Retail shrinkage – Why zero value transactions matter

At Silverstar Analytics we always advise users of our software to not only look at voids, discounts and refunds, but also zero value transactions. Understanding what is going on behind these innocuous transactions always tells a story.

The case below is a classic of example of why this is important and you need a solution that tracks all alterations to the transaction, not just it’s final state.

Over a period of a month, this restaurant had over 10 zero value transactions, containing a single line item of a jug of water – example below.



Our product not only tracks items voided at the end of a transaction, but also all edits to open orders. This clearly showed that items where being removed from the open transaction. But why a jug of water? The explanation is easy. The POS system being used doesn’t allow transaction with no line items to be closed. The person making the edits, didn’t want to raise attention to themselves by discounting or voiding the last item. Better to use the one item in the system that had a zero value. 

Examples below showing the items that were removed.


This is a practical example where loss prevention reports built off financial back office systems are lacking. 



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