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Can Petty Cash Policies Help Clear Theft Charges?

The Collin County Law Group Aug. 6, 2019

Many Texas businesses keep a supply of petty cash on hand to take care of simple expenses or expenditures that may come up suddenly. Some employers even include a policy for how to spend the petty cash. At times, an employee might be accused of inappropriately spending or even stealing petty cash. However, if the worker followed the petty cash policy, it can help clear the employee of theft charges. explains that a petty cash policy is intended to define what petty cash can and cannot be used for. Generally, a petty cash policy will proactively restrict petty cash to business expenditures and forbid workers from using it for personal reasons. A petty cash policy may specifically explain what the cash can be used for, such as stamps, office supplies, or employee lunches.

Petty cash policies can also place limits on how much money can be withdrawn from the petty cash. For instance, an employee might be barred from taking more than fifty dollars. A petty cash policy may also define who has access to the petty cash supply or even designate an employee to dispense money to other workers. Some businesses require workers to go to another employee to ask for petty cash.

Employers also may require that employees return receipts for their expenses. This helps identify what employees have been spending the petty cash on. Such a paper trail is important if an employee is accused of theft, as the employee can verify what he or she used petty cash for. Receipts also assist in identifying how much money an employee had spent.

The requirements of petty cash policy offer multiple ways for workers accused of petty cash theft to verify that they legitimately spent the company’s petty cash. If someone was in compliance with the policy, it can go a long way to fighting charges of theft. Be aware that this article offers information and is no substitute for the advice of a professional criminal defense attorney.