September 10, 2018

QuickBooks POS Review: Is It Good?

Read more about Business

QuickBooks is known for its accounting software, so it seems like a no-brainer that they would offer a POS for retailers too. Is it worth the cost? Does it deliver competitive services and quality?

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QuickBooks POS gives businesses the ability to ring up sales, track customers, issue refunds, manage inventory, and manage employees all from one system. The on-premise system works on your desktop or Microsoft Surface Pro to give you the flexibility you need when running a business.

QuickBooks POS works well with many of the other QuickBooks programs, making seamless integration possible for QuickBooks users. Is the somewhat outdated desktop POS something you should consider?

Keep reading to learn more about the QuickBooks POS.

Who Is QuickBooks POS Best For?

QuickBooks POS was created for retail businesses. That doesn't mean other businesses won't find it useful, but its barcode scanner, inventory tracking system, and employee tracking system all work well for small to mid-sized retail businesses.

Businesses that ring up products that don't require scales or any bulk ordering may benefit from this program. Simple service-type programs may also benefit, but restaurants and bar owners may want to look for a program more suited for their business.

QuickBooks POS does make it possible to integrate sales and inventory over multiple branches, but 20 locations is their limit.


The fees are often the largest gripe customers have about this POS system. It's not a pay-as-you-go system like many cloud-based POS systems today. Instead, you pay a one-time fee at the time of purchase. The fees can be pretty hefty though, as they start at $1,200 and go up to $1,900, with three plans to choose from.

  • Basic: Ring up sales, take payments, and track inventory
  • Pro: All of the above plus manage employees, offer services such as layaway and gift cards, and a loyalty program
  • Multi-location: All of the above for more than one store location

These fees are for the program only. Any POS hardware you need, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, scanners, receipt printers, or PIN pads, are sold separately.


QuickBooks POS doesn't have an app for your smartphone or tablet, with the exception of the Microsoft Surface Pro. It does, however, have a mobile sync feature. This allows you to use your mobile phone or tablet for sales if you don't have a Surface Pro. In order to accept payments on the Surface Pro or your phone, you'll need a "Go Payments" card reader to accept credit cards.

Reasons Why We Like It

  • The system is user-friendly. QuickBooks is a household name in the bookkeeping business. With so many years under their belt, QuickBooks POS is user-friendly even for the novice user. Many of the prompts are right on the dashboard, making it easy to adapt to the POS system with minimal training.

  • The POS can keep track of your customers. Adding new customers or selecting existing customers is simple in the POS system. This makes sales, exchanges and returns simple for new and existing customers. This also makes it easy to create custom discounts for certain customers based on their buying pattern or any other stipulations you create.

  • It's easy to implement a customer rewards program. If you offer a customer rewards program to create loyalty, QuickBooks POS makes it easy to keep track of a customer's information, including sales and amount of rewards earned. The system will automatically ask if you want to apply a customer's rewards to the purchase to make it easy to use the rewards.

  • It helps to keep track of inventory. Time is money and QB POS makes keeping inventory automated. Every time you make a sale or take a return, the inventory is adjusted accordingly. You can receive alerts when you reach a certain limit or check which items are hot sellers and which aren't moving off the shelf.

  • Purchase order management can be partially automated. When it's time to make a purchase order, the POS system creates the purchase order for you. With a few bits of information, your PO is ready to send off to the vendor. Once you receive the items, you can customize your inventory by automatically populating the entire order or entering select items received.

  • You can run a large variety of reports. You can customize the type and frequency of the reports you receive regarding sales, inventory, payment methods, purchase summaries, employee hours, and employee commissions to name a few.

  • QuickBooks POS integrates with QuickBooks to make bookkeeping easier. This can help you save time and avoid double entries. You decide when to sync the information, whether daily or weekly. This eliminates your need to do data entry on the back-end, saving you time and money.

  • You can customize the QuickBooks POS to meet your individual needs. You are in control of the reports you receive and how you ring up sales and track inventory. You can create a simple or complex system based on your needs and what programs you will sync the program with to simplify the process.

  • You can set up permissions to only allow access to certain employees. You can restrict access to certain aspects of the POS system for certain employees. This can help keep your information safe and accurate.

  • QuickBooks POS works with the Microsoft Surface Pro. This allows you some flexibility if you want to meet customers throughout the store or carry your POS to the back. This may offer you more flexibility than using your PC as your POS.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You must pay the full price for the program upfront. The upfront fee is costly and can be a large downside for businesses that prefer the lower monthly payment of month-to-month services. The fee is a one-time fee until you choose to upgrade or change programs.

  • The system is locally installed, which you can't access in the cloud. The QB POS system is meant as a desktop system, meaning working off your laptop or PC. They recently integrated the ability to use a Surface Pro for a more mobile experience, but it's still locally installed.

  • You'll need to pay for the Pro version if you want to track employee hours and payroll. If you are just looking for a system to track sales and inventory, the basic system will work. If you need anything more than that, though, it could cost you as much as $700 more.

How It Compares

Square: Square and QB POS have two main differences. Square doesn't have an upfront (or monthly) fee and it operates on a mobile device via the cloud. Square offers features similar to QuickBooks, with the exception of QuickBooks POS integrating seamlessly with QB bookkeeping software.

Shopify: Shopify is another POS system operating in the cloud that works well for online business. They offer an online store along with the standard POS system features. They offer month-to-month pricing as well, with one program costing as much as $299 per month.

Bottom Line

If you are a dedicated QuickBooks user now, it may make sense to use the QuickBooks POS rather than trying to integrate another brand into your system. If you aren't a QuickBooks user, though, there may be more affordable options out there, depending on your needs and the size of your business.

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