How to Use Cannabis POS for Cash Drawers Management

Treez Team
A screenshot illustration of cash drawers and shift report, with a photograph of cash being exchanged

Owing to the increase in thefts, taking cash payments at your cannabis dispensary or retail outlet is not the best idea. But it also remains a fact that a number of cannabis consumers are still choosing to make cash payments for their orders. 

While we recommend encouraging cashless payments at the point of sale, we also suggest having a contingency plan in place. This is where cash drawer management or cash management becomes important. 

In this blog, we talk about everything you need to know about managing cash drawers, tracking cash movement, and protecting your money. 

What is cash drawer management?

The cash drawer ensures the safety of the cash you receive for orders at your cannabis dispensary or retail outlet. It doesn’t just simplify organizing the cash you receive at the point of sale based on the value, but also adds a layer of security on the access to it. 

Now cash drawer management refers to managing the activity related to the cash drawer. This includes receiving a payment, recording it, tending change from the cash drawer for a payment being made, making payments using the cash and other related actions that include cash movement. 

Why is cash drawer management important? 

Before we get into how to implement effective cash handling systems at your cannabis dispensary and retail outlets, let’s look into a few reasons why this is important: 

  • Due diligence - Cash drawer management helps you understand where your money is, who has access to it, and how it is or will be used. This helps your business with better accounting to prevent fraud, theft, and other errors that lead to cash flow problems. 
  • Cash flow trail - Discerning where the cash is coming from or where it is going can be tough. Cash drawer management implements streamlined practices like automation to help keep a clear audit trail of the smallest of movements. 
  • Safety - Cash is prone to risks like theft by erasing transaction details, lack of transaction records, and similar actions. Cash drawer management adds an additional layer of security on top of smart safes and cash drawers by giving a retailer the ability to set up user accesses and authorization protocols. 
  • Compliance - Being able to manage cash flow better at your cannabis dispensary or retail outlet does more than just prevent risks of loss. It also helps ensure your sales are recorded accurately to meet compliance requirements of the state you are in.  

What are the key elements of cash drawer management and cash handling? 

To benefit from cash drawer management, cannabis businesses need to bring in these five elements as a part of their processes and systems used for the same: 

  • Roles and responsibilities - From retail owners, managers, cashiers, budtenders and other employees, the cannabis business must create defined roles and responsibilities for everyone involved. 
  • Accountability - Setting clear expectations about who handles cash payments, how the transaction is recorded and documented, and who signs off on cash movements, setting protocols and authorization levels will help set accountability to adhere to security procedures. 
  • Physical security - As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to follow security practices at physical locations. This includes setting up security cameras, keeping the cash drawer out of easy access, creating safety deposit box combinations and access codes, activating SOS buttons and more. 
  • Reconciliation - Despite implementing the best of cash handling processes, there can be discrepancies in transactions. That’s why it is important to set up a process to compare transactions and activity to support documentation for quick reconciliation. 

How to get started with effective cash drawer management and cash handling? 

Now let’s take a look into the steps you really need to take to get started with effective cash drawer management and cash handling: 

1. Invest in the best cannabis POS system 

In a cash-heavy industry like cannabis, how you manage cash can make or break your success (and compliance). To ensure there is effective cash drawer management set up, you will need the best cannabis POS system at your dispensary or retail outlet. 

A cannabis POS system like SellTreez does more than just enable your dispensary to take cashless payments. It comes with additional features to handle cash payments for orders at point of sale, giving you the ability to keep track of the payments received with complete customer details, and manage the cash drawer with all security measures in place. 

2. Create a standard operational procedure (SOP) for cash handling 

When running a business, it is important to set up clear procedures and the same should hold true on how anyone in the company handles cash payments. This should include all the steps a budtender or a cashier needs to follow when accepting cash payments at checkout, updating the cash drawer, recording the order details, and who, when and how these details can be accessed or edited by. 

Pro tip: Invest time in training your employees to follow the SOPs for cash handling, including what bad practices look like. 

3. Set defined employee permissions and authorizations  

As your cannabis business grows, you need to define authorizations and permissions to control cash movement and prevent thefts. So as the number of employees increase, ensure you set internal controls about who has access to what, who they need to get clearance from to complete an action like making a transaction void, editing details and so on. 

The best cannabis POS systems like SellTreez customize user settings to fit your operational practices and ensure complete security. It brings user management onto one dashboard, making it simpler for you to make changes or update roles. 

A gif of the User Management screen in SellTreez displays a set of checkboxes - Daily Procedures, Inventory, Retail Products, Reports, Patient, Retail and Configuration

4. Use blind drawer reconciliation

Blind drawer reconciliation refers to a process wherein the employee, budtender, or cashier takes count of the entire day’s transactions before closing a register. They then report the total within your point of sale system to sync sales data and measure accuracy. SellTreez simplifies this process by automating this step, helping managers spot discrepancies with ease, ensuring everyone remains accountable. 

5. Create shift management procedures 

If your dispensary or retail outlet functions through the day or runs in shifts, it’s also important to set up shift management procedures. This includes who handles the cash drawer at each shift change and the process they need to follow to hand-off to the next person. 

With a cannabis POS solution like SellTreez, you can easily manage and reconcile cash drawers for every shift. It gives your employees the ability to start, pause, end and close a shift effectively without causing any discrepancies in cash flow management. 

A screenshot shows the Cash Drawer Actuals with Open Shift, End Shift, Employee, Cash, Debit, Cashless ATM and Totals

6. Audit and improve 

As an additional process, we also recommend auditing your cash drawer management practices and cash handling procedures. This helps identify loopholes in your processes that may cause discrepancies and could potentially lead to compliance issues. 

Engaging a third-party to audit your processes is a good idea to get an external opinion on how effective they are. Use these insights to further strengthen how you handle cash or encourage customers to opt for cashless payments instead at the point of sale. 

Is cash drawer management giving you nightmares? 

Handling cash payments is not easy. 

Maintaining records of those cash payments and all the related movements can be even tougher. 

This is where building a culture of accountability comes into play by investing in the right technology platforms like cannabis POS systems that assist your employees to execute the roles assigned to them effectively. 

But at the same time, it is also important to train your budtenders to encourage buyers to opt for cashless payments instead. 

The lesser cash you have to handle, the more secure you keep your cannabis business. 

Want to know more about handling cash or setting up cashless payments? 

Book a demo of SellTreez today

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