Cash Management Devices: Registers and Point of Sale Systems

How to choose the best cash registers and POS systems

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Every store needs some sort of cash management system to handle purchases at the point of sale (POS). When deciding what to buy, it's critical to learn the parts of a POS cash register, understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of various point of sale systems, and even to know how much money to keep in the till.

Your cash management resources also can include POS software and POS hardware vendors.

Alternatively, you can take a simple approach, such as using a printable form for balancing your cash register daily.

Here are the details of what you should consider when choosing a cash management system, plus links to additional resources to help you make decisions on this critical part of your business.

Choosing a Cash Management System

The cash register is one item a retail store business owner cannot live without. Whether it's the traditional, electronic cash management system or an elaborate computerized point of sale system, every store needs a machine to process sales. Learn more about making this initial decision here: Cash Register versus POS System.

But you can't choose the right point of sale system for your business if you don't first understand the parts of the POS cash register.

The basic point of sale (POS) system consists of a cash drawer, receipt printer, monitor, and an input device.

Retailers can use touch screens, programmable keyboards, scanners, or other handheld devices to enter data into a POS system. This guide can help you understand all this hardware, from the POS computer to devices used to capture signatures, plus printers for your receipts:

Point of Sale software, meanwhile, processes the basic customer transaction for a retailer.

That includes providing item descriptions, prices, adding taxes and other cash register functions. POS software with more advanced functionality includes the ability to process returns, coupons, price overrides, inventory tracking and retail accounting reports. This software works with the hardware in your cash management system.

How Much Money Should You Keep in the Register?

The question of petty cash should be addressed during the business planning stage, while you're creating internal procedures. The amount of money a retailer should keep on hand will vary by the volume of sales, the ability to safely store the money and the type of payments the retailer receives from customers. For safety reasons, you should never keep more cash on hand than you need.

The process of counting the money, reconciling the receipts and balancing the cash drawer creates an accountability of the day's transactions. In order to track the day's sales, use the following information to balance the cash register drawer:

There are several good cash registers available today for relatively little money, a real benefit if you're just starting out. While it may seem these low-priced machines are sacrificing functionality for price, you might want to consider these favorite cash registers under $200.