Have you ever wondered what point of sale softwares and accounting softwares are? How to define them? What makes them different? Here, you will find the answers to these questions and many more! 

The difference between a point of sale software and an accounting software is that a point of sale software is like a powerful cash register that helps businesses such as stores, restaurants and hotels manage their sales more effectively, while an accounting software is used to manage an organization’s accounting.  

A POS software offers features such as inventory management, sales, transaction management and daily, monthly or yearly data. 

An accounting software, on the other hand, will help you know the amount of taxes you have to pay, establish financial relationships with partners and analyze costs and statistics. 

To better understand what distinguishes these two types of software, it is essential to dig into their characteristics. In this article, learn about 5 differences between a point of sale software and an accounting software:

  1. Goals of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares.
  2. Reasons to Use a Point of Sale Software and an Accounting Software.
  3. Important Features of a Point of Sale Software and an Accounting Software.
  4. Users of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares.
  5. Providers of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares.

1. Goals of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares

Depending on the software you use, the goals are different. For example, a POS software is mainly used to manage transactions, while an accounting software ensures all the accounting aspects of the business. 

Goals of Point of Sale Softwares

What is a point of sale software? Let’s start with the basics: it keeps track of sales in a computer used as a cash register. Its automation helps management and limit cash register errors that can easily occur without the use of a software. 

The main goal of a POS software is to efficiently manage transactions. Depending on the business’s industry, special features are needed to make management easier. Thus, there are specific needs for retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. However, the general goal of a point of sale software is always to manage the transactions of the business with the customers. 

The Goals of Accounting Softwares

What is an accounting software? An accounting software performs all the accounting tasks of a business. The opening and closing of accounting periods are managed by the accounting software, as well as the archiving function and current operations (account consultation, accounting entries, etc.). 

2. Reasons to Use a Point of Sale Software and an Accounting Software

The reasons for using a software depend on its type! All businesses have different needs depending on their activity. Whether what you truly need is a POS software or an accounting software (or both!), it is therefore important to make a list of needs in order to make the right choice for your own business!

point of sale softwares

Reasons to Use a Point of Sale Software

Although the purchase of a point of sale software is not legally required, using one helps to prove purchases, sales and expenses of a business, in addition to greatly facilitating the work of managers and employees! 

Moreover, with a POS software, cash flow and counting errors are avoided; sales are grouped according to the payment method used; and important reports for accounting are generated, depending on the features of the point of sale software chosen. Finally, the time saving is irrefutable with the use of a POS software. In fact, transactions are processed more quickly than by hand! 

Before choosing your point of sale software, there are several things to consider.

First, like stated earlier, the POS software must be appropriate for the business’s industry. It is important to underline the particularities of each company according to the needs of its specific industry. 

Second, the point of sale software must comply with current legislation. It must meet the conditions of security, conservation, inalterability and archiving of data, in order to counter fraud. When choosing a POS software for your business, you want to make sure that it is safe for your data.

Third, the POS provider must offer software updates on a regular basis. This ensures data security and the possibility of using the point of sale software for many years. Indeed, with regular updates, it lessens the risks of hacking. Software updates also make it evolve so you always get new features!

Fourth, the overall cost of the software must suit your budget. When deciding on a budget, it is important to consider the costs you avoid by using the software and the time you save, or the additional revenue the software can bring you. See our additional revenue tool for more information. You might think a POS software is pricey, but, all things considered, is it really? You might be wasting more time and money when you don’t have a good point of sale software to help you manage your business. 

For more information on this topic, check out our article 6 Tips for Choosing Point of Sale Software.

Reasons to Use an Accounting Software

By acquiring an accounting software, you will be a winner on all fronts! Here are 6 reasons that make accounting software a good investment: 

  1. Productivity: your time will be better organized and your work will be more efficient. 
  2. Time saving: accounting operations will take less time to complete and can be done automatically. 
  3. Anticipation: you will be able to forecast receivables, cash flow and other fiduciary data. Your strategy will then be more effective.
  4. Expand your business: you will be able to expand your funds and plan ahead, as your budget will be well managed. 
  5. Flexibility/mobility: with online solutions, you will have the flexibility to move your accounts around the world.
  6. Security: you will have access to an accounting safe that uses appropriate applications and methods. 

The price and complexity of an accounting software vary depending on the needs of the company using it. The use of up-to-date databases by accounting software allows enormous gains. Accounting documents are editable and printable, so they are more easily distributed. In addition to providing unique information and homogenizing processes, accounting softwares constantly update information, centralize remote entities and ensure interactivity through the network. 

3. Important Features of a Point of Sale Software and an Accounting Software

The following table summarizes some of the similarities and differences between features of a POS software and those of an accounting software: 

Point of Sale SoftwareAccounting Software
Billing
Inventory Management
Customer Order
Supplier Order
Budget Management
Payroll Management
Reports
Multi-store Management
Invoices Management
Payment Recovery
Menu and Prices Configuration
Table Map
Take-out and Deliveries
Calendar System

Point of Sale Software Features

A POS software must be able to execute many tasks such as performing calculations; preparing invoices and estimates; managing cash receipts; and sending invoices and estimates by email. To better understand how a point of sale software works, here are some features to take into account depending on the industry.

Retail Businesses

A good retail point of sale software must allow a good management of a store. 

Here are the important features of a retail POS software:

Invoice and Transaction Management

This is the main task of a POS software. It allows you to record sales transactions efficiently so you don’t waste your time. 

Inventory Management

Having top-notch inventory management is crucial for many businesses. Therefore, a good POS software must allow you to manage your inventory. Note that this management will differ depending on the software used. But, overall, look out for point of sale softwares with a great inventory management feature if that’s something you need for your business.

Order Management

Tracking customers’ orders is so important! In a great point of sale software, you must be able to track customers’ orders easily and get all the information you need.

Suppliers’ orders are also very important to track. Some softwares are connected to suppliers orders platforms allowing you to synchronize orders directly in the POS software. This makes ordering from suppliers much easier!

Payment Methods Management

A good point of sale software must let you manage several payment methods, such as cash, debit cards, credit cards of all kinds, and even gift cards. It is important that customers have access to more than one payment method in order to make a purchase. 

Prices Management 

Having item prices in the point of sale software is necessary and greatly helps management and invoicing. The POS software then allows employees to avoid entering the prices by hand. That greatly reduces the risks of errors! 

Some of these features are explained in more detail in our article 6 important features of a point of sale software.

Restaurants

Restaurants sell meals and drinks in a menu. A good point of sale software for this type of business must adapt to this reality. Several features are very important in a POS software for restaurants, which are:

Menu and Prices Configurations

Customization of orders should be possible, to change them according to customers’ requests. For example, a customer may want to remove specific ingredients from their order due to allergies or simply personal taste. The point of sale software for restaurants must then be able to make those changes easily. 

Interface Configurations

The buttons on the POS screen can be of various colors to make the employees work easier by reinforcing the memory. Indeed, with time, employees get used to the color codes and buttons placement, which allows them to be more efficient in taking orders. 

Table Map

This feature allows you to have an overview of the tables’ availability and to register orders for the right table and specific customer for billing. 

Take-out and Deliveries

The point of sale software helps to manage orders according to their preparation and delivery time. The POS software also gives the delivery addresses to the delivery person. Order tracking alerts can also be sent to the consumers’ accounts to keep them informed of the order’s progress. 

Advanced Billing Management

This feature allows you to split a bill into several ones. This is useful when a group of people order a dish to share or a pitcher of alcohol! 

Hotels

Hotels, inns and other short-term accommodation establishments also need specific features for their point of sale software. 

Easy and widespread guest identification method within the entire facility

All guest activities during their stay are recorded in their account via the room number and added to their final bill (restaurant meals, spa visits, room orders, bar drinks, etc.). If customers change for a new room during their stay, the point of sale software must forward the bill to the new room. 

Calendar System

To manage reservations, arrivals and departures of guests.

Hotel’s Restaurant

The restaurant’s billing can be directly linked to the hotel’s bill through a good point software built for this industry.

Accounting Software Features

Accounting softwares allow the creation of invoices and estimates, as well as general accounting with budget management. With an accounting software, you can save time with data entry by automatic calculation. It reduces the risk of errors while allowing a fast diffusion of accounting documents and a proposal of immediate updates of accounting information. The time between the sale and the issuance of the invoice is also reduced. In addition, this software offers a complete view of customers and suppliers and facilitates accounting forecasts, which improves financial analysis and forecasting.

Accounting software is used differently depending on the product offered and the size of the company.

Goods or Services

The pricing processes of a business that sells services differs from the one of a business that sells goods. The accounting software used must therefore adapt to these differences! When a company offers a service, the costs are related to training and labor. Meanwhile, when a business sells products, the costs are related to labor, raw materials, manufacturing equipment and finally, shipping. 

Services are billed differently than goods, so the accounting software used must be tailored for each need. 

A service is not necessarily an insured asset and has many expenses, whereas a product purchased by a company becomes an asset that is added to the balance sheet. A business that sells goods has specific expenses for the purchase and actual selling of the products, which is different from a service business that has no physical inventory.

Small or Large Businesses

The activity volume is not the same in a small and a large company. No surprise then that a small business does not have the same needs as a large multinational company for an accounting software! 

Indeed, a small business will have less activity, which means fewer paper invoices and electronic accounting documents to manage. Depending on the number of suppliers and accounts receivable, the level of maintenance and expertise to manage the accounting will differ. In larger businesses, it is common to hire an accounting firm, or even have an internal accounting department, to better manage the complexities associated with a higher volume of activity.

It is important to remember that all businesses have access to quality accounting and financial records storage, regardless of their size. All businesses need an accounting software, but not all businesses have the same needs for their accounting software!

4. Users of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares

As you might have guessed, point of sale softwares and accounting softwares are not used by the same people in the business. Indeed, managers and employees (such as store clerks and restaurant waiters) use the point of sale software, while the owners and the accounting team use the accounting software.

Point of Sale SoftwaresPoint of Sale SoftwaresAccounting SoftwaresAccounting Softwares
ManagersEmployeesOwnersAccounting Team
Prices Configuration
Inventory Configuration
Supplier Orders
Customers’ transactions / ordering
Scan Products
Returns Management
Expense Tracking
Revenue Tracking
Preparation of Invoices
Payroll Management
Menu Configuration
Room Reservations

Point of Sale Softwares Users

The point of sale software is mainly used by two types of people, the managers and the employees. The manager uses the software to set up prices and inventories, as well as enter orders for suppliers into the system. He can also configure the restaurant’s menus. The employee, on the other hand, is responsible for managing customer transactions, scanning products, managing returns, making hotel reservations, etc.

Accounting Softwares Users

The owners and the accounting team are the ones who primarily use the accounting software to keep track of the company’s expenses and revenues, prepare invoices and manage payroll. 

Depending on the size of the business, it may be the same person who manages both the point of sale software and the accounting software.

5. Providers of Point of Sale Softwares and Accounting Softwares

point of sale softwares

3 Point of Sale Softwares Providers

Alice POS

Alice POS logo

Alice POS is a cloud-based solution that ensures the security of your data. This point of sale software is powerful, affordable and tailored to your needs. It is complete and has various features for the retail industry:

  • Inventory management: real-time tracking, unlimited number of items, minimum quantity notification;
  • Sales and transactions: purchases, exchanges, repairs, rentals, deposits, store credits;
  • Order management: customer orders, supplier orders;
  • E-commerce: synchronization of sales, promotions and inventory;
  • Store networks: centralized management, inventory sharing, promotions and shared pricing;
  • Cross-selling;
  • And more: promotions, gift cards, reports.

Toast Inc.

Toast Inc. is a point-of-sale system for restaurants. Here are the many features of this software:

  • Mobile access;
  • Notifications;
  • Restaurant cash register;
  • Billing;
  • Loyalty card;
  • Customer accounts;
  • Online orders;
  • Users access;
  • Menu creator;
  • Multiple locations;
  • Customer management;
  • E-commerce;
  • Cash management;
  • Order management;
  • Employee management.

POSitouch

POSitouch is a point of sale system that is suitable for the hospitality industry. Its main features are the following:

  • Room management;
  • Restaurant management;
  • Employee management;
  • Customer profile management;
  • Interactive menus on touch tablets;
  • In-room web ordering;
  • Carry to room function;
  • Compatibility with multiple hotel systems.

3 Accounting Softwares Providers

Quickbooks

Quickbooks is an accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows you to track expenses and income; organize receipts; track hours worked; pay employees; manage inventory; and access data. 

Acomba

Acomba is an accounting software that is designed for small and medium-sized businesses, but also for accounting firms and educational institutions. This software offers a personalized solution, management tools essential to the growth of the company and support resources. 

Sage Accounting Software

Sage Accounting Software is an accounting software for small business owners and independent contractors. It’s easy to use and has automated billing. With Sage, you can forecast your cash flow, send invoices, collect payments, track tax obligations, and more.

The most important thing to remember is that the general goal of a point of sale software is to manage the transactions of the business with the customers, while an accounting software aims to ensure all the accounting tasks of a company.

There are many reasons to use a point of sale software, but let’s remember that it facilitates the work of the managers and employees of the company, just like for the accounting software, which allows a greater productivity to manage accounting, time savings and flexibility.

The features of a POS software are numerous, from invoicing, to inventory management, payment management, item pricing management and much more! The features of an accounting software, such as the creation of invoices and currency, as well as the management of budgets, are less diverse, but just as essential. 

The store managers and employees are the users of the point of sale software, while the business owners and the accounting team represent the users of the accounting software.

Finally, POS software companies such as Alice POS, Toast Inc. and POSitouch each represent a specific industry, i.e. retail, restaurants and hotels, while Quickbooks, Acomba and Sage Accounting Software are accounting softwares that are designed for different companies depending on their size and offer.

Are you looking for a great point of sale software for you retail store? Ask for you free demo of Alice POS! Our experts will be happy to show you all the features that would greatly improve your work.

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