from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cashier at the counter of a tourist attraction in Florence
Ticket booth in the municipal indoor swimming pool Elisabethhalle in Aachen
Wooden "casse" of an old shoemaker's workshop, exhibited in the museum under the Y-castle

Cash register (in Austria also Kassa ; English cash register, cash point ) is the collective term for all devices , functions , accounts or positions in economic entities that are involved in payment transactions .


The word cash is taken from the name for “box, box” ( Latin cassa ), which in turn comes from the verb for “grasp, take in” ( Latin capere ). Today it is not only used as a container for cash , but the term “cash register” is a collective term for all functions, accounts, positions, compounds (such as health insurance , savings bank , pension fund ) or slang terms like “cash in”.

Economic subjects ( private households , companies , authorities ) must take organizational precautions if they are frequently in contact with cash. The intensity of cash payments is measured using the cash payment quota (share of cash payments in all payments). The highest rate of cash payments is in retail in Germany, where a total of 51.3% of all payments were made in 2016.


The cash register as a device is the cash register , which can be integrated into a cash register system. The mobile cash register is part of a cash register system because it cannot accept any cash. Special types of funds are today's standard scanner cash registers , including the cashier-less self-checkout ( self-checkout ) in which the buyer the goods himself scanning needs ( English self-scanning ) and the slot machine, as well as the quick checkout , a reserved fund for Buyers with a low number of items.

Functionally meet the cashier (in) the task of cash management by working with payment transactions such as cash or cash deposit (by cash and credit cards and checks are entrusted). The word cashier is the noun agentis formed from cash register . Specifically, cash is accepted, tested, return money or possibly bottle deposit issued and up to the billing safely stored. Checks are checked and filed until settlement. Cash and credit cards are scanned automatically, and the identity of the owner is checked by means of his signature or PIN . After completing the payment process, the customer receives a printed receipt on which the tax components are shown. Typical cash payments are the consideration from transactions with customers and replenishment of the cash balance, cash payments are made, for example, in the case of credits as a correction of an invoice in favor of the service recipient, e.g. as a result of a complaint ( reduction of the purchase price ).

The position as a workplace is simply called “cash register”, “cash desk hall” or “cash desk hall”, at credit institutions it is part of the counter ( car counter , cash desk ). In the balance sheet, the cash account is called cash on hand (a balance sheet item in accordance with Section 266 (2) lit. B IV HGB ), an active inventory account in which the payout is registered as an outflow and the payment as an addition. This is used to keep a cash book which, as the general ledger, records all transactions . Especially in retail or in the catering industry , a receipt or receipt is issued for cash deposits . Proper cash management is also a prerequisite for taxation according to Section 158 AO . The cash auditor is responsible for comparing the daily closing balance of the cash book with the actual cash balance ( cash check ). If there is a difference between the two, one speaks of the cash difference .

In the self-service retailing serving Kassenzone often as the preferred point of sale ( English Point of Sale , abbreviated POS) for small-scale entrainment products such as tobacco or Quengelware such as chewing gum or candy bar because of there very effective psychological stimulus-response mechanism and theft prevention.

Black cash register

The “black cash register”, “special cash register” or “hidden cash register” is a slang expression for a shadow economy , in which cash deposits and cash withdrawals occur without booking and without receipt or book money with disguise of the client and / or payee and not or manipulated in the accounting appear.


As early as May 1909, the Imperial Court of Justice (RG) defined: “Black cash registers are generally understood to mean accounts that are kept secret from the public, from the property owner himself or from the competent authorities, or cash in which the funds of the respective property holder are accumulated in order to subsequently real or supposed interest of the property owner to be used ”. It is a black fund "if a perpetrator illegally diverts funds entrusted to him for administration into a special account and keeps it hidden from the asset owner, but in order to use the secret assets in the future in the interests of the owner." In the management of black cash registers, the characteristics of breach of duty , the secrecy of the cash registers from third parties and self-interested use are met. A black fund consists of money that is kept hidden in disregard of certain obligations , and the intended use of which is related to the professional or other task-related activity of the person who is hiding the money. It includes all funds that are hidden from the trustor in order to obtain sole power of disposal , in particular accounts and custody accounts of all kinds or "money stores" or "money reserves" that are kept at the disposal of third parties outside the offender's official or business area.


Black coffers occur in public administration , political parties or commercial enterprises.

Black funds were seen as unauthorized misappropriation (or change of purpose) of public funds . They evidently emerged for the first time in the budget . The spectacular Cologne garbage scandal began after the tenders for the construction of a residual waste incineration plant, for which several companies submitted offers; in some cases, they also offered the prospect of paying bribes between 2% and 3% of the order volume when the order was placed. A city-owned company paid the agreed contract amount (792 million DM) including the bribe portion contained therein (21.6 million DM) almost in full to the winner of the tender by August 2000, who passed the bribe money on. A managing director of a GmbH and a board of directors of a stock corporation can be liable to prosecution for breach of trust if they set up a black box abroad in violation of Section 43 (1) GmbHG or Section 93 (1 ) AktG and in violation of accounting regulations. The culprit was the board member Hellmut Trienekens , who decided to finance so-called “useful expenses” to set up a “war chest” outside the accounting of the Trienekens group at a mailbox company in Switzerland.

The black box discovered in October 2017 in the German embassy in Paris represented a "system of undeclared cash payments". The black box was used to pay overtime for domestic staff without any deductions. Payment was always made when companies or other customers rented rooms in the Hôtel Beauharnais - the noble ambassador's residence - for receptions and the staff at the embassy did this. Sometimes even shadow households are dubbed black coffers because they obscure the actual budget situation.

The party is financed , among other things, from party donations , which are expressly permitted in the Political Parties Act (PartG) ( Section 25 (1) PartG). They must be mentioned in the statement of accounts ( Section 24 (4) of the PartG), if the donor exceeds 10,000 euros in a calendar year, the name of the donor is required, and if the amount exceeds 50,000 euros, the President of the Bundestag must be notified immediately ( Section 25 (4) of the PartG) ). If the anonymity of the donor is to be preserved, this dilemma is the basis for donation affairs . The donation affair of the Frankfurt SPD, for example, began in December 1972 with a cash donation of 200,000 DM from a Lebanese merchant, who then received the concession to operate underground car parks at Frankfurt am Main Airport . As a CDU donation affair , the transfer of the party funds to Swiss accounts became known in 1983, their transfer to the assets of the anonymous Wren Foundation and their ongoing concealment from the CDU Hessen. According to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), this constituted breach of trust in accordance with Section 266 of the Criminal Code to the detriment of the CDU regional association, which only ended with the return of the funds in 2000. The financial loss was the opinion of the Supreme Court in a concrete asset risk that is "linked to the intention of the defendants in the interests of the party, but ultimately as they see fit to have about this," by creating a "slush fund", occurred.

In the private sector , bribery payments or kickbacks are paid out of black coffers . The Siemens corruption affair that began in November 2006 is an example . In the Siemens Power Generation (SPG) division, there was an established system for paying bribes, whereby the funds intended for this were stored in hidden accounts abroad and were not reflected in the official accounting of the SPG division. As part of the acquisition of two orders in 1999 and 2000, the perpetrator arranged for bribes in the millions to be transferred to officials of the client after the SPG had received the orders in accordance with previous agreements. The Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) made it clear that the current version of the breach of trust is still to be reconciled with the specificity requirement of Article 103, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law, because it reveals a legal interest just as clearly as the special dangers facing the legislature Help protect the facts .

The Supreme Court affirmed in settled case at kick-back payments to fulfill the infidelity offense if the offender thwarted the possibility of a particularly advantageous contract the asset owner and a third party in that it is from the third party in the event the contract is concluded a grant can promise which the third party disputes from the - correspondingly increased - remuneration to be paid by the asset owner.

Legal consequences

Under criminal law , black funds are a subset of infidelity ( Section 266 (1) StGB ). According to the BGH, even the withdrawal and withholding of considerable assets by setting up hidden coffers by senior executives of a company leads to a final disadvantage within the meaning of Section 266 (1) StGB; the intention to use the money in the economic interest of the trustor is irrelevant. With the infidelity are for offenders often in coincidence the offenses of receiving bribes ( § 331 of the Criminal Code) advantages granted ( § 333 of the Criminal Code), bribery of public officials ( § 334 of the Criminal Code) and bribery and corruption in business transactions ( § 299 of the Criminal Code) and Tax evasion linked to Section 331 AO. The sanctions for companies are a fine in accordance with Section 30 (1) OWiG and the skimming off of profits and benefits from the illegal act through forfeiture ( Section 73a StGB).

The violation of the budgetary principles can be punished as “budget infidelity” (a sub-case of infidelity). In 1997, however, the BGH had made it clear that there was no such offense of “budget breach” which “alone threatens the unlawfulness of improper budget decisions with a penalty.” The violation of current budget law or budget principles is therefore not immediately punishable under Section 266 (1) StGB . Rather, it must be proven that the public sector suffered a financial disadvantage as a result of the improper act.

More types

Example of a mobile cash register
Coffee cup

The mobile cash register , which is mainly used in the catering industry, has no cash in hand and can therefore be assigned to the cash register system. A petty cash is ready holds an office in the company, the money for general smaller cash outlay. Small amounts that were initially paid in cash by employees can be reimbursed from the cash in hand. In its function, it also frequently fulfills a buffer function for minor purchases, such as office supplies ; Money is withdrawn in cash as advance payment and acknowledged. The receipt resulting from the purchase replaces or supplements the payment receipt and is accounted for by the accounting department. The postage cash register is a cash register that is intended exclusively for postage and can also contain postage stamps / franking that have already been purchased . Since the amounts contained therein are rather small, this cash register has generally become a synonym for a cash register with little content and is expressed in various idioms, including "Somebody pays from the postage cash register": the sum is a trifle for the debtor and of the amount insignificant. Due to the modern forms of mechanical and electronic franking, the postage is on the decline in companies and authorities. Hand and postage tills are settled using the company's cash balance and are part of the company's assets .

On the other hand, there is the department cash register , birthday cash register or coffee cash register for private expenses by the company's workforce for company parties, birthday gifts, coffee or the like. The workforce pays into this joint fund according to certain modalities with their own cash. Also gratuities of satisfied customers migrate sometimes in this fund, the Community for private assets is part of the workforce.

Treasuries as offices

Authorities have departments that centrally manage payment transactions for taxes and fees ( municipal treasury , district treasury ), while financial management is called the financial treasury . About the bank incoming payments they arrange the in decision awarded cash reference to.

These are mostly divided into two areas of responsibility, accounting and the enforcement authority . In the cash register as accounting, all administration payments are processed and the income posted. Furthermore, compliance with due dates / installment payments are monitored from there and, if necessary, the public-law dunning procedure is processed. In the enforcement authorities, which are mostly attached to the coffers, public-law claims are enforced with coercive means or the dunning procedure is initiated for claims under civil law.

In the case of public administration companies (e.g. waste management companies), these tasks are often performed by so-called special funds. Their range of tasks differs greatly depending on the individual case. However, they mostly perform the tasks of the general fund for individual offices of an administration. In addition, tasks of the enforcement authority are now often assigned to them. So far, this practice has proven its worth especially where the separation between general administration and specialist offices is particularly pronounced, i.e. where tasks are performed from a private-sector perspective.


In the economic theory of the demand for money , cash holding is synonymous with holding cash and book money in the possession of economic agents.

Cash register in everyday language

The word cash is used in compound words such as health insurance or savings bank. Here the basic word “cash register” is only meant for an institution, even if the savings bank has historically handed down the payment of savings into an existing real cash register for the word formation. Colloquial formulations such as "cash in" have nothing to do with the cash register, but are intended to signal that someone has made a profit or has requested a payment.


In the Middle Ages and the early modern period there was a so-called cash vault , where large amounts of money were secured.

Web links

Wiktionary: Checkout  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ursula Hermann, Knaurs etymologisches Lexikon , 1983, p. 245
  2. Statista the statistics portal, shares of payment types in retail sales in Germany in 2016 and 2017 , Statista 2019
  3. RGSt 71, 155, 157
  4. Klaus Bernsmann, Everything Infidelity? , in: Goltdammer's Archive for Criminal Law, 2007, 219, 231
  5. Thomas Weimann, The criminal liability of the formation of so-called black funds according to Section 266 of the Criminal Code (breach of trust) , 1996, p. 12 f.
  6. ^ Frank Saliger: Political Party Law and Criminal Law. 2005, p. 398 ( ).
  7. Steffen Evers: The relationship between the financial disadvantage in infidelity (§ 266 StGB) to the financial damage in fraud (§ 263 StGB) , 2018, p. 134 ( ).
  8. RGSt 71, 155
  9. BGHSt 50, 299
  10. BGHSt 55, 266
  11. BGHSt 55, 266, 269
  12. Kölner Stadtanzeiger of November 12, 2017, Thorsten Knuf: "Black Cash Register": Berlin admits irregularities at the German embassy in Paris
  13. a b BGH, judgment of October 18, 2006, Az .: 2 StR 499/05 = BGHSt 51, 100
  14. a b BVerGE 126, 170
  15. BGHSt 50, 299 , 314 f.
  16. ^ BGH, judgment of August 29, 2008, Az .: 2 StR 587/07
  17. BGHSt 43, 293
  18. ^ Sybille Brunner, Karl Kehrle: Volkswirtschaftslehre , 2014, p. 585 ( ).