How to prepare a petty cash book

Track minor business expenses like postage, parking fines, lunch meetings or company parties with a petty cash book. Nominate a petty cash manager, typically an accountant, book-keeper or other supervisor to oversee petty cash operations and collect receipts, if necessary. Each employee wishing to make a petty purchase should go through this representative, rather than leaving the petty cash box or tin open to every employee.

Purchase a ruled notebook. A small, journal-sized notebook may be the best since it can fit in the petty cash box.

Label the notebook with the start date, company name and "If Lost, Contact" contact information.

Draw three vertical lines down the first page of the notebook.

Label the four resulting columns Date, Purchase, Amount and Balance. You may continue this throughout the notebook upon starting the petty cash book or rely on the person who begins a new page to continue the format.

List the starting balance on its own line with the date recorded. Under the Purchase column, name it Beginning Balance. The first purchase will be recorded on the second line.

Put the starting amount of petty cash in the box or tin along with the notebook.

To make a purchase, have the employee propose to the accountant or manager what he needs and why. The accountant or manager may accept or reject the idea. If accepted, the employee is granted access to the petty cash book and box or tin.

Have the employee submit a receipt once he has made the purchase. Keep all receipts together, fastened by a paper clip, in the petty cash box or book. Remove receipts monthly and file.

Add extra cash to the petty cash fund by withdrawing from the company's account. The petty cash overseer, like an accountant or manager, decides how much should be kept in petty cash, typically under £65.


Keep the petty cash book and box or tin in a safe place, like the accountant's or manager's office or cubicle. Do not leave it in a common area, like the lunchroom or meeting area. Keep petty cash purchases small,for expenses like postage, parking meters or party supplies.


Do not record major purchases in the petty cash book. These should be accounted for in the main cash book.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruled notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Tin or box to keep petty cash
  • Paper clip
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About the Author

Glenna Parks' work has appeared in "Missouri Life" magazine, "Marshall Democrat-News," "Central Collegian," and the Union Pacific and Amtrak employee publications, "BNSF Today" and "BNSF Railway." Parks received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., in 2007.