How to Determine Float for Cash

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Miscalculating the amount of cash float needed for a day will result in long payment lines and frustrated customers. Float for cash is the amount of money in a cash register at the beginning of the day that's used for change when customers pay in cash. If you run out of float, you will not be able to accept cash payments until you get more change. Determining the correct float for cash will help smooth your business operations.

Review your business' sales receipts and find a day with a high amount of sales. You want to use a high sales day to calculate your float to minimize the number of days when you run out of change.

Take out the receipts for sales made in cash. Credit and check sales do not matter for calculating float.

Make a list of the change required in each sale. It may be helpful to use an Excel spreadsheet.

Example: A customer pays $5 for a $3.55 purchase. Record change of 1 one dollar bill, 1 quarter and 2 dimes.

Add up each column of change given on your spreadsheet. This is a high-end approximation of the float you should have in your register each day to avoid running out of change.


  • Consider keeping extra float in a locked safe at your business. Getting money out of a safe takes less time than going to the bank.


About the Author

David Rodeck has been writing professionally since 2011. He specializes in insurance, investment management and retirement planning for various websites. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in economics from McGill University.

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