Petty Cash Float


How do I initiate a petty cash float?

The practice of using a petty cash float is usually discouraged. It is always best to have your payments processed through the Accounts Payable department. When it is not possible you may want to consult with the research finance team to have a petty cash float set up. Please keep in mind, participants who will be given over $500.00 within a given year must be paid through the Accounts Payable department. You should not be setting up a petty cash float for these participants as AP has to issue payments directly to capture all historical payment information to generate a T4 report.

To arrange a petty cash float, complete a requisition form for a starting amount. You can start with e.g. $800. When you spend approximately 2/3rds of the budget, you can then request for your float to be replenished by completing a signed payment requisition form. In order to receive additional funds to replenish your float, you must submit a copy of the signed log showing how the float was distributed. The copy of the log can be submitted to Sophia Lee.  You should have the honorarium log and cash on hand in total $800 at all time. You may keep replenishing until the project is complete.

Noteworthy:  when petty cash is issued, the research activity is not yet charged/expensed.  Rather, a liability account (i.e.: PI owes Hospital/Finance) is created to set up the petty cash.  The research activity will be expensed/charged as the petty cash is used.   PI is ultimately responsible for petty cash amounts.

Any funds remaining from the petty cash float must be sent to Finance (via cash office)

Steps to Setup a Petty Cash Float

Petty Cash Floats can be started for participant/patient honorariums. To have a petty cash float started for your study, the following steps MUST be followed:

  1. The Research Coordinator for a given project would complete a payment requisition form for the amount needed to start up and have it signed by the PI.  The request should be supported with a brief justification of why the petty cash is needed, and calculation to validate the amount of the float (eg: average 25 patients per week x $10 honorarium = $250/week ($500 float to cover 2 weeks’ worth). Also be sure to reference which projects (activities) this will be used for.
  2. The Research Coordinator then takes the payment requisition form to ORA/RFA for approval.
  3. The Research Coordinator submits the approved payment requisition to Accounts  Payable. (or the ORA will bring it over to AP with their rounds)
  4. Accounts Payable issues a cheque within the next week for the requested funds; this cheque is issued to the PI.
  5. The Research Coordinator cashes the cheque. Funds must be securely stored.  Ideally in bank account.  Or use secured lock/cash box in locked office/cabinet.
  6. As funds are dispersed by the Research Coordinator to study participants, payments are logged on an honorarium log form. Each form must include date paid, name or participant ID#, amount, and a signature from each study participant confirming the funds have been received.   Log templates can be found under the Research Finances Templates link
  7. As funds are used, the petty cash can be replenished by submitting a payment requisition supported with a completed log submitted to ORA (Research Finance for approval) before going to Accounts payable.   Note:  submit replenishment payment requisition by end of day Friday, in order to allow sufficient processing time, to receive your replenishment by the following Friday.
  8. At any given time, Finance may conduct a spot audit to ensure funds are accounted for.  At any given point, the total petty cash issued (ie: PI owes Hospital/Finance petty cash) must equal total petty cash on hand + logged disbursed amounts/receipts
    When petty cash float is no longer needed, it must be closed with Finance to clear the liability account (ie: PI owes Hospital/Finance certain amount of petty cash).  All remaining funds must be returned + any logged disbursed amounts/receipts = original set up of petty cash.