FAQ: Extension – Getting cash for making change

Nov. 9, 2016

FAQ: Extension – Getting cash for making change

A change fund is different from petty cash in that you don’t use a change fund to buy anything. It is simply a cash amount that is used to make change for larger bills when someone is trying to pay you. County Extension offices have three options for change funds.

Offices with a checking account that do accept cash

Those offices with checking accounts that also accept cash will need a cash box on hand for making change. Typically this is between $25-100 and should remain constant at the time of each deposit. Overages and shortages in the cash box should be recorded on the check ledger for auditing purposes. The cash box should remain locked at all time, limiting access to as few people as possible. It should also be moved at night to a secure location that is not visible to the public.

Offices with a lot of pay-at-the-door registrations at off-site locations

Those offices that accept cash and also have many off-site pay-at-the-door registrations may find it helpful to have a second cash box. This second cash box can be between $25-100 and should remain locked in a private and secure location when not in use. Some key features of this process.

·         The balance in the box should be reviewed weekly to be sure it hasn’t been accessed while in storage.

·         The balance in the box should remain constant, proceeds from a registration need to be recorded in the ledger and the same amount left in the box at the time of return.

·         The box should be maintained by a custodian and include a checkout and check-in procedure which includes both parties counting the money in the box and then signing an in and out log. You can create your own logging procedure or adapt the PCard tracking log for this purpose.

Offices with occasional pay-at-the-door registrations at off-site locations

Those offices that accept cash and only have occasional off-site pay-at-the-door registrations can use the check request process. Some key features of this process.

·         This will only work if the unit also has a local checking account. For those without a checking account contact your Business Operations Representative.

·         Check with your bank about how they would like the payee to be referenced. Usually the check will be written out to cash, but some banks require a person’s name on the check as well.

·         Use the Local Checking Account Tools – Change Fund Form to document the transaction. This form will capture the business purpose, the custodian of the cash, the details from the original transaction and the return and deposit of the cash after the event.

REMINDER: Regardless of payment method all payments must either be deposited or routed for deposit (ex. mailed to Columbus) by the third business day after receipt. If you receive more than $1,000 it should be deposited no later than the next business day.


Resources: Training – Procurement – Extension Checking Accounts

Questions: Cindy Buxton