Five Tips for Handling Money at the Office

Gina Deveney
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Trusting employees is both a risk and a necessity. While it is not necessary to treat every employee as a potential threat, at the same time, you also need to exercise caution, especially when it comes to money in the workplace. Use the following five cash-handling tips to cut down on loss and misuse of funds in the office.

There are many reasons why money in the workplace is a risk. Simple employee error or miscommunication can cause a loss of funds. Of course, there is also always a chance of employee theft. Having clear and defined policies for cash handling in the workplace eliminates both of these scenarios.

One of the most essential cash-handling procedures is dual custody. Dual custody means no one employee handles cash at any time. Requiring two employees to be present during cash transactions cuts down on the possibility of theft. Always require both employees to sign or initial the transaction so the right employees can be questioned should there be any discrepancies.

Along the same lines, it is important to limit the number of employees that have access to the money kept in the office. The safe code or keys to the lockbox should ideally be given to only two employees. One employee needs to be responsible for the day-to-day transactions, and should also be one of the employees present during each transaction. The other employee with access to the money should only access it in the event the other employee is on vacation or out sick.

Another important cash-handling policy is using a money log to track deposits and deductions. Having a record cuts down on the possibility of funds being lost or stolen. At a minimum, money logs need to have the date, the names of the employees present during the transaction, the amount of the deduction and the purpose of the deduction. Have the accounting department collect and balance money logs to make sure the cash account balances each month.

In addition to keeping a money log, whenever an employee deducts money, require a receipt for the purchase. This eliminates the opportunity to keep change or misspend company money. Receipts also leave another paper trail that explains where the money was spent should there be questions about any transaction.

Lastly, minimizing the amount of cash kept in the office is one of the best money policies for the workplace. Cash is harder to manage and track than a company credit card. Consequently, keep the least amount of cash possible in the workplace and keep all money in a secured location.

Even if your workplace is not in a retail setting, employee theft can have a major impact on revenue and sales. Along with establishing effective cash-handling policies, you also need to also develop policies for how to handle employee theft.

Limiting the amount of employees with access to the money and requiring two employees to be present during transactions are steps that should be taken immediately. By creating clear and defined policies, all employees are treated the same, so no one employee will feel singled out or subject to suspicion. Simply put, implementing cash-handling policies in the workplace is the only way to keep company money safe.

(Photo courtesy of Michael Elliot at


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