Common Mistakes to Avoid When Recording Transactions in a Petty Cash Book


As a small business owner, you understand the importance of accurate record-keeping. Do you know the common mistakes to avoid when recording transactions in a petty cash book?

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What are the common mistakes made when recording transactions in a petty cash book?


Recording transactions in a petty cash book incorrectly can lead to significant misunderstandings of the accounting information and thus impede the financial decision-making process. To prevent this from occurring, it is important to be aware of the common mistakes made when recording transactions in a petty cash book.

Common mistakes include incorrect coding of expenses, inaccurate description of items purchased and incorrect amounts being entered for expenses or reimbursements. Additionally, staff may not keep to their assigned roles when it comes to processing petty cash book transactions; multiple staff members may enter information more than once, leading to discrepancies in amounts. Furthermore, insufficient data entry may also lead to confusion; for example, if the original amount advanced is not logged as such and staff therefore assume that each transaction should be treated as a separate payment made by the company.

It is also possible that any changes or transfers between various accounts are not being shown clearly in the entries in the petty cash book; if internal funds are transferred and do not show up on both sides of the ledger when they should, then it could be indicative of fraud or manipulation. In order to prevent these issues from occurring, leaders should create clear guidelines on how transactions are recorded within the petty cash book and ensure that only one staff member maintains entries rather than relying on multiple people who input different figures which could vary significantly.

How can you avoid making these mistakes?


When it comes to recording transactions in a petty cash book, there are several mistakes to be aware of. To help minimize or avoid these mistakes, the following tips should be followed:

  • Ensure that all transactions have an adequate description so they can be easily identified.
  • Balance the petty cash account regularly and accurately. Do not keep any extra money in the account and make sure to document any changes from its initial amount.
  • Use a standard journal entry format for all entries in the book; this will help ensure accuracy and transparency.
  • Record all taxes that may apply, such as sales tax or VAT, as well as any discounts given at time of purchase.
  • Do not double count money when balancing your accounts; even if money is entered twice, it should only be documented once.
  • Be careful about using abbreviations when entering information into the book; abbreviations can lead to confusion and inaccuracies.
  • When closing out a period’s records, transfer any remaining balance to capital accounts before starting a new period’s records.
  • Ensure that only approved personnel have access to the petty cash funds and related documentation.


By adhering to best practices when recording transactions in a Petty Cash Book you can avoid common mistakes while creating an organized system that will simplify operations and in-house accounting procedures now that you know how to use it correctly!