Not matter how small or large your business is, if you deal with the public, at some point you will need to buy a cash register to keep track of customer transactions. Cash registers are available in a wide variety of sizes, designs, and prices. The basic cash register does calculations and offers printouts of the transactions, but a cash register is much more than a luxury calculator. Even the simplest model can store product codes, making it easier to keep track of sales and taxes.
The cheapest cash register model uses C batteries or an AC converter and is small enough to fit in a briefcase. If you need a simple cash register to keep track of sales or if you change business locations frequently, this is the best choice. If you own a larger business, consider investing in a cash register that allows you to enter department and product codes into the machine's memory. This saves time and lowers the chance for human error when dealing with a large volume of daily transactions.
For even more convenience, look for a heavy-duty cash register with an attached scanner that can read bar codes. This speeds up the checkout process considerably, as very little information has to be entered manually into the machine. Large department stores usually prefer an alphanumeric cash register, with a double-function keypad that allows the user to enter both numbers and letters into the machine. This allows the user to type in product names, text messages, and customized sentences.
Another thing to consider when choosing a cash register is security features. Most large registers come with a locking drawer in which to keep money and checks. If added security is required, look for a cash register with password protection, in which the locking drawer can only be opened when an authorized cashier enters the correct code.
Finally, keep in mind your tax needs. Both thermal print and ribbon print cash registers allow you to keep receipts for tax purposes and personal accounting. Thermal printers are more expensive at first, but since you never need to buy an ink cartridge –- they work with heat rather than ink -- the savings add up in the long run. However, receipts printed with a ribbon last longer and read clearer, so they might be a better idea if you're saving them for tax purposes.