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samminh1234's avatar

What would you do if at the end of the day you were missing $500 from your cash drawer?

Asked by samminh1234 (4points) May 29th, 2016

Wells Fargo Teller interview questions

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9 Answers

Pandora's avatar

Go through all my transactions to see where I may have made an error on where I placed the money. IE, maybe there is a check where I was asked to split the amount and actually gave the customer money 500 out of a 1000 dollar check and put in the deposit but forgot to account for the withdrawl. It can happen if the person changed their mind mid way during the transaction and it was made out to cash or if it was a cashiers check.
If I cannot find the money then you go to the lead cashier. Sometimes money sticks and money that you may have giving to the lead cashier and it may have still have your missing bills in them. So you both count it. Or any money you traded with other cashiers.

But honestly for that question, I guess I would’ve said it would never happen because you count your money twice before wrapping and when you exchange money with other cashiers, you make sure to count the money given you and that they count the money you give them.
Short of someone somehow breaking into your drawer, there should never be a shortage, unless another tell takes over your drawer while you are out ill. Then follow up with the top. I was a cashier. I counted everything 3 times to be absolutely sure.

dabbler's avatar

I’m glad the question is hypothetical. That’s a big discrepancy.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I’ll assume from the lack of any other detail (and because I get to make up my own back story on this question) that you had a job interview with Wells Fargo, that this was one of the interview questions, and that you’re asking here to check against the answer that you gave.

1. Immediately inform my manager. A $500 shortfall is serious, and you don’t want to blindside your manager by using up all of the time that he or she could have known about this by fruitlessly looking for money that’s not there. So: Inform management soonest.

2. Promise to stay until the discrepancy is either resolved – because it’s possible that it was just a procedural error of some kind, or someone forgot to log a transaction. That would be embarrassing for all concerned, but it has to be flushed out and acknowledged so that the procedures can be changed to prevent its reoccurrence. So: Assist the investigation.

3. Since it’s a round number shortfall, my immediate assumption would be that there’s an unaccounted-for transaction from your cash drawer to the vault. For example, during the day you may have received several hundreds of dollars in cash deposits (as if), and an accounting supervisor came to take some of that cash back to the vault, per normal procedure. For ease of accounting, I expect that those transfers occur in round numbers, as a rule. (I’m guessing, imagining how I would do it.) But those withdrawals certainly have to be logged, as no one simply removes money from a cash drawer without a record of the withdrawal. But that logging is what’s supposed to happen, which doesn’t always mean that it did happen. (Note: In an “error” condition, someone else is going to show an additional $500 in their accounts that they can’t explain, either, unless the person who took it from my drawer was a thief.) So: Examine the record.

4. I have never worked in a bank before, so I’m only speculating here, but personally, I would agree to a personal search – if it came to that – to demonstrate my trustworthiness. If such a significant shortfall persists after the easy investigative routes have been exhausted, then – unless there are cameras on the tellers for every second of their day – the teller is automatically going to be suspected. (Since I routinely carry several hundred dollars anyway, I may have to re-think that policy before working as a teller.) So: Demonstrate trustworthiness.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s a huge discrepancy for a cash drawer. I’d first recount the drawer. I’d second go through transactions, cash and check, looking for one that is $250, $500, or $1000. If I find nothing I’d go through all transactions. Then, I’d turn it over to my manager who could go through security tapes.

I’ve never worked at a bank, but I worked for retail for years balancing drawers, and I’ve worked as a bookkeeper.

I’m assuming there aren’t any $500 bills kept in the cash drawer. If so, I’d scrunch the $500’s if they are crisp, all bills should be scrunched when new, and recount them first.

Pandora's avatar

I thought about the idea of telling the manager first but I guess the question can be used to predict if you are possibly a thief or at least how confident you may be in your accounting skills. That’s why I changed my mind. Yes, we are all human and make mistakes but banks expect that you have ways or have been taught how to minimize such mistakes.

In the bank if you discover a 500 dollars is missing, it is usually reported to the head teller first. If the money is not discovered she notifies the manager and accounting. Accounting use to go through all transactions. I don’t know if they still go through physical paper or if everything is simply done by computers today. But at the end of the day you gathered all your physical account of the papers and it went off the banking accounting and they looked through it all to make sure you didn’t put something in wrong or put it to the wrong account. (when I say wrong account though, I mean the person may have more than one account with similar numbers. That was why it usually takes one business day for things to be confirmed.

But I think this question has more to do with with your self confidence and or possibly your honesty level. When I was in training there was this guy who kept always asking questions about what would happen if your short in the drawer because of a certain reason. He was later caught and arrested for check fraud. His girlfriend would steal checks and take it to him.
The bank didn’t have cameras so no one knew it was her.
She stole 300 dollars one day from my drawer when I was out sick. It couldn’t be proved that it was either one of us so neither one of us was fired but it came out later who her boyfriend was after a customer had proof that she stole from her/him.

JLeslie's avatar

In retail, in a large store, $500 missing would not mean someone is automatically fired. What it means is now we are setting people up and watching so the thief gets caught. If there is high suspicion about a person, but no cameras or proof, they might try questioning them hard to see if they break.

Edit: make sure to check the floor and under the cash tray.

johnpowell's avatar

I was a manager at a movie theater and had to deal with this on occasion. The answer is pretty much always tell your manager so they can close the till and hope it can be figured out.

The more fucking around with the cash you do increases the odds of error. Pass off the responsibility as soon as possible.

ragingloli's avatar

It is a bank, so the answer is this:
“I would, of course, manipulate the evidence in order to frame a subordinate for the failure. My own profit is all that matters.
Relevant Rules of Acquisition:
#20: “He who dives under the table today lives to profit tomorrow.”
#21: “Never place friendship before profit.”
#62: “The riskier the road, the greater the profit.”
#181:“Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit.”
#211:“Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success, don’t hesitate to step on them.”
#261:“A wealthy man can afford everything except a conscience.”
#266:“When in doubt, lie.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’d faint. When I worked in banking we had to balance our drawer literally down to the penny. If someone was more than X amount of dollars off (I don’t remember how much) at the end of the day, we’d all be locked in after work until we found it.

More than once I pulled cash out of my own pocket to balance my drawer.

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