#10Things to Prevent Employee Theft


As business owners, we all wear many hats. Here are #10things you can do to prevent theft in your business.

1. Cash drawer

Have a set amount in the cash drawer. Everyone handling cash counts the cash when they start and end their shift. All overages and missing funds should be notified in writing. This prevents cash from going missing without anyone knowing. Also, if you have multiple registers going at once, each person should be responsible for their own cash drawer.

2. Deletes, voids and cancels

Once money is exchanged, it should be tracked. Ideally, no one is deleting or voiding transactions. The account should be noted while the refund takes place. That way, it is trackable.

3. Individual codes

Everyone accessing the point-of-sale (POS), cloud, server and building should have their own passcodes. Create a policy where sharing codes is prohibited.

4. Inventory

The person counting the inventory should not know the quantity on the shelf. This is called a blind inventory.

5. Use a purchase order

Even the most basic POS systems allow you to track inventory in and out. Ordering retail and backbar by scanning the shelves isn’t efficient, and it will not track if there is retail and backbar theft happening.

6. Separate duties

The person ordering supplies should not be the person checking in the order and paying the vendor. Separating duties limits the opportunity of mistakes and theft.

7. Buddy system

If access to the safe is necessary, have them access it in pairs. No one should be alone with cash or the checkbook. Use this policy if they have to walk to the bank as well.

TIP: All cash received should have a receipt and the receipt book should be kept in sequential order.

8. Purchase limits

Office supplies, janitorial, sundries and maintenance are categories where over spending can happen. Purchases over your limit should require additional approval.

9. Time clock

Remind employees that they should be clocked in and ready to start. Hourly employees are paid for performing their duties and not for personal time.

10. Safe space

Create a safe space for your employees. Reward those that save money and notify you when they see something that’s not good for your business. Anytime I’ve had a challenge with theft in my business, it was an employee that discovers it first.

Phew, that was a heavy one! We want to trust everyone and feel safe leaving our business. Developing policies and systems that help honest people stay honest will allow your team to focus on serving the guest and you can relax and grow your business.


Founder and owner of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology since 2002, Deedee Crossett is an industry pioneer for raising the bar of undergraduate education for cosmetologists and estheticians. She can be reached at www.facebook.com/deedee.crossett and Twitter @DeedeeCrossett #10things.

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