Petty Cash - How to Keep Track of the Production’s Cash

What is Petty Cash (also knows as PC)?  It is money given to an employee of a production to make purchases for the show.  One important aspect of dealing with PC is keeping track of it. It is imperative to understand this process and what to know what can be purchased using cash that belongs to the production.  A crucial part of the accountant’s job is keeping track of it all.  By keeping a PC log, you will be able to account for PC at all times.

PC (Petty Cash) Flow

Following the flow of PC is vital to ensure that you can account for PC moving in and out. Please follow this flow chart.

  1. Crew member signs out PC.
  2. Crew member spends PC on items for the production.
  3. Crew member tapes up receipts and fills out PC top sheet on PC envelope.
  4. Crew member turns in PC envelope to accounting.
  5. Accounting clerk logs PC envelope into PC Log and audits receipts.
  6. Auditor checks totals, flags any “funny” receipts, and passes them along to Line Producer (unless 1st assistant needs to review; this will be show specific).
  7. After LP approves he/she will give the PC envelope to the key accountant for approval.
  8. Once expenses are approved the accountant will reimburse PC to Crew Member.
  9. 1st assistant will enter PC envelope into the accounting software system and update the log.

*If you follow this flow, you won’t go wrong.*

What kinds of receipts are not allowed?

Not all receipts will be reimbursed and some will need to be flagged by the auditor if they are turned in.  The line producer and accountant will look into the situation and determine what to do but it is the auditor’s job to catch these before they are passed on.  The following receipts are typically not allowed and should be flagged.  Check with your key accountant if there are any variations.:

1.   Prepaid gas receipts
2.   Alcohol or tobacco products (unless they are being used onscreen and it is noted)
3.   Personal items for the crew member
4.   Personal craft service

PC requirements will differ from show to show.  You should ask your key accountant what he/she prefers.  If you need more information on receipt reimbursement/PC, ask someone in a higher position in accounting or refer to the accounting memo or PC advance form.

Good luck!  If you learn to love processing PC, your work life will be very enjoyable!