Integrating an EPOS retail system with enterprise software like e-commerce solution, loyalty management software and general accounting tools can positively affect business productivity. An EPOS system that can be integrated with separate accounting modules can utilize the same data used by the accounting software. There is consistency in EPOS data and external databases, thus saving time and improving business efficiency. On the other hand, interfaced POS solutions, although not really integrated with third-party software in a strict sense, can communicate with external programs via standard protocols. An EPOS retail system that interfaces with accounting software usually does not transfer data in real-time, unlike the first type, but it still helps reduce errors in inventory and accounting. |
When choosing a retail EPOS provider, the level of system integration assistance available to customers should be carefully considered. Each business has its own IT infrastructures that may not suit certain retail EPOS systems. Buying a retail EPOS system is not as simple as buying a computer. Since an EPOS system is designed to function as a group, interoperability across EPOS software, hardware, peripherals, back-end equipment and software resources is very crucial. EPOS retail system developers offer varying levels of integration. An EPOS technology with built-in accounting modules may provide optional features to enable users to choose only the modules they need. These options may include accounts payable, inventory and general ledgers. When using a fully integrated EPOS system, databases for various accounting modules are updated in real-time.
An EPOS retail system is not easy to set up if you need to deal with competing third-party applications. If that's the case, interface-based EPOS technology is preferred. This type of EPOS system is more flexible as it can communicate with external systems as long as those systems are using the same interface standard. This is particularly helpful for companies with different hardware facilities in its branches.
If you are fine with manual transfer of POS data into your accounting software, then interface-based EPOS system will be a better choice. This is generally more affordable than complex EPOS technologies designed to be integrated with enterprise systems. However, manual transfer of POS data into a separate accounting application can be time-consuming for big stores with high-volume transactions. It is also more prone to errors. Large store owners go for an EPOS retail solution that can interface with certain features of third-party accounting software. But beware that these solutions may work only with popular accounting applications. Moreover, you may still need to do manual updates for some data modules not supported by the interface. For highly automated EPOS and accounting system, a fully integrated solution is the best choice. This is more expensive, so only very large businesses are using it.
For retailers that haven't used EPOS retail system before, the built-in accounting software can be alienating as it looks too different from stand-alone commercial products like QuickBooks. This means you may need to train your cashiers and accounting staff before you can complete the transition to a new EPOS. However, the time and money needed for the transition will surely pay off. Using an EPOS solution will empower both the decision makers and store personnel by helping them get their jobs done faster with fewer errors.
David Duncan is the sales director at EPOS Now. Based in the UK, this market-leading company provide great-value EPOS retail systems in addition to complete EPOS solutions for the retail and hospitality sectors.
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