In the 1990’s, I managed a corporately owned record store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of my first assignments was to head over to a locally-owned business that specialized in a ridiculous amount of bank supplies and pick up some items for the store. At the time, business was brisk and we were making two deposits every day, so replenishing the basics ended up becoming a weekly errand. |
The first item on my list was a currency bag. The items on this list sound simple enough to pick up, but in actuality, this store seemed to have dozens of different variations on EVERYTHING! Internally, my inner voice is asking too many questions : “Should I get the cheapest? Why are there so many? The cost variance is wide, why is that? Do I need a separate bag just for coins?”
So many questions and so little time. The trick to having the right currency bag for this type of business lies in the accountability factor. Many of the new bags are made from a plastic polymere that makes the bag tamper proof. The top of these bags has a section where you can write down the particulars. You know? Things like the date, the amount of the deposit and initials of the person that is making that deposit.
If you run a business that has a lot of activity at the bank (ie. deposits, withdrawals, making change, currency transfers, etc), accountability will end up being very important. Heaven forbid if there was ever an issue with one of your cash drawers being short on money or a deposit not being calculated properly. Should this happen, having receipts and the rip away tab from the actual deposit bag will come in handy towards trying to clean up your accounting and daily cash reconciliation.
Not only do these bags have different shapes and sizes, they also come in a variety of colors and made from a variety of different materials, such as plastic, polyester, cotton and even a hard type plastic that makes a loud noise when you slam it on a table.
The features on these bags are typically things that many would never think about during the transfer process. For the average consumer, many of these features are considered to be over-the-top or unnecessary, but for small businesses to large corporations, some of these special considerations are very important in their lines of work.
Some businesses prefer to use currency transfer bags, which cost 32% less than your average coin bag. They like the fact that it saves them money, but it also serves a dual purpose as a way to exchange documents or cancelled checks. When the industry decided to focus on compostable, bio-degradable polyethylene bags, it changed the way many conduct their banking business because it allowed them the ability to actually write information on the bag itself. I know that it helped my store because it reduced the level of confusion, increased our line of communication and minimized the need for extra documents with detailed instructions. One simple tweak to a simple currency bag improved our productivity in spades.
Currency strap bags are another invention that proves to be popular with smaller businesses and sole proprietors. These bags are much smaller (only 5” x 8”) and are used for smaller deposits. They are roughly the size of a conventional wallet. The advent of the tamper-proof adhesive seal, makes these bags a “must have” item.
At this job, the bane of my existence was organizational and keeping track of all paperwork. The office was typically in disarray and after a long day, I had a daunting task of trying to create a better way to organize all of the deposit slips, bank statements and currency bag stubs into a symmetrical, numeric system. I called my daily ritual “Match-A-Mole”. The “mole” was the missing piece of paperwork that matched the set. The “set” was all of the paperwork for the same day and the “match” was successfully pairing all of that together and moving on to the next day. Now imagine doing this for 5 years worth of deposits, twice daily. Just thinking about my time there gives me the shakes.
You might think that a deposit bag or checkbook are just basic items in everyday life, but in the business world, having the right variations of these products makes them essential bank supplies that keep us on point.
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