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Old 12-27-2018, 08:57 AM
Cat wrangler Cat wrangler is offline
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For anyone who has a small retail, what programs do you find most user friendly and helpful? Inventory, POS and sales tax are big concerns. I have briefly looked at Quickbooks. There are some free ones out there, not sure what exactly to look for. This will be for a gun store so there will be a fairly diverse inventory, from ammo to o-rings.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:09 AM
RobertSWMissouri RobertSWMissouri is offline
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1. Have an accountant AND a tax lawyer identified that you would / could / will use FIRST - see what programs THEY work with.
2. I like MYOB (manage your own business), fully as capable + more as Quickbooks, and I think a LOT easier to use (as long as you understand double entry book keeping, which is required for all systems).
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:35 AM
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I kept books for fifteen years for our construction business. That included payroll. I did it all the old fashioned way, pencil, ledger and adding machine.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:58 AM
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I use Quickbooks on the back end and a system called ShopKeep for POS. SK dumps into QB automatically every night through a third party system.

There are quite a few good POS systems out there now. If I ever decide to change I would probably go with Clover. The only reasons I haven't yet is the PIA changing over would be and the fact that Clover is its own Merchant service. They can't beat the deal I have with my provider that I've been with for over 12 years. I think Clover is a better system, but I won't drop my current provider to go with them.

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Old 12-27-2018, 12:09 PM
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Ok, probably a dumb question but, what do you mean by merchant service? Do you also do cc?
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:25 PM
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I looked up double entry accounting as it has been several years. I think that is almost an intuitive way to do books.

I went to squareup.com which is partially "free" pos and inventory. I like the idea of labeling my inventory i. e. 9 mm in various count boxes and grains. I really do not know if that is at all unique. I also really like the KISS principle. I am going to be learning and teaching the system. Dh is extremely computer challenged.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:52 PM
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Ok, probably a dumb question but, what do you mean by merchant service? Do you also do cc?
Yep, credit card services. Square is very popular and has come a long way with its capabilities. I used to use that for special events and Farmers Markets. Before Square I used the old knuckle-buster imprinters. Now we use ShopKeep's mobile solution.


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Old 12-27-2018, 12:57 PM
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I looked up double entry accounting as it has been several years. I think that is almost an intuitive way to do books.

I went to squareup.com which is partially "free" pos and inventory. I like the idea of labeling my inventory i. e. 9 mm in various count boxes and grains. I really do not know if that is at all unique. I also really like the KISS principle. I am going to be learning and teaching the system. Dh is extremely computer challenged.
I think most all systems give you the ability to create labels now. Most can even do barcodes so you can use scanners at the time of sale rather than look stuff up in inventory. The barcodes are unique to your business and are not GS1 UPC codes.

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Old 12-27-2018, 02:09 PM
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For anyone who has a small retail, what programs do you find most user friendly and helpful? Inventory, POS and sales tax are big concerns. I have briefly looked at Quickbooks. There are some free ones out there, not sure what exactly to look for. This will be for a gun store so there will be a fairly diverse inventory, from ammo to o-rings.
I work for a for-hire IT company that provides support to a number of small businesses who use QuickBooks accounting software and a few that use QuickBooks Point of Sale.

First off, QuickBooks accounting software is pretty good. Even though it seems expensive when you first start using it, it's not bad in comparison to some of the other options. It has it's quirks and it isn't always as user friendly as one would like, but it's generally okay.

I have two pieces of advice for using QuickBooks. First, find a local accountant that is a QuickBooks Pro Adviser. These are people who have received special training from Intuit and are able to help you with setting up your company in QuickBooks and when problems arise (and they will. QuickBooks sometimes just does weird and random things). Along with that, it's a good idea to have your accountant look over things in QuickBooks at least a few times a year. That gives them a chance to catch things before they become a major problem.

Second, expect to buy a new version of QuickBooks every three years. Intuit will not provide support for QuickBooks software older than that and they require anyone using their merchant services for credit card processing to be on a supported version. Along with that, Intuit will not provide support if your company file gets beyond a certain size (about 1GB) or is older than a few years (I think 7, but I may be off). It's better to just plan on making a new company file every few years to avoid problems (there's a way to bring information over from the old file).

Now, for Point of Sale (POS). We've had 4 of our customers use QuickBooks POS. They've all hated it. That isn't to say that it's bad software or not user friendly (it's very user friendly, actually). It's a pain to setup properly and it's sensitive to changes in your network environment.

The biggest complaint is that Intuit has been removing features from the Basic version of POS and moving them to the (more expensive) Pro level or dropping them altogether. For example, almost all of the inventory features have been moved to Pro.
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:24 PM
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I work for a for-hire IT company that provides support to a number of small businesses who use QuickBooks accounting software and a few that use QuickBooks Point of Sale.



First off, QuickBooks accounting software is pretty good. Even though it seems expensive when you first start using it, it's not bad in comparison to some of the other options. It has it's quirks and it isn't always as user friendly as one would like, but it's generally okay.



I have two pieces of advice for using QuickBooks. First, find a local accountant that is a QuickBooks Pro Adviser. These are people who have received special training from Intuit and are able to help you with setting up your company in QuickBooks and when problems arise (and they will. QuickBooks sometimes just does weird and random things). Along with that, it's a good idea to have your accountant look over things in QuickBooks at least a few times a year. That gives them a chance to catch things before they become a major problem.



Second, expect to buy a new version of QuickBooks every three years. Intuit will not provide support for QuickBooks software older than that and they require anyone using their merchant services for credit card processing to be on a supported version. Along with that, Intuit will not provide support if your company file gets beyond a certain size (about 1GB) or is older than a few years (I think 7, but I may be off). It's better to just plan on making a new company file every few years to avoid problems (there's a way to bring information over from the old file).



Now, for Point of Sale (POS). We've had 4 of our customers use QuickBooks POS. They've all hated it. That isn't to say that it's bad software or not user friendly (it's very user friendly, actually). It's a pain to setup properly and it's sensitive to changes in your network environment.



The biggest complaint is that Intuit has been removing features from the Basic version of POS and moving them to the (more expensive) Pro level or dropping them altogether. For example, almost all of the inventory features have been moved to Pro.
ghost792, that is excellent advise on hiring a Pro to set things up. I made the mistake of setting mine up at first with this company. I messed a few things up and struggled with it for a couple years before finally hiring a Pro to fix it and re-enter everything to that point. It would have been much cheaper to have hired them in the first place!

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Old 12-27-2018, 03:51 PM
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This is helping me to formulate lots of questions for our tax lady. We used to deal with a CPA who was knowledgeable enough but did not like to share info.

And I have a very specific recommendation for cc processor, this company views gun shops as low risk and fees reflect that. I will be making contact with them shortly. I cannot remember the name at this moment.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:44 PM
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I just spoke quickly with rep from Blue Dog, cc processing company. Can do a virtual system from computer at no fee, can upgrade at any time. He is emailing me details. There is a per charge fee.

There are companies that do pos for gun shops. I just took a quick look, not all of them back up to Quickbooks. This is a steep learning curve. Another one, yippee!
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:13 PM
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I too am self employed IT guy, who uses QB online for my invoicing, no inventory.

I do have folks use QB pro and other flavors too...

They have a competitive CC processing system that automagically invoices, then customer can pay online and the system automagically records payments, and monies get umped into account.

do yourself a favor, get a small raid 1 server or better, install qb on that, and other pc's s and run it off that...

then back that server up nightly to onsite storage and offsite as well via a cloud based system...

pm me if you want more info/have questions...
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:27 PM
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Yea we use QB Online. It's not as all powerful as the Pro desktop ver but it's in the cloud so our accountant can have their own login and I don't have to be bothered with managing any backups and/or uploading any accountant copies to a secure site and then reimporting. Took a bit to get used to using it over the desktop ver but we're happy with it. Now all that ease of use and time savings comes at a price. A full year paid up front runs about $450 or so depending on what kind of deal Intuit is offering at any given time. So that will be per year. The desktop ver will run you $350ish, but is supported by Intuit for 3 yrs.

Now being the lazy bastard that I am, I'll take the easy button on this one. Hosting your own setup is great when that setup is generally already a part of what you do. But to add all that as just another pile of stuff to manage when your business doesn't already have it? Not worth it. Make your life easier.

That being said, I hate every single interaction I've had with an Intuit rep on the phone. Mindless drones, the lot of 'em. So I have my accountant deal with them!
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:43 PM
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^^^2nd what he said....look at the feature sets of both and determine your needs...it may be the online is good enough for you, but many times the on premise versions offer more feature sets and need to be hosted on premise, in which case, the little raid 1 server is perfect, not that complicated actually to host and manage....

back ups are key, as is a decent network, NO WIFI, should be run over LAN....

most dbases are not supported over wifi...

PS
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:28 PM
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The responses are appreciated. There is a LOT to learn. I may go books, pen and adding machine for the first few months. I am concerned I don't KNOW what is actually needed. There are some systems, pos, geared to FFL's and not all of them work with QuikBooks. Prices and features are all over the place. I also need an idea of foot traffic. But, the more info I have the better as I know more now than when I first posted this
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:29 AM
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OK so now that I have a bit more time, let me convey my favorite Intuit story. So years ago we were using the desktop version and we were paying the annual fee to use their payroll product. We had been using the account for about 7 years when we decided to stop using the payroll feature. We'd be switching to a web based system that did use Intuit's service but we'd be going through a provider. No biggy so far... Well the Provider set us up an account and I called to have our old account ended. Easy right? Not so fast...the e-mail associated with our account was out of use for prob 4 years at the time. Lol my fault for sure but heck I didn't need any e-mails from Intuit anyway. So I'm trying to cancel our account and they keep telling me they need me to scan my driver's lic and send them a copy... No seriously! I'm not making this up. So I ask the drone on the phone, what would they possibly be able to do with all my personal info in regards to an account at my work? No matter, it's their policy... and POLICY rules the drones. I refused, of course. She and her supervisor said they couldn't close our account. I laughed and said we wouldn't be paying them anymore money so they could keep the account active as long as they wanted and bid them good day.

Well things are fine for a few months. I can log in and do payroll through our new provider's portal and things are going well. Until one day, I log in, rather I try to login, and am greeted with an Intuit web address and page saying let's confirm your identity. And of course, the single option is to receive an e-mail at the defunct e-mail address that I hadn't had access to in years! Not the usable address on the providers account. WTF? So I call the provider. She's mystified...well mostly because she is in-turn a provider...purchasing payroll services and providing them down the line. She had no idea the product was acquired and brought into the Intuit conglomerate. So after days of phone conversations, it seems when Intuit took over they just associated our old account with the account they acquired through the payroll provider. And the desire to have copies of the driver's lic of all account holders! I asked again, how they could possibly verify anything about an account with a driver's lic. I kept getting the same response. It's policy and doesn't really matter what they're going to do with the info...in India. I laughed at them and hung up again.

TL;DNR version - Not going to get specific, but suffice it to say, I did not send them a scanned image of any of our driver's lic. But we have an update e-mail address and control of the account. Guess their 'security' policy is working as intended... Boss insists on using QBO since the accountants keep our books and taxes in QBO. If it were up to me, I'd never give Intuit another nickle.

So, if you value your privacy at all, Intuit isn't a company you'll want to do business with. Unless, of course, you circumvent them. Which isn't hard.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:37 AM
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Love hearing different thoughts. Another reason I am asking, I am not a fan of the cloud and I really kind of like "owning" the software I am working with. I wish I were more proficient at Excel, that program really can do a ton with customization.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:10 PM
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TL;DNR version - Not going to get specific, but suffice it to say, I did not send them a scanned image of any of our driver's lic. But we have an update e-mail address and control of the account. Guess their 'security' policy is working as intended... Boss insists on using QBO since the accountants keep our books and taxes in QBO. If it were up to me, I'd never give Intuit another nickle.

So, if you value your privacy at all, Intuit isn't a company you'll want to do business with. Unless, of course, you circumvent them. Which isn't hard.
Similar story. One of our residential customers uses TurboTax (Intuit's other major product) to manage her finances. She upgrades her TurboTax every year and we go out to help her. Well, this time, she couldn't get in to her Intuit account to register the software. So, we call Intuit and they want a scanned copy of the drivers license, her SSN, and all sorts of information. Ridiculous.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:23 PM
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I looked up double entry accounting as it has been several years. I think that is almost an intuitive way to do books.

I went to squareup.com which is partially "free" pos and inventory. I like the idea of labeling my inventory i. e. 9 mm in various count boxes and grains. I really do not know if that is at all unique. I also really like the KISS principle. I am going to be learning and teaching the system. Dh is extremely computer challenged.
"Square" also has a long history of extremist antigun activities. Right out of the Obumer, Feinstein, Cuomo wing of the demtard party. Not unusual for the "tech" world but they are way lefty loons.
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