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Are Cash Handling Audits still relevant?

May 27, 2021

Cash transactions are slowly dwindling in Australia. The Reserve Bank’s 2019 Consumer Payments Survey found that only 32% of in-person transactions are conducted in cash, with the fall in small transactions (i.e. under ten dollars) particularly pronounced given “tap and go” technologies.

The percentage of cash transactions has decreased even further over the past year, as a result of the Covid pandemic.

But despite its recent fall in popularity, there is no denying that cash will continue to be regularly used by some customers (such as older persons), and occasionally by all of us (due to system outages and accessibility issues). Because of this, most businesses will continue to accept cash transactions, and accumulate cash takings throughout the day.

These takings remain attractive and subject to risks - namely financial, physical security and fraud.

What does this mean for internal audit?

It is suggested that while businesses continue to accept cash transactions there is still a role for internal audit. However, in our experience, a more modern approach is required to enable internal audit to monitor cash handling activities and build capacity as part of its “first line of defense”. This could involve such aspects as CCTV surveillance monitoring and notification to the public; staff safety regarding potential armed hold up; counterfeit notes information, identification and reporting procedures; and strategies to maintain a low level of cash on hand, including monitoring the frequency of cash collection by armed security.

Centium specialises in minimising risk for small to medium organisations, many of whom deal with a broad range of businesses that handle cash.

Our team has developed a self-assessment checklist, which is based on good practice controls and is designed to be completed by front-line supervisors on an agreed periodic basis. It can also be adapted to support staff induction activities.

The checklist includes the following cash handling aspects:

  • Strategy and policy
  • Staff awareness and training
  • Cash handling practices
  • Physical security
  • Cashing up and banking
  • Receipts and recordkeeping
  • Processes for “overs” and “unders”

For a FREE COPY of our self-assessment checklist or for more information as to how we could help your business improve its cash handling and financial operations, Contact Us online or give us a call on 1300 237 810.

Still prefer Credit Card payments? Don’t forget that all organisations who receive credit card payments have responsibilities and obligations to comply with, as per the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Click here for further details on how best to stay compliant.

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