QuickBooks Looks to Cash In With New POS Features

By Dan Muse | Posted November 02, 2006

In a move to help retailers more efficiently ring up retail sales, track inventory and market their products online, Intuit today announced the launch of QuickBooks Point of Sale 6.0.

The newest version of the point-of-sale retail management software — which Intuit claims has 55,000 customers — is designed to go beyond the cash register and open new online marketing efforts to acquire new customers, offer more control and provide better insight into the sales and customer data, according to Joanne Jacobs, general manager of Intuit's retail solutions division.

"Retailers need tools to manage all aspects of the business, from tracking inventory and customers to paying employees," Jacobs said. "And a growing number of retailers want to attract new customers online without a considerable investment or risk."

Extend Your Online Reach
If you follow Intuit's product announcements, the inclusion of the QuickBooks Product Listing Service Point of Sale 6.0 will sound familiar. This service is designed to let you display your product lists to online shoppers on Google through Google Base. The Google integration was first announced as part of QuickBooks 2007.

Intuit offers $50 in Google AdWords credits to get you started with your search engine marketing campaign. You can also list your store with Google Maps so that it comes up when customers search for related products and services. The Google Maps listing can offer information such as driving directions, hours of operation and payment forms accepted. You can also post free, printable coupons attract or retain customers.

You can use QuickBooks Point of Sales-compatible e-commerce server providers to consolidate your online and bricks-and-mortar store sales. This allows you to accept credit card payments on the Web stores and exchange invoice, sales and customer information with QuickBooks Point of Sale.

Managing the Shelves
To help you better manage your store, QuickBooks Point of Sale 6.0 attempts to offer better accuracy into the status of your product inventory. For example, a new Committed/Available Inventory tool is designed to show items that have been placed on hold by a customer so retailers can avoid selling products that shouldn't be available for sale. It also provides a more accurate view of what inventory needs to be re-ordered.

QuickBooks Point of Sale also makes it easier to accept returns and exchanges from receipts with a new workflow that's designed to require only few simple clicks from a salesperson at the point of sales terminal.

Because retailers often purchase products in bulk, QuickBooks Point of Sale 6.0 lets you order and sell items by different units of measure. You can also set up different units of measure for different items and create default order-by and sell-by units. This is designed to eliminate the need to manually convert the prices you pay for products to the prices you charge individual customers.

Jacobs said that retailers typically lose 1 to 5 percent of sales due to pricing errors. Those errors can by avoided, she said, by converting from one unit to another in the appropriate forms including invoices, purchase orders and inventory reports.

To help you see what's selling, a new Ratings & Trends tool is designed to show how items are performing day-to-day as well as over time. You can choose to rank items by profit, sales dollar or sales quantity and easily see your most popular and most profitable items.

Other Features
Version 6.0 also offers an improved retail dashboard, which is designed to provide information such as best-selling items and up-to-date sales figures in a single view. The product also includes new features that let sales people collect tips directly from the sales screen and a Time Clock that lets employees clock in and out directly from the point of sales software — the goal being to reduce errors that can occur when you manually enter timesheet information.

QuickBooks Point of Sale 6.0 is also built to integrate better for Microsoft Office applications and is designed to make it easier import and export Excel date. You can now automatically generate customer and vendor letters in Word using information in the point-of-sale software.

Pricing
QuickBooks Point of Sale 6.0 is available either as a stand-alone product or with all the necessary hardware, which includes a receipt printer, bar code scanner, cash drawer and credit card swipe.

The price details include the following:

  • QuickBooks Point of Sale: Basic 6.0: $799.95 ($1,499.95 with the hardware bundle).
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale: Pro 6.0: $1,049.95 ($1,749.95 with the hardware bundle).
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale: Pro 6.0 Multi-Store: $1,399.95, ($2,099.95 with the hardware bundle).
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale: Pro 6.0, new user, three-user pack: $2,599.95
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale: Pro 6.0 Multi-Store, new-user, five-user pack: $5299.95.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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