November 30, 2015

Petty Cash (Expenditures)


The university allows the use of petty cash to cover small dollar university purchases and expenses which cannot be purchased through any other payment source.


Because the university offers several payment options that are more secure and less expensive for all parties to administer, petty cash will only be issued with Senior Business Officer (SBO) approval.


Petty cash is advanced to university employees only. A sponsored project account may not be used to establish a petty cash fund. A sponsored project account can be used to replenish a petty cash fund.

Maximum rate

Petty cash may not exceed the university’s maximum petty cash rate unless approved by a dean or vice president (see

Petty cash closure

Upon termination of employment or upon changing departments within the university, the employee must either close or settle all petty cash accounts.


Petty cash may not be established in the name of a student or non-USC employee. Under no circumstance may petty cash be used for the following:

  • To cover personal expenses;
  • To purchase equipment;
  • To pay human subject fees;
  • To purchase airline fares; or
  • To pay a third party (any type – individual, corporation, partnership, LLC, etc.) for services rendered

All petty cash transactions must also comply with the university’s policies and procedures governing expenditures and purchases.

Responsible Office

Business Services
(213) 740-2716

Issued by

Robert Abeles
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer