Cash Larceny (Part 9)

Missing Z Tape Numbers and Other Cash Register Manipulations

By By Joseph R. Dervaes, CFE, CIA, ACFE Fellow

Fraud's Finer Points 

We'll discuss ways to calculate the amount of loss from missing cash register Z tapes (which record total accountability), as well as two additional cash register manipulation schemes that cashiers use to misappropriate funds from the organization.

MISSING CASH REGISTER Z TAPESOne of the most basic cash register frauds involves losses of revenue associated with missing Z tape numbers. As we explained in the November/December issue, the Z tape reading is a function for recording the total accountability of all funds collected by cashiers at the close of the business day (or a portion of it depending on the ways the organization uses its cash registers).

Every organization must ensure that the cash register Z tape number from each business day is recorded on a daily activity report. Once recorded, managers must then monitor the sequential use of all Z tape numbers to ensure that the universe of all transactions has been turned in from each cash register. Fraud occurs when cashiers fail to turn in all Z tapes and misappropriate the revenue from all transactions recorded on the missing Z tape number. Cashiers can use one of two methods “ beginning of the business day and end of the business day..  




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