What do you do to protect your business' hard-earned cash? Good cash-handling policies and procedures are important — they can help you avoid disputes and protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.

Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize losses:

  • Maintain cash register accountability: each cash register should be used by one employee at a time — that way, any issues can be traced to the right person.
  • Count back change to customers: this can help you avoid mistakes and keep your cash register balanced.
  • Perform cash drops: during busy shifts, the amount of money in your register can increase quickly. Move excess cash to a secure location (such as a safe) to make your cash drawer less tempting to observant thieves.
  • Create clear policies and procedures for dealing with refunds and void transactions.
  • Consider having two people balance the cash register — one person to do an initial count and balance, and a second person to verify the results.

It's also important to become familiar with the security features used on Canadian currency. Each series of Canadian bank notes has its own unique security features, and checking a bank note only takes a few seconds.

The Bank of Canada offers free resources that can help, including leaflets, employee handbooks, quizzes, webinars, and more. They also offer information on dealing with suspicious money and what to do if you are offered a counterfeit currency during a transaction. You can also visit our blog Feel, Look, Flip: Tips for handling Canada's new bank notes to learn more about Canada's newest series of bank notes.

If you accept American currency, you should also learn about the security features of American bank notes. Make sure that the current exchange rate is posted in a visible place and that your employees are aware of your policies surrounding foreign currency.

Once you have solid policies and procedures in place, take the time to train your employees and answer any questions they may have. Make sure that new employees are trained before they start handling cash, and offer refresher training to all staff on a regular basis.