Bookkeeping Made Simple: Integrating Point-Of-Sale with Your Accounting System

Integrating POS

Integrating POS

Integrating your accounting systems into one central system can ensure that everything works together and your books are as accurate as possible. While multiple different systems may have worked in the past, inconsistencies between them can often result in problems that start small and grow larger. Today’s integrated systems ensure that all of your records – from inventory to payroll – are in one place so that the information they contain can work together to help you stay organized and on track.

How Integrating POS Systems Saves Time

An integrated POS system can allow your sales and inventory to be in direct contact with each other via the same software. That means that updates are done in real time, which can avoid time being wasted when your current inventory doesn’t meet demand. An integrated POS system also prevents time wastes and potential errors entering the same information into multiple different software programs; the more times the info must be entered, the more likely errors will occur. A single software system means one central place to enter all of your company’s records, so errors are less common and everything is in a single location for easy reference.

The Cost of Integration

Many companies shy away from the step of moving to a complete accounting integration because of the cost involved. Naturally, adding new software and training employees to use it properly can incur extra cost, at least at first. However, after the initial cost of moving everything over and training your employees, the new software will cost less, create efficiencies, and prevent your company from losing money due to accounting errors and the sales losses due to the inability to update inventory in real time. Integrated software is an investment that provides savings in the long run.

Tracking Business Expenses and Income

Making the right decisions for your company requires an understanding of what’s really going on with your accounts payable and receivable. The more accurate and up to date that knowledge is, the better your decisions for the company will be. Ordering inventory, staffing, and other major decisions can hinge on a clear understanding of where the company’s inventory and financial status stands at any given point in time. Delayed information can result in decisions that may be detrimental to your company’s future.

Preventing Future Costs

Once all of your company’s books are integrated into one system, the cost of future changes can be minimized. It requires less IT staffing to maintain and update a single integrated system than it does to maintain, update, and introduce multiple software systems. That means less time and money spent on analyzing and selecting software. It also means fewer hours spent getting systems updated and running and ensuring that all of your staff are up to date on the changes. Integrated systems also result in less time spent on troubleshooting, since there is only one system and not multiple programs with potential problems.

A Better Customer Experience

An integrated system doesn’t only benefit your company and employees, it also benefits your customers. Access to updated, real-time inventory helps you make sales and satisfy customers, and fewer errors creates a better sense of trust. A better customer experience is always beneficial to your company, and integrating your POS system with your bookkeeping software can make all the difference when it comes to making sure your customers have confidence in your company.

Restaurant Inventory Management and Your Bottom Line

POS Business

POS Business

In addition to being one of the biggest tasks to undertake, monitoring your inventory is one of the most complex parts of running a restaurant, and mistakes in your inventory control system can be costly. There are a number of ways inventory loss can occur – from employee dishonesty to simple mistakes; however, with the right inventory control system in place, you can prevent financial losses that can threaten your restaurant.

Understanding Inventory

Inventory is complex because it includes such a wide variety of items that need to be on hand at any time in a restaurant. The food itself, items needed to prepare the food, paper products, tableware, and more are all part of your inventory. The balance between having just enough of everything on hand and having too much or too little can be difficult to strike. A shortage of any inventory item means you can’t provide for your customers, but having too much of any item could lead to lost money due to food going bad and being wasted.

Careful inventory control means not only knowing what you have on hand at any given time, but also knowing how much you need to replace, where that inventory is going, and where losses are coming from.

Automated Inventory Control Software

Computers have changed the way restaurant owners track inventory. Using the right software can make the tasks of avoiding and catching inventory loss much easier.

There are a number of software options on the market. The size of your restaurant and the amount of inventory you go through daily are factors in what type of software is right for you. Even with software in place, it’s vital that you make the regular updating and reviewing of your inventory a top priority; if not, problems caught by the system won’t reach your eyes in time to do anything about it.

Remember that any software is only as good as the information entered into it, and in order to keep information accurate, careful and diligent efforts must be made on your part.

Point of Sale Systems (POS)

Employee theft is a staggering problem in retail, costing billions. In a busy restaurant, it’s not difficult for an employee to pocket everything from cash to inventory. A common and simple method of employee theft is providing a customer with food, without entering it a sale, and taking the cash. Your inventory is now gone with no cash to show for it, linking the problem of cash theft to inventory loss.

Advanced point of sale (POS) systems can help control this problem by ensuring that every employee is responsible for their sales and service. These automated systems can save you money in another way as well. POS systems take care of the math for your employees, ensuring that splitting a tab five ways doesn’t lead to an error that shorts the till.

Staying Organized

There is perhaps nothing more vital to inventory control than ensuring that everything is properly organized. Make sure that all of your employees understand the importance of the organizational plan and are returning items to their proper place.

It’s also important that employees report inventory losses or problems immediately. Damaged goods or missing items must be dealt with quickly. Foster an environment where employees feel safe coming to you if they suspect theft on any level by a co-worker, and be certain to handle things in such a way as to keep the honest employee safe from retribution.

How to Choose the Best Cash Drawer

POS Cash Drawer

POS Cash Drawer

A cash drawer is a basic piece of equipment yet a major part of everyday activities for many businesses. The right cash drawer combines ease of use for employees with security, durability, and well-featured record keeping – all while fitting into your budget. When choosing the best cash drawer for your business, it is wise to consider all of the particular needs of your specific business and accounting systems.

Heavy Duty Versus Standard Duty

Cash drawers are grouped into two basic categories, high duty and standard, with the main difference between the two being the durability and strength of the system.

Heavy-duty cash drawers will withstand more opening and closing, will open and close more smoothly, and have a higher quality latch that is longer lasting and more secure. They cost more, but can handle heavier use. Heavy-duty drawers are best for any business where the drawer is opened and closed with great frequency, such as fast food restaurants, grocery stores, or coffee shops.

Standard duty cash drawers are meant for lighter use, and as a result are less costly. Thought they will wear out sooner than heavy duty, they are still a good choice for a business that does not require frequent opening and closing. Small boutiques, bazaars, fairs, or companies that do more business over the phone or online than in person will do well with standard duty cash drawers.

Meeting Security Needs

Security is one of the major considerations when choosing the best cash drawer. Businesses that deal in a large amount of cash daily likely will want advanced security features.

Some of the security options available on cash drawers include locks on both the drawer and till and hidden compartments where larger cash deposits can be placed out of sight. For added security you can choose a drawer that opens only when a transaction is run. Heavy-duty drawers are often made of heavier materials, making them more difficult to break into, as well.

Space and Location

Some cash drawers sit on top of a counter, while others can be mounted beneath the surface. Consider your space and what will best fit your situation. It’s also important to measure how far the drawer will protrude when open to make sure you have enough space.

You will also have to consider the internal space of the drawer based on how much storage you need for cash, coins, receipts, and checks.

Working with Point of Sale Systems

If you are already using a specific Point of Sale (POS) system for your business, you should check to make sure the cash drawers you are choosing are compatible with that system. There are many different options for POS software, and not all hardware will be compatible, so double-check prior to purchasing.

If you have a system that doesn’t open the drawer for credit or debit card transactions, you will need to choose a cash drawer that offers media slots. This will allow receipts and other media to be placed in the drawer while it is closed.

Fitting Your Budget

Cash drawers range greatly in price, and if you need to buy many drawers this may affect your decision. If all of your business will be conducted through a single drawer, it makes sense to invest in a better drawer. For businesses needing multiple drawers, consider how much use each drawer will see before buying. Upgrade any drawer that is expected to see more use.

A cash drawer is an investment for your business, so choose the one that meets all of your needs with the highest quality your budget will allow – you will save more in the long term.