The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryEmployee Theft

Retail business advice: when an employee steals from your business

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The harm to a retail business from employee theft can be far reaching, debilitating for the business and those who work in it. The keys for moving on from the crime starts with confronting the situation.

Through our POS  software company we have been engaged in helping retailers deal with employee theft for many years.

In this post, we offer straightforward steps to help you get through as it is on the other side of this where you can find the opportunity to move on from the feeling of violation that often accompanies employee theft in small business.

  1. Be sure of the facts, gather the evidence. Evidence could include, video footage of cash being take from the business, business records being modified to cover tracks, stock being stolen and more. Evidence does not include gossip, feelings and opinions. Without evidence you have nothing to proceed with.
  2. Once you have all available evidence and if this clearly implicates one or more employee, work out what you want.
    1. If you involve the police, they and, subsequently, the courts, will control the process including getting your money or goods back, an apology and more.
    2. If you don’t involve them, think about if you want the money or goods back, an apology, the person to stop working for you without negative impact on you – or a mixture of these.
    3. Check your insurance policy. Be sure you understand what you might be able to claim and in what circumstances. For example, your policy may require a police report. This could determine your next steps. If you are not sure what your insurance policy says, call the insurance company for advice. Knowing your insurance situation early is vital.
  3. If the person committing the crime is a minor:
    1. Once you are sure, advise their parents or guardian by phone. Invite them to the shop or an independent location to see what you have. Have someone else there with you, as an observer. This meeting needs to happen quickly.
    2. Present the evidence.
    3. Listen to their response.
    4. If they (their parents) ask what you want, be clear.
    5. If agreement is reached, put it in writing at the meeting and have all involved sign it.
    6. If agreement is not reached you need to decide your next steps and engage them.
    7. A return of the money, likely by the parents, should be in a lump sum, immediately. We have seen a parent pay $22,000 where a uni student studying psychology stole and out their career at risk by being caught. We have seen another situation where a 75-year-old mum repaid the $12,000 stolen by her adult daughter so the daughter did not have to tell her husband about her gambling problem.
  4. If the person committing the crime is not a minor:
    1. Speak with them face to face, privately, with another person there as a witness.
    2. Tell them you have evidence of them stealing from the business.
    3. Ask if they would like to see it. If they say no, ask what they propose.
    4. If they do want to see the evidence, show it and ask what they propose.
    5. If there is an offer of a full refund, an immediate resignation and never entering the business again it could be a good practical outcome. The challenge is you may not know the value of what has been stolen. Experience indicates that someone stealing cash will understate the amount considerably. I was involved in one case where they said they stole $10,000. The irrefutable evidence showed it was $75,000.
    6. Get any agreement in writing. If there is an offer to repay, our advice is to only accept an immediate lump sum. If the proposal is payment of, say, more than $10,000 over time, involve the police.
    7. If the person denies any wrongdoing, go to the police immediately.
  5. If you have suspicions and do not have the evidence, put in place opportunities to gather the evidence without entrapping the target, without setting them up. I have seen situations where local police have provided advice and support for this. It could be worth asking them if you are in a regional or rural situation.

If you are nervous about meeting the person or their family, write down what you plan to say. Keep it short. To the facts. No emotion. Having a script prepared can be useful even if you do not read it.

If there is any risk of violence, do not have a meeting. Go straight to the police.

Time is of the essence here. The longer you know about the situation and the longer you do not act the less useful the outcome is likely to be.

If you are not sure what to do, we can share our experiences.

Advice on how to deal with theft in local retail businesses

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Theft is a scourge in retail businesses. beyond the financial cost is a considerable motional cost to those in the business from employees to owners.

We shot a brief video a few months ago in which we discussed theft in retail, leveraging our years of experience helping local retailers to reduce theft.

There are things retailers can do to protect against theft as well as to deal with it when it is discovered. This video is a peek inside what Tower Systems offers its local specialty retail POS software customers.

As retailers ourselves we draw on lived experience in providing this advice. The more we all share on this challenging topic the better for all retailers.

Here is an example of some pf the advice we have provided to retailers.

Too many retailers read advice about theft and ignore it. Indeed, the most common trigger for small business retailers to work on reducing employee theft is the discovery of such theft. Here are simple steps you can take to detect and manage employee theft:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers detect and mitigate employee theft

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Theft is a problem in retail. Too often, it is not discovered until after the event, primarily because of a lack of belief that theft is a problem, particularly theft by employees.

One of the best ways to detect employee theft is to look at your business transactional data. Good POS software not only tracks what is sold, it also tracks what is deleted from sales and entire sales that are cancelled, and it keeps this data in a hidden file, not accessible in the usual reporting way of the software.

In our experience at Tower Systems , one out of ten times we have received this secret data for a retailer using my POS software we have found evidence of questionable behaviour. Laying this evidence out with video footage, ideally, and employee rosters, a person of interest emerges, or more depending on the video evidence with a money (in the pocket) shot.

We are not going to share here the incriminating keystrokes but we will note they have been court-tested in cases while providing expert witness for the prosecution.

Our professional and based on experience advice to local small business retailers is to use the theft detection and mitigation tools in your POS software. learn about them. Use them. But don’t tell others what you are doing.

Some retailers think the best approach to reduce the theft opportunity is to lock everything down, making it very hard for people to steal. The thing is, people who want / need to steal will find a way and the harder you make it for them m in a retail setting the harder it will be for you to detect it.

We am not saying tempt them. rather, don’t lock your POS software down, give people reasonable access, and watch what they do – follow the advice of your POS software company on using the data their software collects for you to see if theft could be a problem min your shop.

Cases of employee theft in a newsagency in which we have been involved have ranged in theft cost from $5,000 to $245,000. In every single instance, using the secret tools we have mentioned here could have detected the theft sooner and reduced the financial an emotional impact on the business and others.

If you have read this far, thank you and well done. Most will not, because theft is not an interesting topic – until they are personally impacted.

Recommended steps any retailer can take to reduce employee theft in retail:

Theft is something to be managed in any retail business. Retailers are  stolen from by employees. Good management is about reducing the opportunity for and instances of theft.

  1. Value employees. Experts say this is the top step to take.
  2. Share information. Often, theft can be driven by a misconception about the profitability of the business. Sharing accurate business performance data can educate against theft.
  3. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  4. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  5. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  6. Demand the cash drawer be closed after every sale. A drawer left open is an opportunity.
  7. Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
  8. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  9. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  10. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  11.  Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Popular daily items such as tobacco stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft. Had one retailer we work with been doing this they would have caught their $250 a day employee theft months earlier.
  12. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  13. Do spot cash balancing using your PO)S software. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  14. Check your Audit Log in your POS software.
  15. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it.
  16. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  17. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  18. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  19. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

How to reduce employee theft in your local retail business

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Tower Systems has been helping local retailers reduce the impact of theft, including employee theft, for many years. Through its POS software to working with police and to being expert witnesses at trial, the Tower team is skilled and capable of helping local retailers in a variety of situations to reduce employee theft in retail.

The actual financial cost of  employee theft is often under considered by small business retailers. We think  this is because of denial. However, given that the amount that can be taken in one hit or in micro amounts over a long period of time can be considerable once toted up.

Here are steps we have found to be useful in many different retail settings to cut the cost of retail employee theft:

  1. Track all stock. From what comes in to what is sold to what is returned. Track everything. Have clear processes for everyone to follow.
  2. Track each sale by employee. This makes each accountable for their sales.
  3. Use your software. Use it for managing the end of shift balancing. Use it for tracking petty cash out. Feed all your data automatically to Xero or other accounting software. Eliminate all manual processes that relate to cash.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises.
  5. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal.
  6. Setup a theft policy. Ensure staff read it and sign up to it.
  7. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft.
  8. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  9. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  10. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  11. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

All it takes is one organised employee to spot a gap in your processes through which they can get the cash they want for lunch each day or for some other purpose. Your processes determine if this gap exists and the extent of it. Structure and consistency are key to reducing the cost of employee theft in any local retail setting in our experience.

Every retail business needs a theft policy

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Every retail business does need a theft policy. A good theft policy outlines what is acceptable and unacceptable. It is clear about your position on theft.

through Nour work with small business retailers across a range of channels we have developed a theft policy that we offer as a starting point for local store development of a theft policy appropriate to their needs.

We don’t hold this out as a perfect or expert document. rather, we suggest it as inspiration or as a starting point. Here it is, for your consideration:

THEFT POLICY

1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.

2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.

3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.

4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.

5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.

6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.

7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.

8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.

9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.

10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.

11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.

12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Helping small business retailers cut employee theft

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We are grateful to have been of service in the last week helping another small business retailer address an employee theft situation.

Our POS software provides accurate evidence that police and prosecutors have found helpful in pursuing criminal charges. We have experts in our business who have presented to courts dealing with such matters.

Offering strong theft mitigation tools is something we have done for many years. Seeing them used again recently and in a way that saved a business a considerable sum is a reminder of the value of good back room software serving local small business retailers.

Employee theft in retail can be expensive. Our POS software offers robust tools that help track possible theft and reduce the impact of this theft.

The goal is a safe and profitable business that respects people and makes it easy to transact accurately. Dealing with the theft challenges of customer theft and employee theft is a key part of this.

Thanks to secret tools and secret in our POS software and secure data, we can provide evidence police and prosecutors trust to prove a theft situation. This data can be key to understanding what has happened, when and thew quantum.

This is the beginning, the truth, the evidence of possible employee theft. So, this is where we start, with the data, uncovering evidence and then offering this evidence to the business owner for engagement.

By providing small business retailers with these tools, we are giving them at their fingertips tools vital to cutting the cost of employee theft in a retail business. Using our POS software, a retailer can cut the cost of employee theft.

Let’s be clear though: not all employees steal, not even half, not even a quarter. However, you needs tools for tracking data and engagement with the software to reveal behavioural patterns that can indicate theft. This is key to early detection.

Our hope is that the audit tools in our POS software do not find misbehaviour and that simply having the tools in a business is the most value achieved. However, should they be needed and should they uncover misbehaviour, the audit tools stand strong and tall for the business and those who own it.

5 steps guaranteed to cut theft in any retail business

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Theft in retail costs more than money or goods taken. There is an emotional cost, which can play into an impact on business management.

In our work with thousands of independent retail businesses we have tuned a list of actions that we see work well in cutting theft in retail.

  1. Spot stock take. Allocate time daily to spot check stock on hand. We suggest 15 to 20 minutes a day to different areas of the shop could reveal customer theft challenges. Spot stock takes are fast, easy and guide data accuracy. Most important, they reveal theft.
  2. Track everything you sell. The moment a retailer does not track stock that comes in and goes out of a business is the moment the retailer takes their eye off the ball and allow people who till steal to steal. While it sounds boring, managing stock is key early identification of theft, especially employee theft.
  3. Eliminate manual handling of data. Every time data is handled manually you create a weakness that a thief can exploit. For example, if sales data do not flow automatically from your POS to your accounting software, there can be an opportunity for someone handling cash to skim prior to banking. From receiving inventory invoices electronically to scanning everything you sell to a direct connection between your POS and your accounting software, like Xero, every keystroke eliminated is potential theft avoided.
  4. Look under the hood at keystroke patterns. Smart POS software will maintain, in a secret location and under appropriate security data that could reveal misbehaviour by staff as part of a systematic theft program. This type of analysis has uncovered the deletion of sales to enable the removal of cash from a til by an employee stealing from the business.
  5. Surprise moves like roster changes, spot checks in-store, mid-day cash-outs and more can break a pattern and make it difficult for anyone who seeks to leverage a consistent pattern to engage in theft. We know of one case where the rubbing bins were emptied an hour earlier than usual and by someone who does not usually do this work and in doing so a roll of notes was found, which led to long-term theft discovery.

Theft hurts retail businesses in many ways. Independent retailers can cut the cost of theft by following steps like those outlined here.

Tower Systems works with small business retailers using its POS software to help them cut employee and customer theft. We have provided expert help to police and prosecutors. We have people in our business who have been used as expert witnesses in court cases.

We are committed to helping small business retailers cut employee and customer theft. Every Tower customer has access to a free theft check service.

Helping small business retailers deal with the challenge of employee theft

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Employee theft can be a challenge to deal with for business owners, work colleagues and those who have perpetrated the theft.

Key to successful resolution is evidence. This is where our POS software plays a vital role. Using our POS software we are able to, often, provide the necessary evidence of an employee theft situation.

Thanks to secret tools and secret and secure data, we can provide evidence police and prosecutors trust to prove a theft situation. This data can be key to understanding what has happened, when and thew quantum.

This is the beginning, the truth, the evidence of em ploy theft. So, this is where we start, with the data, uncovering evidence and then offering this evidence to the business owner for engagement.

By providing small business retailers with these tools, we are giving them at their fingertips tools vital to cutting the cost of employee theft in a retail business. Using our POS software, a retailer can cut the cost of employee theft.

Let’s be clear though: not all employees steal, not even half, not even a quarter. However, you needs tools for tracking data and engagement with the software to reveal behavioural patterns that can indicate theft. This is key to early detection.

We train retailers using our POS software on how to do this, how to leverage the data and information collected and curated by our software to understand if there has been behaviour that could indicate employee theft.

From working with police and prosecutors to working with individual employers, our work on the issue of employee theft is comprehensive and consistent for many years. We have worked in a preventative way as well as after the event, gathering evidence. Our work is in service of our customers, retail business owners.

Using our POS software and following our advice, we think small business retailers can reduce the opportunity for employee theft and thereby cut the cost of employee theft on their businesses. Our engagement with retailers on this is as and when they want, in as much or as little detail as they want. Since we own and run retail businesses, we also share operational suggestions with those interested.

Reducing employee theft can have a significant bottom line benefit in any retail business.

Helping small business retailers cut employee theft in 2020

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Employee theft can be a high cost to indie small business retailers. Different studies in Australia and elsewhere coupled with our own knowledge of theft in indie small business retail indicates that employee theft costs a business around 75% of the total cost of theft.

The quantum of  employee theft is often under considered by small business retailers. We think  this is because of denial. However, given that the amount that can be taken in one hit or in micro amounts over a long period of time can be considerable once toted up.

Employee theft can be traced and as a result of this stopped. Our small business PO software helps retailers do this. We back the theft mitigation facilities in our software with training, advice and even data analysis to uncover possible instances of theft that may have hitherto gone undetected.

We also support our work on employee and customer theft in retail with support and advice to help deal with theft situations once they are uncovered. We do this because we are retailers ourselves and have personal experience dealing with this, experience through which we hope our customers can benefit.

Here is some of the small business retail theft mitigation advice from our POS software retail experienced team:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell.  Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Setup a theft policy.Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  8. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  9. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  10. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  11. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  12. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

Small business retailers advice: helping you cut employee theft

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The theft reduction training video we produced in-house – How To Steal From A Retail Business – is being used by business groups to train their members on measures to take in retail shops to reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

In addition to the YouTube views, this video has been packaged and provided outside that platform for people to embed in conference presentations, one-on-one training and elsewhere.

Using your POS software small business retailers have excellent tools with which to reduce the opportunity for theft. These have existed for years. In addition to our software work, we act as expert witnesses in investigations and proceedings that successfully prosecute employee theft cases.

What matters is that theft can be reduced and even eliminated with good management oversight in any retail business using our POS software.

Audit tools in POS software help small business retailers find out what they do not know

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Secret audit tools in POS software are critical in small business retail for they provide insights into behind the scenes activity in a business that could be harmful to the business. By tracking activities including keystrokes designed to manipulate business data, good POS software is able to help a retail business compare bad behaviour including fraud.

The Tower Systems small business POS software has terrific audit tools that can only be accessed with the most secure password managed by the software, a password only given by the comp0any to business owners.

Using the smart audit tools, we have been able to help retailers to track employee fraud, supplier fraud, customer fraud and what could have been expensive but unintentional mistakes.

The Audie tools and the secret mirror data they have access to represent a valuable asset to any indie retailer as they make the POS software operational smart for and protective of that business.

This area of data curation and management is not often talked abut because it can be construed as a negative given the connection with bad things happening in a business. The reality is that knowing the tools are there creates a positive situation, a comfort, a peace of mind as the POS software is offering a set of eyes and ears watching over the business and providing the business access to insights to help reduce the negative.

The Tower Systems small business POS software provides to indie retailers audit tools that are exemplary in their service of ethical business operation. This is especially useful inn businesses that are run with owners and even senior managers not in a location full  time.

So, in addition to accurately and quickly transacting retail sales, the Tower Systems POS software offers retail business owners access to tools through which they can review data that sheds light on behaviour that could compromise the business. This is what a good audit is about.

Our POS software audit tools have been used in legal cases and by business financial auditors and forensic accountants to track potential misbehaviour. the resulting data can be a body of evidence in criminal or commercial legal action. It is data on which expert evidence can be offered as to actions taken in a business that cold be the matter of such a case.

Our hope is that the audit tools in our POS software do not find misbehaviour and that simply having the tools in a business is the most value achieved. However, should they be needed and should they uncover misbehaviour, the audit tools stand strong and tall for the business and those who own it.

Secret tools help small business retailers cut the cost of employee theft

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The cost of employee theft in small business retail is considerable.  It is one of those costs to business that is not known until a business actually looks at the data. Most small business owners, however, do not look at the data until they are forced too. Often, by then, it is too late to recover all of what has been taken from the business.

Retailers can cut the cost of employee theft. Smart POS software makes this easier to achieve.

In the Tower Systems POS software there are secret tools that help small business retailers detect employee theft. detection is the first step to cutting the cost of theft. Knowledge is power as they say. The secret tools cannot be found by any9one unless they know the path and have access to the secret kay.l This information is only provided to business owners – if they want to know, if they want to cut the cost of employee theft.

Using POS software to cut the cost of employee theft in a retail business is, in our view, smart. It saves money, saves time and encourages the business onto a path of greater prosperity.

Tower Systems advises, encourages and guides small business retailers on cutting the cost of theft. We do this using the secret tools embedded deep within our software. We also doo it through our work with the police,  crown prosecutors, private investigators and other who9 are also working to help cut the cost of employee theft in retail businesses, especially in small business retail.

This is critical for businesses for too often we see them come to a realisation abut theft only after the money is long gone.

People can be clever and smart as to how they go abut stealing from a retail business. The secret tools in our POS software help  small business retailers to see the theft early in the cycle, before the damage is too great and in a way that enables the business owner to think about appropriate next steps to get the evidence necessary for police engagement. This is critical.

Small business retailers can cut the cost of employee theft. Tower Systems can help with this. We have people in our company skilled and experienced to help small business retailers achieve this.

POS software from Tower Systems helps small business retailers cut theft

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The Age newspaper last week reported on a surge in theft.

A study of over 9000 Australian and New Zealand retailers has revealed the cost of theft in-store has now reached a “crisis point” for companies as shoplifters have become more brazen in recent years.

While the report focusses on shoplifting, in my experience working eityh retailers, employee theft has a higher cost. This paragraph is telling…

The majority of respondents were large fashion, grocery and department retailers with 300 or more stores. For the 2018 financial year, those companies estimated crime-related losses of $3.37 billion, or 0.92 per cent of the region’s total retail revenue for the year.

The average cost of theft in small to medium business is 3% and more. This, considering the .92% noted above indicates the focus of the report is narrow. But then the report goes on to say employee theft was 22% of overall theft.

Maybe the disconnect is because the report pulled data from medium to large businesses whereas all data I have seen over the years has been from small businesses, single store businesses. In those, in my experience, employee theft costs around 70% of the total cost of theft.

Regardless of this latest report, theft is retail is a high cost for which retailers, customers and others in the supply chain pay.

Read the report. It’s got useful information for any retailer.

Our POS software company helps small business retailers cut the cost of theft. We have proven facilities in the software that achieve this. Better still, we back these facilities with experts who can make a real and positive difference in theft outcomes for small business retailers.

The employee theft challenge in small business retail is real and expensive

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Employee theft is a scourge in small business retail since it often, unfortunately, goes undetected for too long.

Tower Systems make employee theft detection easy in its POS software. However, like any tool, a retailer has to choose to use it. Too often, we see retailers ignore the easy access theft detection tools they have in our software, denying themselves the opportunity to catch theft earlier and thereby reduce the costs for the business.

Outside of the awesome theft m mitigation tools in our POS software, we help retailers with practical advice they can implement to further reduce opportunity for employee theft. We have developed these tools based on years of service in this area including working with police, prosecutors and others in catching and prosecuting cases of employee theft.

Here is some of the small business retail theft mitigation advice from our POS software retail experienced team:

  1. Track your stock.Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees.Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your softwareand have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster.Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log.Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department.If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy.Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean.An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy.This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads.These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter.One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves.If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business.The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check.From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees.If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.

Advice for small business retailers on theft

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Most theft from independent retail businesses can be identified and reduced through a consistent application of simple management processes and smart use of specialist retail software. Tower Systems has been helping retailers cut theft for decades through issuing advice, responding to requests and by continuing to provide functions in our retail software that allow business owners to identify and track suspicious behaviour – by shoppers, managers and store employees. Over the years our expertise has been called on by police and prosecutors as well as individual retailers.

Follow this advice on how to use our specialist retail POS software to hamper opportunities for theft and bolster the certainty of detecting it before it’s too late:

  1. Employ stock control for high volume items. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what the software says. Perform a stock take regularly each month. High volume item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department tracking only – your data needs to be granular to prevent employees taking advantage of loose stock on hand quantities. Not scanning individual stock items is unfortunately an invitation to dishonest employees.
  3. Use the software-based end of shift procedure and have a zero-tolerance policy on cash balance discrepancies. Reconcile banking to your computer software at end of shift. We have seen businesses failing to do this: one was being skimmed regularly of $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One business owner needing to perform banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to the discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Mix up your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Our software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, always research further.
  8. Publish a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. At the bottom of this page is a sample theft policy.
  9. Keep the store counter area clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. Reducing nooks and crannies makes detection of any cash hoarding easier.
  10. Have a “no employee bags” at the counter policy. This makes it harder for dishonest employees to hide stolen cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators and mobile phones at the counter. Employees can use these devices to track how much cash could be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not processed.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If an employee wants to purchase something ensure they purchase it from the customer’s side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high. Do not take cash handling lightly; if you respect your business procedures your staff are more likely to too. Never take cash from the till for your own personal use, i.e. to buy lunch.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.

These steps work. They are based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Employee and customer theft costs a typical independent retail business between 3% and 5% of non-agency sales revenue each year. Management attention and smart use of retail software can cut this dramatically. It does not take much time – it is simply about smart procedures and professional processes.

IT’S A FACT: THEFT IS GREATER IN RETAIL BUSINESSES WHERE STOCK CONTROL IS POOR

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In years working with small and independent retail businesses, the team at Tower Systems has learnt plenty including the indicators of in which retail businesses theft is more likely to occur.

We have leveraged our experience with small business retailers who use our smart POS software to help these and other b businesses reduce the impact of theft – shopper theft and employee theft.

Our experience is that theft is more likely to occur in businesses where stock is not managed properly.

By not managed properly we mean where:

  1. All items sold are not tracked at the point of sale.
  2. Where new stock arriving in the business is not properly arrived through the software.
  3. Where spot stock-takes are not undertaken regularly to maintain an accurate stock on hand account.
  4. Where stock given away or thrown away is not written off.
  5. Where stock returned to a supplier is not scanned out.

Our advice on reducing the cost of employee theft and customer theft is simple – follow our advice, manage your stock and without a doubt the cost of theft in your retail business will be lower than it would have been.

If you think the cost of managing stock is too great, think about the cost of $25,000, $50,000 or even $250,000 in theft. Yes, we see this all too often in retail businesses – where stock is not managed.

Managing your stock = less theft and less theft = increases product and increased profit = you get more when you sell your business.

Tower Systems offers comprehensive theft mitigation services to small business retailers. We use our knowledge and experience to help retailers, to make it easier for them to understand any given situation and take steps to protect against theft. This is a free project from us, pro-bono help for small business retailers as part of the Tower Systems community care service.

Inventory is the best indicator of a problem. We leverage this data. We help retailers see and understand the challenges and we provide knowledge and tools that benefit retailers no matter what type of business they operate. This is another Tower Advantage, something we are proud to offer.

Data security advice for small business retailers using POS software

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2018 is not even half over and already it has seen considerable attacks on computers and on websites. Each attack reinforces the need for all businesses, including small businesses, to have appropriate security and backup measured in place to protect business data.

Appropriate backup means:

  1. Backup every day, without fail, without having too spend time for we know that time backups can take can make backups be ignored or forgotten.
  2. On-site backup.
  3. Plus, off-site backup.
  4. Easy access for recovery.
  5. Protection in a facility away from the business not only of all data but all software to facilitate swift recovery.
  6. Managed costs.
  7. Secure access to backed up data.
  8. maintaining backup services at the cutting edge.
  9. Appropriate security for backed up data.

Our advice is that you use a cloud backup service, like the Tower Backup service we offer. It works in the background, backing up without you having to do a backup. If your business is attacked, getting back to a clean and safe place is easy. Any reputable backup service should be able to offer similar to you.

Please do not put this off. Get protection for your business and your business data. You don’t want to be the person who does this after you have been attacked.

At the very least, backup every day, onto a USB stick for that day. While this is an old-school approach, it is better than nothing at all.

But let’s be clear, cloud backup is our recommendation. Our service provides you with a local backup and an offsite backup, in the cloud. This gives you two backups, excellent protection. We monitor the backups to ensure they are working. If we find an issue, we proactively call you. This is rare from a cloud backup service provider.

Here at Tower Systems we take data security seriously. We provide best-pracie advice. Our customers are welcome to use our service or another, our recommendation, however, is that they do something – to be protected.

Too often small business retailers think about data security after they have been affected. Hence this advice here and in our weekly emails and elsewhere in our touch points with customers.

Small business POS software customers appreciate THEFT POLICY

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A week ago we shared with our customers an updated THEFT POLICY, and suggested they print this and seek employee engagement.

The reaction has been terrific with plenty downloading and pricing the policy. We have had calls, too, from retailers seeking our suggestions on other actions they can take. Some have called with their stories of theft in their businesses.

Our work in the area of retail employee theft is comprehensive and on-going.

We welcome opportunities to work with our thousands of small business retailer customers to help them mitigate the theft situation in their businesses.

Here is the latest version of our THEFT POLICY that we shared a week ago:

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

A theft policy is vital to helping any retail business cut the cost of employee theft

A

Here at Tower Systems we often help small business retailers detect and stop employee theft. One piece of advice that we see as vital to this mission is for a business to have a THEFT POLICY.

Here is a policy we share with our customers. Feel free to use it, modify it and share it.

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Yes, you can cut the cost of theft in any retail business. It starts with the right policies and processes.

Small business retail advice: how to cut shopper theft

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Here are seven steps we suggest to cut the cost of shopper theft in your retail business. While there are other steps you could take, these seven are most valuable from our years of working with retailers.

  1. Look at people as they enter. Make sure they see you see them. Eye contact is key. Ideally, say hello to them. The more they think you have seen them the better.
  2. Have a screen near the entrance / exit so people can see that you filming them with your security cameras. The more people think they will be caught they less likely they are to steal.
  3. Work on the shop floor. This puts you or your employees among shoppers and heightens the chance of detection of theft.
  4. Walk the floor. Every so often, do a circuit. Be present. Talk to people.
  5. During peak shopping periods, station someone outside the business looking. Ensure they are trained on appropriate action should they see misbehavior.
  6. Bring in a security guard on a casual basis during your most busy periods.
  7. Have a no receipt no exchange or refund policy.
  8. Use your POS software. Spot stock take. Understand the cost off theft. In our experience the evidence is that items being stolen are bot those you think are being stolen. Data is key here. hence our advice to use your POS software.
  9. Act on the evidence.
  10. Ensure all who work in the business are in on this project.

The more likely people are to be caught the less likely you are to experience shopper theft.

Tower Systems has many years of experience in helping independent small business retailers mitigate em ploy theft and shopper theft. We leverage this experience for our customers through excellent POS software, free training, group training workshops, data analysis and expert witness support for authorities in specific cases.

Our advice to retailers is that you can cut the cost of theft if you manage your business to achieve this goal. Sadly, too many small business retailers do not do this because they do not see theft until it is too late. We say be on the front foot, manage to cut theft even when you cannot see it.

Xero POS software link from Tower Systems helps retailers cut theft

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Retailers using the Xero POS software link from Tower Systems are well positioned to reduce the impact of employee theft on their retail business. Here is how…

  1. Every data touchpoint in a business is an opportunity for employee fraud. Using this link there is less touching, less entering, of data. This in and of itself reduces the opportunity for covering top theft and if you reduce this opportunity you reduce actual theft.
  2. Theft occurs where there is less oversight. Thanks to the seamless flow of data from the POS software to Xero, without human intervention, oversight is tight and constant. This means loess opportunity for theft.
  3. Track cash without the opportunity for manipulation and you reduce the opportunity for theft. The POS software / Xero interface means that cash is recorded the moment a sale is completed. Every step of engagement with the cash whether it be the end of shift cash count, a customer refund, removal of cash from the register is tracked.
  4. Getting data out of the business and into the accounting ting function makes it more protected. The POS software Xero link gets data to the accounting function quickly, easily and without being manipulated. Data is treated like a serious business asset, as it should be.
  5. Never take your eyes off data. For the moment you take your eyes off the data you open it to be manipulated. This link never takes its eyes off.

Also, thanks to powerful data tracking including deep security data tracking, you can rely on this software to help you manage theft so as to ensure the impact on the business is minimised compared to what would be the case if you were not using the Tow3r Systems POS software Xero interface.

There are many stories from small business retailers where Tower Systems has helped uncover, resolve and even prosecute in situations of employee theft. We have specialist experience in helping small business retailers in this stressful and expensive area of business operation.

Tower Systems has brought its theft mitigation experience to the Xero link to leverage this ti maximum benefit for its small business retail customers.

Helping small business retailers reduce the impact of employee theft

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For many, years Tower Systems has offered small business retailers access to professional help in detecting, reducing and prosecuting employee theft. In our small business POS software we have excellent services that support this.

In our management team we have skilled professionals who have helped police, prosecutors, insurers and others in situations of employee theft. Our approach is evidence based, professional, discrete and thorough.

Our theft mitigation and theft management services are handled at the leadership team level of the Tower Systems business as this is where the experience lies through helping retail businesses in a variety of retail sectors.

In our decades of experience, it is essential the business draw a line in the sand on the issue of employee theft. This is best done by the establishment of a theft policy. This is best done as a document that employees sign. We provide our customers with a template theft policy. We share this here today for anyone to see and consider for their business.

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Helping small business retailers reduce the opportunity of employee theft

H

At our POS software company we actively help small business retailers who use our software to reduce the opportunity of employee theft. We do this in a range of overt and covert ways, through our software and outside off our software.

As we have decades of experience running different types of retail businesses and through our work with, 3,500+ other retailers with our software we have a deep pool of knowledge and experience on which to draw.

Employee theft is something to be managed. By managed, we mean measured, understood and mitigated.

based on our own experiences and those of others we trust, we offer refined, thoughtful, advice on managing employee theft. Here we share it with all as a free community service for small business retailers. Together, we can cut the cost of employee theft in your retail business:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.

Counselling small business retailers through the challenge of employee theft

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It is difficult hearing an adult cry on the other end of the phone when you pick up the call expecting it to be a regular business to business discussion. This time was different. Their story was one of hurt and pain, considerable financial hurt and considerable personal pain. They were distressed. They did not see how they could go on with business, they were so upset.

Our job in the call was to empathise and support, to not judge and to help them navigate next steps in what was a complex and unexpected situation.

The person on the other end of the phone was a retailer using our POS software. They called because they had just discovered an employee theft situation. While they knew they had tools in their POS software for early intervention on employee theft, they had not used them, until now, following a suspicion.

It turned out their suspicion was wrong. The person stealing from them was their most trusted employee, a family friend.

The first few calls with the customer about this were about them, about our customer, helping them navigate their own distress, so they could continue to function, to keep their business going, while they did what was necessary to have the theft dealt with formally by the authorities.

In addition to structured advice on handling any discovered employee theft, we provide help and support personally for the business owner, to help them personally deal with the violation they feel because of the theft.

We help the business owner(s) personally in several ways. These including pointing them to professional counselling services, physically being with them in the business when taking steps to deal with the theft, doing independent research on the theft so the authorities have the evidence they will need, being a pillar of support and strength for the retailer, ensuring they know we have their back and that how they feel right now will pass as they step through dealing with this.

While we are not professionally trained counsellors, we have been involved is supporting retailers from many different businesses in navigating the discovery and management of employee theft. We take care to support the person first, to ensure they are okay and reinforce that they will be okay. We help them as they pass through emotions ranging from hurt, anger, despair and hate. We take their hand and offer ourselves as a pillar of strength.

We do this because we have been there ourselves, in our own retail businesses over the years. We draw on our own experiences as we find this helps.

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