Cash Larceny, Part Eight

Cashier manipulations of manual and computer cash register systems

By Joseph R. Dervaes, CFE, CIA, ACFE Fellow
Fraud's Finer Points

As we continue our discussion of cash larceny frauds, we begin to look at manual and computer cash register manipulations that cashiers use to misappropriate funds from the organization.

All manual and computer cash registers include three functions that act as controls: the subtotal (periodic readings through the business day), the total (at the end of the business day), and a cumulative life-to-date sales total. The subtotal is generally called an "X" tape reading, while the total is called the "Z" tape reading. Cashiers are able to use the "X" tape reading. But only supervisors or managers should be able to use the "Z" tape reading. All three cash register functions are numerical counters inside the equipment that the organization or its employees can't access. Only the equipment manufacturer can do this.

When employees and cashiers activate the X or Z tape readings with any of these functions, a cash register tape is printed, which shows a variety of information used by managers. The type of information available varies because each cash register is different. Ideally, the X and Z tapes should include the name of the organization, the business date, totals for the amount of funds collected for each type of revenue or source of funds, the composition of all revenue collected (such as cash, check, credit and debit cards, etc.), the number and amount of certain types of negative cash or high-risk transactions (such as voids, refunds, adjustments, and paid-out transactions, etc.), and the total of any training activity recorded by the cashier.




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