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5 Best Practices for Cash Handling


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January 12, 2022

It may seem like cash is a thing of the past but the reality is that many industries still rely on the ability to process large amounts of physical money on a daily basis. These cash-intensive businesses include restaurants, convenience stores, ATMs, legalized cannabis operations and more. 

While technology has eased the burden of money counting and logging, many operations still lack the appropriate protocols to mitigate common risks, including human error and theft. According to a recent article by Finances Online, the second most-common form of employee theft is cash on hand

With the start of a new year, this is the perfect time for businesses to evaluate current processes and implement these best practices for cash handling. 

Ongoing Employee Training

Employee training may seem obvious, but many businesses fail to properly train and re-train employees. Your staff is the core of your operation and need the proper tools to utilize point-of-sale systems, identify counterfeit bills and implement protocols for opening and closing their cash drawer at shift changes. 

The key here is understanding that training employees isn’t just a one-time thing. As systems update and protocols change, your team needs to be trained on new cash handling procedures. Having a refresher training can also ensure that processes are being followed and help management find areas of improvement. 

Utilize Smart Safes

While it is important to train employees on the best practices for manual cash handling, implementing new technology can significantly reduce the likelihood of theft and human error. Smart safes are a great way to limit the number of employees physically managing cash, better track cash flow, detect counterfeit bills and even gain insights into peak operating hours. 

Since these safes can be integrated directly into point-of-sale systems, they allow business owners and managers to better understand the life cycle of cash coming through their operation, starting with the customer sale all the way to bank deposits. 

Set Consistent Cash Handling Standards

Consistency is key when it comes to best practices for cash handling. Whether it’s an entry level employee or the location manager, each should have a set of standards that are followed every single day. 

Cash handling standards may include: 

  • At least two people must be present when withdrawing or depositing cash
  • A manager must be present when opening and closing point-of-sale cash drawers, regardless of time of day or busyness of the storefront
  • Limiting the amount of cash allowed in a point-of-sale drawer at any given time
  • Staffing appropriately so employees have designated positions and aren’t trying to multitask or monitor multiple positions (i.e. point of sale, inventory, security)
  • Routine till checks throughout the day

Leave a Paper Trail

Physical paper trails are becoming less common, but businesses should always have a record of where its cash is at all times. Digital logging of sales, deposits, withdrawals and who had access to any of these items is crucial. It is also important that checks and balances are in place to ensure that more than just one person has access to tracking and logging information. This process limits the likelihood of a business’ books being altered to hide theft. 

Partner with a Third Party CIT Service

Adding a third-party partner, like a compliance-focused Cash-In-Transit (CIT) provider, gives an added layer of accountability and offers more transparency into the tracking and transportation of funds. CIT services can provide clients with 24/7 monitoring, thorough audits and validation, as well as peace of mind in knowing company funds are handled securely with end-to-end delivery. 

Implementing Best Practices for Cash Handling

OSS offers full-spectrum risk management solutions, including comprehensive cash management, to a wide variety of industries. If you are looking to improve your cash handling procedures, speak with one of our experts!