How to Use a Cash Register

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017
Use a Cash Register

How to Use a Cash Register. The cash register was invented by James Ritty in 1870, following the Civil War. The first register was mechanical, without receipts. Today, items are scanned electronically. A cash register is a machine for calculating and recording sales transactions. It comes with a drawer for storing currency. The cash register prints a receipt for each customer.

Check to see that the cash register has a tape. This will be the receipt that you will give to the customer and provide a record of sale for you.

Make sure the cash register drawer is ready. The cash register drawer is where the money is kept. There is a place for change and bills and usually you will store large bills and credit card receipts under the drawer.

Scan the products when a customer comes up to you. Each item a customer wants to buy has to be scanned by the cash register. This includes the inventory number and the price of the product.

Hit total on the cash register. After all the products are scanned you hit the total button and it will be displayed on the cash register. Inform the customer the amount of money he owes.

Enter the amount of money the customer hands you into the cash register and it will automatically tell you the change you must give to the customer. For example, if the customer owes $15 and gives you $20 the cash register will do the math and tell you to give the customer $5 back.

Accept credit cards as payment. If a customer pays by credit card instead of cash, there is a machine that they will use to make the transaction. The receipt will have this information on it. The copy the customer signs is the copy you will place in the cash register in lieu of money.

Complete the sale by giving the receipt to the customer. You have now learned to use the cash register.


  • Usually you will need to take a reading before and after you start your time on the cash register. You can then reconcile your drawer before ending your shift.

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