A Brilliant Guide to Smart Cash Handling for Small Businesses
Does your business have a cash handling policy? Keeping your cash secure requires constant vigilance; even an honest employee can be tempted by available cash if he or she is in desperate need, and criminals consider unsecured cash an invitation. Even if you started out with a set of secure procedures, your staff may have gotten lax over time, so it’s a good idea to review and refresh your cash handling periodically.
Manage Petty Cash
Paradoxically, if your business doesn’t handle a lot of cash, you’re less likely to have a secure system for it. At the very least, you should have a lock box for petty cash and a person in charge of watching over it. That person should sign out cash and checks to employees who need them and get a receipt for the expense. Ideally, pick up some petty cash vouchers and a petty cash book to track the flow of funds.
Monitor Point-of-Sale Cash
If point-of-sale cash transactions are common in your business, you need to monitor employees carefully. Make sure your front-line supervisors know you expect them to keep a close eye on staff and report discrepancies thoroughly. Even small shortages can add up, and if those shortages always seem to occur close to one employee, you might have a problem staff member. It’s also a problem if your cash totals are often short but never seem to be over the register totals at the end of the day.
Guard The Safe
If your business handles large amounts of cash, you need to systematize your security. Excess cash should always be locked away in a safe, and two people should always be present when it’s being counted or handled. It’s a good idea to place your safe in a locked room and make sure the same person doesn’t have both the room key and the safe combination. If a staff member who had the combination leaves your company, change the combination. Install security cameras to monitor your safe and your cash registers. Consider background checks or even credit checks when you’re hiring people to work with cash.
At The Bank
Don’t get in the habit of asking a lone employee to carry cash to the bank; even if the employee is completely trustworthy, someone who sees him or her regularly carrying the cash could rob him or her. Always have employees handle cash in pairs.
Even after your cash is deposited, it could be at risk due to check fraud. Insist on voucher checks with advanced security features so your account will be safe from counterfeiting or check tampering.
Whether your company uses cash only for minor expenses or takes in thousands of bills and coins each day, you need a system for keeping your cash safe. Even if your business has only a few employees and you trust them completely, it’s best to treat your cash with respect. Temptation is much stronger where security is lax, and having strong systems in place will prevent problems.