Basic startup guide for a new business

From my retail experience, here are some suggestions for basic setup and bookwork.

  • Purchase a safe (from Costco?) that is big enough to fit the cash drawer insert, and have it hidden and secured (bolted) within your store.
  • The amount you start with in your cash drawer is called “the float”. I suggest your float amount should be $200 (including the coin).  If your cash drawer becomes full of cash (way over the $200 float amount), move some of this cash to your safe (throughout the day).
  • Get a small cash box (shoe box size), and put $200 cash into it (rolls of coin and small bills). This is your secondary “make change float”. When you run out of coin or small bills (in your cash drawer), you use this float to make change. Count this secondary float (will always stay at $200) every week to make sure it’s not missing any money (record date/initials on slip of paper). Keep an eye on this float as you will need to go to the bank and exchange the large bills for coin and smaller bills. This cash box should always be stored in the safe, so make sure you have a safe that is large enough to hold your cash drawer and cash box.
  • At the end of the day (when the doors are locked):
    • Count your till’s cash to create your $200 cash float again. The amount of cash over the $200, you place into a large Glad (zip lock) freezer bag along with your receipts, checks, coupons, gift certificates, etc.
    • Counting Float: Count your coin first and place any change not divisible by 5 into bag (e.g. If your coin totals $42.83, put $2.83 into the bag. If your coin totals $48.22, put $3.22 into bag). Now count your $5 bills and add to the coin total (this total must be divisible by 10 so you may need to place $5 into bag).
    • Now add your $10 (and $20 if needed) to finalize the $200 float.
    • Go to the c/c processor unit and print out an “end of day” batch report. This will give you totals for Visa, MC, and Debit (put in bag).
    • Go to ConsignmentTill and print the “End-of-Day” report (put in bag).
    • Now put the cash drawer insert (should only have $200 cash in it), the bag full of cash/slips into your safe.
  • Come into work early (before doors open) and do the previous day’s bookwork. Note: Good idea to recount the cash float to verify it’s exactly $200. Run ConsignTill and go to menu Admin > Daily Balance Sheet.
    • Separate the Visa, MC, and Debit slips into different piles and total them. Compare the totals of the slips with the totals given on the Batch Report printed from the night before. Most times they match, but sometimes, even if you received an authorization on the transaction, it didn’t get posted to your account (you won’t ever get paid!). If you find the Batch report (from processor’s terminal) is missing funds, you MUST phone your processing company to find out what the issue is.
    • Count the amount of cash you have in the bag. Compare this amount with the amount shown in ConsignTill. If you have too much cash, did you not give someone their change? If you are missing cash, did you not collect the cash from the customer?
    • Count the value of the checks, coupons, gift cert/cards, etc. and to see if they match ConsignTill.

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