Sunday small business retailer management advice: create a THEFT POLICY for your shop

A theft policy is vital for every retail business. here is advice from Tower Systems on what should be in a theft policy. We first provided this to our customers years ago and have recently finessed it based on experiences helping retailers to address theft challenges.

We suggest putting this on a notice board in a common area for employees to read and sign:


1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.

2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.

3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.

4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.

5. New employees are to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment.

6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.

7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.

8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.

9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory from the store without permission.

10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.

11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves.

12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.


Beyond excellent Point of Sale software, Tower Systems helps retailers with practical advice on how to improve their business as well as how to mitigate against expensive business challenges such as employee theft.

Helping retailers reduce the risk of fraud

Tower Systems has shared fresh advice with retailers this week on how to reduce the impact of shopper and customer fraud in their businesses. With Christmas being fraud season in some retail channels the advice is timely and has been well received.

This latest advice is based on recent experiences in several retail businesses.

Our Point of Sale software has excellent fraud mitigation facilities that retailers can use themselves to reduce fraud and detect fraud. These continue to evolve based on field experience and feedback from fraud prevention experts.

Our work as expert witnesses in theft cases and work with police on investigations continues to inform our moves in this space.

Retailers properly using our software and following our advice can reduce the impact of fraud in their businesses. 

Helping retailers reduce the opportunity of theft this Christmas

Tower Systems is sharing practical advice with retailers using its Point of Sale software on how to cut the opportunity of employee theft this Christmas.

Sharing practical advice at the best possible time is an important service we provide our retail partners.

In our software we have excellent theft reduction and theft tracking tools that work well in any retail situation. Our own experience running retail businesses helps us provide retailers with advice beyond what is usual for a POS software company.

The advice we provide is based on our own experience owning and operating retail businesses in several retail channels.

Retailers following our advice can cut theft.

Retail employee theft on the rise as Christmas approaches?

We are seeing evidence of a rise in employee theft in retail, continuing a trend of recent years when employee theft has risen as Christmas approaches.  our advice to retailers for better managing to reduce employee theft is:

  1. Be vigilant, adopt a zero tolerance approach.
  2. Balance cash more often and without warning.
  3. Use the theft tracking tools in your software.
  4. Use an external resource to gather evidence. tower Systems helps with this on a pro-bono basis.
  5. Stock check popular items near the counter.

More a more extensive list speak with one of our help desk team and ask for our theft reduction advice.

How to use POS software to cut employee & customer theft

One of the most valuable benefits of Point of Sale (POS) software used by any retail business is a reduction in employee and customer theft.

Used properly, good POS software can significantly cut the cost of theft.

Theft reduction is achieved through consistent use of the software throughout the business. The less consistent a business the less likely they are to uncover theft. Those most likely to steal will notice how the software is used and through this reach a conclusion as to the likelihood they will be caught.

Tracking stock from when it enters a business to when it leaves is the key to detecting and reducing theft by employees and customers. Too often, small and independent retailers do not fully track and manage stock – making them appealing businesses for people likely to steal.

Here are the steps involved in tracking stock and reducing the cost of theft:

  1. Enter all incoming stock into your POS software. Include the quantity received to ensure that the current quantity on hand is accurate.
  2. Write off stock that is thrown away.
  3. Scan-out all stock that is returned to the supplier for any reason. Good software will have
  4. Sell items by scanning the barcode. Too often items are sold using department keys and therefore not tracking each specific item sold.
  5. Reorder stock by producing a reorder report using your software. This can usually be done by using a desired quantity on hand as the guide for the software to reorder to. Note: this process alone will highlight stock on-hand discrepancies.
  6. Undertake a spot stock-take: count the quantity on hand of an item and enter that into your POS software and compare this against what the software thinks should be on-hand. A discrepancy can indicate theft.

Once all stock is setup in your software, the time taken for spot stock-takes is minimal. This time is funded from the reduced theft that will certainly result.

Employees who see you track stock movement through spot stock-takes and other activities listed here will be deterred from stealing from the business as they will see the risk of being caught is higher.

Manage your business professionally and consistently and theft will cost less.

Improved security against retail employee theft in Point of Sale software

Tower Systems has released an update to its Point of Sale software that enhances security against employee theft. The new facility extends the reach of what the software tracks in terms of employee behaviour, strengthening the tracking ability of the business over possible employee theft.

We are not publishing details of the enhancements here as we do not want to warn retail employees about the additional data we are capturing.

The enhanced retail employee theft tracking is part of the latest update to the Tower POS software, an update released last month and provided for free to retailers who are part of the Tower AdvantageTM program.

This latest security enhancement is one of a site of enhancements to our software pitched to us by our cust9omers through our exclusive Software Ideas facility whereby our customers can detail their ideas and others can vote on them.

Helping retailers cut employee and customer theft

Tower Systems is delivering practical advice and help to retailers keen to cut employee theft and customer theft in their retail businesses with a free online training workshop this Thursday.  Using our best-practice Point of Sale software we provide access to valuable tools, controls and monitors that actively reduce the cost of theft to a retail business.

This online training is part of a broader live training program we have for retailers using our software. Through this program we deliver not only training but also opportunities for retailers to network. This is invaluable when it comes to theft as retailers get to talk with each other about their situations and from this learn and, hopefully, exert better control over their own businesses.

Too often, retailers act to reduce theft after theft has been discovered. This has proven too late for some businesses. Our theft management tools are comprehensive, secure and ready for use right away without the need to spend any money. This is why it’s vital for retailers to seize the opportunity, to chase a reduction in the cost off theft in their businesses.

Free small business retail Theft Check service uncovers … theft in retail

Our Tower Systems theft check service has uncovered more employee theft. This time in a couple of retail businesses using our Point of Sale software. In each case, the theft detected is considerable. The evidence we have provided is police ready. This is important. We have police assistance and court expert witness experience and this helps us to better help our retail customers to deal with the scourge of retail employee theft.

How to cut Employee theft in retail this Christmas

While the vast majority of retail employees we have met are honest, there are some who steal from their employer. Christmas is a time of an increase in theft by retail employees.  Here is our advice for retail business owners for cutting the cost of theft by retail employees:

  1. Change the passwords that provide access to the most sensitive data right away and do not given them to anyone unless absolutely necessary.
  2. Change the roster, shake things up.
  3. Remove all handbags, phones and personal items from the counter.
  4. Get employees out of any non-uniform clothing with pockets.
  5. Implement random end of shift cash balancing several times in the day unannounced.
  6. Use employee cards for tracking sales by employees – these are better than a three code employee code.
  7. Stop employees ringing their own purchases up.

Treat your business as you would a large bundle of $100 notes. The more serious you are about managing your cash the more of it that will make its way to your bank account.

How retailers can cut customer theft this Christmas

Talk to any retailer and they will tell you that shopper theft is a serious problem year round and worse at Christmas. From stealing complete items off the shop floor to removing items or parts from packaging and taking what they want to defrauding you of cash at the register, it’s expensive to the business as well as disheartening.

Our work with retailers in a variety of retail channels has helped us develop some simple advice to help retailers cut customer theft. This advice is as relevant at Christmas as at any time of the year. Here is our advice:

  • Know what is being stolen. This is the most important step by a long shot. If you know, you can  take steps.  How do you know? Spot stock takes are the best approach as they quickly advise the difference between what you have in stock compared to theta your smart POS software tells you.  We have free training and advice sheets that help with this. A spot stock take can take a few minutes.  Once you know the problem, act by managing the stock involved differently.
  • Scan and track everything. This act alone shows to your employees, customers and yourself that you take inventory seriously.
  • Issue receipts for every sale. Never give a refund or exchange without the receipt.
  • Require that amount tendered is entered in your POS software. This reduces shopper fraud at the cash register.
  • Have your security software integrated with your POS software. This makes it easier to track events.
  • Inspect bags. This shows shoppers you are serious.
  • Test yourself. Hire a security expert and see what they can steal without being caught.

Cut the cost of shopper theft in your retail business with these tips and tight shop floor management.

Working with police to cut theft in retail using smart POS software

We have been working with police and other authorities on theft matters in two states this week. Each case has taken up considerable time as we have sourced evidence to be used in cases being pursued against the accused, evidence that will stand the test of cross examination in court.

Each time we do this work we learn more about the processes of the police and, through this, ways we can guide and help our retail business customers to better manage their businesses for theft minimisation.

Next week, a senior member of our team will be in court on behalf of the prosecution as an expert witness.

Why is this relevant to small businesses considering our Point of Sale software … we’ve got your back when it comes to cutting the cost of theft to your retail business.

Advice on how to cut customer and employee theft in retail

Retailers too often struggle with cutting the cost of employee and customer theft. They ignore opportunities to block theft and turn their backs on understanding the cost in their business.

Here is best practice advice which, if followed, will reduce the cost of theft in any retail business.

  1. Only sell what you arrive, bring into the store, through Point of Sale software. If you track it you can know if it has been stolen or not. If you do not track it who knows if it is stolen.
  2. Track ALL sales – by scanning, touch screen button or PLU (product look up code), a hot key on your computer screen.
  3. Stop all department sales, sales where the employee gets to enter the amount of the item.
  4. Scan out ALL returns, products which are returned to suppliers.
  5. Undertake regular spot stock take throughout the business. The discrepancy between what you have and what the system has reflects theft.
  6. Reorder stock using your retail management software. This stops poor buying decisions. It also identified stock theft and employee fraud around stock.
  7. Use employee initials, codes or bar codes against each sale. Yes, this adds time to each sale. The benefits far outweigh the time cost.
  8. Set an end of shift balance target of $5.00. Many retailers achieve this – it takes discipline.
  9. Change your system passwords regularly. Make it a condition of employment that these passwords are never shared.
  10. Do random, during the day, register balance checks. Check that the cash your computer system thinks should be in the cash drawer is what is actually in the cash drawer.
  11. Use your software to check and report on behavior which could indicate employee theft.
  12. Follow your suspicions regardless. Put your business ahead of friendships..

The cost to any retail business of customer and employee theft can be significantly reduced. The keys are retail owner and management engagement, full use of the software and relentless application of a zero tolerance approach.

The considerable cost of helping retailers achieve justice

Specialists in Tower Systems have been called as experts in cases of employee theft. Sometimes these cases have been heard in courts which take almost a day of travel to get to.

By the time we get through the deposition, committal hearing and trial processes we can be out many days of time in the pursuit of justice around alleged criminal behaviour.

The disruption to our business of this activity is considerable yet we accept it as part of our role as experts in the area of employee theft.

We get drawn into this work around tracking, catching and prosecuting in relation to suspected employee theft.  We have structured process to our investigative work and this is why police and prosecutors like to work with us.

Thanks to strong theft tracking and management tools in our retail management software, retailers are able to exert more control over this considerable business risk. We offer training, documentation and support to help mitigate the theft risk.

Despite our work and warnings, we are frustrated the more retailers do not make use of the tools and services at their fingertips. If they did this we could see ourselves spending less time assisting police and prosecutors. Catching theft activity early is a win for all involved.

Beware employee theft in retail

Retailers need to be vigilant about the risk of employee theft. Poor management creates the opportunity for theft. Good management will prevent theft and save time having to resolve a problem after the event. We mention this today because of a noticeable rise in reports of employee theft in retail. Using our Point of Sale software employers can reduce employee theft.

POS software cuts theft in a retail shop by $150 a week

Tower Systems has just helped another retailer cut employee theft by using its Point of Sale software to uncover the crime and provide irrefutable evidence. In this instance, the employee was skimming to an apparent budget and doing it in a way which they thought would be undetected by the Point of Sale software. The theft was exposed by using secret and secure facilities in our POS software, the employee confronted and sacked on the spot.

The retail business is now $150 a week better off thanks to the assistance of Tower Systems and our Point of Sale software. The business manager is certain that the theft would not have been discovered had our software not been installed.

Having irrefutable evidence is vital to an employer being able to act against an employee in a theft situation. Thanks to years of work in the area of theft tracking and reduction, we are abel to help retailers gather evidence and take steps to protect their position.

That’s what we did in this situation. One employee who was stealing $150 a week is now out of work and the business is saving money every day. Indeed, the retail business is saving more every day than the Point of Sale system costs.

With theft in retail costing as much as 3% of turnover, most retail businesses can expect to save more each day than the system actually costs.

Tower Systems offers specialist assistance when it comes to theft tracking, theft management and theft reduction. we follow a structured and proven process which delivers valuable outcomes, as the above story shows.

Retailers who want to cut employee theft and customer theft should speak with Tower Systems today.

How we helped a retailer detect and stop employee theft using smart POS software

We have just helped another retailer uncover and resolve a situation of employee theft.  What started as a query about data in our software soon morphed into a professional investigation into systematic fraud.

Thanks to the excellent audit tools in our Point of Sale software we were able to pinpoint the employee stealing from the business.  This was achieved thanks to a hidden and secure log of data managed by our POS software.

Without knowledge of the situation, our analysis of the data from the retail business enabled us to provide information in a form which, if tested in court, would stand up to cross-examination for accuracy in pointing to the employee responsible.

We don’t like catching people stealing from a retail business using our software.  However, we do gain satisfaction when we do discover this and the person responsible admits the theft.

We know from studies that retailers can lose between 3% and 5% of turnover in theft each year.  This can be reduced by retailers using our Point of Sale software if they use the tools available to them in the software to protect the business against theft.

Retailers who do not use the theft prevention tools in our POS software can at least rely on the investigative tools to gather evidence of theft and act after the event.

Helping jewellers reduce employee theft and customer theft

Jewellers using our jeweller software have access to excellent tools for tracking, managing and reducing employee theft and customer theft.  The value of our tools was on show recently when we helped a jeweller discover that they did not have a data problem but indeed had a theft problem.

So, what started as a support call soon became a business assistance call.

Telling a business owner that they have a theft problem and showing them the evidence is challenging.  First there is usually denial.  This is followed by anger.  Then there is often retribution.  Finally, sometime after the shock of the realisation of theft, acceptance sets in and we can start to make some progress.

In addition to helping to solve the crime of employee theft or customer theft, we find ourselves helping theft affected customers to focus their attention on what is best for the business.  We see this as part of our job.  we train our team to do this work professionally and with care.

As we head into the Christmas trading season we are refreshing our training on theft so that our team and our customers are prepared to make the most of the excellent theft management tools in our software.

We have excellent theft tracking, theft reduction and theft management tools in our software – not only for jewellers but other retailers using our Point of Sale software.  These tool have evolved over time and in response to a broad variety of theft situations we have seen in our own retail businesses as well as in customer businesses.

By using the tools we provide and following the advice we offer, a retail business can expect to easily add valuable dollars to their bottom line for quite a small amount of time and money investment.

In the meantime, another jeweller is better equipped to deal with theft having learnt the hard way.

Why Cutting Theft is Mission Critical for Retailers

Any retailer complaining about tough times ought to look at what they are doing to mitigate the cost of theft in their business.

Turning attention to theft has an immediate impact on the business. It almost certainly cuts the bleeding of cash and the cost of lost or damaged inventory.

We have seen retailers save as much as $25,000 in the first year of a co-ordinated theft management program. The cost of such a program is negligible if they are running our Point of Sale software.

So, just by following our advice and properly using our software, retailers can expect to save at least the equivalent of 1% of sales. This as good as if they increased sales by 1% without doing anything.

This financial benefit goes straight to the bottom line.

While everyone is talking retail down, we are showing our retail customers how to improve their circumstances through a more complete embrace of the facilities in our Point of Sale software.

The High Cost of Helping Retailers Deal With Employee Theft

While we willingly help our retail customers deal with employee theft situations, we would much prefer that all of the theft tracking, management and reduction tools in our software were used to their fullest to stop employee theft getting out of hand.

One of our senior managers was recently out of the business for two days having been summonsed interstate for a committal hearing in a case involving employee theft. Our senior manager was an expert witness.

This is not the first time and will surely not be the last.

While smart retailers embrace theft reduction opportunities in our software, too many face up to the employee theft risk only when theft becomes evident through an analysis of their profit and loss statement.

Employee theft can kill a retail business in no time at all.

The time to engage is now, when you think that things are okay. We will gladly help with tips and advice.

Steps For Cutting Retail Theft by Employees and Customers

The risk of capture is a big deterrent to any type of theft. This is especially true in retail where customer and employee theft can hurt a business financially and emotionally in a short space of time.

Anyone who thinks they may get caught is far less likely to attempt theft. This is what police and retail theft experts around the world say. It reinforces the value of a professional, properly setup and fully utilised theft management solution in a any retail business.

Thanks to smart theft management tools and our integrated security camera system, Tower Systems is able to help retailers cut the cost of theft by enabling a reliable in-store deterrent.

Shoppers and employees are regularly reminded in a number of ways that the business is monitored, cash and inventory are watched and processes are followed to reduce the opportunity for theft without arrest. From the obvious in-store monitors to more subtle ways, the presence of monitoring and possible theft tracking helps retailers to cut the cost of theft.

We have been working in the theft management space for many years with retailers. Our latest retail theft management tools continue the evolution and deliver best practice to our retail customers regardless of size or business niche.

Using our theft management tools, retailers using our Point of Sale software are able to better manage their businesses and cut theft at the same time. The two goals go hand in hand.

From the sales counter to the back office and on the shop floor we track activity and connect this with actions in our Point of Sale software. At the sales counter, for example, we lay transaction details over vision from the security cameras. This can be vital in helping prosecutors build a case against an employee as is provides a court with another item of evidence which is not open to speculation.

Theft can kill a retail business. Here at Tower Systems our goal is to help our retailers to cut theft to the barest minimum. In addition to excellent software can an integrated camera system for achieving this, we provide regular training and assistance in this area.

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Employee Theft Can Kill a Retail Business

We have been working this weekend with a retail business owner on an Employee Theft situation.  In this case, the employee theft appears to have cost the business around $8,000 over the last two months.

Our years of experience in this field is that the actual cost of employee theft to a business is closer to double what the initial evidence suggests.

What started as a support call soon became an investigation into fraud against the business when we found evidence theft.

While we offer business owner training on how to use our Point of Sale software to reduce the exposure to theft, we cannot force our customers to use the software to achieve this.The same is true for car makers – they cannot control how their cars are driven.

For our part, we will continue to offer retail business owner training on how to reduce the opportunity of theft, provide advice of=n business specific situations and provide help where there is suspicious behaviour.  In the worst case scenario, we work with police and prosecutors to bring to justice those against whom we uncover evidence of illegal behaviour.

Retailers can reduce the cost of theft – if they use the suite of tools available to them.

Retail Theft on the Increase

We are seeing an increase in theft in retail businesses, especially theft by employees.  Employee theft is more easily detected and controlled than customer theft, especially in retail bsinesses using our Point of sale and Theft Management solutions.

Earlier this week we provided retailers using our Point of Sale software with refreshed advice on managing the theft challenge.  This advice coupled with our free theft check service help equip tower Systems retailers with tools with which to minimise the cost of theft.

Our assistance around theft goes beyond the traditional training and support assistance.  In a few weeks, for example, one of our senior management team is being flown interstate as an expert witness for the prosecution in a complex employee theft case.  While the cost and disruption to our business from providing this resource is considerable, our involvement demonstrates a level of expertise and commitment which is unique among Point of Sale companies.

Retailers using our software have access to excellent tools with which to manage and cut theft.  If is far better that these tools are used than relying on us to act an as expert witness after a theft event.

Here is a summary of tools and support assistance we offer to retailers for managing and reducing theft:

  1. Theft management advice for using tools within our software.  Check out Advice Sheet BA05.
  2. Robust theft tracking reporting within our software including our Audit Log which has been instrumental in facilitating convictions.
  3. Free Theft Check service. Our experts check business data and can identify potential theft situations.
  4. Business operations audit.  This fee based on site service can assess a business from a theft perspective and provide operational recommendations.
  5. Online training workshops.  We provide live training in the theft management and security facilities in our software – for business owners only.

These are other services combine to provide a whole of business service in the area of theft management and reduction.  The results speak for themselves.  Discovery. Theft reduction.  Convictions.  Business owners recovering stolen cash.

How to Cut Employee Theft in Retail

Employee theft can cost a retail business tens of thousands of dollars a year yet it is a business challenge which is all too often ignored.

Retailers tend to prefer to think that it does not happen to them.

Employee theft is real.

Tower Systems has experienced it itself in its own retail stores. These experiences and experiences helping our retail customers have enabled us to develop better software and infrastructure for supporting our customers in tracking and eliminating the cost of employee theft.

Retailers using our Point of Sale software have at their disposal tools which absolutely reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

From the sales counter to the back office, our Point of Sale software provides for secure, tracked and consistent processes for protecting the assets, including, cash, of the business.

The key for retailers and retail managers is to engage with the theft reduction tools available in the software.

We encourage our customers to take a zero tolerance approach. Employees stealing from you need to manipulate data in some way. For example, if their sales per hour worked are far lower than others then they could simple not be using the computer system. However, you would have detected off behaviour from your inventory system when reordering stock.

Good management processes followed with commitment and care will uncover theft quickly. Businesses without these are at greater risk. Is your retail business at risk?

Use our Point of Sale software, embrace and engage with every opportunity it presents for tracking and reducing employee theft in your retail business.

Through our Tower Advantage TM program we offer a range of services to our customers for identifying and cutting the cost of theft in a retail business.   This includes our free Theft Check service  to determine if our software has evidence of your business experiencing theft.

Expert Witness Role in Another Retail Theft Case

One of our team members has been called as an expert witness in a criminal case involving alleged employee theft.  Thanks to years of work in this area we are able to speak to the integrity of the data captured by our Point of Sale software and provide evidence around patterns of behaviour shown through analysis of the data.

Almost every day we find ourselves helping another customer on a case of suspected employee theft.  We have seen more instanced reported so far this year than for the same period in any year past.  This is most concerning.

We will be sharing insights and advice on dealing with employee theft at our face to face user meetings planned to start next month.  We are also preparing a new training video on the issue of employee theft, to help our customers take steps to better protect their businesses.

While we are happy to help our with police investigations and to have our experts called for court appearances, we would prefer to focus on helping our retail customers avoid theft altogether.  This is where our advice can help retailers avoid the problem altogether.

Retailers using our software can have their risk assessed through our free Theft Check service.  This is another Tower Advantage TM service.

Helping Retailers Reduce Employee and Customer Theft

With theft in retail businesses almost at epidemic proportions and employee theft accounting for the majority of this, our free online Retail Security and Theft workshop next Tuesday is most timely.

In the retail business owner only session we will cover how retailers can use our Point of Sale software to reduce the impact of theft in their businesses.  We will show off theft tracking as well as theft reduction facilities.  Participants will be left with an action plan for investigating and reducing theft.

Smart retailers who engage with the proven theft management tools in our software are able to better insulate their businesses against the cost of theft and better investigate and deal with any suspicious behaviour.  Our online training shares vital knowledge which helps more of our retail customers get to this place.

In addition to this regularly run online training workshop, we offer a free Theft Check service as well as assistance helping retailers navigate theft situations.