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Retail Cash Management Risks and Solutions

October 10, 2022

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First Cash RegisterIn 1879 James Ritty, a Dayton, Ohio saloon owner, invented the cash register. To keep his retail cash safe he installed a bell that rang whenever the cash drawer was opened. Often referred to as the “bell heard round the world” the bell let him know when cash was exposed to potential external theft or sticky finger cashiers.

Mr. Ritty’s bell certainly helped but in todays multi-register environment the bell is hard to hear. How do you protect your cash and associates from theft, and the potentially horrible consequences of violent robbery?

Cash in a cash drawer is waiting for trouble.

Some of the many risks:


  • Idle talk, profiling, and circumstance allow simple thieves and organized crime to deploy multiple ways to grab cash from open drawers.
  • Worrisome robbery with the potential for violence to associates, and customers at your store, or during bank trips.


  • As cash builds up opportunity to steal increases.
  • Transactions shorting customers, or not run up creates cash that may be in cash drawers until time and circumstance are right to steal.
  • Coins left on top of registers may be a customer convenience, or it could signal cash is ready and waiting in drawers for cashiers knowing how your systems work.
  • Tip jars may be shortages waiting to happen.
  • Countdowns with balancing may signal allowable shortages over time.
  • Resetting start banks may be a signal of larger problems.
  • We often do not associates counterfeits with theft but when cashiers accept counterfeits retailers lose both the value of the note, and product. Double trouble that comes in waves often during a heavy sales periods, or a timely disturbance as the note was passed.


  • The most difficult discussions can be with managers you trust as theft becomes known.
  • Manager count down verifications that lead to errors creating confusion used to mask theft.
  • Managers shorting cashiers, and deposits.
  • Managers losing time to bank trips.
  • Left behind deposits that didn’t get to the bank on the weekend

If you can assess your risk you can protect your cash and associates.

  • Everything starts with enforceable, effective cash drawer policy to limit cash in drawers.
  • Drop safes, and envelop drops without enforcement, and exception reporting are of limited value.
  • Technology at the Point of Payment with counterfeit detection, secure storage, time stamp transactions, and exception reporting removes the opportunity for cashier theft, protects against counterfeits and robbery, and eliminates manager cash counting and bank runs. After all you hired the manager to run your operation, not count money all day long.

Systems based on volume requirements, security features, built in administrative services, and immediate bank credit are available and know where your cash is at all times.

Do you know where your cash is right now?

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