Firm Blog Postings

Misappropriation Schemes – Cash Register Dispersement Fraud


Common indicators, resources and prevention tips for cash register dispersement schemes.


False Returns: This typically occurs when dishonest employees process false returns and/or voids sales that have been previously recorded. This is a form of “on-the-books” cash larceny.
Unrecorded Sales: Sales persons operate remotely or are unsupervised and simply do not enter the sale in the register, instead pocketing the proceeds. This is a form of “off-the-books” cash skimming.



False or Excess Returns

• Often, a perpetrator will process a false return and take cash out of the register

• The recordation of a return will allow the cash drawer to be “in balance” at the end of the employees’ shift

• A return might be valid but the employee enters a value greater than the legitimate return and takes the difference

• A tally of returns by the cashier should be kept and reviewed by management

Validation Resource(s)

• Trend reports on volume of returns by cashier may be helpful in identifying employees with an unusually high amount of returns

• Surveying that employee may allow the company to identify the scheme

Prevention Tips

• Ensure adequate procedures whereby a supervisor must approve all return and void transactions before monies can be given to a customer

• Implement a policy of performing daily register reconciliations that are reviewed and monitored by management


Unrecorded Sales

• More difficult to identify than “on-the-books” since there is nothing in the register to alert the company as to the existence of this scheme

• If the scheme is pervasive and large enough, the company may be alerted when physical inventory is taken and found to be less than expected based on company records

Validation Resource(s)

• Physical inventory records reveal significantly less inventory than expected based on recorded sales

Prevention Tips

• Supervision is important for all cashiers and salespersons; if they are being watched, there is less temptation to perpetrate the scheme


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