Retailers are doing everything they can to minimize expenses in response to this year’s economic downturn. For a growing number of retail shops, a popular money-saving option is to take the do-it-yourself approach to accounting.
Recent reports state that as many as 21 percent of small and midsize business owners believe they aren’t knowledgeable enough about accounting and finance, yet 82 percent of small businesses currently use some form of accounting software. The clear leader in small business accounting software is Intuit’s Quickbooks, whose share of the retail market is currently greater than 80 percent.
Retailers can achieve peak accounting efficiency and improved accuracy by integrating their POS system with Quickbooks. Here’s a “quick” look at the benefits of using a POS system that works with Quickbooks.
How Accounting Software Benefits Retail Shops
While some small shops can get by with the basic accounting features offered in free and low-cost online accounting services, most businesses—especially those with employees—require an accounting package that supports double-entry accounting. These are the features to look for in accounting software for retail:
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- General ledger
- Multi-user access
- Currency conversion
- Time and billing
- Inventory tracking
- Customer relationship management
- Sales analytics
Retailers will notice right away that many of these features are already built into their POS systems. The key is to smoothly integrate these and other POS functions with Quickbooks’ accounting capabilities. In particular, a cloud-based approach allows retailers to submit invoices from their mobile devices, and view client, expense, and invoice information from anywhere and at any time.
Integrating Quickbooks with Your POS System
Quickbooks has been a mainstay of small business accounting for so many years that many businesses would be lost without its familiar interface and toolset. A POS system that works with Quickbooks has to blend smoothly with the program’s modules for invoices, payroll, and financial management. This allows retailers to retain the interface they’re used to while expanding the system’s functionality to include POS features such as inventory management, employee management, and customer databases.
By combining Quickbooks with your POS system, the sales reports and other data analytics available from the POS software have a broader set of data to work with.
- Sales can be tracked in real-time.
- The effectiveness of marketing campaigns can be measured more accurately.
- The impact of price discounts, bundled sales promotions, and other special offers can be monitored.
- Sales increases can be traced to specific products, promotions, or top-performing employees.
The insights that integrated accounting and POS data provide can be applied to ensure the business operates as efficiently as possible. It helps identify the products and promotions that are most popular with customers, the times of day and days of the week when business is best, and the optimal staffing mix to keep customers served and employees happy.
How Restaurants Benefit from POS-Quickbooks Integration
Managing a restaurant entails tracking hundreds of bits of information in the course of a workday. The more accurate and up-to-date the tracking is, the more efficient and profitable the restaurant will be. A restaurant POS system that’s compatible with Quickbooks allows the business to adopt modern cloud-based inventory management, employee scheduling, and sales reporting features while retaining the accounting systems they feel comfortable with.
A POS system integrated with Quickbooks prevents restaurants from having to deal with separate systems for managing purchase orders, processing customer orders, and tracking inventory. Rather than relying on a centralized cash register, sales transactions can be completed at tableside using smartphones and tablets equipped with card readers. Sales and performance data can be viewed in real-time from any internet-connected device, and online reservations and orders are automatically integrated with their on-premises counterparts.
Quickbooks’ various accounting modules can be linked directly to the restaurant’s inventory tracking, purchase orders, and real-time sales figures. This provides restaurant owners with a complete snapshot view of their operations through the familiar Quickbooks interface or via the POS system’s dashboard. It also allows the restaurant to realize the benefits of new POS technology while retaining the accounting features it has come to rely on.
Establishing the Quickbooks-POS System Connection
Linking a retail POS system to Quickbooks starts by signing into your POS account, choosing the Apps option, and selecting Quickbooks. After clicking the Connect Now option, you’re directed to the Quickbooks site, where you sign in and choose the option to grant the POS system access to your Quickbooks data.
Once the connection is established, you’re sent back to your POS account, which steps you through the configuration process:
- Choose whether to combine all data that is imported or if you operate multiple sites, to separate the data for each location.
- Import the POS data as either invoices or manual journal entries, depending on your business’s requirements.
- Map revenue fields from the POS data to your Quickbooks account. You also have the option to map individual product categories or tags to unique Quickbook accounts.
- Select the Quickbooks accounts the POS payments will be imported to, including mapping credit payments by card type, if you wish.
- The two systems will sync at the end of each business day, although you can change the sync time via options in the POS software. You can choose a date range of up to five days for the initial sync.
Once the initial sync is completed, sales and payment data will be synced automatically each business day. Confirm the connection by selecting View Sync Logs on your Quickbooks landing page.
POS Systems That Work With Quickbooks Optimize Business Operations
POS systems have become the digital foundation for nearly all retail business processes. It makes sense that a store’s POS system be closely linked with its accounting software. Combining these two key retail management systems saves stores time and money while ensuring that business records are accurate, accessible, and up-to-date.
Considering the many tremendous challenges retailers currently face, the more seamlessly you can integrate your POS system and Quickbooks account, the more efficiently your business can operate—and the less you will have to worry about moving forward.
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