This is guest content provided by Andy Margison, founder of ZZap, the cash handling retailer.
If your business uses cash to get by – whether you’re in retail or just prefer to operate with tangible money – you need to make sure you’re protected.
In a previous post, we heard about the importance of good cash handling – not least because an estimated 64% of small businesses are affected by employee theft, and British Pound Sterling is proportionally one of the most counterfeited currencies in the world.
The first thing that Andy Margison of Zzap recommends for safe and accountable cash handling is to set up a formal ‘cash handling policy’.
If you’re thinking of putting a cash handling policy in place, here’s his list of 13 suggested rules and regulations to make your policy as watertight as possible. Tailor to your business and make sure you’re protected.
The small business cash handling policy template
1. Only pre-authorised employees can handle company cash.
2. A slush fund is not allowed in any circumstances (find out what a slush fund is here). Cash surpluses and deficits should always be recorded and accounted for.
3. All cash should be kept in a safe in a back office, or room not immediately accessible by all employees or any members of the public.
4. Only keep the minimum needed in your cash drawer. Excess cash should be regularly deposited in a POS (point of sale) safe.
5. Cash drawers should always be secured under lock and key when not in use.
6. Two authorised employees should always be present whenever cash is being removed or returned to a safe, whenever cash is being transported, and whenever cash is being counted.
7. The person handling the cash at the till should not be involved in putting the cash into the safe – and vice versa.
8. The person with the combination to the safe should not be involved in handling the cash in the safe.
9. Create a cash activity sheet which documents names of the people removing and returning cash to and from the safe and cash drawer, with dates and times. This should always be kept with the cash and not taken elsewhere.
10. When removing or returning the cash to the safe, it should be counted by two people. Both people need to sign the cash activity sheet acknowledging that the recorded amount was correct.
11. When recording counted cash, always include a cash breakdown: number of coins, banknotes, cheques, credit card slips, etc.
12. If your business has shift workers or managers, make sure there’s a procedure to hand off to the next person in the shift. The person accepting the cash should count the cash and accept by signing the cash activity sheet.
13. Use the cash activity sheet to make sure your bank deposit slips match bank deposit slips, and to keep records of all cash deposits.
With these rules in place, your cash should be safe and discrepancies are easily traced and resolved. And if this gets you on a roll, check out our checklist of how to spring-clean your SME finances. Remember: look after your money, and it’ll look after you.