Thursday, July 26, 2007

Check Me Out!

I got an email from "Martin" last week, asking for help reconciling his money. First of all, I commend Martin on wanting to understand his cash-out process. Most drivers don't understand it and many are losing money because of it.

Not knowing how every POS (Point Of Sale) system works, I wasn't sure I could answer the question perfectly but I can certainly was willing to help dig into it.

First, it's very helpful for me to log each and every delivery. I have a notepad, each day I write my starting and ending mileage. Also, for every delivery, I write the address and ticket amount as soon as I get in the car to start the delivery. After I make the delivery, I write the tip amount. I also circle the amount if it is a credit card, and I circle credit card tips (but not cash tips on credit card payments).

It may also be helpful to write down the "ticket number", but I don't do this.

Now, our check out sheet has several totals on it.

1) Total amount sold, includes cash AND credit receipts. This is interesting but it is not used to calculate the amount I owe.

2) Total cash sales. This is the starting amount that I owe. This should equal the sum of all of the non-circled ticket amounts from my notepad.

3) Total credit card tips. This is the amount of credit card tips I am due. This is subtracted from the total cash sales in line 2.

4) Total mileage reimbursement. We currently get $1.10 per run. This amount goes up and down by the price of gas. If I take 10 runs the total would be $11.00. This is also subtracted from the total cash sales in line 2.

5) Initial Bank. We are given a starting bank of $15, which of course we have to give back at the end of the night. This is added to the total cash sales in line 2.

The computer does NOT give the manager the final total, he has to do the math himself.

Most drivers will have some line items that are similar if not exactly like this above. If drivers are writing down ticket amounts and tips, they should be able to calculate both the amount they owe and the amount they get to keep!

Some things to look for:

1) Is the total amount pre-coupon? In other words, is it the regular price or is it the amount the driver actually collects? It should be the amount collected.

2) Our system sometimes messes up "free orders" and tries to charge me for them. If our manager does a "customer satisfaction" mark down, these are the line items that often show up as the full amount, not the discounted amount that I actually collected.

3) Previously paid credit card tips. When an order is entered, the computer assigns it to the ID number of the person who took the phone order. When the order is dispatched, it gets assigned to the driver but it does NOT get removed from the phone girl (waitress). If the waitress gets checked out before me, she might have the tip show up on her check-out. The manager should be aware and be able to catch this, and not give her the tips. But when this happens, it shows up as "previously paid" on my ticket.

The store owes you for all credit card tips, whether or not they actually gave them to someone else already. It was THEIR mistake, and if someone is going to be short, or have to track down a waitress and ask for money back, it is going to be THEM, not me. Insist on this.

Hopefully this can help any driver (or manager) to better understand their check-out procedure.

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