How To Use A Cash Register
If you are wondering how to use a cash register, you've come to the right place.
It is also worth noting that there are multiple kinds of cash registers out there, meaning trying to figure out how to use a cash register for your particular business can feel overwhelming.
Whether you work in a retail store, restaurant, or any other business with a cash register as the focal point, this guide will get you caught up to speed.
Come with us as we walk you through the steps below.
How Does A Cash Register Work?
A cash register works as a piece of hardware in a point-of-sale solution to calculate and record transactions. A cash register is often equipped with a cash drawer, which prints receipts and records transactions. More often than not, you will connect these pieces of machinery to POS terminals for greater functionality.
All cash registers work differently, though there are some baseline functions, which we'll take you through in our step-by-step instructions.
Getting Your Cash Register Set Up
Start by finding a flat and hard surface to set your cash register down on.
This space will likely be a countertop with additional space next to it where customers can place their products and other merchandise.
It should also sit next to an outlet so that you can plug it in without the use of an extension cord.
If your cash register has battery backup power, now is the time to install your batteries.
Batteries can be extremely helpful in the case of power failure.
Locate the battery compartment and install the batteries using the directions in the manual.
Next, install the receipt paper in the receipt paper compartment. The end of your paper roll should feed neatly and easily into the paper feed slot.
At this point, you may turn your cash register on. Your cash register may either come with an on/off button near the back or side of the machine, though it might also have a key-switch at the top of the machine that requires your turn a key.
Programming Your Cash Register
More often than not, a cash register will come with unique buttons to categorize multiple items.
You can use these buttons to create categories or departments. At this point, you will also set up the date and time.
It should be noted that most cash register machines have four tax buttons at least.
You can use these buttons to program various tax rates. Depending on your location, you may choose to enter sales tax, GST, VAT, or PST rates.
To program these functions, you will need to follow particular instructions in your register manual.
How To Open A Cash Register
To open your cash register manually, you will use a key. Typically, a cash drawer will come with a physical key slot so that you can open it with ease. It is important to keep this key in a secure location at all times. Within the cash register, you will find the drawer, which should have room for receipts, change, large bills, and checks.
How To Make A Sale With A Cash Register
Many cash register require a specific clerk number to be entered for security purposes before you can make a sale. The great thing about clerk numbers is that they attributes transactions from the register to particular employees, which can help deter employee theft and help track sales.
Typically, a restaurant employee will use an employee code to track the number of customers they have, as well as the table number they are working at.
Once you have an item, you can use the keys on the register to type in the exact amount. Many cash registers will put the decimal in for you, so no need to worry about it. If you use a cash register that has a barcode scanner, you can scan the barcode to get the cash amount rather than having to manually enter the transaction. This can be great if you have to enter the same item in multiple times.
At this time, you will add any discounts. If you ring up an item that is on sale, you will need to enter the percentage of the discount. Once the price of the item has been keuyed in, you will hit the "department" button and key in the percentage of the discount. If the discount is 10% for example, you will hit "10" then "%."
Once you have your items keyed in, you will hit the subtotal button. The subtotal button should give you the sum of the total sales with any tax that you have pre-programmed. After you've hit the subtotal button, you will then need to decide how your customer is going to pay.
How To Receive Different Payments With a Cash Register
A customer might pay you with cash, check, or card. Sometimes, you will even receive gift cards, which are often treated like cash at the checkout process. Here are the way in which you accept different forms of payment.
Once the transaction is complete, you may close the drawer. If you need to open the cash drawer without having made a sale, you can do so by pressing the NO SALE button. Sometimes, the NO SALE button is protected for manager use exclusively, meaning regular employees may not open the drawer without having made a sale.
How To Run Sales Reports
A manager may want to check the sales totals at the end of the day or throughout the day. Start by pressing the mode button and scrolling to "X" to get a read on the running totals. Nezt, press the CASH/AMT TND button to get a receipt of your daily sales.
At the very least, your cash register should give you daily sales totals. Some higher-end cash registers provide sales hourly, by clerk, by department, and more. To get these reports, press the MODE keu and scroll to Z to run a report.
How To Balance A Cash Register
Once you've run your daily sales report, you must count the cash in the cash drawer. Add any credit card receipts or checks into the total as well. Modern machines will run daily total sales reports through the credit card processing machine, so the amount of work you'll have to do truly depends on the type of register you have.
Subtract the total in your drawer from the money that you had in the register at the beginning of the day. All of your cash, checks, and credit card receipts will be placed in a deposit bag to be taken to the bank. Make sure to replenish your drawer with cash so that you can start the day with bills available for cash-paying customers. Try to keep change around too if a customer decides to use large bills.
Cash Register Vs. POS System
A cash register is a simple piece of machinery made to accept different forms of payment. While many businesses will have a lone register within their store, there are also many businesses that have registers as part of their overall point of sale system.
A point of sale system (POS) is more than a transaction or payment accepting tool. These unique systems can perform inventory management tasks, customer relationship management tasks, analytics tasks, and more.
For more information on the comparison between the two, see our article what is the difference between a cash register and a POS.
Final Thoughts - Using A Cash Register With Ease
Knowing how to work a cash register is a big deal for employees and cashiers at any small business.
A cashier can use a cash register to perform transactions, accept various payments, print receipts, and store bills.
If you're working with new employees or new hires in your store, giving them a crash course on cash register transactions is crucial.
We hope this little guide was helpful in teach you how to properly use a register.