Although computerized point of sale systems have become a serious competitor, cash registers remain a valid and useful tool for retailers, food service operators and other businesses that perform regular sales transactions. Modern cash registers can support bar codes and thousands of stock numbers or product lookup numbers, and some can export sales data directly to your accounting software. Advanced features require lengthy programming, but the register can be used once you've programmed the date, time and your local sales taxes.
Turn the key on your Sharp cash register to the PGM setting. If your specific model has both a PGM1 and PGM2 setting, turn it to PGM2. On some older models, basic programming is done in the Z/PGM mode.
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Enter the time, using the 24-hour clock. For example, 2 a.m. is 0200, while 2 p.m. is 1400. Most models require you to enter four digits, but some earlier models will recognize "200" to mean 2 a.m. When you are finished, press the "#," "#/SBTL" or "#/TM/SBTL" key.
Set the date using the day/month/year format. Some early models require only one digit for single-digit dates but most require two each for date and month. If your display allows only six digits, use a two-digit year. If your display allows up to eight digits, use a four-digit year. Press the "#," "#/SBTL" or "#/TM/SBTL" key.
Program the sales tax or taxes required for your jurisdiction. In most states, you will need only one, but most Sharp registers support four or six taxes for use where additional local taxes are levied. On some registers, you'll press the "9" key followed by "#/SBTL"; press "1" to indicate the first tax; then press the "@/TM" or "@FOR" key to denote taxable merchandise and enter up to six digits representing the tax rate -- for example, 4.375 to represent 4 3/8 percent -- followed by the "@/TM" or "@/FOR" key again. Enter two digits representing the lowest taxable dollar amount, such as "25" for 25 cents, and then the "CA/AT/NS" key to finish. Some registers require you to press "#/SBTL" first, then the "9" key.
Press the "Mode" key on your keypad, then scroll through the menu on the display until you reach the "PROGRAM" mode. Choose "SETTING" and then select "DATE/TIME."
Key in the date beginning with the month, then the day, then the year in either two-digit or four-digit mode, depending on how it's displayed on your screen. Press the "Down" arrow to move on to setting the time.
Enter the time in four-digit format, using the 24-hour clock. To convert any time between noon and midnight, just add 12 to the time of day. For example, 3 p.m. becomes "1500" in the 24-hour clock.
Return to the SETTING menu and choose "TAX." Choose the second option -- "% TAX" -- and enter your tax rate. Arrow down to the "LOWER TAX" setting and enter the lowest dollar amount that's taxable. Repeat the process to enter a second tax. The first tax option, "TABLE TAX," supports more complex tax calculations with dozens of breakpoints at different dollar amounts.
This level of basic setup allows you to use your cash register for simple transactions. Programming multiple clerks, departments, stock numbers, bar codes and output options will require several hours, but you can spread it over a period of days if necessary.
Advanced options vary widely between models. You will need to refer frequently to the owner's manual that came with your Sharp cash register, or if you no longer have the manual, browse to Sharp's website or contact customer service to obtain a new copy.