Retailers Let Down by Software Developers
In my role as Business Mentor with Business Mentors NZ I meet quite a few retailers struggling with systems. The problem is always the Point of Sale software which has been designed as a stand-alone POS system and which won’t do the bookkeeping and the GST. Typically the software, will in theory, export to MYOB or Quickbooks but either “they don’t recommend it” or you can’t find anyone who knows how to make the export routine work and in any case, who would want to pay for and get to grips with two systems rather than one?
The latest retailer I’ve met is typical. They’ve been sold an expensive POS system but just a year later had to appoint an outsourced administration firm to handle their bookkeeping and GST at a huge cost of $450 pw (which in Hawkes Bay would pay for a full-time employee!) who enter all the purchase invoices again on the accounting system which they use – crazy or what? When the accountant gets involved he uses a third system!
They recognise their problem but are reluctant to dump the POS system and start again but that is what I’m going to advise as there are POS systems available which will do the bookkeeping and GST and even more importantly, enable the business owner to prepare regular interim accounts and measure Key Performance Indicators to see how the business is tracking.
If you’re starting afresh it’s easier but if you no longer have the cash to pay for the up-front software licence fee the answer is to choose a cloud-based system (with only monthly fees) which either has an integrated General Ledger or integrates seamlessly with an accounting software with a built-in perpetual inventory system.
As usual when choosing any software it’s essential to:
- Ensure you can trial the software for free
- Speak to other users AND their advisers (as often the users won’t know what know what they’re missing)
- Make sure you can get meaningful support
- Find out of you can import existing data en-masse
- Will it work on your existing hardware?
- Make sure it’s easy to use
- Ensure it provides you with ALL the data you need to run your business effectively
If you need help with your systems contact NICK on 0800 ASK NICK or email firstname.lastname@example.org before it’s too late to make a difference!