A cloud-based POS system is arguably the 21st century business owner’s number one analytics tool.

But there’s more to effectively collecting data than running an end of day sales report. In order to harness the full power of your POS system, there are certain actions (yes, including running reports) that you should make part of your end of day procedures. They’ll not only help you receive the most actionable insight from your POS data — but if adopted as best practices — will help you expedite your evening routine, freeing up time for personal or other business-related tasks. Below are 7 end of day reporting habits of highly effective retailers.

Pull Daily Sales Report

Pulling your end of day sales report is the most obvious of choices. But tracking your sales efficiently isn’t just about knowing how much you’ve sold in total (or even of individual items), it’s also about knowing what time of day you sell most and which products are your best sellers. Think of pulling sales and inventory activity reports by date range, as a super-charged daily sales report. This report outlines which of your items are selling the most and at which time of day. It also allows you to stay on top of restocking and will keep your inventory in tip-top shape. For more tips and tricks on inventory management, check out our post on 5 Ways to Hack Your Inventory Management Solutions.

A person holding their phone and using ShopKeep Pocket.

Make Sure Employees are Clocked Out

Part of running an efficient business is making sure that your employees are responsible for their shifts. This includes switching their shifts with fellow employees if the need arises and definitely making sure to clock in and out at the end of each shift. So, at the end of each day, make sure each of your employees have clocked out. If they haven’t, clock out for them and make a note to review their hours with them the next time they are in. YourPOS system is a powerful staff management tool. But tools are only as effective as the people using them. If you’re looking for more information on how to hire and train your staff, checkout our post on how to hire and keep the best employees for your business.

SEE ALSO: 4 Ways POS Software Employee Reporting Can Change Your Business

While you’re at it… Pull staff hours.

Your staff is your frontline for amazing customer service and a quick point of sale experience. Make the most of this valuable resource by pulling your staff’s hours and then cross-referencing them with a sales-by-shift report. If Tommy seems to excel during your busiest hours but Johnny is better schmoozing later in the day and closing sales, plan their schedules accordingly. This is probably a report you only need to run once a week, but we felt it was too important not to include!

A coffee shop employee carrying a cup of coffee to a customer.

Send Reports to Sister Stores

If you’re business has numerous locations that means you’ll probably need more than one daily sales report. Though you probably have a manager for each store, it’s always important for different locations to be aware of what is selling (or not selling) at your other locations. So, at the end of the day, have each store manager pull their sales report and email it to your other locations. If this sounds like a lot of legwork, there’s an app for that! No, seriously there is. If you’ve adopted ShopKeep (or are in the market for a POS) you should know about ShopKeep Pocket, which allows you to access all your store’s data from anywhere on your mobile device. If you choose to give your managers access to the app, they will have the ability to review all of your store’s data with just a tap of their phone.

Send Credit Card Transactions to Your Processor

If you overlook this step in your day, something big won’t happen: You won’t get paid! So you must make this a regular occurrence. Make it part of your routine with your 5pm cup of Joe, or the last task of your day before sitting down for dinner. Either way,whatever your rhythm may be, make it a habit. If you don’t send your debit/credit card transactions to the merchants services processor, you delay getting paid and consequently might not have money to pay your staff. There are ways however to get around not having to remember. Fully integrated payments processing solutions will automatically batch your transactions and send them daily so you never have to worry.

Close Out Any Open Checks

If you’re a bar or restaurant, you want to make sure that any checks that are open at the end of the night are closed out. Whether you opened a check and the customers didn’t stay or you’re a bar owner and the customer left without picking up their card — Regardless of what the case may be — remember to close out all tabs at the end of the shift. Some POS systems have a “save for later” option when it comes to open tabs. This is great and a convenient option for bars and restaurants, but it’s important to make sure you’re never leaving money on the table.

‘X’ and ‘Z’ Reports

If you’re not familiar with ‘X’ and ‘Z’ reports now’s a great time to become acquainted. Though you always want to foster a sense of trust and respect with your employees, it’s good to check in on your cash drawer periodically to stay on top of any potential issues. Whether that is a case of human error or a more serious violation, it’s best to keep a close eye on your cash drawer at all times. So how do you do this you might be wondering? Run both ‘X’ and ‘Z’ reports periodically throughout the day at day’s end. ‘X’ reports provide you with your cash drawer’s balance at any given point during a day. They’re cumulative and do not reset to zero. ‘Z’ reports, however, are generated when you want to know the final tally of your cash drawer. When viewing either of these reports, make sure that the amount listed matches the amount currently in your cash drawer.

The steps taken to close up shop go far beyond running an end of day sales report. Though it might seem like a lot of steps at first, if they’re incorporated into your everyday habits as a business owner, they’ll quickly become second nature, while simultaneously making you a more prepared and efficient merchant.

Sara Sugar

Sara Sugar

As Managing Editor at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Sara Sugar uses her distinguished journalism background to boil down small business and point of sale topics.