Clear accountability, consistent processes, and a method for tracking are key components of strong cash (and risk) management.
It is never pleasant to think about how your business may be impacted by employee theft. Unfortunately, though, it is something you need to help protect yourself from. The best defense is a clear system of accountability, with systems and technology in place that can help you monitor the cash going in and out of your business.
Theft can come in many shapes and sizes, so read on for 5 cash management best practices to help set your business up for success.
No. 1: Eliminate grey areas.
The first tip is to eliminate grey areas in your operation that could be sending the wrong message to your team. This means ringing up all purchases and shift meals, regardless of who they’re for, not taking items out of inventory without accounting for them at the point of sale, etc. It’s important to show that you’re on top of inventory as well as revenue so that those who might be willing to take advantage of vulnerabilities can’t easily find them.
No. 2: Create clear accountability.
One major area that operators often overlook is the vulnerabilities found in a lack of clear accountability for a cash drawer.
In your facility, do team members share cash drawers? Do managers override a team member’s login and use the same cash till to make change or send them for breaks? If so, you have an issue with cash control because if money goes missing and more than one person has access to the drawer, no one is liable. Set up clear accountability everywhere in your organization: from the safe to the individual drawers.
No. 3: Implement consistent processes.
As with every other area of your business, consistency matters. It’s important to follow consistent processes when it comes to how cash and revenue management is handled in your organization. Processes help keep you monitoring the right things while sending the message that you’re on top of what’s happening in your facility.
Some important processes to consider:
- Two people count tills in and out at the start and end of a shift. Also, vary the pairs who count together to reduce risk.
- Install point of sale stations with dual cash drawers so that managers and breakers don’t have to share tills.
- Schedule time to review key reports each day/week/month.
No. 4: Monitor cash coming in and going out
You’re probably already reviewing your revenue and sales reports but you might not be thinking about looking for things that could indicate theft. Basically, you’re looking for anything that seems out of place, such as: excessive refunds, returns, voided sales, or “no-sale” transactions made by a particular employee. Also, if your system is set to only allow refunds with manager authorization, do keep an eye on trends over time. Outliers like that could indicate at best a training issue you need to address, and at worst, theft might be taking place.
- End of Day Balance
- Voids by Employee – could indicate a team member is taking payment and voiding
- Refunds (also available on Employees Tab in your CenterEdge Business Intelligence Dashboard)
- Returns Over a date range
- Over/Short Reports – when making change mistakes happen to even the best team member – so never being over or short in a business with any significant amount of cash transactions could be as much of a warning sign as someone who is consistently short by nice even numbers.
No. 4: Set up notifications to receive reports automatically.
In the past, some theft has occurred when managers tampered with PDF reports before sending on to owners (shocking, we know.) It’s always best to receive your reports straight from your CenterEdge Software. Notifications can be set for any report and sent to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, as desired. Receiving notifications automatically saves you time, allows you to monitor your business’ health from anywhere, and helps you create the habit of reviewing the data that matters most.
No. 5: Adhere to a few simple best practices.
While you’re building a strong foundation in your business that is less susceptible to risk, don’t forget a few simple best practices that will help prevent theft and create a safe environment all the way around. Best practices:
- Use a dual cash drawer system at each point of sale station so team members don’t share tills or cash banks.
- Don’t leave the key in a cash drawer.
- Follow the mantra: One person / one till – no exceptions.
- Prompt frontline staff to ask guests if they’d like a receipt (and ask guests to be on the lookout when they’re NOT offered one).
We don’t want you to spend a lot of time worrying that your business is at risk. All you can do is put a few simple practices in place, build a strong culture of doing the right thing, and be on the lookout for things that seem out of place. Good luck!
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