Most retail stores, restaurants, financial institutions, casinos, and other establishments accept cash payments. Though debit and credit are often used, many customers prefer to pay in cash.
Your establishment likely handles thousands of dollars’ worth of hard currency every single day. This leads to increased risks of losses, theft, and inefficiencies. To combat these risks, you need proper cash handling procedures in place.
A sound cash management process will enable you to increase productivity, drive efficiency, and eliminate cash handling mistakes, like the seven described below. If you’re making any of these seven errors right now, it’s time to reevaluate your cash management process and make the necessary upgrades and changes.
1. Double Counting
Many business owners believe that double counting their cash, while handing out floats, while processing transactions, and while counting out profits at the end of the night, is the best way to ensure accurate totals and avoid losses. Though you’ll probably catch some counting errors this way, you’re also going to waste a lot of time while doing it. It just doesn’t make sense to perform the same task twice, over and over again, in today’s digital world. You can let machines take over—currency counters, sorters, and recyclers—that will only have to count your cash once to get an accurate total.
2. Having Too Much Cash on Hand
You figure it’s better to have too much than too little. When you allow your cashiers to have overflowing registers, to ensure that they always have enough cash for transactions or to reduce the amount of time they have to spend going to and from the vault, you increase your risk of lost, stolen, or misplaced money. Don’t let yourself be vulnerable with this cash handling mistake. Use a cash recycler so you always have the right amount of money on hand for all of your transactions, without going overboard.
3. Using an Old, Outdated Cash Management System
If you’ve been using the same cash management system for years, it’s time to update. We know it’s difficult to change to a new system once you’ve finally gotten used to one you have, but if you want your money to stay secure, it’s a requirement. Keep your money safe from tech-savvy criminals who have likely already figured out a way to defraud your old system by upgrading to a newer version.
4. Not Having Written Procedures
If you’re the only one dealing with cash handling tasks, then you know the system and you don’t need a written reminder. But when you have many staff members handling your money, you need to put your formal processes and procedures in writing to ensure that it’s always handled in the safest and most efficient way.
5. Checking for Counterfeit Bills Manually
Don’t be fooled—counterfeiting doesn’t just happen in the movies. If you’re still checking for counterfeit manually, through touch and vision alone, or not at all, you’re setting yourself up to be defrauded. Make sure you have state-of-the-art counterfeit detectors at every point of sale.
6. Cash Handling in an Untimely Manner
You’re busy and sometimes you just don’t have the time to balance the day’s cash several times a day, at the end of each shift. So you wait until the end of the night, or next day, or the one after that. But doing this means you’ll never be able to tell who is accountable when mistakes or theft occur. You have to track and count your money every step of the way.
7. Reducing Staff
When you need to cut costs, you might think of scheduling fewer employees for each shift. But when your cashiers are overworked and far too busy because you’re now short staffed, you increase your risk of cash handling mistakes being made due to human error, which means you might not end up saving money at all.