Whether you are a zoo, a waterpark, a museum, a fec, a theme park, or a skating center, securing your cash is one the main reasons you invest into a point of sale system.  It seems simple.  The cashiers enter everything into your point of sale, so you should be protected…right?

In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”.  The POS is a data capturing machine.  Sure it has built in security to control who has access to certain functionality; however at the end of the day, what the system states is your revenue compared to the amount going to the bank is what is important.

Here are some helpful tips to better use your point of sale to ensure you are securing cash.

  • Blind audits and cash outs – Never, ever, ever let your employees know how much cash the POS calculates should be in their till.  This is only tempting them to make adjustments.  Consistent overages and underages can be a sign of unwanted activity.  Do not give an employee the ability to hide the clues.
  • Encourage balancing tills – Sounds simple enough; however I suggest going beyond the pat on the back “Good job”, but rather make a competition out of it.  When I first got into operations we implemented a “Cashier’s War”, where we documented the balancing of tills by percentage taken in to overs/shorts.  We then let the cashiers compete on a monthly basis to determine who was the best cashier.  I don’t remember the prizes, but I do remember the enthusiasm when tills were balanced, and disappointment when they were off.
  • Discourage unbalanced tills – We also implemented a three strike and your out program.  We used a cumulative over/short program, where $5 over and $5 under did not equal $0, but rather $10 off.  Once a cashier reached certain milestones, they received a “strike”.
    1. Strike 1: Cashier reaches $20 over/short in a month period, they were required to go through retraining of the position prior to resuming a cashier position.  Once retraining was complete, the total over/short was set back to $0.
    2. Strike 2: Cashier once again reached $20 over/short in a month period, they were required to receive retraining, participate in an interview with their manager on their continued interest in the position, and spent their next 3 working days working side-by-side with their manager/supervisor (this required schedule coordination which typically resulted in a reduction in hours).
    3. Strike 3: Cashier reaches the $20 over/short milestone for a third time in a one month period, and they are removed from the cashiers’ schedule rotation and reassigned to another position, if one is available.
  • Follow the clues and always trust your gut – This might seem cliche’, but has proven successful over and over again.  If you feel something is off, start researching.  If you don’t know where to start, ask for help.  The Point of Sale provides you with more data than you probably realize, and more than you will ever need.  You just need to know how to analyze it.
    • Void Report – Watch it like a hawk.  If you allow your cashiers to void transactions, watch this report to see how often then are canceling them.  It might give you an indication of someone using the POS to calcuate the total sale, taking the money, then canceling the transaction.
    • Coupon/Discount Report – Yes, we all look at this to see which campaigns are working; however have you looked at it from a cash security point of view?  What if you saw one employee using a coupon 100% more often than any other?  The clues are in the details.
    • Inventory Reports – Do you monitor how much inventory is being purchased and sold?  More importantly, are you watching who is doing the purchasing and selling?
    • Refund Report – Yes…I know it seems logical that you would watch your refund report.  However are you reviewing who is giving the refund, and more importantly to whom?  Watch for common credit card numbers used for refunds!

What measures do you take to secure your cash?  We would love to hear, so please leave a comment.

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