How to Process a Sales Transaction

Using a cash register to decrease errors at point of sale.
Using a cash register to decrease errors at point of sale. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

A sales transaction occurs when a customer purchases a product from a store or business; any business that sells wholesale or retail goods processes sales transactions. Sales transactions are unique in that money is exchanged for goods purchased and transferred directly to the customer either at the time of sale or shortly thereafter. Correct processing of sales transactions ensures proper income recognition and financial reporting, which benefits both the customer and the business.

Things You'll Need

  • Cash register
  • Calculator
  • Credit card reader

Create a price list including every item for sale. If you are running an automated system, create a paper list to keep on hand in case of equipment malfunction or other unforeseen circumstances.

Scan or write down each item being sold, including item number, description and retail price. Add all amounts together and write down a total. Multiply the subtotal by the tax percentage rate for your state or municipality and add the sales tax amount to the total due. If using an automated system, simply press the "Subtotal" button.

Tell the customer how much is due in dollars and cents. Enter the amount of money received from the customer into the register, or subtract it from the amount due using a calculator. Press the "Cash" or "Check" button depending on the method of payment.

Ask the customer for photo identification if paying with a check, and verify that the name on the check matches the name on the identification. Write the customer's identification number on top of the check. Pass the check through the check slot on the cash register, if available.

Place the cash or in the register drawer and count back the customer's change, if applicable. If the customer is paying by credit card, accept the card and swipe it through the register slot or imprint the card with a manual card imprinting device.

Ask the customer to sign the credit card receipt, and verify that the signature matches the one in the signature panel on the back of the card. If there is no signature, ask for identification. If the customer cannot produce identification, do not accept the card and void the transaction. Place the signed merchant copy of the receipt in the register drawer or other appropriate location.

Give the customer a copy of the receipt.

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