Change Funds

A change fund is an amount of cash held by an activity for the sole purpose of making change for customer sales, including merchandise, tickets, programs, event entry fees, parking fees, and fines.

Temporary change funds should be established for single, non-recurring uses and events.

Establishing a new change fund

Any department that receives University revenue and is required to make change for customers may request a change fund from Business Services.

To establish a new change fund, complete the Petty Cash or Change Fund Request Form (PDF) and send it to Business Services for approval.

The form requires the following information:

  • Department.

  • Fund Custodian:  name, job title, and e-mail address of the person in whose custody the cash will be kept.  This cannot be the same person signing as department approval.

  • Dollar amount requested.

  • Purpose of the fund (e.g., reason the fund is needed).

  • Physical location of the fund (building and room) - change funds should be located on UW-La Crosse owned or leased property.

  • Department account code for the fund.

  • Time period the fund will be needed.

The Dean's Office or Division Director responsible for the financial account must approve the fund.

When the new fund is established, a check will be issued to the Fund Custodian by Business Services.

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Procedures for a change fund

  • Only one person, the Fund Custodian, shall have physical custody of the fund.  This person shall not have custody of associated activities and accounting records, including counting the change fund cash at each day's end (see Segregation of Duties).  The Fund Custodian is personally responsible for funds security and for following change fund procedures.

  • The cash must be maintained under lock and key in the physical location noted in the Petty Cash or Change Fund Request Form (PDF).  Change funds must be kept separately from petty cash funds when both are in the same department.

  • The change fund must be counted and balanced with every shift change at a cash collection point.  The fund shall also be counted and balanced at the end of each day that it is used.  At all times the cash on hand must equal the authorized fund amount.

  • The fund is not to be used to cash personal checks.

  • The fund is not to be used to pay individuals for work performed or services rendered.

  • The fund is not to be used for any type of loan to any person.

  • The fund is not to be used for any travel expenses.

  • The fund is not to be used for reimbursement of any expense.

  • Revenues should never be used to establish or increase the size of a petty cash fund.

  • Change funds should be reviewed by Department Heads at least annually to determine that the above procedures are being followed and the fund is being adequately controlled, that the amount of the fund is adequate but not excessive, and that the need for the fund continues to exist.

  • UW-La Crosse Campus Police must be immediately notified of any thefts or misappropriation of a fund.

Toward the end of each fiscal year, Business Services will verify each change fund's balance.  A memo will be sent to each Fund Custodian and Department Head for their review and verification of account balances.

Internal Audit will perform periodic audits of balances and procedures.

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Changing or closing a change fund

The Controller is the approval authority for any changes to change funds.

To increase or decrease the amount of a change fund, complete a Petty Cash or Change Fund Request Form (PDF) and submit it to Business Services.  For a decrease, return cash in the amount of the decrease to Business Services.

To change the Fund Custodian or the fund location, complete a Petty Cash or Change Fund Request Form (PDF) and submit it to Business Services.  When the custodian of a change fund changes, the fund must be reimbursed to its original amount and any overages or shortages must be investigated and resolved.  The outgoing Fund Custodian must turn in the fund's cash to Business Services, and a new check will be issued to the incoming Fund Custodian.

To close a change fund, return the total amount of the fund to Business Services.

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Comments to De Anne Otto
Last modified on 08/21/08