False Page 6| The Brink’s Journal | August 2008 www. brinksinc. com Quarterly Feature Whether you manage one store or a chain of hundreds, it is important to regularly review your cash- handling practices. Good cash- handling practices and cash- management technology can proactively prevent retail losses stemming from accounting error, theft, and negligence. Here’s a quick overview of how to approach an organization’s cash- handling management: The Human Equation When hiring employees who will handle cash, especially • temporary staff, follow through on reference checks, including criminal records. Bond insurance is a worthy investment for employees handling bank deposits, too. Provide proper training, with cash- handling procedures • continually updated and reinforced. Training should also include staff response in an emergency situation and they use of operational security devices. Assign cash- handling functions ( from receiving cash point • to the deposit) to different employees and rotate the duties regularly. This will minimize the opportunity for anyone to cover up losses in any one part of the cash cycle and make it easier to identify and correct points of breach. Reduce risk by having two people, such as a supervisor and a • staff member, accountable for preparing, posting and, where a trip to the bank is required, delivering the deposit. That Pay Off Good Cash- Handling Practices It’s closing time. What surprises await in your cash reconciliation? While many customers opt to use credit and debit cards, cash is still a highly favoured form of payment and a point of considerable vulnerability for retailers. 6 | Clearly defined procedures and proactive processes help stem losses.
False August 2008 | The Brink’s Journal | Page 7 Reduced cash exposure: Direct deposit • into a closed- loop system that interfaces with the POS system tracks and locks away cash in a safe within seconds of a transaction until it is time for the bank deposit or an armoured service to pick it up. Automated cash flow cycle: Technology, • in conjunction with armoured car services, can offer an end- to- end cost- and time- saving solution that delivers on- site transaction reporting and detailed content reports including user time/ ID information, along with deposit pick- up, verification and bank deposit processing. Improved productivity: Cash counting, • balancing and transaction reconciliation can all be automated, releasing staff from those labour- intensive duties to focus on customer service and merchandising Detection of counterfeit bills: Today’s • sophisticated counterfeits often require more than the naked eye to pinpoint. Under- counter counterfeit technology allows for fast and discreet check of bills. The Virtues of Cash- Management Technology Investing in automated cash- management tools can help retailers stem losses and both improve profitability and productivity on many fronts: Quarterly Feature | Good Cash- Handling Practices That Pay Off A Clearly Mapped- Out Process Have documented procedures for • receipting, securing and banking all cash collected. Ensure receipting procedures provide• an effective audit trail, especially if more than one person uses the cash register. Establish and communicate procedures• for reporting losses and/ or theft and the potential outcomes. Investigate frequent overage and • shortage discrepancies. Safekeeping Deposits Do not leave a bank deposit or cash • remittance unattended. Once a deposit’s been prepared, place it in a self- sealing, tamper- evident deposit bag or container and lock it in a safe until it is taken to the bank or picked up by armoured car. Control access to where cash is stored • and handled. Keep a log of individuals who have a key or combination to the safe or cash office. Minimize Exposed Cash The less cash on the premises and the more • discreet handling of it, the better. Maintain in a register only the minimum amount of money required to conduct business. Investing in updated cash- manage• ment technology such as system- interfaced safes can greatly reduce cash exposure and handling and provide an audit trail for every user and transaction processed. During peak selling times, make • frequent cash register sweeps to ensure excess cash is not exposed. Have a secure area for staff responsible • for cashing out and preparing deposits. Implement Checks and Balances Reconcile POS to cash after every shift, • and deposit slips to the cash receipts ledger on a daily basis. An employee who is not involved in either • the cash receipt or cash disbursement process should complete a monthly reconciliation of each bank account. Monitor voids, refunds, discounts • and no- sale transactions and retain appropriate supporting documentation. Use secret shoppers to confirm proper • practices are being followed at the checkout, and perform spot checks to compare cash in the till to the cash register tape subtotal. Jerry Brown, Senior Vice President of Operations, Brink’s Canada.