Point-of-Sale System Checklist
This checklist offers suggestions for what questions to ask when talking with sales representatives or others to determine which systems best meet your needs.
- Compatibility – What device(s), operating system(s), payment processors, and basic hardware components is the system compatible with?
- Cloud-based – Can you access sales reports and other information online? If internet goes down, can you continue to process and track transactions offline?
- Payment processing –
- Can the system process/track EBT payments, Apple Pay, and other mobile payment types?
- Can you create customized payment categories to track other forms of payment like Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons?
- Can the system easily handle “split tender” transactions, such as when a transaction is paid with both an EBT card and cash?
- Reporting – What types of sales reports can the system generate? Can you view sales by product, product category, date range, time of day, payment type, sales channel, and/or other criteria?
- Accounting integration – Can information from the system easily be transferred to QuickBooks or any other accounting system you use? (Note: Systems that automatically transfer information to QuickBooks can produce errors unless routinely checked, so this may not be better than efficient manual entry systems.)
- E-commerce integration – If you sell (or foresee selling) your products online, how well would the system integrate with an online store?
- Customer support – When and how can you access customer support?
- Scale integration – Is an integrated scale available and affordable?
- Product management –
- Can the system easily accommodate pricing by weight?
- Can the system easily accommodate your needs for discounts, up-charges, or any other pricing variability your products require?
- Can products be labeled to designate which are eligible for SNAP/EBT, HIP, or other payment types, as well as which are subject to regular tax or meals tax?
- Inventory management –
- What inventory management capabilities does the system have?
- Is it easy to manage inventory for items you grow or produce yourself?
- Is it easy to adjust inventory as needed to account for sales through other channels?
- If needed, can the system manage inventory for multiple locations?
- Customer management – Can the system track individual customers’ information? If so, how?
- Employee management – Can the system track sales by employee or record employee hours, if desired?
- Invoicing – Is the system able to handle invoicing and/or purchase orders?
- Software costs – What are the costs of the software and technical support?
- Upfront: Are there upfront costs to purchase a software license?
- Monthly: Are there monthly costs to use the point-of-sale platform?
- Multiple terminals: Do software costs increase if you have more than one check-out terminal?
- Add-ons: Are there additional costs for key add-on features (e.g. QuickBooks integration, scale integration, EBT processing)?
- Support: Are there additional costs for customer support?
- Transaction costs – What are the costs of payment processing?
- Working with a designated processor: If the point-of-sale company handles the payment processing directly – or requires or recommends a particular partner company for this – what fee and/or percentage is charged per transaction?
- Choosing your own processor: If you want to work with your own payment processor (e.g. through the bank where your checking account is located, or a processor that can handle EBT payments) is this possible, and are there added costs?
- Hardware costs – What are the costs of compatible hardware components? Consider asking, at minimum, about the following components:
- Register screen and stand, if provided
- Separate computer or tablet, if you will be providing it
- Credit card reader (and stand, if necessary)
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer (and paper)
- Barcode scanner
- Barcode label/printer, if you need one
- Scale, if integration is possible