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 POS 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.

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.

To choose the right point of sale system for your business you first need to understand the parts of the POS cash register.

The basic 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.

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

Your Business Needs

When considering all the options that come with different cash management systems, also consider the specific needs of your business. A business in a fixed location will have different needs than a vendor who frequently travels to trade shows and needs a more mobile POS system.

As well, businesses that deal in a lot of small, cash sales are likely to have different needs than businesses that sell more expensive merchandise, mostly via credit or debit cards. Every business likely has its own unique combination of needs, so it's important to find the POS system that best fits those needs.

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 types of payments the retailer receives from customers. For safety reasons, you never should 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.

There are several good cash registers available today for relatively little money, a real benefit if you're just starting out.