Best cash register for small businesses
If you are a small business owner or are employed at a key Point-of-sales area, you definitely know how important a cash register is. It’s not just required for carrying out the daily business transactions but also a great device for the general record keeping, maintenance of cash flows, inventory records, and customer details.
You will find various models, sizes, and types of these cash registers in the markets these days. Some are just designed to carry out the basic transactions and computations, while others may include various interesting features. Deciding on the one best model may be a bit difficult, especially if you are a new buyer and are not aware of the general cash register features and other specifications.
We have included a comprehensive guideline in the later part of this article, so you can learn the basics of these cash registers and other things you need to take into consideration prior to the purchase.
Let’s start with our reviews on some of the most-hyped and top-rated cash registers in the markets today.
The top pick of most of the retailers and vendors, the Casio PCR-T500 electronic cash register is a very basic register. It comes with an LCD display screen, a sturdy construction and an SD card slot. It’s a great device for record keeping and storing large amounts of data including the sales and inventory level details.
If you have a large number of goods that may need different codes, you definitely must get this one. It allows you to store up to 3,000 PLUs and 50 clerks. So, while it’s quite simple and basic, it does offer a variety of features that make it the top choice for businesses.
The device is electrically powered, but it comes with a sound battery back up to deal with power outages and other faults. Also, there’s an SD card slot for further backing up your records and details. So your data will stay safe backed up in the small device even if there’s a problem with the device.
There’s also a large LCD display screen; you can view up to 5 product amounts and the total for every transaction. This minimizes the chances of making erroneous entries. Plus there are four tax tables! You can store all the key information and rates for the taxes that may be applicable to your business and products and the device will make all the calculation easy for you.
Why do we like it?
A very basic device, that keeps a record of all your data, sales and other information for the daily transactions. It also keeps a track of the mode of payment and comes with the thermal printer. You can print out customer receipts and also include a printed message or image as a business promotion or customized messages for the customers.
There’s a customer’s review LCD as well along with the salesperson’s view of the LCD. So the chances of error are minimized and it keeps the processing smoother and transparent.
- You can save up to 3,000 PLUs and 40 clerks.
- The device records payments made through cash, credit cards, and cheques.
- Includes a thermal printer, which does not need ink cartridges for printing.
- SD card slot included.
- Programming the device is time-consuming.
- Not very user-friendly.
The Sharp XEA107 is another entry level, basic cash register. It includes the cash drawer, with a safety lock inside there are 4 compartments for keeping the bills and 5 for the coins. This allows a better organization of your cash and also reduces the time to process the payments.
It also comes with a lock key that allows a safe mode for the operator and reduces the chances of fraud and theft.
There are 80 PLU’s in this one, so if you have a limited inventory, this device is the best for your business. Plus the large and bright LCD display gives a clear view of the amounts of the sales order being processed, further minimizing the chances of error.
If you need good printing and high-speed receipt processing, it is a must have for your business.
Also, it comes with the Drum printer. That allows heavier printing of the receipts, without any lag, glitches or the system slowing down. For those who need an easy to maintain cash register, it is a wondrous system.
Plus, the removable key tops make cleaning and maintenance super easy.
Why do we like it?
Very simple to operate and function, the device comes with a drum printer that allows printing on a larger scale and at a very high speed. It is constructed and programmed to be really easy to use. You don’t necessarily have to conduct in-house training sessions for your staff.
- The register is really easy to use.
- There are 80 PLUs for programming the codes for a faster and easier processing.
- There are removable key tops for ease of cleaning.
- It comes with a complete backup support from the manufacturer for using the device and making the most of its features.
- Does not allow customized printing on the receipts.
- Not a very high-speed device.
The Casio SE-G1SC-BU Electronic Cash Register includes 24 departments so you can keep your bills and cheques separated and organized for the customers. There’s also the rear LCD display for your customers to view the transactions as they are being processed. This allows a double check and minimizes the chances of internal frauds and erroneous entries.
However, many of the users did not find the register easy to program. Plus the light weight and compact design may make it rather compact and easy to carry or shift from one place to another. However, it is not a very sturdy system and ranks it a bit low on durability as well.
It does get the basic job done, but if you are looking for additional features and a solidly built design, this one is definitely not recommended for your business.
You can also store up to 4 tax rates that are applicable to your inventory or products. This way, it’s easier for making the final computations and keeping the record for taxation purposes.
However, although loved for its looks, it is still not the best choice if you need something fast, reliable and lasting. Plus another drawback of the unit is that it always has to have a loaded tray for printing. You cannot process the order in case you ever run out of paper.
Why do we like it?
The unit is available in the vibrant blue, red and hot pink. Bound to get you noticed instantly it gets the basic job done for all small and medium sized businesses. There are 999 PLU’s you can program your codes in, that makes it easier and quicker for the sales persons to look up the products and to easily process them.
- Very portable and light weight.
- Available in three colors.
- Comes with a built in customer LCD display.
- 999 PLU’s.
- Does not include a scanner.
- Not very easy to operate.
The Royal 210DX allows you to categorize your inventory into 24 different departments. There are separate departments for a finer detailed analysis of the entire store’s stock. Also, you get up to 1500 PLU’s that makes it further organized and fast in operation.
Another great feature of this device is that it also keeps a record of the most frequent purchases; this way it further makes processing quick and easy for the cashier.
Also, the cash drawer can be locked and includes separate trays for the coins and bills. The device comes with a backup, so in case of power failures, the data is never lost. Also, the Dual LCD display helps the customers access their purchases and it also minimizes the chances of erroneous entries.
However, when it comes to the construction and durability, the machine is not a highly recommended option. Plus many of the users also find it difficult to program and not quite easy to get started with. Many others also found the model to have some glitches and functional issues.
Why do we like it?
There’s a built-in thermal printer, so you can add your promotional messages, company logo or other details for the customers on the receipt. Also, the 6-line header footer allows further customization of the receipt. Another thing the device is best for is that you can use it for the U.S. as well as Canadian bills and tax computation.
- Thermal printer for easy and customizable printing.
- 1500 PLU’s.
- Cash drawer with separate compartments for bills and coins.
- Battery backup included.
- Not very durable.
- Difficult to program.
Buying guide – Best cash registers
These cash registers are not a new concept for salesmen and general cashiers. Ever since the late 1800s, these registers have been used for sales records and for the calculation of the total purchase amount for customers.
Today, you will find a vast variety of functions, types, and sizes of these machines, including the digital touch systems. Let’s first discuss the basic types of cash registers you will find in the markets today:
Standard cash registers
These registers come with an LED display for the amount being entered and the calculated total per customer. The individual amounts have to be keyed in by the cashier and once the sale is complete, the lower drawer can be opened for storing/withdrawing the cash, receipts and for keeping other cheques, etc.
Today many of these machines come with the product code detectors that save time as you do not have to enter individual amounts of the purchases. This also further helps in the record keeping and for running the daily reports.
Digital point-of-sale systems
These are the advanced versions, the Digital point of sale cash registers are the best for some of the medium sized or larger businesses. These are very helpful in making the job easier for the cashier when there are hundreds or thousands of transactions that have to be completed per day.
In these machines, you will find a lot of advanced options such as the touch screens, credit/debit card readers and also the bar code readers. These make the job easier and faster for the staff and also reduce the wait time for the customers.
These are the best for tracking customer information, keeping inventory records and the department wise records.
Both the above types of machines are widely used at retail cash counters and small businesses. These also help in calculating the total amount inclusive of the sales tax per customer. Also, with the special security features, the cash drawer does not open until the transaction is complete and the salesperson enters the required code.
Self checkout stand
With these, the role of the salesman is taken over by the machine. The customer has to scan and check out his/her purchases and then pay in cash or via card at the end. A salesperson is required to just oversee the transaction and help the customer in making the purchase.
These too help in record keeping and maintaining a check on the inventory levels of the store.
These machines may have many helpful features and other integrated readers and scanners. You must think about your requirements first in order to select the right one for your business. For instance, if you run a small business with barely a few transactions per day, you wouldn’t necessarily need one that comes with a variety of options and other accessories.
At times the standard POS will be good enough for your business. It also depends on the type of business you have. We will cover both in detail in this guide as well.
First, let’s look at some of the features of these devices:
Type of screen
You will find the cash registers with two basic types of screens. They may either come with a basic screen that just gives you a glimpse of the total amount. Or may have the advanced screen that shows all the amounts that have been keyed in and then the total amount for the transaction.
Those that usually have an LCD display are a bit higher in price than the basic ones. Also, they have a greater risk of human error, as the keys are relatively small, and so is the display.
While there are hundreds of transactions processed by a business on a daily basis, you definitely need some security to keep the money, cheques and other important details safe. Hence, most of these machines include a locking drawer that only allows access to the salesperson or designated person with the key.
This way, the chances of frauds and theft are minimized. You can also set up a password for access to the cash drawer, as a safety measure so the money can be kept safely at the premises.
- Printer: The built-in printer is much needed at the POS. Your customers will most likely want a receipt of their purchase. Instead of reaching out for your cash memo and pen, why not get yourself a system that comes with a printer for printing those receipts?
- Product lookups storage: Some of these registers have a larger space for storing the PLUs. The more space, the better for your business, especially if you frequently make use of these codes and have a huge inventory that needs different codes.
- SD card: One feature that makes life easier for all cashiers and salesmen. If the cash register comes with a slot for the SD card, it is very helpful in keeping your data and records safe, even if the machine ever malfunctions.
It works as a backup for storing your data and also eliminates the requirement for a USB port or PC/laptop connectivity for transfer of data.
- Tax calculation: Instead of calculating the tax for every transaction or product, these machines offer a simpler solution. Just enter the tax rate and codes of each of the product into the register.
The software registers the information and makes sure to process the tax rate accordingly as per each individual transaction, without you having to go through the hassle over and over again. This way you can also make use of the record for tax filing and your own book keeping.
As we said the business and your requirements are of prime importance when it comes to the selection. To decide about which features you need and which you can let go, consider your main requirements.
The size of the business is the first parameter to consider for the cash register. However, you must also look into the future of your business and the projected sales in a few years. For instance, if you start off on a small scale and just within a few years would have a considerably larger customer base, you definitely need to buy a larger setup, that is fast and easy to operate for your staff.
The size of the inventory is another factor that you need to look into, as you need to be better equipped to handle larger inventory and load on a daily basis. So a slow device may not be of much use for your staff.
The type of business you run, the inventory you keep and the number of customers you have, all have a major effect on the type of cash register you should consider buying. For instance, if you have a small business, with minimum inventory and footfall, just get a basic cash register, you don’t necessarily need a lot of tracking or record maintenance.
For larger businesses or those that have hundreds of transactions a day to take care of, you definitely need to look into some detailed and feature packed cash register. It will work as a helping hand and make the transaction processing faster, with better record keeping and maintenance.
Tips for making the right purchase
For a better analysis of your actual business requirements here are a few helpful tips for you:
- Find out the total number of cash registers you need for the POS.
- Consider the future sales for your business.
- Think about the kind of tax that is applicable to your inventory and the kind of cash register that caters to it.
- The size of your inventory matters.
- Cheques, cash, debit or credit cards and all other kinds of payments that you may consider accepting in the future.
- Promotional coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards. The POS machine must be compatible with all these programs if you are likely to start them in the near future.
Why do you need a cash register?
Small business owners, who have dozens of cash transactions on a daily basis, need some record keeping for their stores. While the notebooks, may be one way of getting things done, it is often time-consuming and has a greater margin of error.
The cash registers are specially manufactured for such businesses. They easily calculate the total amount the customer owes and keep a record of the total transactions processed during the day as well as the inventory that is in stock.
These are particularly useful for taxation purposes and also for calculating the tax per customer while computing the total amount the customer owes. It also has a drawer for safely keeping your cash and a printer for printing out the receipt for the customer.
What are the different types of cash registers?
Generally, there are three categories these cash registers are divided into.
- Entry level cash registers: The entry level cash registers are the most basic ones. These just perform the simple functions, the basic transaction processing and a little bit of record keeping. The features too are quite limited.
- Mid line registers: The mid line registers have some of the advanced features and offer better record keeping and enable the user to process a larger number of transactions at a faster rate.
- Commercial grade cash registers: These are very advanced and come with a lot of special features. These have a larger storage space and also allow reporting and record maintenance at a higher level. You can also connect them to your laptop or PC for data processing and programming.
What is a better option for your business; The cash register or the POS?
An ongoing debate these days is whether the cash registers are a better choice for conducting the business transactions or the POS.
Basically, it all comes down to the affordability and business requirements.
Therefore you must KNOW your business before taking peer advice or following the general market trend when deciding amongst the two. You must also consider the difference between the two and the benefits of each. One of the greatest benefits of the POS that often gives it an edge over these cash registers is that it gives you the liberty to run database marketing.
That, you cannot get from the cash registers, but it also comes at a greater cost. The cash register will let you process the orders and transactions fast and accurately, but you won’t be able to access the individual customer’s data for future use.
However, the Cash registers still give you a number of benefits. Some of these include:
Advantages of the cash register
- The cash registers are more durable and lasting, as they do not require upgrades.
- They are made to be really easy to use and do not require detailed demos or workshops for the sales staff.
- Save a lot of time, particularly at a busy outlet.
- Most of the models are quite affordable.
- Very helpful in analyzing the daily records and maintenance of data for taxation and general record keeping.
Check out this article for further reading.
So when you are on the search for a new cash register for your business, you need a system that is fast, reliable, accurate and as per your business’s requirements. We have also discussed the various features these registers may come with, so you can look for one that best suits your business.
However, other than these key details, you must also always take the comfort level of your sales staff into consideration. Because if the machine works well, is fast and durable, but your employee is not comfortable with it or takes a lot of time to get the processing done, it literally kills the purpose of the register.
Whether you have a small business set up or a huge store, you definitely need to have one of these machines to make things easier, faster and free from human errors. This definitely is one start up expense, you won’t regret making for the betterment of your business.