Friday, January 04, 2013

Why do cash registers have Z counters and grand totals that don't reset?

Many cash register users overlook a powerful security tool built into their cash registers reporting system. Almost every cash register ever made features a non-resettable grand total and cumulative "Z" counters that are there for the store owners protection.

We get request from time to time to remove them, make them re-set or have them set to custom numbers. A few machines do allow modification or adjustments to these totals and counters but most do not.

A few makes including most Sharp cash registers have three non-resettable grand totals and they are a positive transaction total, a negative transaction total and a net total. I don't believe most SAM4s cash registers offer that but some may.

The "Z" counter is a simple counter. Every time you "Z" the register is counts up by one. Very simple and easy to understand. Most machines with "Z2" features also have "Z2" counters as well.

So know that we know what the counters and totals are why are they important you may ask? Well it is very simple! They can help you stop a thief! To use effectively one just needs to pay attention to the counters and totals. In our thirty plus years in business we have help numerous store owners catch managers and cashiers steal great sums of money by teaching them to use the counters and totals. The easiest and my favorite is the counter. Like we talked about every time you "Z" a machine the counter increments by one. We had a long term multi site customer come to us with concerns that there was something wrong with the their cash register that is was not counting correctly maybe? So we asked why they though this and they said because their sales volume was way off for the last few months. So we sat down with them with journal tapes and Z tapes and it only took about two minutes to find the problem. The Z counters were counting by two not by one. How could this be? What would cause this? Well it was easy for us to tell and all the evidence was there in black and white. The manager of the store closed the store alone. The manager would change the time on the register, Z the machine out two hours early and run the store for the next two hours and Z the machine again. That second Z tape would be thrown away and removed from the audit tape and the time would be changed back to normal. The manager would steal all the money the store did in those two hours everyday he worked. This was a high volume gas station so it did a fair amount in two hours.

The store owner armed with this information quickly set up a sting operation and caught the manager in the act and he was arrested. The damage he did was over $15K

These features are built into your cash register so I implore you to use them. No store or restaurant is immune. If you have employees it is a matter of when you are going to be stolen from not if. We have personally been involved with customers catching managers and cashiers from time little coffee stands to ten lane department stores and everything in between. One customer calculated and reported to the police a theft of $100,000.00 and was able to recover $30,000.00 of the money stolen over the years!

Hope this help, hope you put this advice to work for you and stop the silent unwanted partners helping themselves to your profit!


angie said...

Any chance this is still live? Have you ever seen Z Journal numbers advance by more than one in a normal circumstance (reports only run every other day, counter advances by two)?

Dave said...

Nope, if your counters are truly counting by two it is because someone is "Zing" the register in between your Z and probably stealing. You should have us investigate right away. Of course small chance you are not looking at the right numbers or something but it sounds like you know what you are looking at.