A business isn't a business without a trusty cash register. Sure, you might get by with a calculator for a while but sooner or later you’re going to have the problem of losing some of the money you earn because you keep storing them in different places. The great thing about a cash register is that it’s like a calculator and money storage in one. To get a bit technical about it, a cash register is defined as a device used in calculating as well as recording sales transactions. Once upon a time, these cash registers didn't even print out any receipts.

The first cash register built by James Ritty was actually made so that his employees won’t steal any money. From then on, the cash register was passed on to different people until the first motorized cash register was made in 1906 by Charles Kettering. Nowadays, we already have different manufacturers such as Casio, IBM, Panasonic and Sharp, to name a few.

When it comes to categorizing cash registers, these are usually divided into three main types. A standard cash register is what you usually see in local businesses and restaurants in your area. This is the simplest type, with minimal functions such as printing out receipts. It can’t keep track of any transactions as well. A PC-based POS cash register allows the cashier to scan an item’s barcode, and is used to retrieve the price as well as other sales information. With this kind of cash register, the customer is allowed to pay for the items with a credit card, debit card, and even a check. A self check-out counter doesn't need a cashier to operate it – the customer scans the barcode himself. He can pay by means of credit card or even cash by means of a terminal.

So what things do you need to consider before purchasing a cash register? For starters, what business will you use the cash register for? Big businesses require the more advanced models; local or small businesses can make do with simpler models. For bigger establishments, the number of items and department categories that the cash register is capable of coding is an important factor to consider. Consider the number of functions your cash register needs – company accounts? Discounts? Is security also important – something as simple as a key-lock or a cashier clock-in? Not all cash registers work with credit cards as well. If you already have a card reader, find a cash register that works with it. The same thing goes if you already have a barcode scanner. Of course, your budget is also important – don’t settle for something less just to save up on a couple of dollars.

The great thing about electronic cash registers is that they’re very accurate. You don’t have to do things manually as this can be prone to error. The internal system of the cash register takes note of each transaction so it’s easy to keep track of any discrepancies. However, your employees might require a bit of training when it comes to operating them.

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