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Must I Integrate Point of Sale with Financials? – Accountex Report

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Integrate Point of Sale (POS) with Financials? Of course not. Absolutely. Maybe. A lot of integrations have been successful, some have failed, and many are probably somewhere in between.

Here are comments from some of our clients:

“There is an option in my POS system that says something about QuickBooks. I just clicked the box and filled in the requested fields. The help said it was just that easy.”
“It made me nervous so I didn’t want to turn it on and, instead, we’ve been manually entering daily sales.”
“My POS system syncs to QuickBooks and it says the data is transmitted. My bookkeeper never mentioned there are any issues.”
“I didn’t know it could send data to QuickBooks.”
“They said it integrated with QuickBooks but didn’t tell me it only integrated with QuickBooks Online and I use QuickBooks Desktop.”
“The documentation said it integrates with QuickBooks so I assumed it sent all the needed data to QuickBooks, only to discover that it only sends sales data, and even that was not accurate.”
“Our consultant set it up and it is working well but it does take some effort on our part to make sure it is done right. Our bookkeeper still has to do some magic each month.”
“I used to have the system send data over to QuickBooks but it was always such a mess so I stopped.”
If you talk with an accounting professional, integration is key. However, the business owner doesn’t necessary list this on the same level of significant priorities for a variety of realistic scenarios.

To me it comes down to two simple factors – the capability of the POS system to send the necessary data to the financials; and for those managing the retail operations to follow the required procedures. If one of these falls short, the quality of the financial information is in question and the last thing you want is a financial mess. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation.

So what does one do? And how does one decide? Good questions. The intention of this article is to provide some insight into assorted approaches so you can make an educated decision in your circumstance. We’ll start with some background, review integration approaches, provide some samples, and end up with an IMHO.

Background

Many Point of Sale (POS) systems tout the ability to send financial data from POS to an accounting application. QuickBooks is the most common accounting application in the small business market but many work with Xero and a myriad assortment of other accounting applications.

The integration can take on …

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