Cash Register Overages and Shortages...

We have a register that 3 people share during their shift.

How do you deal with shortages? & overages?


Well, there is really nothing specific that you can do.

We have the same issue - more than a few people having (needing) access to the drawer. It is impossible to point the finger at any one person. You can’t hold any of them accountable for the money.

If you want strict accountability, then you need to limit access to the drawer to one single person. That is the only way.

For me, doing that is a logistical problem - so I’m willing to live with not being able to hold any one person liable for shortages.

We’ve recently discussed this subject at length. If you search the archives you’ll find two or three threads on the same subject.

Here’s one:

The only way you can hold people accountable is if they are the ONLY one on the register. It’s a pain in the butt and can cause operations to not run as smoothly but you’ll have one person to blame if there is a shortage.

make the manager on duty responsible for all shortages… he will for sure watch the drawer closer. .then when shifts are changed let the 2 manager count out the draw to make sure its right… then the responsibilty is on the new manager.

I have the same problem you have I cant have only one person work the cash drawer. I tried with one person on the till but what happens when they have to go to the bathroom or on their break as soon as someone else touches the money they are not responsible. What did I do? I put a camera firectly over the drawer and now if I am ever short (maybe once every 2 weeks by a few dollars) I look at the tape! Just the camera alone cut down my shorts by about 95%.

If I were the manager, I wouldn’t accept that responsibility. It’s unreasonable to think that a single person can watch exactly what was going on with the drawer when more than one person is allowed access.

If you were to force the responsibility on me, then the first rule would be that no one has access to the drawer other than me. An I’m sure operations would suffer because of that.

im not saying him soley allow my to clarify… the manager should be the only guy with access to the drawer outside of a transaction… IE no sales and voids… other then that the manger should be responsible along with whatever counter person is on the drawer… the place i work at does 12k a week and allows only the manger and the counter girl in the draw… she is solely responsible for the ringing people up… the manager is allowed to as well and he is to keep toll of it

I have to agree here with pizza guy. I also put a camera over the drawer and it has only been short 2 times since installation about 2 months ago. i have about 3-4 people that use the drawer at a time. A good POS system can integrate a whole camera system.

Buy another register? If you’re so busy that you need 3 people with access to the drawer, you need more than 1 register.

Camera on counter area.
And they all know I will review in case of issues. For instance, I recently went back and clipped a video and still photo of the person that tried to use a stolen check (idiot - he’d used one for a delivery a few days earlier, then came in and tried to use the same check in the store) for the police.

They also know that I properly enter every driver bank and every safe drop…

Knock on wood…I have VERY high drawer accuracy.

I raised this very same issue a few weeks ago and had a load of responces.

I have cctv (pointing straight at the draw) - abosultely no good at all unless you know when something is going to happen or did happen. I don’t believe anyone is going to watch a whole nights cctv to see if you can spot someone taking money out of the till for the following reasons:

a) you’ll have to watch at real time (or slower) speed - coz any quicker and you won’t spot a thing - so thats a full night of sitting in frount of a monitor to see if you can spot it;
b) its very easy for someone to stand in frount of the the camera angle so you won’t see anything;
c) if you cover from above your unlikely to get the whole counter in and the staff member can still palm money out
d) actually hiding an extra note etc in your hand is not hard to do - try it yourself - and see if you can do it without being able to spot it later on cctv - i did and its really easy.

I can tell you this from experience, I have a 1 year old very good quality cctv system covering (almost!) every inch of the shop and even when I have know cash has been taken I have never actually caught it on cctv - staff will soon know where is and isn’t covered and will use this to their advantage.

I took on board the comments made to me and my situation has improved - make someone accountable for the till, skim the till frequetly and restrict access - its the only way to nail it down - whether you get them to pay is another issue but always make someone accountable.

it still doesn’t stop stuff going over the counter for free etc - but thats a whole other situation.

Best suggestion - be in the shop more!


That really doesn’t makes sense - it doesn’t always have something to do with being “that busy” - it has more to do with people being able to do more than one task.

Do your cashiers only check people out? Ours don’t. They also answer the phone and cut pizza and do whatever else might need to be done.

Everyone in my shop is cross trained to do just about everything. I don’t want to have 8 cash drawers to cover the possibility that any one on duty at any time can cash someone out.

It seems that every one is addressing the shortage issue and have totally bypssed the overage issue.

I keep track of the shortage and overage on a weekly basis and have found I am more often over than short. I guess this makes me different and lucky.

I put the overage into a kitty (after making up any shortages) and when there is more than $100 dollars I give each of the staff a portion related to their percentage of the total hours worked during the period.

Without going into a lengthy review - in case you know - an overage is at LEAST as bad as a shortage. Meaning that it is just as much of a warning sign that there is something fishy going on in your till.
If you’re divvying up $100 in overages, then there is very likely a theft issue.
Just for example - WHY is it over? From transactions that are paid but not rung up, or from transactions that are rung up for less than the customer is charged. The thief pockets the difference when they get the chance, but has to keep track in their head (or with pennies in the dimes and such) - and when they make a mistake, poof - you’re “lucky” and over.
Do you find pennies in your nickels and dimes?

It im mostly my family that are at the till and if a customer leaves the change it is left in the till.

As for watching out for theives I have a strict inventory policy. Dough balls are counted when made, boxes are counted when folded, pizzas sold are tallied by the POS and any differences must be accounted for by a manager (all family).

Actually its not that more then one register is needed as the problem is not being ti busy for one till its the fact that if their is only one person that can access the money what do you do when they are on break, in the bathroom, or if they are taking a customers order on the phone etc? You cant have one person resposible for the money if someonoe else uses the till.

I disagree My camera is directly above and covers more then enough area I can review the tape in about an hour as my drawer only opens for cash transactions so I slow it down when I see the drawer open. Yes it is possible to “palm” the money but even that is noticable thats how I caught the last person. Like I said Iam within pennies 95% of the time the other 5% its now only a matter of 1-2 dollars.