How To Use a Cash Register

Cashier with cash register

With the advent of modern technology, internal auditing of business ventures has become easier and less expensive. Instead of hiring many people to act as workforce in the proper management of a business, competent managers now opt to use electronic machines. It is no doubt that these electronic machines function more accurately, and are less time consuming. They also cost less, and require less paperwork. Even if electronic devices are considered potentially by far the most useful management tool that can handle quantifiable data with speed, precision and accuracy, we can't remove the fact that human intervention is still necessary in many cases.

It is a common sight in many business establishments to see cash register machines in order to track sales and keep a journal of daily transactions. The machine functions as an internal control mechanism, to avoid misrepresentation of sales and theft. This is also mandated by law so that proper taxation can be imposed. A cash register machine is an electronic device that records sales and prints receipts. A drawer is attached to it for cash safekeeping. There are also cash registers that keep records of inventory balances, so you don't need to count manually what's left in your store or storage area.

There are two known common types of cash register machine: the electronic and the mechanical. An electronic cash register scans, display on the screen current price, calculates, and generates receipts. The item is then automatically removed from the store's inventory. The mechanical cash register is not connected to the store's record of inventory.

  • Decide what type of a cash register that is compatible to your type of business. While most businesses will prefer an automated register, not everyone needs it. For example, some businesses might not have such a big inventory, like a florist shop or magazine stand. Take into consideration a cash register that has battery back-up in case of power failures, the use of a thermal paper for duplicate receipts, and a password option so that authorized personnel are the only ones who can access the device.
  • Seek assistance from certified distributors of cash register machines. Since it is an electronic device with complex functions, ask the distributor for tutorial jobs on proper operation.
  • Turn on the machine and check if all the peripherals are present. The drawer should be working properly. The thermal or printed tape is also important. The tape is a proof of sale given to a customer and provides you also a record of your sale. 
  • Check the cash register drawer. Usually the drawer is used for the proper storage of money and duplicate receipts. This should be locked until a transaction is made.
  • Attend readily to a customer and scan the items they intend to buy. A universal product code (UPC) is a bar code printed on every item. This will help you easily track the price and deduct the item from the shop's inventory.
  • Tap the total button to display the correct total of the scanned items. Once all items have been scanned, politely inform the customer the amount he/she has to pay. Some cash register machines display this information readily seen by the customer for transparency purposes.
  • Enter the amount of money that is handed down to you by the customer. The machine then calculates how much change that is due to the customer.
  • If you store honors credit cards, you should select this as the mode of payment. A machine is usually connected to the cash register, so that the amount to be paid is automatically communicated to the credit card issuer once the card is swiped. A properly signed receipt that contains the details of the purchase will serve as proof of purchase.
  • Hand the receipt of the purchase to the customer. This is a proof that the purchase is successful.

The cash register machine is really an effective tool to ensure the proper management of a business. It also aids in proper decision making in the purchase of products in stock.  Through it, store owners and managers can keep track of inventory and avoid theft.


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