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How To Balance A Cash Register

Expert Market guide to Point of Sale Systems

What is Balancing a Cash Register?

Balancing a cash register is fairly simple. Most registers include a cashier's float which is provided at the beginning of the shift so that change is available for customers.

Balancing a cash register includes counting the money, reconciling the receipts and making sure everything adds up.

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How to Balance a Cash Register:

Before each shift, it is imperative that the individual responsible for the float counts its contents, so if the amount is wrong at this stage, the cashier will not be held accountable.

At the end of a shift the contents of the cash drawer should be counted and compared to the receipts as a record of sales. Any overages or shortages should be looked into. This ensures that the correct amount of money has been taken, that none has been stolen, and that no mistakes have been made.

Balancing a register usually takes place at the end of the day when only staff members are present. Ensuring there are other members of staff present is important for accountability.

After these checks have been performed, the total income for that day can be calculated against any costs, and the cash on hand for the following day can be put back into the register to serve as change for customers, while the rest is usually deposited into a bank.

Why is this Important?

Balancing a cash register correctly is extremely important for a variety of reasons. One of the key reasons is that a correctly balanced cash register allows management to understand the movement of all the businesses money. If there is money unexpectedly missing, this could indicate theft or mistakes being made.

Similarly, balancing correctly also allows you to know exactly how much money will be there first thing in the morning. Ensuring you don't have too much money in case the store is robbed, but simultaneously ensuring you have enough change to give to your customers.

Often, in a retail or restaurant environment it is prudent to keep watch for how much cash is building up in the cash register. If the amount of cash surpasses an agreed amount a "cash-drop" will happen, which means that a chunk of the cash is removed and deposited somewhere more secure like a safe. The reason for this is once again to minimize damages if there is a robbery.