How to Choose the Best Cash Drawer

POS Cash Drawer

POS Cash Drawer

A cash drawer is a basic piece of equipment yet a major part of everyday activities for many businesses. The right cash drawer combines ease of use for employees with security, durability, and well-featured record keeping – all while fitting into your budget. When choosing the best cash drawer for your business, it is wise to consider all of the particular needs of your specific business and accounting systems.

Heavy Duty Versus Standard Duty

Cash drawers are grouped into two basic categories, high duty and standard, with the main difference between the two being the durability and strength of the system.

Heavy-duty cash drawers will withstand more opening and closing, will open and close more smoothly, and have a higher quality latch that is longer lasting and more secure. They cost more, but can handle heavier use. Heavy-duty drawers are best for any business where the drawer is opened and closed with great frequency, such as fast food restaurants, grocery stores, or coffee shops.

Standard duty cash drawers are meant for lighter use, and as a result are less costly. Thought they will wear out sooner than heavy duty, they are still a good choice for a business that does not require frequent opening and closing. Small boutiques, bazaars, fairs, or companies that do more business over the phone or online than in person will do well with standard duty cash drawers.

Meeting Security Needs

Security is one of the major considerations when choosing the best cash drawer. Businesses that deal in a large amount of cash daily likely will want advanced security features.

Some of the security options available on cash drawers include locks on both the drawer and till and hidden compartments where larger cash deposits can be placed out of sight. For added security you can choose a drawer that opens only when a transaction is run. Heavy-duty drawers are often made of heavier materials, making them more difficult to break into, as well.

Space and Location

Some cash drawers sit on top of a counter, while others can be mounted beneath the surface. Consider your space and what will best fit your situation. It’s also important to measure how far the drawer will protrude when open to make sure you have enough space.

You will also have to consider the internal space of the drawer based on how much storage you need for cash, coins, receipts, and checks.

Working with Point of Sale Systems

If you are already using a specific Point of Sale (POS) system for your business, you should check to make sure the cash drawers you are choosing are compatible with that system. There are many different options for POS software, and not all hardware will be compatible, so double-check prior to purchasing.

If you have a system that doesn’t open the drawer for credit or debit card transactions, you will need to choose a cash drawer that offers media slots. This will allow receipts and other media to be placed in the drawer while it is closed.

Fitting Your Budget

Cash drawers range greatly in price, and if you need to buy many drawers this may affect your decision. If all of your business will be conducted through a single drawer, it makes sense to invest in a better drawer. For businesses needing multiple drawers, consider how much use each drawer will see before buying. Upgrade any drawer that is expected to see more use.

A cash drawer is an investment for your business, so choose the one that meets all of your needs with the highest quality your budget will allow – you will save more in the long term.

The Right Security for Your Office or Storefront

Security Video

Security Video

Security is a top priority for anyone who owns a business with an office or storefront. Choosing the right security measures within the bounds of your resources, and for the particular needs of your company, can be a difficult task. From simple measures you can implement easily to more advanced security options, there are many possibilities to consider.

Basic Security Measures

The most basic of security measures are commonly overlooked. Locks, especially deadbolts and window locks, are the first line of defense, but in order to be effective they must be used properly. Deadbolts should be installed on every door and locks on every window that can be opened. Ensure they are always in use, and remind employees of the same. Use caution when issuing keys to the premises and keep records of who has keys; make sure employees no longer working for you return all keys.

If money is kept on site, a safe is the best place to secure it. Cash and other valuables on site should be secured inside the safe on a regular schedule throughout the day. Ensure that only trusted employees have access to the safe’s combination and that it is installed in a secure location.

Install security doors and, if necessary, security windows that are break-resistant. Fences and lighting are also basic security measures that can reduce your risk of a loss. Parking areas should be well lit at night. Motion lights above doors are a good way of deterring intruders as well as making your entries safer for employees.

Video Surveillance and Alarm Systems

Technology can go a long way toward increasing the security of your office or storefront. Video surveillance is available in a variety of price ranges and can be a simple single camera or complex multi-camera system. Video surveillance can work as both a deterrent to crime and as a record of anything that happens on your property.

Alarm systems can also range in complexity. Motion sensors, sensors for breaking glass, and door and window alarms can all work together to create a comprehensive security system. These systems can be directly connected to a monitoring service that will notify police or other emergency services of a problem. These may also be combined with camera surveillance monitoring.

Other Security Measures

In some cases, a live security guard or canine security may be the best choice for your business. It’s important to consider both the cost and liability risks of such security measures, as injuries resulting from an encounter with an armed guard or guard dog can be the basis for lawsuits.

Choosing the location and layout of your office or storefront carefully is a pre-emptive security measure that many do not take into account. If possible, choose a low-crime area and design the layout of your premises for good visibility.

Carefully vetting your employees can protect you from theft or other crime from within the company. Background checks are a vital tool to ensure you hire the right people.

Emergency Measures

Another aspect to security that is often overlooked is emergency preparedness. Ensuring that fire safety rules are in place and enforced and that all employees and customers have a clearly marked escape route and plan can reduce injuries or worse. Make sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are all operational and checked regularly .

Ensure all employees are aware of safety and security procedures and review these measures regularly. Provide first aid kits at the minimum. Depending on your type of business and location, you may also want to consider emergency food kits, flashlights, spill cleanup kits, and other medical equipment such as a defibrillator. Make sure employees are trained in the use of all emergency equipment.

Simple Steps For Keeping Records

POS Keeping records

POS Keeping records

For your business as well as your home, record keeping can be an important but often overwhelming task. Keeping good records is vital for running a successful business, and it’s essential for personal finances as well, especially at tax time. Keeping good records throughout the year, knowing what to keep and what to throw away – or shred – and when, will make tax time and fiscal year-end immeasurably easier. It will also keep you organized on a day-to-day basis.

Business and Personal Finances

Small business owners often find there is overlap between their business finances and their personal finances, especially when just starting out. To keep organized and avoid confusion, however, it’s important to separate business and personal records.

For most people, a system of record keeping that works for business will also work for personal records. Make business purchases through business accounts and credit cards to prevent financial overlap that can create trouble at tax time, and keep your records separate as well.

Steps to Simplify Record Keeping

Record keeping can be a simple process when done consistently and according to an established system. Follow these simple steps to create and maintain a record-keeping system at home or for your business that will keep you in control.

1. Select a System and Stick to It

Whatever system makes the most sense to you, choose one and stick with it consistently. If you are technologically motivated, purchase and use software to help you keep track of records. If you prefer to record things manually, use an accounting book. At home, you can choose to do the same thing, recording important information including transactions through a software program or by recording everything in a register or log. Remember that even once you record information, you may still need to keep original paperwork as evidence for tax purposes.

2. Record Things Regularly and Consistently

Nothing derails the organization of records faster than getting behind on the process. Choose a set day and time to sit down with your paperwork and complete the recording process. Keep to this schedule to avoid paperwork piling up into overwhelming chaos. Depending on how much there is to record, this may need to be done weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Choose the schedule that works best.

3. Keep Only What You Need, File What You Keep

Reduce the paper load by throwing away or shredding paperwork as soon as you no longer need to keep it around. At home, this can include throwing away receipts for small purchases, utility bills, and statements that can pile up. Both at home and for a business, it’s important to know how long certain paperwork needs to be kept, especially as it relates to taxes. Documents that need to be retained should be filed as soon as possible to get them out of the way and organized. You can reduce paper by using a scanner to create images of important documents – but be certain this information is backed up and secure.

Some paperwork can be cleaned up on a weekly basis, while other items may need to be kept through the end of the year or longer.

4. Keep Organized on the Go

Mobile apps can help you to record details of transactions everywhere you go. By downloading an app to your phone, tablet, or other device, you can keep up on record keeping no matter where you are. Another benefit of these apps is that many include cloud storage, so that you have a backup created – automatically in many cases.

As the National Archives notes, keeping good records is important not just for you, but for the government as well. Once you have an established system and you stick to it for a while, it will become easier to keep up with future records. While getting started and dealing with backlog can be difficult at first, in the long run things will run more smoothly for you both at home and at work.