QuickBooks POS Review for 2021: Cost, Pros, Cons

QuickBooks POS is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses that already use QuickBooks Desktop.
Hillary CrawfordJul 28, 2020

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QuickBooks Point of Sale system is a terrific option for small business owners who use QuickBooks Desktop for accounting and prefer locally installed software to cloud-based software. Beyond that, the POS solution could be limiting for entrepreneurs who want greater flexibility.

QuickBooks markets its POS system to small retail businesses, clothing stores, jewelry stores, sporting goods or bike shops, furniture stores and home improvement-related businesses. The POS system is not a good fit for restaurants and cafes. And since it charges extra monthly fees for its e-commerce integration, shops that do most of their business online should explore alternatives. NerdWallet’s roundup of POS systems for small businesses lays out some of the best options.

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Features overview

Software cost

One-time payment of $1,200 and up.

Hardware cost

Bundles cost $900; Windows tablet sold separately.

Payment processing cost

$0 per month and up; 2.3% and up per swiped or dipped transaction.

Contract length

None.

Live support

Average. Free chat support; expert support plans available for $79 per month.

Ease of use

Good. QuickBooks products are intuitive, but the user interface has a slightly outdated appearance.

How does QuickBooks POS work?

QuickBooks POS system accepts credit cards, debit cards and contactless payments. While businesses can use third-party apps to connect with QuickBooks Online, the integration won’t be as seamless with QuickBooks Desktop. The system is compatible with tablets running on a Windows 10 operating system. It offers a wide array of hardware, including cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, PIN pads and tablet stands.

Unlike some of its competitors, QuickBooks POS doesn’t charge a monthly fee to use its software. Instead, business owners pay a steep lump sum to install it locally. And when it comes to payment processing, QuickBooks Payments is the most convenient choice for clients. It integrates with QuickBooks POS and offers both monthly and pay-as-you-go plans.

Pricing

On the upside, QuickBooks POS clients don’t have to worry about long-term contracts, setup fees or monthly software payments. On the other hand, the system’s upfront price is costly. At the time of writing, QuickBooks offered clients a promotional discount on software products. The prices below do not reflect this promotion.

Software

Software plan

One-time fee

Features

POS Basic

$1,200.

  • Ring sales.

  • Take payments.

  • Track customer data.

  • Perform basic sales reporting.

  • Integrate with QuickBooks Desktop.

POS Pro

$1,700.

Basic plan features plus:

  • Manage employees.

  • Manage payroll.

  • Offer layaway.

  • Offer gift cards.

  • Coordinate rewards and loyalty programs.

  • Perform advanced reporting.

POS Multi-Store

$1,900.

Pro plan features plus:

  • Manage multiple stores and channels.

  • Manage and transfer inventory.

  • Advanced sales and inventory reporting between stores.

Hardware

  • Hardware bundle: $900. Comes with a cash drawer, receipt printer, wired barcode scanner and PIN pad. Tablet sold separately.

  • PIN Pad: $389. Accepts contactless payments and requires a QuickBooks Payments account.

  • Mobile card reader: $49. Requires the free QuickBooks GoPayment app.

  • Receipt printer: $219.

  • Cash drawer with receipt printer: $449.

  • Tag printer: $329.

  • Wireless barcode scanner: $409.

  • Wired barcode scanner: $199.

  • Universal tablet stand: $119.

Payment processing

Note that if you are using QuickBooks’ card reader, you must use QuickBooks Payments as your processor. There are no setup or termination fees, but clients must have a QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online account to use the service. The company offers two payment processing plans for in-store transactions and two for mobile transactions processed in the GoPayment app:

  • For swiped transactions: 2.7%.

  • For keyed-in transactions: 3.5%.

  • PIN debit rate: 1%.

  • PCI compliance: $9.95 per month.

  • For swiped transactions: 2.3% plus 25 cents.

  • For keyed-in transactions: 3.2% plus 25 cents.

  • PIN debit rate: 1%.

  • PCI compliance included.

  • For swiped transactions: 2.4% plus 25 cents.

  • For keyed-in transactions: 3.4% plus 25 cents.

  • PCI compliance: $9.95 per month.

  • For swiped transactions: 1.6% plus 25 cents.

  • For keyed-in transactions: 3.2% plus 25 cents.

  • PCI compliance included at no additional cost.

Pros

QuickBooks integrations

QuickBooks POS is a natural choice for businesses dedicated to the company’s suite of accounting and payroll products. Clients with QuickBooks Desktop can sync POS data with their chart of accounts, so data doesn’t have to be input manually.

Strong inventory management

On top of giving you real-time inventory updates, the system is built to sync inventory across multiple locations. As a result, you can track what sells best and when, and then use that information to determine your employee scheduling needs.

Cons

Only integrates directly with QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks POS is locally installed as opposed to cloud-based. This could be a plus for some businesses hesitant to move to a cloud-based system, but it also comes with its limitations. Though cloud-based accounting software is becoming more popular, the POS system only integrates directly with QuickBooks Desktop, not QuickBooks Online.

Must use QuickBooks Payments

The company’s POS card readers require a QuickBooks Payments account, which in turn requires a subscription to either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop for accounting.

Expensive

Even if you opt for the most basic setup, it’s still going to cost your business a considerable sum — and that’s before you purchase hardware. And if your store has multiple locations, you’ll have to pay for a separate software license for each. This can be a serious deal-breaker for small businesses, especially when companies like Square and Toast offer free POS software.

Expert customer service isn’t free

Clients can chat or speak with customer service representatives, but expert technical support costs more. The POS support plan is $79 per month and gives clients unlimited access to POS experts. The annual plan, which is $589 per year, comes with data recovery services. Support is available every day with these plans but limited to particular hours.

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