Doing What’s Best for Kids

Business Administration AP 516: Imprest Account and Division Charge Cards


The Division believes in providing school and department management with flexibility in the purchasing of goods requiring rapid turnaround.


  1. The Imprest Account and charge cards can be used for purchases up to $1500.00.  These purchases can also be processed at Division Office by completing a cheque request.
  2. Any consistent or significant abuse of this Administrative Procedure may result in the withdrawal of authority to manage this process.  The Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance shall discuss this with the Principal/Department Supervisor.
  3. A separate commercial bank account will be established at the Division Banker, Fort McMurray, for each authorized facility in amounts as follows:
    1. Elementary (K-8) schools$  8,000.00
    2. Junior/Senior High Schools$10,000.00
  4. Each facility may utilize a combination of cash, cheque and charge card as follows:
    1. In order to provide instant cash reimbursement for minor purchases - not to exceed $50.00 per item purchased – a cash balance of not greater than $500.00 may be retained in each facility.
    2. In order to provide payment for purchases in the $50.00 to $1500.00 range and to replenish the Petty Cash identified above, each facility is provided a supply of cheques.
  5. Each Principal or Department Head will establish via Division Office the names(s) and signature(s) of each authorized signing officer (s) using standard bank signature cards. This procedure will be performed each year at the beginning of the school year.
  6. Charge cards will be limited to Principal, Vice-Principal, Business Secretary, Manager, and on approval of the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance, other department staff.
  7. Specific Procedures – Schools
    1. Cash
      1. In keeping with Administrative Procedure 512 – Cash Management, the maximum amount of cash retained in a school for minor purchases is not to exceed $500.00.
      2. The use of Petty Cash Vouchers are required as a means of maintaining internal control features which are not normally available when cash is the method of payment.
      3. Replenishment of the cash balance on hand are to be undertaken when the fund has been depleted to approximately $50.00, and at the end of the fiscal year.
      4. The method used for cash replenishment will be as follows:
        1. Reconcile the Petty Cash by balancing the count of petty cash on hand with all disbursements from Petty Cash using the Petty Cash Reconciliation Form (Form 512-1) outlining date, voucher number, description, account number and amount, to the opening balance of the petty cash fund.
        2. Attach all receipts, paid invoices, cash register tapes, etc. as support for the total amount of the replenishment.
        3. Write an imprest Fund cheque payable to: Account Custodian’s name – Petty Cash.
        4. Attach the Cheque Request Form (Form 516-1) together with all support information to the file copy of the Imprest Fund cheque.
    2. Cheques
      With the exception of Petty Cash Reimbursement outlined previously, the following represents the cheque issuing process:
      1. When a purchasing requirement (which falls within the range of the Imprest Account Administrative Procedure) has been identified, the Principal/Supervisor in his/her capacity as the School/Department Manager, will determine the appropriateness of the request and has the authority to approve or reject as deemed necessary.
      2. Upon approval, the Principal/Supervisor (or designate) will sign the Imprest cheque on and outline the parameters of the Administrative Procedure to the individual making the purchase.
      3. After the purchase is made, the paid invoice, sales receipt, register tape, or etc. will be attached to the file copy of the cheque and filed in cheque number sequence. This set will be held until replenishment is required.
      4. When the individual Imprest Account balance, as determined by the running balance identified on the Cheque Request Form (Form 516-1), has been reduced to approximately 20% of the fund total or semi-annually – December and June, whichever comes first, the Imprest Account Cheque Request Claim Form (Form 516-1) will be completed and directed to the Accounting Supervisor, for account replenishment. A copy is to be retained for follow-up purposes.
      5. Upon receipt of the Cheque Request Form (Form 516-1), the Accounting Supervisor will perform an internal audit control check and will cause a bank transfer to be performed in the value of the total amount of cheques issued, if the submission is accounted for correctly.
      6. At the end of each school year, all cash on hand and the final Imprest Account Cheque Request Form (Form 516-1) will be submitted to the Accounting Supervisor, no later than the last teaching day in June.
    3. Reconciliations
      1. Each Principal/Department Head is required to perform monthly bank charge card reconciliation, using bank statements provided by the Division Banker. These reconciliations will be submitted to the Accounting Supervisor within two weeks of receipt of bank statement.
  8. Specific Procedures – Division Office
    1. Upon receipt of the Imprest Account Reimbursement Request Form (Form 516-1), the Accounting Supervisor will perform an internal control check verifying mathematical accuracy, account distribution, supporting documentation, supporting documentation and whatever other check is deemed necessary in the circumstances.
    2. Bank charge card reconciliations will be verified for accuracy by the Accounting Supervisor.
      1. Segregation of duties must be maintained.
    3. Periodic Internal Audits will be performed on the Imprest, petty cash and charge accounts.
    4. Any misuse, abuse and/or late reconciliations may result in the immediate cancellation of an account and recall of funds, card and/or unused cheques, subject to appeal to the Superintendent.