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Tips for keeping tabs on petty cash

Keeping a petty cash fund at your place of work can be really difficult to control. This is especially difficult when there are several people who have access to your fund. Most companies keep a small fund of cash on hand for supplies and other financial needs. Usually, the only people who are allowed to access the box carry a key with them. Even with this limited access, it's still difficult and very important to keep tabs on this fund. Here are some tips on how to keep tabs on petty cash funds.

It's very important to keep very good books on your petty cash box. With multiple people being given access to this fund, it is so important to know who has taken what from the box. A great way to do this is to keep forms next to your petty cash box. Any time someone accesses the fund, have them sign, date, and record the time they opened it, as well as give the information of how much they took. You should also require receipts for every amount of money taken. If your employees know what is expected from them, they will be able to do a great job helping you to manage your petty cash.
Another great way to keep tabs on your petty cash fund is to make sure that you count it several times throughout the day. Don't be hesitant to do this. This will be very helpful to pinpoint where any unexpected losses may have originated from because of the form you are keeping next to the box. Anytime the box is opened, the time and employee name will be recorded on this form, allowing you to compare these with the discrepancies. In addition to this, counting the box several times a day will give you peace of mind. Maintaining order with your petty cash should be a priority, and counting and recording it should only take a few minutes.
One of the most obvious, but perhaps, most important tips for keeping tabs on your petty cash is to make sure that you only give access to people who you trust. Don't give access to your petty cash box to just anyone. It will make a tremendous difference to you if you know that those who are accessing this cash are trustworthy.
Rather than keeping record of your petty cash expenditures on paper, another great way to do this is by using financial software. There are many great programs available now, such as: Quicken, Quickbooks, or Money. The reason that this can be so helpful is because the records are saved on your computer. You never have to worry about digging through old paperwork to look up previous expenses. They are much more accessible and the programs are fairly simple to use. Tracking all of your financial expenses electronically is a great idea; just make sure that you remember to back up the information so that you don't risk the chance of ending up losing it in a computer crash.
Finally, consider giving sole access to the petty cash box to one person. If you do not have time to be the main one in charge of this fund, find someone you trust who can take care of it for you. If you have that kind of relationship with an administrative assistant or receptionist, give the responsibility to them. Every time someone needs to access the fund, they would need to speak with this person. You can set something up with them so that they email you every time money is withdrawn or added.
Petty cash is a very difficult thing to control in any business, but it's one of the only things that can rarely be over-controlled. Put lots of restrictions on it, and be involved with the fund as much as you can. Doing so may help you to keep control over it and minimize problems.

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Posted by DF
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