As you can see, most utilities still maintain a petty cash fund and, as I advised against, only one respondent reimburses petty cash from the daily cash drawer.
A major issue facing management of all utilities, large and small, is an aging workforce. As more key employees approach retirement age, utilities across the country are having to face the issue of replacing the loss of institutional and operational knowledge these long-time workers hold.
Does your utility have a plan in place to deal with the aging workforce?
The Utility Management Committee of the NC AWWA-WEA, of which I am a member, is sponsoring an Aging Workforce Issues – Best Practices Panel & Luncheon seminar on Wednesday, November 30 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.
If you are located within driving distance of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I encourage you to join us. If not, you can still participate in a live webcast of the seminar.
The seminar moderator is J.D. Solomon, PE, CRE, CMRP; Vice President of CH2M. The panelists are:
Rod Dones, Organizational Development & Learning Specialist, Charlotte Water
Tamara Byers, Human Resources Manager, Charlotte Water
Ed Kerwin, PE, Executive Director, Orange Water & Sewer Authority
Kenny Waldroup, PE, Assistant Public Utilities Director, City of Raleigh
Matt Bernhardt, Director of Public Works and Utilities, City of Gastonia
For more information, or to register for the seminar, please click here.
Is your office prepared for staff turnover?
If your office is dealing with retirements, or other staff turnover, please give me a call at 919-232-2320, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how a business review could help you prepare for the transition.
Recently, we were in the process of implementing a new customer on Logics’ Utility Management Software when one of our trainers called with a question. It seems this customer doesn’t maintain a petty cash fund and, instead, reimburses employee purchases from the cashier’s daily collections. Our trainer wanted to know how I suggested handling this.
Petty cash policy
My first response to our trainer was to convince the customer to discontinue using the daily cash till as petty cash and establish a petty cash fund. Having a petty cash fund provides better cash controls and oversight as to what is spent.
Here are some key elements of an effective petty cash fund policy:
Establish a petty cash fund just large enough to cover the volume of cash purchases
Impose a dollar limit on petty cash transactions
Appoint one person as the petty cash custodian
Store petty cash fund in a locked cash box or small safe
Document all disbursements with a petty cash voucher and receipt for the item(s) purchased
Reconcile and reimburse the petty cash fund at least monthly, but more frequently if needed
Conduct periodic, spot audits of the petty cash fund to insure money isn’t being “borrowed” and replaced later
Alternative to a petty cash fund
Purchasing cards (p-cards) are an excellent alternative to maintaining a petty cash fund. P-cards allow your employees to make purchases at any establishment that accepts credit cards. Most purchasing cards allow the issuing organization to limit where and for how much the card can be used, providing effective purchasing controls.
How do you handle petty cash transactions? Please take this quick poll.
Once you’ve taken the poll, you can see the results to see how other utilities responded. I’ll publish the final results in the next issue.
Is your office operating efficiently?
If your office doesn’t have a petty cash fund policy, or doesn’t seem to be operating as efficiently as possible for another reason, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or email me at email@example.com for more information about how a business review could help improve your operation.
I am the Senior Consultant with Edmunds GovTech | Logics in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have over 35 years experience developing and implementing utility billing and financial software and consulting with utilities and municipalities. My bi-weekly email newsletter draws from my experience in working with over 200 utilities and local governments to offer insight into how utilities can improve operations and better serve their customers. If you have a comment or a suggestion for a future email, please contact me by calling 919-673-4050 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org