Many stores still use a cash register for sales. Cash registers are a convenient option for business as they have programmable keys, do the math for you, and provide a safe location for cash. Most cash registers operate in a similar manner.

Identifying Keys on a Cash Register

Depending on the type of cash register, the numerical keys are either raised or flat. Function keys are often used just as much as the numerical keys, and they can be found above the numbers. You can locate the function keys on both sides of the register keyboard with labels that may include:

  • Void
  • Check
  • Tax 1
  • Cash
  • Charge
  • Subtotal

Additional keys may relate to specific items for sale at the store where you work.

Replacing the Register Tape

If you operate a cash register, you'll need to know how to replace the register tape when needed. Start by removing the empty cylinder that held the old register tape in place and position a new roll of paper on the spindle. Depending on the type of register, you may have to lock the paper roll, so it stays in place. To be sure the next receipt you print is straight, cut off some of the excess paper.

Scan Items by Universal Price Code

Most cash registers come with a hand-held scanner you use to scan a UPC, which sends the information directly to the cash register's memory. After you scan, the item and price should show up on the register. If the register doesn't have a scanner or if the UPC won't scan for some reason, you can type in the UPC, and the register will recognize the item.

Difference Between Cash Register and Computerized Point of Sale

Businesses are always striving to find more convenient and faster options. Some businesses have switched to a computerized point of sale (POS) system. A cash register is a machine that keeps track of sale transactions, holds money and gives change. A POS system is more than that as it is a computerized system that records several types of business data, tracks inventory and handles financial transactions.

The major difference between a POS system and a cash register is communication and efficiency. A POS system records the transaction and also provides real-time tracking of each item the customer purchases. For example, if a customer purchases a laptop, the POS system records the purchase and the tax information, and may integrate with the inventory system to allow the business to reorder. After the information is obtained, it is stored in a database, and company representatives can access it on demand.