In your industry, keeping cash on hand may be a necessity of doing business, not a choice. While dealing with cash can introduce certain risks into your operation, going without it is simply not an option. While you’ll never be able to completely eliminate risk, there are procedures you can introduce in your operations that will help manage it.
Generally, your chances for loss are divided into two main categories: employee theft and non-employee theft. While the end result may be the same, each displays their own unique characteristics that must be prepared for differently.
If your company deals primarily in cash transactions, employees may be opening cash drawers to take payments and make change hundreds of times a day. While no employer wants to believe that their employees may be stealing from them, employee theft can be hard to detect and can result in large losses. Even if you know your employees well and trust their integrity, there is no harm in instituting some workplace practices to keep everyone honest.
To reduce loss from employee theft:
- Have employees count their cash drawers in the presence of a supervisor when their shift begins so there can be no dispute about how much money they were given.
- Have employees count out their drawers in the presence of a supervisor again when returning cash at the end of their shift.
- Allow employees to use only the cash drawer assigned to them. Instruct employees that they are solely responsible for the contents of their drawers.
- Be on the lookout for employees who consistently have inequalities in their drawer totals.
- Look for unusually high numbers of voids or “no sale” transactions. If practical, consider making manager approval mandatory for these types of situations.
As you work toward preventing employee theft, remember that you may have a large number of employees who are completely trustworthy. Always institute and enforce your policies across the board, not just for certain individuals. If every situation is handled the same way, it will keep honest employees from feeling like they are being treated as suspects, and it will protect the company from potential employment practice lawsuits.
Any business that has cash on hand can become the target of a robbery or armed hold-up. You may not be able to eliminate this threat, but there are things you can do to make your business less appealing to a robber.
- Keep as little cash on the premises as possible.
- Always keep cash drawers closed when not in use.
- Always count cash drawers in private, never in front of customers.
- Have employees notify a supervisor when they build up a large amount of cash in their drawer so some of it can be moved to a more secure location.
- Display signs that note there is little cash on hand and that employees do not have the ability to access the on-site safe.
- Install video surveillance equipment and display prominent signs warning that the premises are being monitored.
- Make sure that all entrances and exits can be easily monitored by employees. Any doors in the rear of the building, such as service entrances, should always remain locked when not in use.
- Warn staff to be aware of suspicious individuals or dealings going on around the premises and when to alert a supervisor or the police. Prior warning can eliminate an incident before it has a chance to start.
The image you display can go a long way in deterring robberies. Do not be afraid to display the security features on your premises. If your employees cannot open the safe or if it’s your policy to keep only a small amount of cash on hand, make a note of it. Most criminals are looking for a quick and easy payout and are much less likely to target locations that present added headaches for reduced monetary gains.
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