Prevention with a Good Cash Handling Policy
Employing an effective cash handling policy can prevent shrink by implementing checks and balances and processes to mitigate opportunities for theft. Your policy should be posted where employees who handle cash will see it on a regular basis as a friendly reminder. Include it as well in new employee onboarding materials. Employees should sign a copy to be kept in their employee file.
Your Cash Handling Policy should cover:
- Cash Counts
- Single-drawer Accountability
- Cash Drops
- Cash Transactions with Customers
Cash Counts should happen at the beginning and end of all shifts. As a check and balance, two individuals should count the cash, the manager and the employee manning the register. Maintain daily records of beginning and ending cash (the policy should stipulate the amount of beginning cash).
Tracking excessive over and under-rings, voids, and refund activity should be a part of your cash handling policy. These can provide an indication of poor training or a bigger problem such as theft. Your Envysion Application integrates video with exception reports so you can review specific, problematic transactions to identify the source of the problem and take the most appropriate course of action.
Single-drawer accountability means one employee, one drawer. That way, if there is a problem when balancing the drawer at the end of the shift, there’s only one person responsible and it makes it a lot easier to troubleshoot. BANG!
Cash drops (deposits from the drawer) during a shift should be dictated so that there is never too much cash exposed in the drawer at any given time. If you use a POS system that can track the amount of cash in the drawer in real-time, your policy can stipulate the maximum allowable amount in the drawer. A cautionary note, if speed-of-service is a value proposition, be careful with timing cash drops while lines are long.
Instructions for cash drops:
- Wait for lull in customer traffic.
- Pull the drawer with the employee and the manager present.
- Both the manager and the employee count current balance in the counting area (not in the open).
- Subtract current balance from policy beginning balance: this is the amount that should be removed from the drawer and deposited.
- Both the employee and the manager should count and sign-off on the amount removed from the drawer.
- Both the employee and the manager should witness the deposit into the safe.
Cash Transactions with Customers
Handling cash transactions well with customers eliminates ambiguity and confusion that can be introduced when cash changes hands.
Best practices for cash transactions
- Clearly state the cost of the purchase.
- State the amount of the received payment – e.g. “out of five dollars”.
- Set the received payment atop the drawer until the change is paid out; this will ensure that there is no confusion on the part of the employee nor the customer about the payment that was rendered by the customer – Validate with the video that bills are being left outside of the drawer?
- Count back the change – again, to minimize the confusion on both the part of the employee and the customer – Validate with video whether a pile of change being handed back to the customer or are bills being handed back individually?
- If you don’t already have a Cash Handling Policy, create one.
- Post your policy where it can be seen as a friendly reminder to those who handle cash – e.g. in the cash counting area.
- Include a copy of the policy in the employee onboarding materials; have new employees sign the copy acknowledging have read and understood the policy. Keep the signed copy in the employee’s file.
- Validate that cash handling policies are being followed by the video. Take corrective action where problems are discovered including additional training up to termination.