Petty Cash Do's and Don'ts

Petty Cash Do's and Don'ts

Teachers College provides petty cash as a vehicle for quick reimbursement for minor incidental and emergency business expenses which are less than $100. The guidelines identified in the College’s travel and expense policy are also applicable to petty cash. The following are some do’s and don’ts related to petty cash:


  • Include the business purpose of the expense on your petty cash submission. For example, the description of “cab fare” is not adequate to substantiate the business purpose of an expense but rather “Cab fare to 120th and Broadway to discuss progress on grant XXX” provides sufficient information to establish the business purpose.
  • Include the attendees who are present at a meal which was conducted for a business purpose. A list of attendees is required per IRS standards.
  • Ensure that the petty cash request is approved by an authorized signor on the index.
  • Seek reimbursement in a timely manner. All reimbursements should be presented within 90 days of when the expense was incurred.


  • Break a payment down into multiple pieces in order to be below the $100 petty cash limit.
  • Seek reimbursement for gifts cards, movie tickets, etc. provided as a gift, token of appreciation or compensation. These expenses are not allowable per College policy.
  • Submit personal expenses for reimbursement. This includes but is not limited to costs for your normal commute to work such as metro cards, parking, etc.
  • Seek reimbursement for cell phone bills, home internet connection or data plans. Teachers College will provide a non-taxable stipend for cell phone equipment and usage provided there is a substantial business reason requiring a cell phone for the individual to meet their job requirements. See the full policy at Cell Phone Policy 

See the full petty cash policy at Petty cash policy . If you have any questions related to the policy please feel free to contact the Controller’s Office at ext 3016 or the Office of the Bursar at ext 3056.


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