Policy 1506: Imprest Balance Accounts: Separately Administered Bank Accounts

Subject Area: Cash
Responsible Office: Financial Services
Sponsor: Chief Financial Officer
Originally Issued: October 1992
Revised: January 2010
Refer Questions To: James Ribikawskis, 773-702-3690

Purpose: As a matter of efficiency and control it is the practice of Financial Services to maintain as few bank accounts as possible. There may, however, be circumstances which require the establishment of separate bank accounts for departmental use. An example would be an off campus facility that does not have convenient access to Procurement and Payment Services. The purpose of this policy is to define and outline University policy with respect to the establishment and maintenance of imprest bank accounts.


Separately administered departmental bank accounts must be established through Financial Services.

  • All accounts and authorized signers must be authorized by the Board of Trustees.
  • All accounts must have at least three authorized signers; the custodian of the account and two representatives from Financial Services.

Separately administered bank accounts are to be used only for their intended purpose and are not to be used as a depository for cash receipts or as a check cashing fund except as otherwise approved in writing by Financial Services.

All disbursements should be used only for small incidental expenditures and not as a method to by-pass the University’s Accounts Payable and Purchase Order system. Original receipts must accompany all reimbursement requests.

The custodian of the fund is responsible for (a) the fund’s safeguarding and security, and (b) the monthly reconciliation between the Financial Accounting System (FAS), the check book, and the bank statement. The monthly bank reconciliation must be submitted to Financial Services for review and approval.

The operation and administration of separate bank accounts is tantamount to petty cash accounts and accordingly, should adhere to the University’s petty cash guidelines and procedures (see Financial Policy No. 1505). Use of separate bank accounts for expenditures in excess of $50 requires the prior approval of Financial Services.