Cashier cashing in lebanese money from cash drawer in a super market


By John Balian

(Plus, download a handy PDF document listing 8 Other Ways your Employee Could be Stealing from You. And What You Can Do about It.)

Imagine this: It’s the end of a busy working day and you’re exhausted.  You balance the cash draw and everything adds up perfectly. Great. no problem, right?

Yet for some reason you still have a nagging feeling that something is not quite right. But what?

You’re right to be concerned, so don’t ignore that gut feeling.

In November 2017, the  online portal of the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reported how a Disney employee stole more than $112,000 from cash registers.

$112,000 from cash drawers, seriously?

What’s even more shocking is that the employee only worked part time. Just think how much cash could have gone missing if she had worked full time.

study by the Global Retail Theft Barometer (the first and only global research on the cost of shrink, comprised of shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud and administrative errors) showed that the majority of internal theft occurred at the point of sale (POS).

So, what does this mean to you and your company?  Basically, your hard-earned cash is at the biggest risk of being stolen.

You don’t need me to tell you that it pays to keep an eye out for some of the warning signs that cash is going missing…even when the money in the cash drawer adds up correctly.


Here are some of the signs you should be worried about

  • Cash drawers are ‘under’

It’s an obvious one: The actual cash in the drawer is less than there should be. It could be unintentional, but a bit of digging could reveal otherwise

  • Cash drawers are ‘over’ or always ‘correct’


This one is a huge red flag. Cash drawers that are ‘over’ or always ‘correct’ could be a big indicator of a cash loss problem in your business.

A dishonest employee could be intentionally short changing customers or making fraudulent transactions with the aim of adding surplus cash to your registers. This ‘extra’ cash isn’t visible to the POS and therefore can then be removed at a later time.

If your cash drawers are ‘over’ by a significant amount it could be indicative of an employee building an amount of cash up before pocketing it.

Don’t forget cash drawers that are spot on every time indicate a problem too. It’s human nature that even the best employees make the odd cash handling error. Clearly, somebody’s calculating the differences they are stealing from the drawer to make it unnaturally ‘spot on’.

  • Constant and consistent errors

Is a constant mistake being made by that one employee who has worked for you for a significant amount of time? Are their transactions full of refunds and corrections?

This could indicate they are stealing. A seasoned employee should NOT be making these kinds of errors.

Remember this: No cashier should have the authority to void any items. This should be the manager’s job.  Allowing a cashier to void items without management approval is setting yourself up for loss.

  • ‘No-sale’ transactions

A high level of ‘no-sale’ transactions can suggest that an employer’s hands are dipping in the cash drawer when they shouldn’t be. You need to apply rigorous procedures around ‘no-sale’ transactions to ensure your cash is kept safe.

So, what is the easiest way to stop your employee from stealing your hard-earned cash?

The answer lies in your POS system.


Ask yourself these 3 important question about your business:


  1. Is your POS system Comprehensive enough?
  2. What peripherals have we included in it?
  3. Have we included the one, most important peripheral that will help prevent staff from stealing from the cash drawer?

So, what is the most important ‘periphery’? 

Answer:  a Smart Drawer (or intelligent drawer).

If you are serious about wanting to drastically reduce the risk of your employees stealing your cash, then your POS system should include a Smart Drawer.

Here’s why

  • A smart cash drawer knows exactly how much is inside it at any one time.
  • A smart drawer shows how long the drawer has been left open, when, and by which cashier.
  • The POS screen is blocked if the cash drawer is left open for a certain length of time.
  • It makes the cashier think twice about stealing.

Also, think about this:

What is the first item that experts locate after a plane crash?  That’s easy, right? It’s the black box, since it records everything that went on, including during those tragic seconds the plane went down.

The smart drawer is really no different to a plane’s black box. Both do the same job of recording and saving everything that is happening. For example, a smart drawer will record how many voids and no sales have taken place during a cashier’s shift.

A smart drawer also allows for intermittent spot checks to get a reading from the cash register without cashing up.

However, the smart drawer has a distinctive edge over a plane’s back box: It prevents specific actions taking place, for example blocking the POS interface if the cash drawer has been left open for a predetermined amount of time.

Including a smart drawer within your PoS system really is the easiest way for you and to monitor what exactly is going on with your cash drawer.

Our own findings at BIM POS show that including a smart drawer as part of a comprehensive POS system reduces the chances of theft by up to 78 percent.

It won’t break the bank

Obviously, every POS system includes a cash drawer but this is not the same as a Smart Drawer.

What’s that I hear you saying? ‘But a Smart Drawer is much more expensive than an ordinary cash drawer.’

Wrong! The cost of a Smart Drawer is just a $100 more than an ordinary cash drawer. Factor in the reduced theft (up to 78%), it makes sense to invest in something whose return on investment is almost immediate, right? Just do the Math and work it out yourself.

And finally, remember this:

Stealing from the cash drawer is not the only way your employees could be helping themselves to your business.

Download our PDF showing 8 Other Ways Your Staff Could be Stealing from You.

You’ll be glad you did!

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John Balian

John is an entrepreneur and POS Expert with 20+ years in Software development and Innovation with ground expertise in Hospitality management, Franchise Management, and Business Development.

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