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For entities using cash registers, voids and returns can be used to cover up cash register theft schemes. To reduce the risk of becoming a target of such a scheme, remember to segregate duties: the person ringing up the sale should not be able to approve voids or returns.

One very simple control is the use of void and return forms at each register. The forms would identify the amount of the void or return, the employee working the cash register, and the customer involved in any return. The forms would require a manager’s approval of the void or return. If the manager is the person initiating the void or handling the return, a second person’s approval would be required. Once the void or return is approved, the form would be placed in the cash register drawer and maintained with the cash register tapes. Some cash register systems can be programmed to require a manager’s key or code for the approval of a void or return. Whatever type of cash register system is used, implement procedures to detect and deter cash register theft schemes using voids and returns.

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 01/18/2008

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