Is The Cash Handling at The POS Hurting Your Operations?


Recently, I was confronted with two events which provoked this entry.

First, a potential client had told me that all the people who work at the POS stations are responsible for their cash drawer. “If they are short, it gets deducted from their pay.” He then boasted of the success of his policy, “Usually after they get 2 or 3 deductions the shortages stop.”

“What happens when they are over?” I asked.  He explained that any overages are accumulated and applied to any future shortfalls.

While this sounded like a fair and reasonable policy to him, it set off alarms in my head.

A policy which holds the cashier accountable with a deduction from their pay only encourages them to overcharge, over ring, whenever possible. While they are not removing any money from the drawer, they are accumulating small overages which will offset a mistake some point in the future.

The second event, I walked up to the counter of a quick serve restaurant, unknowingly, I ordered the special of the day. I had approached the counter with cash in my hand and this tipped the order taker that I was a target. The cashier rang up my sale and handed me my food and some change. In a hurry, I headed out the door. As I stepped outside I had noticed what I had ordered was posted on a sign as the “days special”. I stopped to count my change and, noticed she charged me the full price. It was at that moment I realized that she did not provide me a receipt. The amount she scalped from me wasn’t worth my time or energy to go back and argue. Can you say “overage?”

At that eatery, more than one person handles the register. Creating another point of chaos: it takes just one bad employee to have others penalized.

In both cases this uncontrolled cash handling scenario can continually spiral to hurt the owner.  If employees make a mistake unknowingly, or a coworker is simply making all others fall under a shadow of suspicion it will serve to create a hostile atmosphere. New recruits receive warnings along with training from resentful workers. In short, the cash handling never improves, it simply stagnates between being OK to 4% in lost revenue.

Just as you would not want a doctor to perform diagnostic tests with an outdated technology, you should not want your cash handled with an “old school” system or worse, no system at all.

By integrating the sale at the POS station with the video system, you now have the ability to view any transaction as it is indexed by all the items which appear in the transaction. Voided sales, coupons tendered, discount given, returns, etc., you may find the video of the transaction in seconds. The ability to do a spot check on a sales associate is cut down from hours to minutes. The mundane task of fast forwarding and trying to interpret what was rung up, what was paid and what was delivered can be extracted with a surgeons preciseness.

Once in place, employees know they will be judged fairly and no longer need to play games at the register for fear of being incorrectly judged. The honest and serious employee will have even more respect for you as they will know you have taken measures to protect them from being grouped with the unscrupulous employees.

In the end, the level of morale and respect heightens, as well as the service to the client. Not to mention that every dollar from every transaction is now accounted for, making this a win win for everyone.