Category: theft

July 28th, 2014 by Mike Spence

Have you heard of Buddy Punching?  You might not be familiar with the term but you have probably experienced it in your store.

Buddy Punching is when an employee has their buddy clock them in or out.  This results in time keeping theft.  In other words, you are paying an employee when they are not in the store!

A fingerprint ID unit can certainly stop this type of theft from occurring.  They are inexpensive, safe and reliable.  Beyond that, they are the only real, effective, method of stopping buddy punching.   There is another type of employee time theft that can happen however.  It occurs when someone of authority edits their own or another employees time.
Recently, we had a customer that caught a manager changing her clock out time by 30 minutes every shift.  This customer used our Time Keeping Audit report to track this and catch the offending manager.
In the example below, employee code 7 changed the clock out time for James Smith.

Desc         Employee                  Date In     Time In   Date Out     Time Out   WS
Bef.Edit     1 SMITH, JAMES      7/25/14      2:05p     7/25/14       2:14p         1 ( 2:15p 7/25/14 7)
Aft.Edit      1 SMITH, JAMES      7/25/14      2:05p     7/25/14       4:00p         1 ( 2:15p 7/25/14 7)

Posted in Employees, theft Tagged with: ,

June 12th, 2014 by Mike Spence

Cash accountability is one of the things that sometimes gets a little overlooked when people are looking for a POS system.  It’s one of the key components of any good point of sale however.
What we want to do is keep the employees honest when it comes to handling the cash.

It all starts by deciding who has access to the cash in the drawers throughout the day.
First we can ask ourselves some questions about the cash drawer in the store:
Can anyone access and handle the cash?  Is the key left in the drawer?
Is there a cashier that is dedicated to handling the cash each shift?

The heart of the problem for most stores is that there are just too many people with hands in the drawer.  When the drawer is short at the end of the night – who do you question?
In order to be a little more accurate we must first really lock down the drawer.  Take the key away and assign the drawer to an employee.  Make it their responsibility.   This helps insure employee accountability because only that employee can access the cash. The only issue here is that the cashier may not always be available when a customer arrives and is ready to order.  We solve this by:

Setting the system up to allow only the employee assigned to close out the drawer.  All other employees can start a ticket but only one employee can cash out the customer.
We can also setup multiple cash drawers per order taking terminal.  We support up to five but two is probably enough.  In this case you assign each employee to their own drawer.   Then you know which employee is short and why.

With either method, you will be on your way to eliminating the potential for shortages in your drawer and increasing employee accountability.

Posted in Employees, theft Tagged with: ,

May 1st, 2014 by Mike Spence

I know that security is never fun to talk about.  People hate thinking about theft.  So let’s call this a conversation about ‘preventative maintenance’ instead.

1.  Don’t have the same employee code for everyone.  Have the employees use an individual code for clocking in and for taking orders.  It does not take much to setup and it’s not that hard for employees to get.

2.  Go through your security settings and make sure that employees don’t have the ability to re-open tickets or void tickets once completed.   While you are at it, make sure it takes a level 9 security to change security levels!

3.  Check that you don’t have any 100% or open discounts without security.  If you do, place a manager or owner level security on them.

4.  Don’t let employees open the cash drawer with a key.  It only leads to problems with the cash.

5.  Check your audit reports as well as your employee summary report every once in a while.  When employees know you are on top of things, they are less likely to try and steal.


There you go, five short, easy methods of security that you can implement.


Posted in Employees, Order Entry, theft Tagged with: ,

January 16th, 2014 by Mike Spence

Every year we hear about some firm that has a huge credit card breach.  Usually it is some targeted event that involves a team of hackers to steal all the credit card information.   What we don’t hear about are the smaller, more personal attacks that cost small businesses money each year.

I went back through my notes from last year and found that I personally heard stories that added up to around $50,000 in theft from owners.   That does not include the conversations other people in our  company have with our customers.   Some of this is theft of time (clocking in when not there), employees handing out free or discounted drinks, ticket edits and voids, inventory theft etc.  One of the most brazen was the manager who simply took money from the till at night ($10-$30) and then told the owner that the reports must be wrong!

As you can imagine, a lot of this theft is somewhat avoidable.  Here are some things you can do to insure you are not being taken advantage of.

  • Upgrade to version 7.60 or higher of SP-1.    In Version 7.60 and higher, the password storage has been encrypted (more so than before) so an employee can’t skim the passwords directly from a data file.  Additionally, 7.60 and up require ‘strong’ password rules.
    • 7 or 8 character passwords.
    • Must have a combination of letters and numbers.
    • Forced to expire every 90 days.
    • You can’t reuse a password that has been used in the last 4 times
  • Start using employee swipe cards.  Those are better than having someone see your password and code.  Better yet, spend the $125 and upgrade to a fingerprint id system.
  • Make sure that employees are using their own unique log in.  Please, don’t have a ‘cashier’ code that everyone shares!
  • Review your security.  Does every employee need complete access to everything?
  • Close out the drawer between shifts.  This will really help make your employees aware that you are on top of things.
  • Think about a blind shift close. With a blind shift close, your employees don’t know what is supposed to be in the drawer.
  • Institute assigning employees to the cash drawer if possible.  If you limit access to the cash, you limit access to stealing it.  While you are at it, setup multiple cash drawers if needed.
  • Review your reporting.
    • How many voids and edited voids are happening?  If these numbers increase, start looking more closely.
    • Run the employee summary report and see which employees have more voids.  Look for significant differences.
    • Check your hourly time audits and see if employees are changing their hours.  Then go back and review your security again!
    • Check your ticket audits.  Are employees voiding tickets after the fact?
  • Sign up for MobileDash.  Get hourly reports as well as alerts on voids, edits and reductions.
This by no means covers all the ways that SP-1 can help but it should be a good start.



Posted in Employees, Order Entry, theft Tagged with: , ,

January 2nd, 2014 by Mike Spence

In case I haven’t said it already – Happy New Year!  With the new year comes a time for reflection on the past year as well as an eagerness to improve in the next one.  I was talking to Eric (our Customer Service Manager) the other day and asked him what he thought our customers should review from the previous year.  His response?

Security.  Our customers often setup their security levels when they first setup SP-1.  For some of our customers, that is also the same time they are opening their brand new business.  It is always a good idea to go through the security settings and audits so our customers can see if they need any modifications.


Sounds like good advice to me!  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Security levels: Who has access to what features?  Does your employee need access to past days reporting or is today good enough?  What about voiding tickets, deleting items or changing deliveries?  Let us go through these settings with you and recap what is important.
  • Employee Access:  Are each of your employees using their own code or card to access the system?  If not, maybe consider moving to that.
  • Cash Accountability:  Could you use a second cash drawer so you can separate out which employee did what?  What about a second or third insert for shift changes?
I hope that some of this makes you think about how SP-1 by SelbySoft can help assist your growth in 2014!

Posted in Technology, theft Tagged with: ,

July 31st, 2013 by Mike Spence

Theft is never a pretty things to talk about is it?  We all know that it happens but we like to believe that it’s at the “other guys” store right?

SP-1 has some specific tools to help you identify and control theft.

1) Employee Summary – This report will show you, by employee, a total count of voids over a time period.  This is a great way to identify specific employees that may be involved with theft.

2) Business Summary – This report has a section that shows you the total new and edited voids.  New voids are tickets that were voided before accepting payment and edited voids are tickets that were re-opened.

3) Balance Till – One column on the balance has the employee code that re-opened the ticket.  A great place to check if you suspect something is going on.

4) Dashboard – The dashboard shows the total number of void tickets on the fly.

5) MobileDash – Our MobileDash option ($10/month) will email when voids and no sales occur on the fly.

6) Audit Reporting – SP-1 has a built in “camera” feature that saves what the ticket looked like before and after it was edited.

There you go, six methods of controlling and tracking theft.

Posted in Employees, Reporting, theft Tagged with: ,

July 11th, 2013 by Mike Spence

Want to help customer service?  How about increase up sells?  Help stop potential theft?

A customer confirmation monitor can help you with all of these.  Our customer confirmation monitors come in both 9″ and 17″ monitors but function the same way.

With this, your customers will see a customized slide show with pictures of product that you are offering.   When the order starts, the screen changes to show three pictures, the items and prices that have been ordered and a sliding scroll bar with a customized message!

This helps the customer verify their order and eliminate mistakes in communication.  Up selling is increased by ‘impulse’ buys due to the pictures on the monitor.  Finally, customer confirmation monitors help reduce theft by forcing the clerk to enter the order instead of working out of pocket.




Posted in Employees, POS Features, theft Tagged with:

September 4th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Security is important.  I think we all agree about that!  The question is how to best set it up?

First, we have to talk about how security levels in SP-1 work to begin with.  SP-1 supports eleven different levels for employees.    Each employee is assigned a number that represents what their minimum security level is.  So, if you assign an employee level 3, they can do anything that requires a 0,1,2 or 3 level password.

The first security level is actually blank – If an employee has no security level number in their file then they can only clock in and out.  This allows you to use that security for bakers, prep personnel etc.  This security level has no access to any other function of the software.

The others are 0 through 9.  Below are some suggestions as to what levels should be used for.

Level 3 – We recommend that this be used for shift supervisors or assistant managers.

Level 5 – We recommend that this be used for an in the store manager level.

Level 7 – Recommended level for any area or district managers when using multiple locations.

Level 9 – Owner level security.

Using this as a template give you the ability to still have areas for growth!


Posted in Employees, Order Entry, theft Tagged with:

July 10th, 2012 by Mike Spence

How do your employees clock in?   Code?  Swipe Card?  Neither of those are bad but they also are not the easiest or more secure way.

Let’s look at some pros and cons in four common areas:

Employee Code Swipe Card Fingerprint ID
Cost Free $50 for a 25 pack of reusable cards. $125 for the unit.
Employee Sharing Easy to do.  An employee can give their code and password to anyone. Easy but in a different way.  Employees can give their card to a friend use. Secure.  Employees cannot share fingers!
Potential Theft High.  Employees can easily steal someone else’s code and either use that or even a managers code to void transactions etc. High.  Employees can pick up someone else’s card and use it.  This can be done even without the original employee knowing about it. Low.  Employees cannot perform functions they are not supposed to without physically touching the right finger to the Fingerprint ID unit.
Ease of Use Fair.  Employee has to type the code and password when clocking in. Good.  Swipe the card when asked for. Better.  Simply touch your finger to the reader and you are done.

Posted in Employees, theft Tagged with: ,

February 23rd, 2012 by Mike Spence

Are you using our MobileDash feature?  If so, you have probably started to use the MobileAlerts feature as well.
One of the key parts of the MobileAlerts is the void and audit tracking.   I thought it would be fun to explore this further in a blog.   Note that all of the void and edited ticket examples assume that the employee has the security to actually perform the action.  If you lock them out, then there is no way for them to even do this.

The first example and scenario is that an employee completed a ticket and then re-opened it and voided that same ticket.  In this example, we see that the ticekt was re-opened at 10:44am by John Smith on workstation one.  The ticket was then voided by John as well.  We can see that they voided the entire ticket, that it originally had 13 line items (not menu items) and that the price was originally $9.24.


Date: 1/25/12    Time:10:44a

Ticket:0004 Carry-Out (VOIDED)

Void:      10:44a 9999 SMITH, JOHN WS:1

Re-Opened: 10:44a 9999 SMITH, JOHN       WS:1

Items: Current:0  Original:13

SubTotal:  Current:             Original:   9.24

Tax:  Current:             Original:

Total:  Current:             Original:





This next example shows an employee that has re-opened a ticket and then deleted an item off.   John Smith re-opened the ticket and reduced the total sales amount at 10:43 on workstation one.    The original ticket had 16 items and a total balance of $10.71.  After the reduction, the ticket has 7 items and $5.48 as the total balance.


Date: 1/25/12    Time:10:43a

Ticket:0003 Carry-Out

Reduction: 10:43a 9999 SMITH, JOHN WS:1

Re-Opened: 10:43a 9999 SMITH, JOHN      WS:1

Items: Current:7  Original:16

SubTotal: Current:   5.00  Original:   9.75

Tax: Current:    .48  Original:    .96

Total: Current:   5.48  Original:  10.71




This final example shows that the employee has changed the price of an item (most likely through size).  John Smith (boy ,he is a troublemaker) opened the ticket at 10:43 on workstation one  and changed something that resulted in the price dropping from $10.10 to $9.28. The number of items (14) stayed the same so we know that he either deleted an item and replaced it with a lower cost item or changed the item directly to a lower cost item.


Date: 1/25/12    Time:10:43a

Ticket:0002 Carry-Out

Reduction: 10:43a 9999 SMITH, JOHN WS:1

Re-Opened: 10:43a 9999 SMITH, JOHN      WS:1

Items: Current:14  Original:14

SubTotal: Current:   8.45  Original:   9.20

Tax: Current:    .83  Original:    .90

Total: Current:   9.28  Original:  10.10


So there you have it.  Three ways to read the MobileAlert information coming to your cell phone!

Posted in Order Entry, Reporting, theft Tagged with: , , ,