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Ringing it in

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Internal fraud comes in many different guises. We speak to Steve Luicuex, sales director at Epos Ready, to find out how it can be tackled at the till

Staff not tracking items through the EPoS, shortchanging customers, skimming paid-outs and petty cash, taking stock for personal use, and even giving handouts to friends or family are all types of fraud that cost your business. It’s not only the financial losses that you need to consider, but also damage to your reputation and customer trust. 

One way to help tackle internal fraud is with today’s modern and intelligent EPoS systems. “It will also streamline your business operations and efficiency at the same time,” says Steve, who recommends shop owners take the following steps:

CCTV – Installing CCTV is an effective deterrent that reduces the chance of theft and provides valuable evidence in the instance that any incidents do take place. “Integrating CCTV with an Epos system allows for journal entries to be overlaid onto the recordings,” says Steve. 

Footage captured should be reviewed regularly to help identify any abnormal behaviours and unusual trends. Steve recommends extending coverage to include storage and office spaces, too.

Provide receipts with every transaction – Not only is this best practice for customer service, but it can also serve as a powerful deterrent. By ensuring that every item is rung through the till, the possibility of staff members pocketing cash or undercharging for items is greatly reduced. 

Steve adds: ”Implementing this process not only helps ensure the accuracy of transactions but also creates a culture of accountability and transparency that can act as a strong deterrent against fraudulent activity.”

Item Correct’ on last item only – The ‘Item Correct’ key can be configured so it only functions on the last item entered into the sale window. This stops individuals from being able to go back through items already rung in and ‘Item Correct’ them off. 

Disable keys/functions from standard clerks – Another handy EPoS tool at the disposal of business owners is the ability to restrict certain functions, such as ‘Item Correct’, ‘No Sale’, ‘Void’ and ‘Refund’ to management clerks with higher permission levels.

Spot check – Conducting random spot checks on the till is an effective deterrent. “These checks can reveal if the money in the drawer matches the expected takings before the staff have balanced the till for ‘End of Day’ readings,” says Steve. “Spot checks are particularly useful for uncovering instances where staff fail to ring up sales and pocket the money.”

Stock control – Keep a close eye on stock control. It’s important to require a reason for all paid-outs by setting up a reason table and linking it to the ‘Paid Out’ key. This policy should also apply to taking money for sundries. By ensuring that all items have stock quantities, it’s harder for paid-outs to go unaccounted for without a corresponding stock adjustment in the system. 

Auto clerk sign-off – Automatically signing off clerks after each sale can help prevent certain clerk types from being accidentally left signed on and used by unauthorised individuals. 

Compulsory cash declaration – Require the use of compulsory cash declaration during the Z read process for ‘End of Day’ totals to ensure staff declare a drawer total manually before the till totals are displayed. 

Cash dispensers – In certain circumstances where security is an incredibly high priority, cash dispensers can be an effective option. “The systems will automatically calculate the correct amount of change required for a sale, based on the sale value and tender value, before dispensing the correct change,” explains Steve. “Some systems can dispense the change directly to the customer and staff are only able to put money into the cash drawer, making it even more difficult to short change.”

Use integrated electronic fund transfers (EFT) – By making card payments simple, quick and easy, customers will be encouraged to pay by card instead of cash. This reduces the opportunity to short-change customers or to simply steal money as all EFT transaction amounts are controlled by the transaction details on the EPoS system.

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