Introduction to this document

Cash handling policy

Good cash-handling policies and procedures are critical to any business that works with cash on a day-to-day basis. They can help prevent fraud in the workplace, as well as ensuring you have proper security and auditing arrangements in place. Use our policy as your starting point.

Policy provisions

Every business is different and will have its own specific needs when it comes to cash handling. But the basic premise should be that you have put in place adequate arrangements both to safeguard your cash assets in the workplace and to ensure you can account for every penny for reconciliation purposes. Our Cash Handling Policy essentially comprises a series of rules that must be followed by staff covering: till operation, cashing up, cash discrepancies, access to the safe, banking arrangements, processing refunds and cheque and credit/debit card procedures. Not all of these may be relevant for your business so you will need to adapt your policy accordingly to suit your particular needs. Whatever you decide to include in your policy, we’ve made breach of the cash-handling rules a disciplinary offence which could, depending on the seriousness of the offence committed, result in the employee’s summary dismissal. The definition of cash for these purposes has been set widely in our policy to include coins, bank notes, currency, cheques, postal orders, gift vouchers, gift cards, debit cards, credit cards and cash equivalents. 

General guidelines

As an absolute minimum, consider the following when developing your secure cash-handling procedures:

  • safes should always be used in businesses that handle cash and there should be limited staff access to the safe
  • all cash should be kept in locked safes, including cash drawers used in tills when the shift or working day is over (and you may want to remove large cash denominations from the tills on a more regular basis throughout the day and place them in the safe)
  • ensure cash-handling/holding areas are secure and have restricted access
  • balance money received on a daily basis - prompt discovery of cash shortages is key in determining the cause
  • preferably assign each employee a separate till or cash drawer as this makes it easier to determine who the responsible party is in the event of a cash discrepancy
  • require all cash discrepancies to be reported to management at the end of each shift or working day
  • make frequent bank deposits and, for security purposes, stagger the time of day they are made
  • ensure cash is never handled by only one person, i.e. when it comes to cashing up and putting the money into the safe
  • train all staff working in cash handling in how to do so safely - from till operators through to those responsible for banking the takings.