The Importance of Random Bank Audits

Conducting random audits of your cashier banks is one of the most important actions you can perform to keep theft out of a hotel.  Even though it is so pertinent, almost no hotels actually conduct random bank audits as part of their normal operations routines.

Why is conducting a random bank audit so important?  If you have an employee who is stealing cash during their shift, they need a place to store the cash they are going to steal.  They typically store the cash in the drawer and then pocket it at the end of their shift when they are closing out their paperwork.  This often applies to guest service agents, bartenders, gift shop cashiers, and coffee shop baristas.  A good program of random bank audits can be one of the most important tools to help you keep theft out.

Here is how to get started:

First, in order to perform random bank audits, all employees must be using hotel-issued banks.  It does not matter if the banks are individually assigned banks or if they are rotating banks, as long as they are hotel-issued.  Many hotels require their bartenders to bring their own change bank from home.  If you do this, you cannot audit it.  Give all employees a small hotel-issued bank.

Next, make sure that only hotel sales are placed into the cash banks.  Do not allow employees to place tips into the cash bank.  Give them a separate tip jar if they are in a tipped position.  Place that tip jar at least 5 feet away from the cash register so the employee cannot easily mix funds between the bank and the tip jar.

Make sure that your hotel has a written over/short policy in place and every employee who handles cash has signed it.  If you need to document employees for being over or short, you will want a written policy first.  Remember, being over is just as bad as being short and document accordingly.

Finally, assign someone to be responsible for auditing the banks and create a schedule to ensure all banks are audited.  We recommend that every bank is audited once per week.  Create a schedule that lists all of the banks on the one side and then the weeks of the month on the other.  Have the bank auditor log the over/short amount for each bank during every audit.

How to audit a bank:

Approach a cashier during their shift.  Do not wait until their shift is finished.  Bring the cashier a replacement bank so they can continue working while their bank is audited.  Have them print their shift report.  Take the shift report and bank to the bank office.  Prepare the cashier’s drop according to their shift report and then count the bank.  Address any over or short issues according to your cash over/short policy.

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