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.

The basics

  • 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?
  • Customer support – When and how can you access customer support?

 Added features

  1. Accounting integration – Can the system easily integrate with QuickBooks or any other accounting system you use?
  2. Scale integration – Is an integrated scale available and affordable?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. Customer management – Can the system track individual customers’ information? If so, how?
  6. Employee management – Can the system track sales by employee or record employee hours, if desired?
  7. Invoicing – Is the system able to handle invoicing and/or purchase orders?

Costs

  1. 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?
  1. 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?
  1. 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

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