LoboLinks | Small Business Risk Management: How to Teach New Employees to Handle Cash

Small Business Risk Management: How to Teach New Employees to Handle Cash

Date Added: July 03, 2008 01:45:51 AM
Category: BUSINESS: Small Business

If you are about to hire new workers for a business that accepts cash payments, consider developing uniform guidelines for cash handling prior to their start date. This tutorial gives you some ways to start developing a sound training program for your staff.


Inadequate training of new employees creates unnecessary risk. The financial risks that may seem small for larger organizations can be devastating for small businesses. Managers and small business owners reduce the risk of financial losses by giving cash handling procedures to new and existing employees. They also periodically require workers to demonstrate their proficiency in cash procedures. Once managers have assessed employee mastery of cash management, they can offer training updates for the procedures in which employees showed the least understanding.


With cash training, where do you start? What components should new employee training focus on? The obvious advice is that too much training never hurts, but you need to develop procedures that are customized for your business to reduce the potential for loss.   


Here are four suggestions to consider including in cash management training.


1. Design or update the written document that employees use to track the cash they handle. This form should include information such as how much the drawer contains at the beginning of the shift, how much of each type of coin and bill is in the drawer, any amounts withdrawn during the shift, how much money remains at the end of the shift, the totals of credit card, debit, and check payments, and how much of each type of coin and bill remains in the drawer.


2. Focus on demonstrating the importance of accuracy in cash handling. You can require employees to count back change to each customer. You can also design a process so that a manager randomly counts down drawers during shifts. These strategies are examples of how to demonstrate that employees are always accountable for having the correct amount of money in their drawers.


3. Shift the focus to locking up cash. How does each worker secure his or her drawer? How are cash reserves and cash waiting for deposit to the bank secured in the business? If you use computerized registers and safes, you can issue employees unique passwords to secure their cash. If you only have one code for the safe, you can require an employee to only open the safe with a witness. These and other strategies help to give employees some control over the cash they manage.

4. The final step is using employees as a check and balance system. Employees should verify each other’s cash handling forms. A signature represents that one employee has counted another employee’s cash drawer and agrees to the contents at the end of a shift or before the money is deposited into a safe. Some businesses require that a manager perform the verification of the cash drawer and form prior to the employee leaving at the end of a shift.  


Every control that you create and teach employees has the potential to increase cash security in your business. Over time, eliminate procedures that don’t improve security and re-teach over and over the procedures that do. If you model the importance of cash handling procedures as essential to risk management, employees will be more likely to adhere to cash handling procedures.