This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
After the doors of the vault have been opened in the morning he takes out the large tin box containing his cash, and closed by his own combination lock. Placing the bills in the compartments of his drawer according to denominations, so as to be able to give change, if necessary, and arranging his tray of silver conveniently, he is ready for operation. As has already been said, the depositor hands in his pass book, between the leaves of which is the money, accompanied by a deposit ticket. The first duty of the teller is to count the money. To facilitate this, depositors are requested to have their bills neatly laid out facing in one direction, and the same denominations together. The teller usually counts the amount twice. He then sees that the amount as stated on the ticket is correct. He next sees that the depositor has correctly stated the number of the account; then he proceeds to make the entry in the pass book on the next vacant line, writing the date, the amount in words, and extending the amount in figures into the column headed "deposit." Then, with another glance at the ticket, he sticks the latter on a spindle, and hands the book to the depositor, again repeating the amount.
This process is very brief, and detains the depositor less than any other, but in many banks it is thought that further entries should be made before the depositor leaves the bank. In many, a different clerk enters the amounts from the pass book into the deposit book, which will soon be described, and then hands out the book. In others, the pass book is taken direct to the ledger, and the amount posted there directly from it. The object of these precautions is, first, to insure accuracy, and, second, to check embezzlement on the part of the receiving teller. It is always more difficult to prevent embezzlement on the part of a receiving agent than of a disbursing agent, because the latter is compelled to produce vouchers for all his expenditures, but unless guarded in some way the receiver may withhold or destroy the evidence of his having received. There are two classes of methods employed to prevent this in moneyed institutions; one is that which makes another employee cognizant of his doings; and another, that which makes that known to the public. It is manifest that there is no absolute security in the former method. If you multiply the number of hands through which a transaction passes, you somewhat diminish the probability of fraud, but there is always the possibility of collusion; but collusion with the chance public, whose interests are directly opposite, is impossible. Therefore, the writer considers that the only security against embezzlement lies in making the acts of a receiving agent to some extent public, as the bell punch does on the horsecar lines. There may yet be invented a method by which the teller will, by pressing certain keys, cause the number and amount to be legibly written in a book which shall face directly from him and directly towards the depositor, who will be requested by a sign to observe whether the correct amount is entered upon it.
Only black ink is used or kept at the receiving teller's desk. The reason for this will be seen when speaking of the paying teller. It is the duty of the receiving teller to explain the regulations of the bank, and give all information to persons inquiring with reference to opening accounts; to explain the system of deposit tickets to those who are not acquainted with it, and, in case of illiterate persons, to assist them, or to perform it for them. As the first impressions of depositors will be formed from their intercourse with him, it is essential that he should be perfectly courteous and of even temper. He will frequently meet with depositors who will endeavor to defraud him—who will pass in $99, for example, and a ticket made out for $100, and when told of the error, will pull the other $1 bill out of their pockets, saying very innocently, "Is that so? I must have counted wrong," hoping that once in a thousand times the teller may make the same mistake.
The receiving teller should be an excellent judge of money, an accomplishment which is not so needful for the paying teller. In fact, although in business banks the paying teller is the higher officer, it would seem as though, in the Savings bank, the receivings teller's position were the most important. During the day the receiving teller may be called upon to supply funds to other departments of the bank. The paying teller regularly keeps his cash filled from that of the receiving teller. He draws this in even amounts, making requisition for so many thousand dollars in such denominations; therefore, when not otherwise occupied, the receiving teller should package up his bills with paper strips properly marked. An excellent rule for this is always to put 50 pieces in one package so that a package of $2 bills is known to contain $100, and a package of $5 bills $250, etc. If the receipts are largely exceeding the expenditures, or, as it is frequently expressed, "the bank is running ahead," the Treasurer may make requisition in a similar manner for a part of the receiving teller's funds to deposit in bank. Checks, drafts, money orders, and similar documents are by this bank freely taken on deposit and credited as cash, but with a particular mark which indicates the nature of the funds, and nothing is ever paid against such deposits until they have been actually collected. Some of the more conservative banks, probably from force of habit, rather than otherwise, refuse altogether to receive checks on deposit, but as the irresistible tendency of the age is to make all payments of any moment through the agency of banks, the rule will ultimately prevail that checks are prima facie cash. Towards the close of the business day, or whenever he has leisure, the receiving teller gets ready the tickets representing the transactions of the day, in order to have them written up in his book called the "Deposit Book."This book simply contains number of account and amount of deposit. (Fee page 169.) As we have remarked, it may very properly be written up from the pass books before they leave the bank, especially if the business is sufficiently voluminous to give the receiving teller an assistant who can attend to this and also to the signature book.