Cut costs by trimming fees

March 18, 2011 | by D. B. "Libby" Libhart

In these trying times, every penny added to the bottom line counts heavily toward profitability. We search in ways to cut costs while still giving the customer the experience that will keep them satisfied and coming back. It is one of the reasons loss prevention is so important and yet so over looked. Profit and Loss statements are scrutinized and one very important element that can be a drain on profitability may be overlooked because it becomes so routine – banking fees. Those of you utilizing armored car service may think this will not apply, but stay tuned!

In the restaurant and retail environments, particularly those with multiple locations, deposits are often made multiple times per day. A manager makes the bank run, walks inside or goes to the drive-thru and waits as the cashier counts the deposit, and hands back the validated deposit slip. The deposit is a few cents short, so the manager makes a note to balance it out by making the next deposit the same amount over. They need change back at the restaurant, so a change order is filled and several hundred dollars in coin and small bills are purchased; all very routine.

Depending upon the banking agreement, those simple transactions may cost you a great deal. Since deposits for that particular restaurant are pulled out daily, the bank does not have the opportunity to "use" that money for loans and other transactions. So, they earn money "servicing" your account by tacking on fees for all types of transactions. The service agreement may call for dropping all deposits into the night drop to be counted later. If the deposit is to be counted in the lobby or drive-thru window, it may cost you. You may be charged for errors in the deposit, each time it is over or short. So, a shortage error corrected in the next deposit in an effort to "balance" them, both transactions may cost you. And, of course, the bank will charge you for each roll of coin in a change order.

Additional Fees

Other items the may result in fees are: improper deposit preparation, missing deposit tickets, returned checks, lockable bags , deposit ticket orders, check encoding, balance and transaction reporting, and a cost per thousand dollars counted.

Armored Car

Those of you utilizing armored car pay a monthly fee for the pickup and transportation of deposits to the bank. But there may be additional tacked on fees as well. Change orders may have additional fees as well as "wait" charges if the pickup of your deposit is not ready or delayed past a predetermined amount of time. There may additional "fees" that may be applied to your monthly pickup charges if you are violating the contract. Know what they are to avoid the penalties. They won't necessarily tell you they are adding the fees, because after all, they make additional money on your account when you are ignorant of the terms.

You can trim some of these costs with an evaluation of your agreement with the bank and making the necessary adjustments. Some habits and routines may be hard to break, but the knowledge and discipline could give you significant savings where pennies saved leads to dollars earned.

Topics: Loss Prevention , Operations Management

D. B. "Libby" Libhart / D.B. “Libby” Libhart has more than 30 years of experience in the loss prevention industry. He has provided security and safety leadership in retail settings such as department stores, drug stores and quick-service restaurants. Before launching his own company, LossBusters, Libby served as the Senior Director of U.S. Security and Safety for McDonald’s Corp. He entered the QSR industry with Taco Bell and subsequently YUM Brands.
www View D. B. "Libby" Libhart's profile on LinkedIn

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