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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

8.4 Define the Purpose and Use of a Petty Cash Fund, and Prepare Petty Cash Journal Entries

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting8.4 Define the Purpose and Use of a Petty Cash Fund, and Prepare Petty Cash Journal Entries
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Role of Accounting in Society
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 1.1 Explain the Importance of Accounting and Distinguish between Financial and Managerial Accounting
    3. 1.2 Identify Users of Accounting Information and How They Apply Information
    4. 1.3 Describe Typical Accounting Activities and the Role Accountants Play in Identifying, Recording, and Reporting Financial Activities
    5. 1.4 Explain Why Accounting Is Important to Business Stakeholders
    6. 1.5 Describe the Varied Career Paths Open to Individuals with an Accounting Education
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
  3. 2 Introduction to Financial Statements
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 2.1 Describe the Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows, and How They Interrelate
    3. 2.2 Define, Explain, and Provide Examples of Current and Noncurrent Assets, Current and Noncurrent Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, and Expenses
    4. 2.3 Prepare an Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, and Balance Sheet
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Multiple Choice
    8. Questions
    9. Exercise Set A
    10. Exercise Set B
    11. Problem Set A
    12. Problem Set B
    13. Thought Provokers
  4. 3 Analyzing and Recording Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 3.1 Describe Principles, Assumptions, and Concepts of Accounting and Their Relationship to Financial Statements
    3. 3.2 Define and Describe the Expanded Accounting Equation and Its Relationship to Analyzing Transactions
    4. 3.3 Define and Describe the Initial Steps in the Accounting Cycle
    5. 3.4 Analyze Business Transactions Using the Accounting Equation and Show the Impact of Business Transactions on Financial Statements
    6. 3.5 Use Journal Entries to Record Transactions and Post to T-Accounts
    7. 3.6 Prepare a Trial Balance
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  5. 4 The Adjustment Process
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 4.1 Explain the Concepts and Guidelines Affecting Adjusting Entries
    3. 4.2 Discuss the Adjustment Process and Illustrate Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    4. 4.3 Record and Post the Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    5. 4.4 Use the Ledger Balances to Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance
    6. 4.5 Prepare Financial Statements Using the Adjusted Trial Balance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  6. 5 Completing the Accounting Cycle
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 5.1 Describe and Prepare Closing Entries for a Business
    3. 5.2 Prepare a Post-Closing Trial Balance
    4. 5.3 Apply the Results from the Adjusted Trial Balance to Compute Current Ratio and Working Capital Balance, and Explain How These Measures Represent Liquidity
    5. 5.4 Appendix: Complete a Comprehensive Accounting Cycle for a Business
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  7. 6 Merchandising Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 6.1 Compare and Contrast Merchandising versus Service Activities and Transactions
    3. 6.2 Compare and Contrast Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems
    4. 6.3 Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    5. 6.4 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Sale of Merchandise Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    6. 6.5 Discuss and Record Transactions Applying the Two Commonly Used Freight-In Methods
    7. 6.6 Describe and Prepare Multi-Step and Simple Income Statements for Merchandising Companies
    8. 6.7 Appendix: Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases and Sales Using the Periodic Inventory System
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  8. 7 Accounting Information Systems
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 7.1 Define and Describe the Components of an Accounting Information System
    3. 7.2 Describe and Explain the Purpose of Special Journals and Their Importance to Stakeholders
    4. 7.3 Analyze and Journalize Transactions Using Special Journals
    5. 7.4 Prepare a Subsidiary Ledger
    6. 7.5 Describe Career Paths Open to Individuals with a Joint Education in Accounting and Information Systems
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  9. 8 Fraud, Internal Controls, and Cash
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 8.1 Analyze Fraud in the Accounting Workplace
    3. 8.2 Define and Explain Internal Controls and Their Purpose within an Organization
    4. 8.3 Describe Internal Controls within an Organization
    5. 8.4 Define the Purpose and Use of a Petty Cash Fund, and Prepare Petty Cash Journal Entries
    6. 8.5 Discuss Management Responsibilities for Maintaining Internal Controls within an Organization
    7. 8.6 Define the Purpose of a Bank Reconciliation, and Prepare a Bank Reconciliation and Its Associated Journal Entries
    8. 8.7 Describe Fraud in Financial Statements and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Requirements
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  10. 9 Accounting for Receivables
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 9.1 Explain the Revenue Recognition Principle and How It Relates to Current and Future Sales and Purchase Transactions
    3. 9.2 Account for Uncollectible Accounts Using the Balance Sheet and Income Statement Approaches
    4. 9.3 Determine the Efficiency of Receivables Management Using Financial Ratios
    5. 9.4 Discuss the Role of Accounting for Receivables in Earnings Management
    6. 9.5 Apply Revenue Recognition Principles to Long-Term Projects
    7. 9.6 Explain How Notes Receivable and Accounts Receivable Differ
    8. 9.7 Appendix: Comprehensive Example of Bad Debt Estimation
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  11. 10 Inventory
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 10.1 Describe and Demonstrate the Basic Inventory Valuation Methods and Their Cost Flow Assumptions
    3. 10.2 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Periodic Method
    4. 10.3 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Perpetual Method
    5. 10.4 Explain and Demonstrate the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet
    6. 10.5 Examine the Efficiency of Inventory Management Using Financial Ratios
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  12. 11 Long-Term Assets
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 11.1 Distinguish between Tangible and Intangible Assets
    3. 11.2 Analyze and Classify Capitalized Costs versus Expenses
    4. 11.3 Explain and Apply Depreciation Methods to Allocate Capitalized Costs
    5. 11.4 Describe Accounting for Intangible Assets and Record Related Transactions
    6. 11.5 Describe Some Special Issues in Accounting for Long-Term Assets
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  13. 12 Current Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 12.1 Identify and Describe Current Liabilities
    3. 12.2 Analyze, Journalize, and Report Current Liabilities
    4. 12.3 Define and Apply Accounting Treatment for Contingent Liabilities
    5. 12.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record Short-Term Notes Payable
    6. 12.5 Record Transactions Incurred in Preparing Payroll
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  14. 13 Long-Term Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 13.1 Explain the Pricing of Long-Term Liabilities
    3. 13.2 Compute Amortization of Long-Term Liabilities Using the Effective-Interest Method
    4. 13.3 Prepare Journal Entries to Reflect the Life Cycle of Bonds
    5. 13.4 Appendix: Special Topics Related to Long-Term Liabilities
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  15. 14 Corporation Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 14.1 Explain the Process of Securing Equity Financing through the Issuance of Stock
    3. 14.2 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Issuance and Repurchase of Stock
    4. 14.3 Record Transactions and the Effects on Financial Statements for Cash Dividends, Property Dividends, Stock Dividends, and Stock Splits
    5. 14.4 Compare and Contrast Owners’ Equity versus Retained Earnings
    6. 14.5 Discuss the Applicability of Earnings per Share as a Method to Measure Performance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  16. 15 Partnership Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 15.1 Describe the Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizing as a Partnership
    3. 15.2 Describe How a Partnership Is Created, Including the Associated Journal Entries
    4. 15.3 Compute and Allocate Partners’ Share of Income and Loss
    5. 15.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record the Admission and Withdrawal of a Partner
    6. 15.5 Discuss and Record Entries for the Dissolution of a Partnership
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  17. 16 Statement of Cash Flows
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 16.1 Explain the Purpose of the Statement of Cash Flows
    3. 16.2 Differentiate between Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities
    4. 16.3 Prepare the Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    5. 16.4 Prepare the Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    6. 16.5 Use Information from the Statement of Cash Flows to Prepare Ratios to Assess Liquidity and Solvency
    7. 16.6 Appendix: Prepare a Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Direct Method
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  18. Financial Statement Analysis
  19. Time Value of Money
  20. Suggested Resources
  21. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
  22. Index

As we have discussed, one of the hardest assets to control within any organization is cash. One way to control cash is for an organization to require that all payments be made by check. However, there are situations in which it is not practical to use a check. For example, imagine that the Galaxy’s Best Yogurt runs out of milk one evening. It is not possible to operate without milk, and the normal shipment does not come from the supplier for another 48 hours. To maintain operations, it becomes necessary to go to the grocery store across the street and purchase three gallons of milk. It is not efficient for time and cost to write a check for this small purchase, so companies set up a petty cash fund, which is a predetermined amount of cash held on hand to be used to make payments for small day-to-day purchases. A petty cash fund is a type of imprest account, which means that it contains a fixed amount of cash that is replaced as it is spent in order to maintain a set balance.

To maintain internal controls, managers can use a petty cash receipt (Figure 8.5), which tracks the use of the cash and requires a signature from the manager.

A blank petty cash receipt shows lines to fill in for Date; Approved by; Receipt number; and Received by at the top. Below is a table with blank rows that has columns for Description and Amount.
Figure 8.5 Petty Cash Voucher. A petty cash voucher is an important internal control document to trace the use of cash within a petty cash fund. This voucher allows management to track the use of cash, the balance that should be within the account, and the person responsible for the approval of a payment from the account. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

As cash is spent from a petty cash fund, it is replaced with a receipt of the purchase. At all times, the balance in the petty cash box should be equal to the cash in the box plus the receipts showing purchases.

For example, the Galaxy’s Best Yogurt maintains a petty cash box with a stated balance of $75 at all times. Upon review of the box, the balance is counted in the following way.

Cash in box $50; Receipt showing purchase of stamps from Postal Service 15; Receipt from Quick Market for the purchase of milk and bananas 10; Total balance in petty cash box 75.

Because there may not always be a manager with check signing privileges available to sign a check for unexpected expenses, a petty cash account allows employees to make small and necessary purchases to support the function of a business when it is not practical to go through the formal expense process. In all cases, the amount of the purchase using petty cash would be considered to not be material in nature. Recall that materiality means that the dollar amount in question would have a significant impact in financial results or influence investor decisions.

Demonstration of Typical Petty Cash Journal Entries

Petty cash accounts are managed through a series of journal entries. Entries are needed to (1) establish the fund, (2) increase or decrease the balance of the fund (replenish the fund as cash is used), and (3) adjust for overages and shortages of cash. Consider the following example.

The Galaxy’s Best Yogurt establishes a petty cash fund on July 1 by cashing a check for $75 from its checking account and placing cash in the petty cash box. At this point, the petty cash box has $75 to be used for small expenses with the authorization of the responsible manager. The journal entry to establish the petty cash fund would be as follows.

Journal entry dated July 1 debiting Petty Cash and Crediting Cash for 75 each. Explanation: “To record establishment of petty cash fund.”

As this petty cash fund is established, the account titled “Petty Cash” is created; this is an asset on the balance sheet of many small businesses. In this case, the cash account, which includes checking accounts, is decreased, while the funds are moved to the petty cash account. One asset is increasing, while another asset is decreasing by the same account. Since the petty cash account is an imprest account, this balance will never change and will remain on the balance sheet at $75, unless management elects to change the petty cash balance.

Throughout the month, several payments are made from the petty cash account of the Galaxy’s Best Yogurt. Assume the following activities.

Date, Transaction, Amount (respectively): July 10, Postage stamps are purchased, $30; July 15 Milk purchased, 10; July 25 Window cleaner purchased from Dollar Store, 5.

At the end of July, in the petty cash box there should be a receipt for the postage stamp purchase, a receipt for the milk, a receipt for the window cleaner, and the remaining cash. The employee in charge of the petty cash box should sign each receipt when the purchase is made. The total amount of purchases from the receipts ($45), plus the remaining cash in the box should total $75. As the receipts are reviewed, the box must be replenished for what was spent during the month. The journal entry to replenish the petty cash account will be as follows.

Journal entry dated July 31 debiting Postage Expense for 30, Inventory for 10, and Miscellaneous Expense for 5, and crediting Cash for 45. Explanation: “To record replenishment of petty cash fund.”

Typically, petty cash accounts are reimbursed at a fixed time period. Many small businesses will do this monthly, which ensures that the expenses are recognized within the proper accounting period. In the event that all of the cash in the account is used before the end of the established time period, it can be replenished in the same way at any time more cash is needed. If the petty cash account often needs to be replenished before the end of the accounting period, management may decide to increase the cash balance in the account. If, for example, management of the Galaxy’s Best Yogurt decides to increase the petty cash balance to $100 from the current balance of $75, the journal entry to do this on August 1 would be as follows.

Journal entry dated August 1 debiting Petty Cash and crediting Cash for 25 each. Explanation: “To increase balance of petty cash fund to $100.”

If the management at a later date decides to decrease the balance in the petty cash account, the previous entry would be reversed, with cash being debited and petty cash being credited.

Occasionally, errors may occur that affect the balance of the petty cash account. This may be the result of an employee not getting a receipt or getting back incorrect change from the store where the purchase was made. In this case, an expense is created that creates a cash overage or shortage.

Consider Galaxy’s expenses for July. During the month, $45 was spent on expenses. If the balance in the petty cash account is supposed to be $75, then the petty cash box should contain $45 in signed receipts and $30 in cash. Assume that when the box is counted, there are $45 in receipts and $25 in cash. In this case, the petty cash balance is $70, when it should be $75. This creates a $5 shortage that needs to be replaced from the checking account. The entry to record a cash shortage is as follows.

Journal entry dated July 30 debiting Cash Over and Short and crediting Cash for 5 each. Explanation: “To replenish petty cash balance for cash shortage during period.”

When there is a shortage of cash, we record the shortage as a “debit” and this has the same effect as an expense. If we have an overage of cash, we record the overage as a credit, and this has the same impact as if we are recording revenue. If there were cash overage, the petty cash account would be debited and the cash over and short account would be credited. In this case, the expense balance decreases, and the year-end balance is the net balance from all overages and shortages during the year.

If a petty cash account is consistently short, this may be a warning sign that there is not a proper control of the account, and management may want to consider additional controls to better monitor petty cash.

Think It Through

Cash versus Debit Card

A petty cash system in some businesses may be replaced by use of a prepaid credit card (or debit card) on site. What would be the pros and cons of actually maintaining cash on premises for the petty cash system, versus a rechargeable debit card that employees may use for petty cash purposes? Which option would you select for your petty cash account if you were the owner of a small business?

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