10 Common Mistakes Cashiers Make

common mistakes cashiers make

Cashiers play an important role in your business operation as they handle most of the monetary transactions. Not only do they handle your business’ cash they also can impact customer retention and prevent fraud. In this article, we will highlight some of the common mistakes cashiers make and how to look out for them.

10 Common Errors that Cashiers Make and How Employees Can Avoid Them

Cashiers are often required to handle cash quickly while making sure that the transactions are accurate. This makes their task somewhat tricky where these kinds of small business mistakes could lead to losses and negatively impacting efficiency in the workplace. While a well-trained cashier can offer a balanced cash drawer, shorter lines in the checkout aisle, and most importantly satisfied customers.

1. Switching Cash Registers Mid-Shift

A common mistake cashiers often make is switching from one cash register to another in mid-shift. The change might have been necessitated to cater to customers but it could result in difficulty in tracking cash flow and increased vulnerability to theft unless there is a sign-in procedure. In the event errors or mistakes occur without a sign-in procedure it would be difficult for management to pinpoint which cashier made a mistake while operating the register and rectifying the issue.

2. Not Checking for Counterfeit Money

Very often during transactions, cashiers might overlook attempts by customers to slip in some counterfeit money. As a result, many businesses may be defrauded by unknowingly accepting counterfeit currency. With the right training, cashiers can learn to spot counterfeit bills simply by looking at them. Businesses can add another tier of protection by investing in a counterfeit detector.

3. Ringing in the Wrong Total

As a cashier, it is important to be able to do quick mental math and return the correct change to the customer. When cashiers are distracted or overwhelmed with a lot of customers, they may ring in the wrong total. The consequence is that they may be required to cancel the transaction leading to further delay and disappointing the customer. Incidents such as these can be reduced by training your staff to use proper cash handling procedures and introduce automation to reduce the number of errors.

4. Giving Too Much Change

It is important that while giving change cashiers will need to give the correct amount of change to the customers. During transactions, cashiers should make sure that they give the correct change while also avoiding counting mistakes.

5. Not Giving Enough Change

There is nothing more frustrating than getting short-changed when buying something.  When it comes to preventing a negative reputation avoiding angry customers is of prime importance. Even if cashiers are not too busy, they should try to count change back to customers.  They can also hand customers coins first and then bills to give change for quick and correct dispensing.

6. Counting Change More than Once

Not paying attention while giving change can be a challenge. Counting change more than once might seem a good idea to check if the change is right. However, it could take up extra time and result in higher labor costs. In business, loss in processing time results in incurring additional costs.

7. Being Confused about Policies

Cashiers will need to be clear on existing policies and guidelines in regards to handling cash. Not being clear about these policies could lead to arbitrary actions that may negatively affect the business. Clear policies offer clear roadmaps on how to navigate uncertain situations, offer direction and instill accountability.

8. Not Conducting Refund and Return Transactions Correctly

People patronize your business because they expect to get hassle-free transactions. At times customers might make last-minute decisions not to purchase an item that has already been rung up. Other incidents might arise are when cashiers manually enter a wrong value, or the cash register rings up a wrong value different from the marked price. Your cashiers should help them navigate the transactions by giving them the right to return if policies apply and refund them.

9. Entering the Wrong Payment Method into the Cash Register

Entering the wrong payment method into the cash register can indicate that you are not concentrating on the task at hand. This could lead to customers getting frustrated over the delay.

10. Relying on Outdated Cash Handling Equipment

Relying on outdated cash handling equipment opens your business to frequent breakdowns and downtimes. Using outdated equipment also opens you to frequent repair and spare parts costs thus eating into your bottom line.

How much money should be in a cash float?

How much money should be in your cash float depends on the average value of sales your business conducts. If your average sales come to around $300, then keeping about $300 as float can work. But remember to stock your float with coins and small bills so that you can provide the appropriate amount of change. Try to avoid having too little or too much float. The too little float will mean you can’t give change to customers while too much float could open opportunities for theft and mismanagement.

How can cashiers avoid shortages?

Shortages in cash can negatively affect your profit, and it is one of the more important small business mistakes to avoid. Change shortages in terms of cents or dollars will mean that you cannot make sales by the simple fact that you cannot give your customers the correct change. In addition to setting up an appropriate float you can also look to implement the following:

  1.  Make sure to assign appropriate accountability: As a business, you will need to hold the cashier accountable for errors. You will need to put in mechanisms such as sign-ins for cashiers to find out which employees are losing money, how often, and by how much.
  2. Beef up security: If you suspect an employee of being dishonest or stealing, install cameras so that you can review transactions and the employee’s actions. This not only helps in finding out who the culprits are but also can be an incentive, to be honest.
  3. Offer training: Through continuous training, you can help your cashiers avoid making mistakes. Training can also help to empower cashiers when issues arise. Equally important cashiers might make honest mistakes and by putting in clear policies and guidelines in regards to money management in your business you beef up your accountability and process management.

Image: Depositphotos

Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.