QuickBooks Point of Sale Solution for Retailers

by Patricia Fusco

Many small businesses use QuickBooks in the back office because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Now, small shop owners can put these same qualities to work at the checkout counter with QuickBooks Point of Sale for Retailers.

Intuit launched its newest tool to help small business retailers manage their businesses better — Version 2 of its popular QuickBooks Point of Sale Solution for Retailers. The second release of Intuit's retail solution offers several new features and enhancements designed to help small business retailers track and manage their inventory, customer and sales information easily and accurately.

The complete solution retails for just under $1,500 and consists of QuickBooks Point of Sale software and POS hardware peripherals, including receipt printer, bar code scanner, credit card reader and cash drawer. The QuickBooks Point of Sale software application itself can also be purchased separately for about $800.

Darragh Howard, owner of California-based Rockridge Two Wheels, a dealer of motorized and electric scooters and accessories, said QuickBooks Point of Sale has helped get the business off the ground and rolling.

"With QuickBooks Point of Sale, I can get a clear picture of demand versus stock at any time," Howard said.

QuickBooks Point of Sale software tracks inventory, sales and customer information. It also provides reports on critical retail data to help small business retailers manage their business better. Inventory is tracked automatically at the point of sale to provide shop owners with real-time details about business activities.

New capabilities include a data import tool. Retailers can save time and reduce manual entry errors by importing their lists of existing customers, vendors and inventory items from Excel directly into QuickBooks Point of Sale software. Also, with a new sample company data file, novices can quickly learn to use QuickBooks Point of Sale with practice data.

Layaway and sales order tracking capabilities have also been added to QuickBooks Point of Sale software. Retailers can better serve their customers with the new layaway sales tracking features that allow customers to pay for large ticket items over time. The new sales order feature allows retailers to track back orders and special orders — further improving customer services.

Because one inventory item could be a part of other product bundles, Intuit added better inventory management systems to QuickBooks Point of Sale. New in Version 2 is the ability for retailers to combine multiple items into a single offering, such as a gift basket or a set of furniture. This enhancement greatly increases the accuracy and reliability of inventory and sales data.

New hardware features in Version 2 include support for price tag bar code printing. With a bar code tag printer, available direct from Intuit, retailers can create a variety of barcode tags and labels to better track inventory and ring up sales quickly and accurately. Also available direct from Intuit is an optional pole display that can improve customers' buying experiences by displaying item prices and totals as the salesperson rings up each item.

Reporting and accounting functions have been expanded to include recording and tracking petty cash expenses made from the cash drawer. Additionally, report data can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet in one easy step. Naturally, users can quickly and easily transfer key financial information such as sales data, into QuickBooks financial software, which is sold separately.

Owners can also protect their business data by restricting employee access to more sensitive information. QuickBooks Point of Sales allows owners to customize user privileges in accordance with store policies. There are also more business form designs for retailers can choose from. For example, new receipt and purchase order form designs allow retailers to build upon the forms that meet the needs of their specific business, customers, and vendors.

QuickBooks Point of Sale is relatively easy to use and learn, for both retailers and employees — with no special training necessary. The software features a simple set-up interview with clear, concise explanations and links to help information on every screen. Should users need additional support, Intuit offers the entire hardware and software solution with 90-days of support services for just under $1,750.

Right now, QuickBooks Point of Sale offerings are available direct from Intuit. In May, Version 2 of QuickBooks Point of Sale offerings will be available at select retail outlets, including CompUSA, Fry's Electronics, Office Depot, SAM'S CLUB and Staples.

Minimum system requirements include an IBM Compatible 500 MHz Pentium III computer with 128 MB of RAM operating on a NT 4.0 SP6a OS-supported network. Also, 250MB of disk space for QuickBooks Point of Sale installation and Internet Explorer 6.0 are required. Terminals will also need a modem to connect with QuickBooks POS Merchant Services. (Application approval and fees may apply.)

All-in-all, QuickBooks Point of Sale offers small businesses a comprehensive, easy-to-use PC-based point of sale solution out of the box. Whether you're just setting up shop or need to improve inventory-related customer services, you'll want to check out QuickBooks Point of Sale.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Apr 23rd 2003
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