Intuit QuickBooks POS is easy to use and install. It also comes with the intuitive interface and capabilities that made QuickBooks Online and accounting software so popular. Everything is clearly labelled and finding things isn’t related to needles or haystacks.
There is a free trial version available for you to download and install – be warned, it is a hefty file, and always scan any .exe with your antivirus before you dive in – but it comes with all the features that you would find in the Pro version that is a lot pricier than the Basic one.
The price of QuickBooks POS is one large sum that may leave a lump in your throat when you hand over your credit card. The Pro version starts at $1700 while the Basic sits at $1200 and the Multi-Store version comes in at $1900.
That said, most other platforms in this market expect you to pay a monthly fee that can add up as you add in extras. QuickBooks POS has no such hidden secrets, you pay once, you get your features, and you get going.
QuickBooks POS review: Features
- Track customer data and inventory with ease
- Manage employees, payroll, payments and sales
- Build a loyalty program and offer customers gift cards and layaway options
Online / Offline access: Offline mode that allows for normal operating until connectivity resolved
Stock / Inventory management: Excellent suite of services
Data / Reporting: Customizable reporting structures dependent on version
Customer engagement: Customer loyalty program and gift cards are add-on features
eCommerce features: eCommerce is a standalone Lightspeed solution
Staff management and control: Several employee management options
Operating systems: Web, Microsoft, iOS and Android
Hardware: PC, Android and Apple
Free trial: Yes
Payment options: Once off payment
Support: 24/7 and customized to suit the specific POS system
The Pro version includes a lot of extras you don't get with Basic. Basic offers you the ability to ring sales, take payments, track inventory and customer data, do basic reporting, and integrate with QuickBooks Desktop. Quickbook POS Pro adds in extras such as advanced reporting, employee and payroll management and rewards programs.
Of course, the Multi-Store variation throws the word Advanced in front of quite a few of these words and really allows you to dive deeply into data and customer experiences. All three take very little time to install and configure.
The hardware required for QuickBooks depends entirely on your business. You can collect barcode scanners, EMV pin pads, receipt printers and the rather interesting choice of the Microsoft Surface Pro.
This is the recommended tablet for the QuickBooks system which is, let’s face it, an unusual choice when most companies embrace Android and/or iOS. However, you can download the QuickBooks GoPayment app that’s available on both mobile platforms and comes with a free card reader.
As with most things in the world, free doesn't necessarily mean without any cost. It's free because they can take the per swipe, dip and tap fees that they add on top of each use.
QuickBooks POS review: Design and usability
- Fantastic user interface with plenty of features
- Heavy download that may slow your system to a crawl while it sets things up
- Choose your features wisely as they will make all the difference
Your choice of package will make a big difference to how you experience the QuickBooks solution.
If you go with Pro, your access to the customization and customer experience features adds endless value to the platform. Going into your customer sales, building gift cards, tracking customer sales and histories – these are not just easy, but fun.
You’ll get the same thrill from the inventory feature set as it updates automatically, shows you exactly what stock is gaining traction, and is easy to populate. You won’t battle with finding your way around the dashboard either.
It is intuitive, clever and bright. There is a lot to be said for an interface that has big, bold buttons and clear labels, especially when working in a busy retail sector.
No, you aren’t going to be waving magic tablet wands all over the place as you do with other solutions such as Toast and TouchBistro, but you do get a system that’s very simple to use and has a low barrier to entry.
Watch the QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale Overview from Quickbooks:
QuickBooks POS review: Performance
- Integration made easy
- Limited variety in terms of mobility
- Sluggish responsiveness on slower systems
QuickBooks slowed our test system down to a crawl on first install, which didn’t put us in a very good mood. It took a while for the gasping operating system to finally load QuickBooks and to reveal the feature set hidden inside.
For retailers, this is not ideal. It’s a good idea to ensure that whatever desktop or tablet you are planning to use has plenty of space and no hefty antivirus software using a lot of the processing power.
Over and above the weight of the platform, performance is slick and the features are well designed. You won’t find the tedious, convoluted routes to configuration and customization that often accompany a software solution this layered.
QuickBooks POS has made a concerted effort to keep the complexity to a minimum while enhancing capabilities as much as possible.
QuickBooks POS review: Should you buy?
QuickBooks POS is an excellent standalone slice of software that will give you precisely what you need in a steady POS platform.
You get the point of sale, customer management, inventory reporting and controls that you want when you’re running a tight ship, plus you have a platform that’s good enough to grow with you – many of the features are enterprise-level quality. It integrates beautifully with QuickBooks’ other products, especially the accounting software, and this adds something to the overall value of the package.
It’s hard to overestimate how nice it is when sales and data merge across from retail front door to accounting back door. Overall QuickBooks POS is a steady, solid and reliable retail POS solution that would fit neatly into most retail outlets but wouldn’t be a great fit for food services due to the limited mobility options.
What other POS systems should you consider?
Intuit QuickBooks POS is an excellent POS system but it might not be the best solution for your business. Below are a few more you to consider. We've indicated what each system is best for; click the name to read the full review:
We think Square is the best POS system for startups; Lightspeed offers the best all-round POS solution; Shopify is a great choice for eCommerce; ShopKeep POS is the best for interoperability; TouchBistro is the best POS system for restaurants; Toast is the best for bars and coffee shops; and Vend works great for retail outlets of all sizes.
To see all these point of sale systems tested head-to-head, check out our Best POS Systems buying guide.