Opening and closing out the till

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If you work at the Donation Desk or in the Thrift Store you may be asked to handle money as a cashier. Only staff members and authorized volunteer cashiers are allowed to handle money. If you are an authorized, you may find yourself needing to start out or close out the day. It is important that this be done correctly so we can account for all the money in an easy and clear way.

Opening the till

First thing - count the till!

Tills come from the safe and should be counted and ready to go when you arrive. If you do not have access to the safe, ask a staff collective member to get your till for you.

Inside the till, you should have:

  • the money for starting the day and
  • an End of shift form with amounts listed in the Start column.

The amounts should be totaled and there should be a number in box A at the bottom of the Start column. (The standard number of bills and coins is usually what is spelled out in the Standard Cash Drawer page, but there might be a minor variation in your particular till.)

You need to count the money to make sure that this is all correct. If there is any error, correct the paperwork and re-add the amounts to reflect how much money is actually in the till. Record the actual amount of cash next to box A, so the closer will be able to see how much money was actually there at the start of the day.

Problems with opening

  • If the till has been already been used, ask for a new one. If there are no new tills, talk to a beancounter.
  • If the till has the wrong amount of money in it, note the actual amount on the end of shift form and then use that number on the till worksheet at the end of the day.

Closing out the till

Fill out the Till Worksheet

When turning in the till to the closer, you should have all of the following:

  • the money brought in during the day
  • checks (front desk only) - stamped, FD or TS # at top, DL #, proper date, signature, money amounts written and numeric matching
  • an End of shift form with amounts listed in the Start columns, already in till
  • a Till worksheet - fill in with data and print out when done, including explanation of any overage or shortage
  • credit card report printed out from the credit card machine (wait until after closing)(see the instructions)
  • money receipts - with reference to credit slip when applicable
    • If a receipt is for payment of an invoice, it needs to have the invoice number on it. Generally it is best to print a copy of the invoice and attach it to the receipt.
  • reimbursement or IOU slips - will all lines complete, including 2 signatures
  • mileage reimbursement slips - will all lines complete, including 2 signatures

Preferably fill out a Till worksheet, but if that is not available, fill out the End of shift form. The relevant box numbers are the same, it is just the the till worksheet does the calculating for you.:

  1. Make sure all the money is in its correct place. (That is, all the ones are in with the ones, all the fives are with the fives, all the dimes are with the dimes, etc.)
  2. Count all the money by denomination and record each amount in the End column in its appropriate spot.
  3. Total up any amount of checks and record the total amount at the top of the End column.
  4. Add up the cash and checks for a total that should be recorded in box B.
  5. Subtract the amount in box A (currently $100 for the front desk and $250 for the store) from box B to determine how much money should go to the safe. Put this amount in box C
  6. Total up any reimbursement, iou or other cash out slips and record the total amount in box D.
  7. Itemize these slips in the spaces to the right, one line per receipt, including the final destination of the cash and what was actually obtained for the money, or if it was an IOU.
  8. Close out the credit card machines and record the amount from the credit card report in box E. (see the instructions)
  9. Add the amounts from boxes C, D, and E to get a subtotal for box F.
  10. Total up any Money Receipts which were paid by cash or checks and record the total amount in box G ("non-db Cash In"). NOTE: Resolved invoices are non-db cash in.
  11. Total up any Money Receipts which were paid by credit card and record the total amount in box H.
  12. Itemize the receipts, one to a line in the spaces to the right, making sure that it is noted whether it is for a tech support ticket, IOU repayment, or cash donation. If it is a payment for an invoice, make sure the invoice number is listed for the receipt. Group credit card payments separately from cash payments so that they are easily distinguished.
  13. Subtract boxes G and H from box F to get the regular income amount for box I.
  14. Pull up the Income Report from the database to compare with your numbers.
  15. Check the report for inconsistencies with your paperwork. Solve any problems you can, and correct your paperwork or the database as necessary. (See below.)
    • The Check column on the database Income Report should be the same as checks total on your worksheet or the amount in box at the top of the End column on the End of Shift form.
    • The Credit column on the database Income Report should be the same as the amount in box E.
      • The exception to the above would be if there are checks and/or credit amounts that were not entered into the database, such as cash-only donations or tech support tickets.
  16. Write the Total Real amount for your till from the database report in box J on your paperwork.
  17. Is the till out of balance?
    • If box I and box J are the same, your till is in balance.
    • If box I is larger than box J your till is over.
    • If box J is larger than box I your till is short.
    • After double checking all your work, record overages or shortfalls in box K. Overages are positive numbers. Shortfalls are negative numbers.
  18. Make sure the credit card slips are in order. If any are missing, circle the number of the slip on the credit card summary report. Do your best to find the slip or find out why the slip is missing and note it on the till worksheet.
  19. If, on the Income Report, the credit card total for your department is different from the total on the credit card summary report (perhaps due to non-database transactions), circle the total on the income report and make a brief note as to why it is different.
  20. Put the credit card slips and summary report, along with the end of shift form, till worksheet and income report into the till and put the till into the safe, or give it to the closing staff member if you do not have access to the safe.

Tills will go into the safe and should be counted and ready to go when you arrive. If you do not have access to the safe, ask a staff collective member to get your till for you.

Reimbursements and IOUs

Reimbursement (no money borrowed)

Cashier
  1. put 0 in box A of the reimbursement form
  2. put the amount spent in box B and box D, using a separate form for separate receipts.
  3. give the amount spent to the reimbursee.
  4. Fill out purchaser, purchases, business purpose, vendor and initial the box on the right
Closer
  1. put the amount spent from box B on the reimbursement form in the itemization area for cash out, one line per receipt and include in the totals for cash out

IOU given out (what to do on the day)

Cashier
  1. fill out the top part of the IOU/Reimbursement form
Closer (if the IOU has not been redeemed by the end of the day)
  1. put the amount of the IOU in the itemization area for "cash out" and include in the totals for cash out

IOU from same day redeemed with a purchase

Cashier
  1. put the amount of the IOU in box A
  2. put the amount spent in box B (total of all receipts)
  3. put the difference in Box C or D depending on whether A or B is the larger value.
  4. receive change or give reimbursement as appropriate
  5. Fill out purchaser, purchases, business purpose, vendor and initial the box on the right
Closer
  1. put the amount spent from box B on the reimbursement form in the itemization area for cash out, one line per receipt and include in the totals for cash out
Note: The initial IOU and change returned do not go on the till worksheet anywhere.

IOU from same day redeemed with cash

Cashier
  1. put the amount of the IOU in box A
  2. put the amount returned in box C.
  3. put the borrowers name and that it is an IOU repay in the area on the left.
  4. initial the box on the right
Closer
nothing needs to be entered on the till worksheet

IOU from a different day redeemed with a purchase

Cashier
  1. put the amount of the IOU in box A
  2. put the amount spent in box B (total of all receipts)
  3. put the difference in Box C or D depending on whether A or B is the larger value.
  4. receive change or give reimbursement as appropriate
  5. Put the date of the original IOU in box E (can be approximate)
  6. Fill out purchaser, purchases, business purpose, vendor and initial the box on the right
Closer
  1. put the amount spent from box B on the reimbursement form in the itemization area for cash out, one line per receipt and include in the totals for cash out
  2. put the original amount of the IOU itemized in "non-db cash in" and add it to the total for "non-db cash in"

In this example, a previously obtained IOU for $520 was used to purchase shelving, then change and a receipt brought back the day of this worksheet.  The change returned does not appear on the worksheet.

IOU from a different day redeemed with cash

Cashier
  1. put the amount of the IOU in box A
  2. put the amount returned in box C.
  3. put the borrowers name and that it is an IOU repay in the area on the left.
  4. initial the box on the right
Closer
  1. put the amount of the returned IOU in the itemization area for "non-db cash in" and add to the total of "non-db cash in"

Problems with closing

My checks are off!
Normally this means that a check transaction was recorded as a credit card or cash. Arrange the checks in order by receipt number and compare them to the database. If you find a transaction that is not recorded as a check but should be, then use the database to fix the problem. (This means you will need to re-run the Income Report.) This can also be because a check was written for something that did not get entered in the database, like a cash-only donation, or a tech support ticket at the front desk. Make sure that gets entered as "cash in" on the till worksheet and then even though the check total will not agree with the database, the final balance should come out alright.
My credit cards are off!
Normally this means that a credit or debit card transaction was recorded as a check or cash. Arrange the credit card slips in order by receipt number and compare them to the database. If you find a transaction that is not recorded as a credit card transaction but should be, then use the database to fix the problem. (This means you will need to re-run the Income Report.) Another possibility is that a credit card was used for something that did not get entered in the database (see the check example above).
My checks or credit card slips don't have receipt numbers on them!
This usually means that someone earlier in the day forgot to record the TS or FD number when the transaction happened. You'll need to look for the transaction in the database and record it yourself.
What about checks that are "signed over" to Free Geek?
If someone endorses a check "Pay to the order of Free Geek" and exchanges it for cash, then the database total in the Check column will be different from the total amount of checks in your till (at the top of the End column). Make a note of this in the Notes section of the paperwork.
The cash is off!
Make sure your checks are correct and your credit cards are correct. If these are off, they'll affect your cash. Once that's done, re-check your work methodically:
  • Make sure your bills or coins aren't mixed. (Three fives and a ten do not make twenty dollars.)
  • Recount your bills.
  • Check your addition. (Add your numbers again. If you get a different total than before, repeat until you get a consistent result.)
Sometimes, the cash is just off. If you've tried all the above and it still doesn't add up, don't sweat the small stuff. You will record the shortfall or overage on the paperwork and the beancounters will maybe catch the mistake tomorrow.

Special situations

Donation in the store
If someone wants to make a monetary donation while in the store, this gets entered into the donation database, not the store database. If the donation is a check or cash, the store clerk should walk the money over to the front desk. If it is a credit card donation, that is not possible, so there will be matching discrepancies at the front desk and store. Example: A customer makes a $25 cc donation in the store. It is entered in the database as a donation (e.g.#123456) and will show up as a $25 short till at the front desk and a $25 overage in the store. To correct for this, the front desk closer puts it as "cash out, $25, cc donation in the thrift store #123456". The store closer will put it as "non-db cc in, $25, cc donation #123456". The signed credit card slip will be marked with the database entry number and put in order with the store's other cc slips.
Invoice payments at the front desk
If an invoice from a previous day gets paid at the front desk, then several steps should happen.
  • Resolve the invoice in the database.
    1. Find the record.
    2. Note in the comments that the invoice was paid and how.
    3. Put today's date in the "When was this invoice resolved?" field.
    4. Update the record.
    • Do not change the payment method!
  • If paid with a check, put the check with the other checks on the till worksheet, marked with the invoice number for the FD number.
  • Add the amount of the invoice payment to non-db cash in (or non-db cc in if a credit card payment) and itemize it as "invoice payment #xxxxxxx".
  • Include a printout of the invoice with the till worksheet.

Special tills

Periodically a till will be made up to take to an event. There is no real standard amount for these, since the size and expected donations/sales vary tremendously. These will be made up by a beancounter, and will include an End of Shift form which enumerates the beginning amount.

  • Before the event, count the money and initial verifying that the till amount is what the form says it is. If it is not, then make a note as to that fact.
  • At the end of the event, fill out the right side of the form. (You can use the till worksheet from dead trees if internet and a printer is available).
  • Itemize the checks and cash, and total it all in box "B"
  • Subtract the initial amount ("A") from the total ("B") and put it in box "C"
  • If there were expenses paid for out of the till, itemize them in "cash out notes" and put the total in box "D". (Make sure all receipts are included with the till)
  • Add "C" and "D" together and put the total in box "F". (As of this writing, we do not take credit cards at events)

Since event donations are not entered in the database (as of this writing) you can stop here.

See Also