Thursday, June 17, 2010

CASH COUNTER MANAGEMENT- ROLE OF HEAD CASHIERS

The maximum number of customer interaction that one faces in a retail store is the cash counter. Hence it becomes very important to keep the cash counter very efficient and manned at all times. An effective and neat cash counter is a sign of a very professionally managed store.

It’s the responsibility of the cash counter in-charge or the head cashier to see to it that each and every cash counter is managed properly. At start of the trading it’s important that the cashier assigned to a specific cash counter needs to look into the following points.
· The cash counter is neat and tidy.
The cash counter should not be untidy as it is at this place that a sale is closed. It’s a very sensitive area from the point of sales, and hence it may convert or break a sale. It is at this place that customers make impulse decisions. Cash counters being untidy and dirty can irate a customer and it can be one of the major reasons for loss in sale.
· To ensure the cash till/POS machine is working:
Before letting customers approach your counter for billing cashiers should make sure that the POS is functional and there is no problem. The cashier also needs to check and update all schemes, offers for the day with the help of the systems personnel. This helps in efficiency in billing and help in reducing long queue and delay at the cash counter.
· To check all telephone lines and EDC machines are working:
The cashier needs to check whether the phone lines and the EDC machines are working. The reason is if a customer wishes to pay by credit card the cashier needs to swipe the same on the EDC machine and to get authorization from the bank the telephone line needs to be functional. During week ends and peak seasons stores are packed with customers and there are a long queues in front of the cash counters. At this stage if the telephone line or the EDC machine is not working then it will be a nightmare for the cashier as he will have face the customers anger. Hence it’s very important to make it a practice to check the telephone lines and the EDC machines before the billing process.

· To ensure stationery is available:
Cashiers need to make sure stationeries like pen, stapler, rubber stamps, calculator, manual bill book, etc. is available at the cash counter. These are essential stationeries and are required most of the time during the billing process. If any one of them is not available during the billing process it delays the transaction. Also it does not show a professional approach to a customer and due to the delay the customer becomes irritated. It may also be a reason for loss in sale.
· To ensure returns are sent back:
Most of the times customers tend to decide not to bill some items and leave the same at the cash counter. If not attended to it tends to pile up at the cash counter and makes the place very uncomfortable for the cashier as well as the customer. Hence at every interval the cashier needs to make it a point to send such items back to the department or section to where it belongs.
· Q-Manager in place:
Last but not the least cashiers should ensure that Q-managers are in place in front of the cash counter to avoid crowding of customers in front of the cash desk. Q-managers will help the customers to form a proper queue so as all customers get to bill at the cash counter in turns without any problem.

The head cashier should ensure this is practised religiously every day.

Reports generated by the head cashier:

Usually a head cashier is expected to generate a report which shows the total number of transactions done in all the cash counters, a detail SKU wise report, a detail tender wise report and a detail report in all individual cash counters which will reflect all the cancellations done, refunds made, and any other specific transaction made apart from the billings made. Based on these reports the head cashier has to submit his daily submission report to the store manager. Also all investigations are done based on these reports. Some software also has the efficiency to generate report period wise, apart from date wise, and also time wise, i.e. between a specific time periods in a day, individually in all cash counters. The more the reports are detailed the easier it becomes for a head cashier to investigate a case.

Banking process:

Banking of the daily sales cash also is the responsibility of the head cashier. It is very crucial for the head cashier to tally the entire physical collections made with the system report, and to report of any shortfalls immediately to the concerned cashier the same day. Once all the cash collections from all the cashiers are made, the head cashier does the banking process early in the morning the next day.
· He first needs to bundle the currencies denomination wise, count the same and record it in the bank deposit slip.
· It is very important and mandatory to note the organizations PAN number (Permanent Account Number) for all deposits above fifty thousand rupees made in India.
· Once the money is deposited he needs to file the acknowledged slip received from the bank, and get it signed by the store manager on a daily basis, along with the reconciliation slip of the previous days collections made.
· The store manager needs to check that the collections made and the deposit made in the bank should be the same and should not differ at any time.

The head cashier also needs to take care of the petty cash for the store. All expenses for the store are taken care by this petty cash. Money from the daily sales collection should never be used for the day-to-day expense of the store. He needs to ensure that the entire daily sales collection is banked immediately the following day.

Most of the major retailers take the help of cash pick-up security agencies to pick up the daily sales collections from the stores on a daily basis and do the banking process. The head cashier keeps the collections ready prior to the agent coming to collect the cash. Once the agent comes, he checks for his identification and then hands over the collections after taking his signature and name on the daily cash collection register. Once the cash is banked the agent issues the acknowledged slip received from the bank back to the head cashier. When such an agreement is done by the retailer and the collection agent, no risk is involved as safety of the money is ensured as well as insurance cover is ensured by the agency.

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