Managing cash effectively continues to be a challenge in today’s business landscape. It requires a robust asset protection program to prevent and mitigate any losses. Whether you haven’t audited your program in recent years or need to build one from scratch, our team of cash management experts is sharing their tips to improve your cash management processes.
What is an Asset Protection Program?
An asset protection program is a set of policies and procedures designed to prevent and mitigate losses due to theft, fraud, and other types of risks. These programs are essential for businesses that handle large sums of physical money, as cash is one of the most vulnerable assets in any business. A comprehensive loss prevention program will typically address physical security, employee training, and surveillance systems to help prevent and detect losses.
Steps to improve your Loss Prevention Program for Cash Management
Conduct a Risk Assessment
A critical first step to improving your loss prevention program for cash management is to conduct a risk assessment. This involves identifying the risks and vulnerabilities in your cash handling processes, such as the risk of theft, fraud, or human error. A thorough risk assessment will help you understand the risks specific to your business, allowing you to design an effective asset protection program that addresses those risks. While an internal audit can be conducted, it is highly recommended that businesses utilize a third party that specializes in loss prevention to provide further insight into your business practices.
Implement Cash Handling Procedures
Implementing standardized cash handling procedures is another essential step to improving your asset protection program. These procedures should include segregating duties, limiting employee access to cash, and establishing strict cash handling protocols. Businesses should also consider upgrading their technology to include specialized equipment like smart safes. These 5 best practices for cash handling are a great starting point for businesses looking to revamp their cash handling procedures.
Conduct Employee Background Checks
Background checks are an important tool for preventing losses due to employee theft or fraud. Conducting thorough background checks on all employees who handle cash or will have access to crucial company assets and documents can help you identify any red flags or warning signs that may indicate a higher risk of theft or fraud.
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 they 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.
Employees should be trained on cash handling procedures, security protocols, and the importance of reporting any suspicious activity or discrepancies immediately. Training should be ongoing and include regular refreshers to ensure that employees are up to date on any changes to policies or procedures.
Monitoring transactions is an essential part of any asset protection program for cash management. Surveillance cameras can be used to monitor cash handling activities, and cash registers should be audited regularly to ensure that all transactions are recorded accurately. Monitoring transactions can help identify any irregularities or discrepancies that may indicate theft or fraud.
While physical paper trails are becoming less and less common, technology has made it possible to understand, and see, where your cash is at all times. Digital logging of sales, deposits, withdrawals and who had access to any of these items is crucial.
Review and Update Policies
Finally, it’s essential to review and update your asset protection program regularly. As your business evolves, asset protection should as well. Reviewing and updating policies and procedures annually can help you stay ahead of new threats and vulnerabilities, and ensure that your program is effectively preventing and mitigating losses specific to your business.
Finding the Right Asset ProtectionPartner
Whether you’re developing your asset protection program for the first time or just need to give it a refresh, finding the right partner to help you is crucial. OSS specializes in full-spectrum risk management solutions for a wide spectrum of industries. Speak with one of our experts about how we can help your business mitigate risks of any kind.