There is no getting away from the fact that your startup, no matter how big or small, is invariably going to deal with cash. You may be receiving cash payments from customers who don’t like or trust banks, or you may have to pay employees who are fervently unbanked. The problem isn’t so much the cash itself, but in the management and control of its numbers and security.

According to a recent survey by PwC – Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 – 77% of South African companies fall prey to misappropriation, 59% to procurement fraud, and one in four have lost between R1.8m and R18m due to fraud and theft.

Don’t allow cash to challenge your start-up business. These 3 tips will show you how:

1. Get engaged with digital for cash transactions

Seriously, if you consider the salary of someone who collects hundreds of thousands of Rands in cash from customers, then it isn’t hard to see why they may scrape a bit off the top here and there. Who would notice? Your accountant will. But without digital tracking and monitoring, noticing is all that will happen. Consider investing into tools that track payments, show proof of funds accepted and ensure that your customers are protected. The proof of payment is right there.

2. Look to digital for cash payments

One way of supporting the customer is to invest in a digital solution that they can use easily. Many people use cash because they draw their funds from an account the day they land. They use cash for transport, daily life and everything in between. They use the bank account as a temporary holding space that they empty every month.

By investing into tools that make it easy for them to transact with you, you are helping them become more au fait with digital and protecting their investment.

3. Pay attention to the warning signs

There are, unfortunately, signs that an employee is helping themselves to your cash. Some of the biggest things to look out for include:

  • Living beyond their means
  • Only one person in control of accounts, signing funds in or out and managing payroll. There should always be checks and balances
  • Shortages that never seem to resolve themselves
  • Employee resentment or issues, especially alongside thefts – this should raise a red flag.

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