The Nitty Gritty on QuickBooks POS from an Expert Reseller


For many small businesses, QuickBooks software is a crucial part of doing business. The accounting and payroll components may be more familiar to the general public, but QuickBooks POS is a complete POS platform for the small- to medium-sized business. Navigating the world of QuickBooks can be somewhat intimidating to the technological novice. In order to help make some sense of the QuickBooks empire, we spoke with Ruth Perryman of, an Intuit “Premiere Reseller.” In the following interview, Perryman demystifies the QuickBooks programs and makes the case for authorized resellers to help businesses get the most from a POS investment.

The POS News: What is the difference between QB POS and QB Enterprise?

Perryman: QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting system, not a POS system.  Even though it has a Retail version, it’s not really designed for retail stores.  It’s really more appropriate for warehouses.

For instance, the only piece of POS hardware [Enterprise] works with out of the box is the credit card swiper.  You can add an advanced inventory subscription to use the barcode scanner, but printing tags is still limited.   

It’s also a pretty expensive option.  QuickBooks Enterprise is the most expensive version of QuickBooks – it costs several thousand dollars alone.  The advanced inventory subscription is currently $999/yr, and you must also renew the annual full service plan (which is currently $950-$2400/yr) to continue using it.  In other words, you’re looking at an annual cost of $1949 – $3399 per year (depending on the number of users) for advanced inventory in addition to the upfront cost of purchasing it.

QuickBooks POS is an inventory and customer management system, not an accounting system.  It’s designed to exchange sales data with QuickBooks.  Most QuickBooks POS users can get by with QuickBooks Pro, the least expensive version of QuickBooks, as long as they don’t need more than 3 users and change their settings to exchange summary instead of detailed information with QuickBooks.  This is because QuickBooks Pro can’t have more than 3 users and [is limited to] 14,500 names and items. 

The POS News: What are the issues that keep businesses from successfully implementing QuickBooks POS if they go on their own without the help of a certified reseller?

Perryman: Intuit makes both QuickBooks and QuickBooks POS seem very easy to use.  Don’t get me wrong, [they are] really easy to use as long as you use [them] the way [they’re] designed to be used.  That’s why proper setup and training is critical. 

This doesn’t necessary mean you need to hire someone to help, but if does mean that you can’t just install and start using it right out of the box unless you have a very simple business (i.e., no sales tax, payroll, inventory, A/R, A/P, etc.).  You should thoroughly read the user manual and make use of in-product Help, which is actually quite good. 

There are also many free resources available.  For instance, we run two LinkedIn groups – QuickBooks Tips & Tricks and QuickBooks POS Tips & Tricks – where you can usually get a free answer to your most vexing QuickBooks questions within minutes.

The POS News: What difference can installing and running a fully functioning QB system make for a small- to medium-sized business?

Perryman: QuickBooks POS gives you the inventory and customer management tools you need to make better business decisions.  When you combine it with QuickBooks for your accounting needs – payroll, bill paying, bank reconciliations, etc. – you get the best of both worlds.

The POS News: In your opinion, what POS hardware options are best choices for businesses hoping to run QB POS?

Perryman: Most of our clients start with the hardware bundle – receipt printer, barcode scanner, cash drawer and credit card swiper. 

Our second most popular hardware item is the tag printer, which is really useful if you specialty tag needs like hang tags (for clothing) or jewelry tags (for small items).  However, one of the great features in QuickBooks POS is that you can print tags on a regular printer using Avery labels.

The pole display comes in third, especially in states (like here in California) that require one. 

The pinpad/credit card swiper is our fourth most popular item.  It’s especially useful if your customers are willing to use their debit cards and enter their 4-digit pin instead of swiping; the merchant fees are much lower.  Whenever I visit a locally owned store that has a pinpad, I always use this option.  It’s a very easy way to help your local businesses survive.

The POS News: Where do you recommend interested business owners start if they want to know more about QB POS?

Perryman: We have a QuickBooks POS FAQ page at  Our clients love it because it has everything in one place – free trials, demos, comparison charts, system requirements, lists of compatible hardware, etc.  Not to mention our deeply discounted price list.

The POS News: What do you think the future holds for the POS industry as mobile POS becomes more dominant and more easily accessible for all?

Perryman: QuickBooks POS 2013 made a huge leap forward with the new mobile sync feature.  It currently only allows you to ring up sales on a smart device, but that’s what most retailers are looking for.  Given Intuit’s current focus on QuickBooks Online, I’m sure it won’t be long until they have an online version of QuickBooks POS available.  I personally can’t wait!



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