Do you keep "petty cash" at the reception for small expenses? How much is available to spend, and how does your team justify the money they use? How often do you audit the cash and the receipts?
Question from Aleksandra-Ola Klimka:
I'm wondering if anyone has figured out a fool-proof system for petty cash? We have a good deal of expenses throughout the week (breakfast orders, maintenence supplies etc.) and sometimes the reception needs to take money out of the till and replace them with paper receipts. At the end of the month, cross checking all of this is a major pain and more than not, not everything adds up. Does anyone have a good alternative or perhaps uses an app that makes this easier/more automated/less time consuming?
I'm referring more to expenses that do not get an invoice. For instance when the washing machine eats a coin and we have to reimburse a guest, paying volunteers for extra work etc.
Here are some of the responses from the community.
I use the inbuild cashbox system os FrontDeskMaster (Our PMS) and it works very well.
you dont have this on your PMS ??? withdrawal and expenses ? everything logged, person on shift, time, reason of withdrawal... it goes all in the system, and as for the super small things it goes under miscellaneous
They have a credit card at reception for them to use, but then for this you need a certain level of trust
This is a daily task ideally, weekly at the longest.
you should implement a daily cash reconciliation process, where in the on duty manager shares a statement of previous day's income and expense along with the cash position in the morning, the calculation must add up on, this is a very simple and straight forward process and will make your life very simple.
Thats a daily tally, never a weekly or monthly.
Daily task, and new person coming onto shift checks cash and agrees with the person finishing the shift
Agreed with others that your petty cash should be a daily task. I keep a tight rein on petty cash, so it is pretty much just me using it. But if you have others, possibly sticky fingers, also using the cash, you will need to tally it more than once a month.
In my hostel, every night our cash register prints a report of all the payments that we have received during the day. Any difference between what the register thinks we should have and what we actually have has to be justified with a receipt. If the receptionist makes a mistake when they ring up a charge in the register it can't be reversed, so they need to submit a written report to justify the difference in cash. We have a simple spreadsheet where we enter the amount from the nightly register report, the amount of the receipts, and the amount from the mistake reports, and then we enter how much cash we actually have to verify that everything adds up to the same amount. It's updated every day to catch any discrepencies as they occur, but in theory we could enter the numbers for multiple days with the same results. (As mentioned by others, your PMS may do all of this for you, but our Finance Department requires us to maintain this spreadsheet to make sure that THEY can understand our numbers in case they pop in for a surprise inspection)
How do small expenses work in your hostel?