Any retailer can tell you that cash is still a preferred method of payment for many customers. While cash receipts don’t require the extra processing steps and fees that digital payment methods do, they can have a significant impact on the amount of time you spend reconciling and handling the money you take in.

It is critical to have a plan in place for handling your business cash – if you don’t, you’ll spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out where your money is… or where it was before it slipped through your fingers.

If you accept cash payments, the absolute best thing you can do for your business is to follow consistent cash handling policies and procedures. When you have an efficient cash handling system in place, you will always know where your revenues are, and you’ll be able to spot any troublesome trends before they can harm your business. Below are four ways to help ensure correct cash handling.

1. Set Clearly Defined Policies

Your team can’t be expected to do things the way you want them to unless you define your needs. Detailing the ways you want cash receipts handled ensures you have policies in place that your cashiers, your back office, and anyone who handles cash can refer to. Procedures also make it easier to train your staff and ensure that everyone uses the same steps for accepting and securing cash.

When everyone on your team knows how you want things done, you’ll have an easier time keeping track of your cash. If every cashier uses a different approach, you’ll be in a constant state of chaos and spend far too much time reconciling receipts and tracking down discrepancies. Policies help enforce your loss prevention and security initiatives as well; employees who are redirecting cash receipts may start by seeing how far they can diverge your normal setup and what they can get away with.

2. Take Discrepancies Seriously

A dollar here and there may not seem like a big deal, but your attitude towards shortages speaks to your attitude towards business finances in general. If you seem like you don’t care, your cashiers and back office team won’t either, resulting in an increasing number of “off” days and difficult-to-track discrepancies.

Take even small discrepancies seriously and your team will too. This approach also allows you to spot small inconsistencies and sloppy cash handling before they can become significant problems. Documenting discrepancies reveals patterns over time and can tell you which shifts or workers need additional oversight or training.

3. Use the Right Tools

You can’t effectively handle cash unless you have the right tools for the job. An integrated cash handling solution makes it easy to determine how much cash you should have at the end of the day. Real-time reporting and comprehensive tracking ensure that you always know the amounts you should have in a given deposit, which sales those revenues came from, and any other details you need to know. If you’re relying on old-school equipment, a simple lockbox, or pure memory – you’re likely missing money every week.

You should know where your cash is going, from the moment it leaves a customer’s wallet to the moment it hits your bank account. If you can’t account for the acceptance, storage, reconciliation, and transportation of cash, you may be losing out on money. You also risk the loss of a day’s receipts if they’re not delivered properly or left unattended.

4. Limit Cash on Hand

The more cash you have on hand, the more problems you’ll have if you lose track. Reduce the amount of cash on your premises with regular, routine deposits and create a standardized procedure for changing over drawers at shift changes and for storing cash in a secure location away from your registers until it is transported. Only transferring cash a few times a week could backfire – and your losses could be substantial if you keep too much cash onsite.

Using the right tools and following efficient, standardized protocols for cash handling ensures the revenues you’ve worked so hard to earn arrive safely in your bank account. And if you simply don’t have the time or manpower to effectively manage your business cash, Integrated Cash Logistics’ all-inclusive cash management service follows all of these best practices and offers a multitude of additional benefits. ICL is in the business of providing a solution that removes the burden of cash handling on a daily basis, so you can focus on your business… no more counting cash or expensive bank fees. Contact ICL today to learn how you can simplify and streamline your cash payment deposits.