First Look: QuickBooks Point of Sale

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted May 15, 2002
a href="mailto:wkawamoto@earthlink.net">Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

Intuit says that of the 1.4 million small business retailers in the United States, 80 percent use tools such as calculators and electronic cash registers to manage their businesses. With these retailers in mind, Intuit launched its QuickBooks Point of Sale Solution for Retailers, a PC-based point of sale (POS) system that should give small business retailers the same levels of insight and control over sales, inventory and customers as large superstores and department chains.

The QuickBooks Point of Sale solution consists of software and standard hardware tools, including a bar code scanner, magnetic stripe reader, cash drawer and receipt printer. QuickBooks Point of Sale software may also be purchased as a stand-alone product.

Intuit says that its QuickBooks Point of Sale solution is priced 20 to 50 percent less than a majority of other PC-based POS systems and is the only POS solution available off-the-shelf for self installation. The product is designed to walk retailers through its set-up process to ensure the system is tailored for their specific needs. Additional screens guide and prompt users through the software's features and functions.

According to Intuit research, 45 percent of small business retailers manually enter sales data into their accounting software on a daily basis. To eliminate this need for duplicate data entry and ensure greater accuracy, QuickBooks Point of Sale features one-click integration with the QuickBooks 2002 accounting products. With a single keystroke, users should be able to quickly transfer summarized sales data directly into their QuickBooks accounting software.

QuickBooks Point of Sale Overview
An extension of Intuit's QuickBooks product family, QuickBooks Point of Sale was developed in conjunction with Retail Technologies International, a provider of specialty retail management systems for larger stores and chains.

Intuit's POS system is designed to let retailers:

Process Sales
Users can ring up sales, process credit cards, and manage all transaction data from a single system. Users should benefit from fast and reliable processing and tracking of credit card transactions with QuickBooks POS Merchant Service, powered by Wells Fargo Merchant Services. (Requires application approval. Fees apply.) The service offers QuickBooks Point of Sale customers a low discount processing rate, in addition to free online reconciling and reporting capabilities.

Manage Inventory
Users can track up to 50,000 individual store items in real-time, and gain access to relevant data, such as item pricing and stock availability. Inventory items can be categorized by department, color, size, vendor or other customized variables.

Track Customers
Users can maintain customer data, including sales history, contact information, purchase habits and more, which should help them better manage customer relationships.

Additionally, QuickBooks Point of Sale offers more than 30 reports and 10 filter options, which should help users run reports on 'best seller' and worst seller' product lists, sales associate performance, and on-hand quantities by item. It features employee tracking capabilities, allowing storeowners to monitor employee activities such as individual sales and hours worked. Additional security options allow owners or managers to limit access to certain data and specific functions, such as returns and price change authorization.

Pricing and Availability
The suggested retail price for the complete QuickBooks Point of Sale Solution for Retailers is $1,499.95, including both hardware and software components. QuickBooks Point of Sale Software for Retailers costs $799.95. With expected availability in mid-May, both QuickBooks Point of Sale offerings can be purchased at selected stores, beginning with SAM'S CLUB and Office Depot, or direct from Intuit by calling 1-800-926-6066. (*Prices subject to change.) For more information about QuickBooks Point of Sale, please visit www.quickbooks.com/pointofsale/.

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