Tips for a Better Cash Management Strategy in Your Pharmacy

RMSPOS_Effective_Cash_Management_StrategyI’m pretty sure that not a day goes by where I don’t talk with at least one RMS customer about credit card processing. From EMV, to P2PE, NFC, and Credit Card on File. All things credit card are a hot topic for any size pharmacy.

But credit cards aren’t the only method of payment that matters in your pharmacy. Consumers in the U.S. are far from giving up their money clips and going cashless. According to this article, cash still accounts for about 31% of consumer transactions. Your pharmacy might do more or less depending on demographics, average ticket size or any number of other factors. But no matter the number, it’s definitely too large to ignore.

All this doesn’t change the fact that cash has it’s downsides when your’re running a business. Having an effective cash management strategy is important in order to both identify and avoid problems.

Use Blind Balancing – Blind balancing is a process in which an employee counts the contents of a cash drawer without visibility of what’s supposed to be there. Once the blind balance is completed, a supervisor can then validate that the funds in the drawer match what’s on file in the system. This means that no employee can alter counts to account for overages or shortages.

Control Cash Drawer Access – If you have the potential for more than one employee to run transactions out of a single cash drawer, you have the potential for issues that can’t be easily identified or remedied. If cash counts are off, you have no way of narrowing down who is responsible for the cash management issue. Have cashiers work from their own designated cash tray, balancing and securely storing it as their shift ends. If more than one employee needs to have access to the same till during the same shift, use a dual drawer setup. Each employee will only have access to their assigned drawer. This adds a measure of accountability to funds managed by pharmacy staff.

Monitor Cash Management Reports – Catching one or two mistakes isn’t going to tell you much about what’s going on in your pharmacy. Make monitoring your cash management related reports a part of your daily routine so you can understand trends over longer stretches of time. Do you have an employee constantly adding or removing funds, or that’s short in their till almost every day? Whether these are honest mistakes, or something else, knowing that the problem exists is the first step to solving it.

Cash management may seem like a back to basics step in an industry that becomes more technology driven every day. But overlooking it is an easy path to lost revenue as you won’t be able to identify or resolve any problems with how pharmacy staff handle this major method of payment.