Retail businesses, including restaurants, that frequently deal in cash often employ a cash float. This refers to the amount of cash placed in registers at the beginning of a shift or workday. The cash float typically consists of a nominal amount of money, such as $50, broken up across several denominations and change.

Function and Alternate Definition

The cash float allows cashiers to make change for customers early in the day or shift, before a sufficient number of cash sales accrue to make change from the day’s sales. Some businesses and institutions also consider petty cash as a cash float and use this account to reduce the number of checks or credit card transactions needed for minor services and purchases.