Point Of Sale Software
If you have a business that takes cash from your customers at the front desk then you must have a good and robust point of sale software package, or POS as it is sometimes called.
The reasons are quite simple.
1. Many products today have bar code labels attached to them. This means that the product can be fed into the sales invoice via a bar code scanner. There are several advantages in doing this.
As the product is scanned into the point of sale software, or p.o.s., the product is immediately recognised by the software. The sales person is not fumbling around trying to find the correct product code, the correct product is charged for because the sales person isn’t given the opportunity of picking the wrong product from a price list.
2. You have a computerised reporting system that tells you exactly what has been sold and for how much and the cash in the money drawer can be easily reconciled to this.
3. Your stock control is handled automatically for you. You know at a glance exactly which products you are low on and need to order as well as which products are not selling very well.
4. There is less chance with a point of sale system that your staff can give special prices to their friends, or in fact wether they charge at all, thus reducing theft of stock. There are employees that see petty stock theft as a perk to increase their take home pay. In fact there are even those that seem to think it is their right.
5. With a sales docket that most point of sale systems will produce your customer has a professional looking receipt for the transaction and, thereby, improving your business image.
6. Point of Sale software ( P.O.S. ) will keep track of any tax implications involved in the sale which will decrease your workload in doing manual calculations.
When choosing a point of sale system you need to be very careful of several factors –
* Is the P.O.S. suitable for your industry
* Is it easy to use or will you have to give new staff extensive and costly training
* Does it track and keep record of all sales history so that you can view your daily transactions or is it merely a reciept producing mechanism
* Does it have a back office accounting system that it links up to or will you have to amny post the results on a daily basis
* Does it have the facility to use a bar code scanner and will it open a cash drawer at the appropriate time. It is important that access to the cash drawer is secure and that it cannot be opened at any time without the opening being recorded
* Does it record different types of payment such as cash, various credit cards types, account customer payments and so on. This is important so that when you are balancing the cash at the end of the day you must now what value of sales was paid for by non cash means
* Is it necessary for your Point of Sale system to be able to process account customer payments. Therefore having extra money of one form or another in the cash drawer without the appropriate sale
There are some other security issues that also need to be considered when choosing a POS software system one of the main ones being – after a sale has been made and the customer has left the premises is it possible for the sales person to manipulate the sale to make it look like a lesser value sale and by doing so pocketing some of your money
There is always a temptation for some employees to help themselves to a little extra cash on the side if it is easy to do with the owners of the business relying on trust and honesty coupled with little control over how much has been sold and what goods.
I have seen staff members who have been employed for long periods of time sabotage or resist new point of sale systems when they are being installed. In some cases they have become fairly hostile about the whole thing. You can only guess why, and it’s not just because they are resitant to change.
Point of sale software should be able to trigger a cash drawer when the sale is made as well as produce a detailed reciept for the customer. In some countries it is required by law that these receipts also give details of the tax that has been charged.