Risk Assessment

1. Do you allow more than one employee to use a cash drawer during a shift? If so, a dishonest cashier can steal money from the till and blame it on others. Even worse, it will be almost impossible for you to figure out who did it.

* Only allow one cashier to use a cash drawer during a shift.
* If this is not possible, adopt a policy (and tell your employees about it) of holding everyone with access to a cash drawer equally responsible for shortages and overages.

2. Do you accept checks from customers? If so, it may be possible for a cashier to alter the check and increase the amount written on it and pocket the difference.

* Get a cash register that will imprint the value of the check on the check itself, thus preventing any later alterations.
* Require cashiers to call a manager if a customer pays with a check. Have the manager write the value of the check in a ledger only she writes in.

3. Do you allow your cashiers to ring through family and friends? If so, you risk the problem of "sweethearting." This is when cashiers under-ring items for friends and relatives, and/or pass merchandise over the counter to these people. BEWARE of the cashier who seems extra "popular" with customers, or is busier than other cashiers.

* Set a store policy that cashiers are not to ring through people they know well.
* Discourage employees from having friends or family come and visit while they are working.

4. Do you allow cashiers to wear whatever they wish when they are working? If so, cashiers may wear clothes that have lots of pockets to hide things (such as money stolen from the till).

* Require employees to wear uniforms or clothing with few or no pockets. Items that are required for job duties, such as keys and pens, can be hung around the neck or attached to belts or wrists.

5. Do you allow cashiers to bring their handbags with them to the work area? If so, cashiers have a ready spot to stash money stolen from the cash drawer. Do you really want to have to search the handbags of suspicious employees? Are you even legally allowed to do this?

* Require employees to keep their personal possessions in a locker or another safe spot in the back room.
* Set a policy that employees are not allowed to have money on their person when they are on duty.

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