Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

How we manage our newsagencies #1: the end of shift

Mark Fletcher
July 7th, 2014 · 18 Comments

This week I’m going take a look at everyday management of the typical newsagency business – to open discussion among people here about what they do in the area of I cover and to help others to look at their own processes.

Today, I am starting with the end of shift.

The end of shift is vital for tracking cash meeting XchangeIT data compliance and being disciplined in how you run your business. I’m not talking here about closing up for the date. No, this discussion is about the balancing of the register(s) and managing your record keeping.

Every newsagent needs a structured end of shift process. Maybe I am biased but the approach I recommend is that you do the end of shift in your newsagency software.

In my own businesses it is structured yet simple. We count back the float in each cash drawer, pool the cash, count the denominations, enter that into the software and the software then reveals whether we have balanced. depending on the difference determines what happens next. If we are less than $5.00 we move on. If we’re out by more, we have to find it.

Once we have balanced the cash, the software does the rest – checking data, printing banking sheets, handling the XchangeIT sales data send and comparing the day’s trading with the recent average for that day of the week as well as performing other checks such as fast sellers and letting me low y text message and email the trading results for the day.

All this is done behind the scenes. It keeps the process for the staff simple – get the cash right and the rest is taken care of for you.

I don’t write up any books or journals. I don’t enter any data into a spreadsheet.

The end of shift is taped so I can check that if I want at any time.

From closing he door to having the cash bagged with the end of shift reports ready for the safe usually takes between five and ten minutes depending on the day of the week and whether there is any cash discrepancy.

Join the conversation.


Category: Newsagency management

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shauns // Jul 7, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    exactly how its done . The longest part of the end of day is waiting on the back up to finish .


  • 2 Brett // Jul 7, 2014 at 7:32 AM


    $5 is a sound number to accept as a discrepancy and its worked for us for years. EOS takes a little longer for us as we also remove all the ISI from their stand and reconcile them too. 15 mins to 30 mins and we are done.


  • 3 Michael // Jul 7, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    What steps would you follow if you were out cash on the day?


  • 4 shauns // Jul 7, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Michael , I first look at scratchy and lotto payout and sales and see if any differences , then look at any no sales out of the till eg banking etc then after that its time to look at the cameras . Always count the change cash that goes into the till ,sometimes in the past the bundles have been out of wack which will make your till out .
    Does everyone take their scractit tickets out each day ? we never have


  • 5 Brett // Jul 7, 2014 at 8:21 AM


    Removing the ISI is a security measure more than anything


  • 6 allan wickham // Jul 7, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Yep thats how we are doing things too. Michael as Shauns said we find that any discrepancies in our end of day figures will more often than not be a lotto/scracthie sale entered in the wrong way. A quick look at your lotto report normally finds it.


  • 7 Mark Fletcher // Jul 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Shaun: change your backup settings and use a cloud service. Don’t wait for it.

    Michael: it depends the quantum of the discrepancy. If it’s big scan through the sales and you’ll find a data discrepancy. Different software packages have different approaches.


  • 8 Jack // Jul 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    We have been using automated backups through Tower for a while now and I have not had an issue. Lets me spend a bit more time at home.


  • 9 NATALIE // Jul 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    How do you alter the amount of money that the register says is your float? We want to have different amounts for different days – but it is set at a set amount.


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Jul 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Natalie I urge you to call your software company. It’s easy to reset.


  • 11 Greg // Jul 8, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    I cannot believe he number of newsagencies that of not balance the lotto sales and payouts. We go this each hour so if either figure is out we only have to look at an hour window
    All you need to of is a control D on tower and get the cash sale report from the lotto screen. Takes about 30 seconds


  • 12 shauns // Jul 8, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Never knew about control D before . Maybe if we where having a problem I would look at it every hour but until then that’s just one less job to be doing . I understand 30 sec isn’t exactly a lot of time but why do it ?


  • 13 Allan Wickham // Jul 8, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Greg, thanks for the control D tip…..brilliant.


  • 14 shauns // Jul 8, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    CONTROL m BRINGS UP THE CUSTOMER SCREEN which I just worked out after going through every letter .
    What does control J do ? I just did it and it wanted a password now worried I did the wrong thing ?
    sorry went way off topic


  • 15 Michael // Jul 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Greg (Post 11),

    When you do notice a difference between your till and your lotto terminal, what do you then do? Do you place the sale on the till like it just happened? If so what if it was a different staff member?

    We are a pretty busy Lotto store and always argue over how this should be done, Checking cameras and the like is very time consuming to make sure everything is perfecto.

    Appreciate any imput.


  • 16 Allan Wickham // Jul 8, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Shauns, have always used alt X for customer screen


  • 17 Greg // Jul 8, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Shaun you ask why do it. The same reason that we all balance the till at the end of the day.
    Michael we are a very busy lotto store also as we run 2 lotto terminals. What we do is no different to a store with 1 or 3 terminals. If a discrepancy is found we know what the time window to look at and then we print out the sale from the lotto terminal and match it up with the POS entry. We can also use our camera to see what happened between the staff and customer.
    This does take some time if there is a difference but we track down the error in 99% of situations.
    The staff member is shown what they did wrong and in most cases error is eliminated from staff member and does not happen again.
    Our differences over a month with all lotto products is basically zero and is so easy to achieve.


  • 18 Mark Fletcher // Jul 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    On shortcut keys as listed in the Tower knowledge base:

    · [Alt] +[T] Stock Enquiry screen. This screen will show arrival and return information about the chosen product, as well as the price, department, category, PLU, Quantity on Hand and Sales History.

    · [Ctrl] + Click To select multiple separate items in a list (eg. departments to be shown on a report), you can hold down the [Ctrl] key and click on each of the desired items to select multiple random items.

    · [Shift] + Click To select a group of items from a list, click the first item, scroll to the last item , hold down the [Shift] key and click on the last item. All items in between will be selected.

    Main Screen

    · [Alt] + [P] Point of Sale. This will open POS from the Main Screen of Retailer.

    · [Alt] +[F] File Menu.

    · [Alt] +[M] Customers Menu.

    · [Alt] + [S] Setup Menu.

    · [Alt] + [I] Stock Maintenance Menu.

    · [Alt] + [K] Tasks Menu.

    · [Alt] + [O] Reports Menu.

    · [Alt] + [U] Utilities Menu.

    · [Alt] + [H] Help Menu.

    Point of Sale


    · [Alt] + [M] Customer Menu. This will pop up the Find Customer screen. Select a customer and the Customer Transaction Menu comes up.

    · [Alt] + [K] Stock Screen. This will pop up the stock screen for the last item that was scanned in Point of Sale.

    · [Alt] + [A] Invoice Arrivals. This allows you to perform arrivals while at the counter serving customers. Once you’re in Invoice Arrivals, use [Alt] + [P] to return to POS.
    NOTE: You can minimise Invoice Arrivals rather than switching back and forth between it and POS (EDI arrivals only).

    · [Ctrl] + [D] Daily Sales. Shows statistics of sales for the current day.

    · [Alt] + [X] Customer Screen/POS Toggle. Opens the customer screen for the last customer affected by a POS function (e.g. payment, invoice).

    · [Esc] Sale Items List. This allows you to edit, delete and modify specific items in the current sale.

    § [F5] Delete selected item from sale.

    § [F8] Discount selected item in sale.

    § [Alt] + [B] Specify the staff member who sold the current item.

    § [Alt] + [J] Temporarily change the description of the selected item (for this sale only).

    § [Alt] + [N] Add a Serial Number to the selected item for this sale.

    § [Insert] Temporarily change the selected item’s sell price (this sale only).

    § [Delete] Permanently change the selected item’s sell price.

    § [F11] Payments Menu. This will ask you to select a customer first, then give you payment options for them.

    · [End] End Sale. This is the equivalent of pressing ‘End Sale’ on a touch screen or programmable keyboard.

    · [F2] Sub Total. This is the equivalent of pressing ‘Sub Total’ on a touch screen or programmable keyboard.

    · [Ctrl] + [O] Setup Point of Sale Screen Colours. This allows you to modify the default colours and fonts for different areas of the Point of Sale screen. These changes will affect all computers.

    · [Ctrl] + [G] Sell A Gift Voucher. This allows you to sell gift vouchers. This function requires the Gift Vouchers module.

    · [Ctrl] + [Z] Redeem Loyalty Points. This allows a customer to use their loyalty points to purchase products from you. You will be prompted to select a customer to redeem the points for. This function requires the Loyalty module.

    · [Alt] + [N] Customer Card Notes. This allows you to enter freehand notes against this transaction.

    · [Ctrl] + [C] Layby Collect screen—from this screen you can edit, pay and collect laybys.

    · [Ctrl] + [J] Create Special Customer Order—from this screen you can create a new special customer order.

    · [Ctrl] + [P] Putaway Management. This opens the Putaway Management screen to allow you to check which customers have outstanding putaways, sent and unsent backorders, and collected putaways.

    · [F7] + Select A Subagent – Returns Scanning. If you press [F7] (Invoice Credit) and select a subagent, you will be taken to Returns Scanning (as you cannot do a invoice credit for a subagent without doing a return). There is no method of returning to POS without closing Returns.

    · [Ctrl] + [T] Ezipass. This allows you to sell Phone Recharge Vouchers, among other products, from POS. An account is required with Epay for this function. This function requires the Electronic Vouchers module.


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