Tips to minimize the number of “hands” handling your cash

June 18, 2013

Cash-intensive businesses may have many things in common besides their reliance on cash for transactions, but one thing they share for sure is this: theft. Of course, these kinds of businesses always face theft by robbery, but a far greater source of theft is internal.

Given that fact, the first line of defense against employee cash theft is to minimize the number of employees with access to it. Here are some tips to help you do just that:


1. Direct all cash transactions to the least number of people, one if possible. Large restaurants, bars and other concessionaire services can operate with numerous servers who may seem to need to ring out their customers themselves and therefore have their access to the cash register. Instead, owners and managers should consider having a single staff person on each shift who does nothing but ring up customers’ checks and make change for each server.


It might appear at first that this approach might create a bottleneck and add to payroll, but done correctly it allows servers to focus more on customers, helps reduce errors and, to be sure, contains the opportunity for cash theft to one person: the cashier. Plus, the added payroll will be more than offset by the greater control of cash shrinkage that may occur via errors or theft.


2. All cash businesses, if possible, should split the duties of receiving cash and accounting for cash between two different people. Each person should have a clean background check and a clear understanding of their responsibilities and consequences related to loss and misappropriation of cash. This way one person can serve as a check on the other person. Management should keep a written log of who has access to cash drawers and deposit safes. This log should coincide with an accounting log of cash receipts, disbursements and reconciliations.


3. Use a bonded third-party cash services professional to handle cash deliveries and deposits. GardaWorld has two services that can help here:


CashLINK: This closed-loop system controls cash from point-of-sale to bank deposit. Authorized cash handlers deposit bills into “smart safes,” which read the denomination deposited and tracks deposits by user. GardaWorld then collects the data each day and transmits it to the client’s headquarters for sales auditing and banking reconciliation. Our trained cash messengers then pick up the cash and take it to the bank for deposit.


EvenXchange: With this service, you can get the exact amount of change you need brought to you instead of having someone go to the bank. You simply call GardaWorld’s toll-free number with the denominations you need. A GardaWorld armored truck and cash delivery messenger will bring those amounts to your door. Just seal the amount you’re exchanging in a bag and sign your name. Since you’re exchanging an equal amount of currency for an equal amount of change, your change fund is always in balance. And it’s never mixed with your deposits.