Best Practices for Counting Cash Register (Counting Drawers)

For a retailer, it’s important to have proper control over your cash flow. After all, whatever you sell, generates cash for you. It provides a working capital for you to invest in your inventory further. Today, a retailer runs its stores at multiple locations and doesn’t have to be physically present at each one. Some internal controls must also be defined and put in place. Furthermore, one such important internal control is counting cash registers or counting drawers regularly.

The cashier deals with cash and cash equivalents (card payments, gift vouchers, coupons, etc.) throughout the day. At the end of the shift, the total cash and cash equivalents in the cash drawer should be Opening cash + Collection – Payment.

If one deals in multiple currencies, then for each currency, the above formula should be applied. Moreover, Strong internal controls for shift-end and day-end ensure cash is counted, reconciled, and the cash register drawer is balanced.

The procedures of balancing and counting the cash register drawer help reduce the mishandling of cash and save one from cash shrinkage or loss. The onus is on retailers to define clear store policies for the balance cash register.

For Cash Management: New Digital Approach

The cash management system must be robust that the chances of errors, omissions, and theft are zero. Moreover, Adopting digital payments is a solution; however, it does not turn out to be feasible for smaller stores or places where customers prefer using cash. You don’t want to be there in an awkward situation where you would be assuming that all your transactions are going to be digital. However, you have a couple of customers insisting on paying in cash. Further, the collection made through digital modes also requires reconciliation, and hence it is important to manage a counting cash register.

Maintaining and balancing the cash drawers are equally important just like watching the front door of your retail store. Now, if you still think about why and how you should balance a POS counting cash register drawer. We have answered all your questions below.

Why Should you be Balance and Counting Cash Register Drawers?

Putting first things first, balancing and counting cash register means you are concerned about all the transactions taking place irrespective of the mode, be it cash, credit card, or digital. Counting cash register ensures all your transactions are being accounted for, thereby giving you clarity about your cash flow.

One important thing is that no matter how much you trust your employees, there could be one nefarious employee who can get tempted to commit cash theft, and you don’t want to take that risk, do you?

Although it might seem like a good idea to have just one counting drawer for everyone, it is recommended to have a separate cash register drawer for different people handling it.

The more the people responsible for handling the counting drawer, the more accountability can be placed on them. It is also a common practice to check to count cash registers at the end of the day.

Another important practice that most people miss out on is starting the day by counting what is already there in the drawer from the previous day. It will ensure maximum stability, and consistency and make the balancing process a lot easier while you will rest assured that you have enough cash to satisfy daily demands.

Best Practices for Counting Cash Register

1) Determine Cash-to-keep:

As a sound Retail POS Software store management policy, you should determine the cash-to-keep, and at the end of the day. More the cashier has to ensure that he is leaving that much amount for the next day while counting cash register.

2) One Person Per Till:

A single person should manage only one cash register. Besides, there should not be any sharing of responsibilities as it does away with accountability.

3) Define Till-open Procedures and Till-close Procedures:

As a part of till-open and till-close procedures, the cashier should physically count the cash and enter the same into the POS software. This works as an important internal control for cash management.

4) Deposit Cash Throughout the Day:

You might be giving a whole lot of attention to keeping your store neat and tidy, from aisles to racks to storerooms; then, why avoid the cash register? Depending upon the size of your store and the volume of transactions, you must determine the frequency of cash deposits to the main cash or bank.

Generally, such deposits are made at a slower time of the day when the footfall is less. Then you must count the cash and remove the difference from the initial morning count. Whether you are the employee or the store manager, make sure you keep at least two witnesses at the time of physical cash count to avoid any clashes in the future.

5) Analyse your End-of-day Balance:

Your hard work will finally show some result after a long day of efficiently and honestly managing the register. Therefore, the first step you need to follow is to analyze the cash balance at the end of the day.

You also check whether cash was deposited throughout the day, and the balance lying in the till at the end of the day is within limits specified in the end-of-day procedures.

How to Manage the Counting Cash Register?

Here is the step-by-step process for counting cash registers:

1) Beginning-of-day Check:

The cashier should check that the cash-to-keep amount tallies with the amount reported by the POS software. The cashier should also physically count the cash lying in the cash drawer. If there’s a mismatch, the cashier should immediately report it to the store manager, but the POS software should not disclose the amount of difference.

2) Shift-change Check:

Every time the shift is changed, the outgoing and incoming cashier should count the cash, enter it into the POS system, and check if it tallies with the one reported by the POS software. If there’s a mismatch, he should immediately report it to the store manager, but the POS software should not disclose the amount of difference. Get a 30-days Free Trial of ARI POS.

3) End-of-day Check:

At the end of the day, before closing the till the cashier should physically count the cash. He also should enter the same in the POS software. If there’s a mismatch, he should immediately notify the store manager. Furthermore, all instances of cash mismatch should be handled carefully. The store manager should do a thorough investigation before making any cash adjustments.

FAQs – How to Balance a Cash Register

1) What does counting cash register or cash counting drawers mean?

Counting the cash register is the process of reconciling it with all the POS transactions made in a day and ensuring that the total cash balance in the cash drawer tallies with the opening balance, inflow, and outflow of cash.

2) Why is it important to record currency denomination-wise cash inflow and outflow?

If currency denomination-wise cash inflow and outflow are recorded in the POS system, it acts as a strong internal control and eases the cash drawer balancing.

3) Why should I trust the counting cash register?

One should recount the cash in the drawer and see if there was a mistake in counting. If there was no mistake, then the cashier should immediately inform the store manager. The store manager will then do the physical counting, investigate further, and record the mismatch.

4) When is it required to count the cash register?

The cash drawers should be opened, and when there is a change in the shift of the cashier, at the end of the day, it will give you exact data.