Education and safety are top of mind for university administrators, and especially for students and their parents when selecting a school. Higher education institutions spend a lot of time on providing students with the best education, preparing them to succeed in their careers. At the same time, parents are looking to the organization to ensure their children are safe and secure while away from home.
However, critical time and attention can be pulled away from the administration’s top priority—their students―when the organization must manually manage cash and funds on campus.
Risks of Manual Cash Handling
Not only are employees and their valuable time pulled away from supporting the organization’s students, colleges and universities also face the common threats below with manual cash management:
— Internal theft or robbery at a variety of cash points on campus
— Greater risk when transporting cash to the bank or cash vault
— Shrinkage due to human error from miscounting or misplaced funds
— Inadequate cash control and lack of visibility into reporting
These challenges leave many organizations wondering: how do you protect your greatest asset—your students and faculty—without sacrificing the safety of your cash?
Fortunately, with the development of new technology and services, the cash management industry is changing the way schools do business. Universities and colleges can now automate their previous manual tasks and can experience reduced overall operating costs, internal losses and the time spent on cash handling.
Continue reading 7 tips to strengthen your cash control while minimizing the risk to your students, staff and visitors.
7 Tips to Protect Cash While Increasing Employee + Student Safety
1. Develop a cash handling handbook
Begin by mapping out all areas on campus that handle cash and identify their vulnerabilities. This enables the organization to create a plan and provide guidelines for the proper management of cash funds. The handbook should define and document the responsibilities of all employees who manage, receive, handle and safeguard cash. Additionally, include direction for all campus departments so they are aware of how to properly collect, store and report on funds.
2. Educate and train employees
Once the handbook is established, properly train employees to ensure they fully understand all guidelines and procedures. Even after the employees are trained, it’s important to continuously reevaluate the handbook to guarantee best practices are always performed. Also, consider including safety awareness training for employees, as this can enable them to better identify physical threats, helping to mitigate theft or robberies.
3. Minimize the availability of large amounts of cash
Since cash is handled at a variety of locations on campus, consider implementing a smart safe at point of sales with heavy cash traffic. Smart safes enable employees to immediately deposit bills to reduce exposure in the store, and the cash can be validated and securely deposited. Additionally, depending on the cash need and use, some smart safes have the ability to recycle cash or change which can reduce or even eliminate the need to travel to the bank for change orders.
4. Be aware of and safeguard against counterfeit currency
Along with educating employees on proper cash management processes, ensure employees know how to identify fraud currency. This could occur in locations like the admissions office where larger amounts of cash may be held to pay for tuition. While it is ideal to have a smart safe at all point of sales, it may not be feasible due to budgetary constraints. Employees can refer to the U.S. Currency Education Program to further learn how to identify counterfeit bills.
5. Establish secure cash transfer techniques
As mentioned, cash transactions occur at various points of sales on campus which means the funds need to be transported securely to the vault or bank. While many organizations rely on employees to manually transport the funds, this puts the employee and students at greater risk of robbery. Other organizations use their police staff to securely transport the cash, and while this may be more secure it is pulling them away from other campus security operations. Consider outsourcing this task to an armored truck carrier to remove the risk and burden off staff and to ensure your students are kept safe. The time saved from trips to the bank can be reallocated to ensuring the campus and businesses are running efficiently.
6. Restrict access to cash and other valuables
The greatest risk to many organizations is human error and internal theft – generally a result from miscounting and untrusted employees. To increase security, reduce the amount of people handling cash from the point of sale to the deposit at the bank. This also includes restricting access to sensitive information like passwords or combinations to only authorized personnel. If restricting cash handling is not a possible practice, consider implementing a smart safe. The smart safe technology can increase accountability by tracking who makes deposits, and typically only professionals from armored truck services can open the safe to remove the deposits.
7. Increase cash visibility
When organizations leverage automated cash management services, they can also increase their visibility into their cash flow. Utilizing technology like smart safes or services like armored carriers can enable universities and colleges to track all deposits from various vendors, and easily reconcile any discrepancies. Having a greater cash control will save employees time, increase student safety and reduce overall shrinkage.