20, a description of the function and general description of the guests invited is required.
  5. Payments to Research Study participants
  6. Expenses of Chartered Student Organizations through the Student Government Accounting office.

Unallowable Petty Cash Expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  1. Salary payments
  2. Travel costs
  3. Outside Services, except basic photocopying (Must be paid with PCard or PO due to tax reporting requirements)
  4. Expenses generally prohibited by the University - Examples
    • Personal advances, loans, or IOU’s
    • Expenses without a valid University business connection (ex. Personal Benefit)
    • Cashing of personal checks
    • Gifts of any type (Farewell, Sympathy, Congratulations, Retirement, etc)
    • Reimbursement for stolen or damaged personal items
    • Prepayments
  5. Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL, etc., mailing out (use P-card)
  6. New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax on the purchase of goods
  7. Vehicle fuel (except for UNM vehicles).

Click here to access the Petty Cash Management Application.

If you have questions regarding processing or required documentation, please call the appropriate core office:

Unrestricted Accounting – Main Campus 277-2018

Contracts and Grants – Main Campus 277-4721