Can we cycle-count cash?

Retailers have learned that cycle-counting . . . the process of counting something often, but seldom everything at once . . . actually decreases shrinkage. That’s because they spot problem areas quickly, and can take action sooner. Would it work for cash?

Is “Z” just an old key?

 If like me you have saluted the “Z” report flag for years, this might seem like sacrilege. But the “Z” report, so named because mechanical registers used to have a Z-key to read and delete totals, may be archaic in our data-rich world. POS systems are highly-configurable. And solutions such as smart-safes make short work of the process of actually counting cash.

  Here is an approach you might consider:

  • Categorize everyone who handles cash by tenure, and Over/Short history.
  • Daily counting – Short tenure. (End of shift, if possible.)
  • Daily counting – Long tenure + bad history of differences.
  • Weekly or monthly – Long tenure + good history of differences.
  • Random checks on everyone.

 What would happen if you then just aggregated the remainder of the cashiers or lanes into one large declared total, and balanced against that? We’ve seen versions of this – grocers balancing by lane;  Even some c-stores accounting for the weekend as just one day.

 Sometimes the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. If you are spending too much time, chasing too few dollars, you might give this a try. What do you think? Heresy . . . or common sense?

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