How to Balance Cash Drawers at the End of the Night

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to Balance Cash Drawers at the End of the Night
Keep track of all voided items during a shift. Voids generally must be approved by a manager. (cash image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

Restaurants and other businesses require a cash register or point-of sale cash drawer system that collects tendered cash and keeps it secure throughout a shift. Balancing cash drawers at the end of the night or shift is a relatively easy procedure and requires little more than simple subtraction.

This process is important for determining the amount of money made that day and what, if any, was spent. Quick-service and casual restaurants and bars move a lot of money in a short time and often require deposits to be made during shifts.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Count your starting balance at the beginning of your shift. This includes coins as well as bills. Write down the total and place it in or under the drawer for later use.

  2. 2

    Deposit a sum of money (how much depends on the business' preferences; usually it's from £65 to £130) during the middle of your shift. The actual deposit into a bank or office is generally done by a manager. Make sure a manager watches you remove the cash.

  3. 3

    Take the register out of the drawer and count the money at the end of the night, including all coins, in a quiet area of the business. Do not include credit card receipts, as these are generally counted separately from cash totals. A printout of the day's activity by the manager is generally used to determine the shift's sales.

  4. 4

    Subtract the starting balance from the amount currently in the drawer. The number you come up with should match the number on the printout. For example, if the starting total was £195 and your new total is £422, the "cash drop," as it's called, is £227.

  5. 5

    Place cash in an envelope or money bag and give it to the manager. Bundle credit card receipts and place them in a second envelope or money bag. Sign any paperwork.

Tips and warnings

  • Being off by a dollar or two after counting your drawer is usually acceptable; a discrepancy of more than that will generally come out of your pocket. The drawer can also be over the day's amount; this is another minor error from giving out the wrong change.
  • Keep all receipts for items paid during the shift. A lost receipt can mean that you will have to make up the difference.
  • Make sure there is always a witness when counting your drawer. Lock all entrances or stay in a secluded area when counting cash. Do not let anyone else interfere with your drawer while working, as this can result in discrepancies.

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