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How to balance a cash register's till

Updated April 17, 2017

Most businesses today have completely automated systems for keeping track of their sales, refunds and any other financial transactions which take place throughout the day. However, for many small businesses and Mom & Pop shops, computerised systems are an out of the ordinary luxury and oftentimes, unnecessary. If you're a small business owner just starting out, or you simply do not have the capability for an automated system, there is an easy, quick way to keep track of your daily business transactions. Here's how:

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  1. Total up the receipts for the day and make a note of it. Keep track of both sales and refunds. When adding up any sales totals, keep cash transactions and credit car transactions (if necessary) separate and list them separately as well.

  2. Count the money in the till. You should keep a running balance in your register of approximately £130.00 with a certain amount of £13s, £6s, £3s and so forth. Stay close to your average running balance, and make a note of the register's total amount for the next day.

  3. Total up any additional cash transactions. This includes any additional money that was taken in beyond what the register normally holds as well as checks, travellers checks, vouchers and so forth. List the additional cash amount and checks amount separate to keep easier track of it.

  4. Add up the cash register's balance for the day and the additional cash transactions for a grand total. Make note of this grand total.

  5. Subtract the register's balance from the night before from this grand total. The number you end up with should be the same amount as the cash sales you had for the day. If the two numbers match, this means your till has balanced and all transactions are accurate and have been squared away.

  6. Tip

    It's a good idea to keep track of any of the aforementioned numbers on an organised daily till sheet. It doesn't need to be some elaborately designed spread sheet, simply a layout that is easy to read where you can keep track of the numbers. File them by date so you can have easy access to them for later reference.

    Putting together a monthly till sheet is necessary as well. Here you will list all cash sales, credit card sales (if applicable), total sales for the day and any refunds given out. These numbers will be necessary for tax purposes as well.

    Keep track of any non-taxable transactions or items as well. These numbers will be necessary for tax purposes.

    If the totals do not balance at the end of the day, rerun the numbers. Oftentimes, simple missed errors are the reason for the discrepancy. If the till still does not balance after rerunning the numbers, make a note on both the daily till sheet and the monthly till sheet of the amount of money you are over or under.

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Things You'll Need

  • A daily till sheet
  • A monthly till sheet
  • A good head for money
  • A way of keeping track of receipts and transactions

About the Author

Sueanne Dolentz has been writing since 1999, and holds a degree in creative and professional writing. She has worked as a newspaper content editor and humor columnist, as well as a copy writer and website content editor.

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