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Accounting software in retailers today


While we do is every year survey, our clients to see what they think of our performance. In our marketplace, over the years it has become the point of sale survey. A few years ago, we decided to introduce a new question asking our clients about what accounting systems they use.

If you have not yet filled out our annual Support and Customer Perception Survey and you are a client of ours, please do so, I would appreciate it.

The first point to notice is that about 95% of retailers are running some accounting program, which is effectively everyone. If your part of the 5% that does not use an accounting package, I do recommend that you start. If you are small and want a free one, although I do not know it one of my clients used waveapps and it did a good job for them, until recently when they went to Quickbooks so you may want to look at it.

Although there are many accounting software packages out there, most retailers in our market space use one of four systems. 

Overall they are all outstanding programs. As Australian standards in accounting software have not changed much in 30 plus years, all are well tested and work well. The difference, I think, tends to be, user preference, requirements and ease of use.

Running through them in order of popularity

MYOB historically and now is by far the most popular system by retailers, although its popularity has dropped in our chart. No sure why but I suspect as people switch to the cloud, the cost of MYOB has gone up. I find it too rigid in use for my taste, but many would consider this rigidity a definite advantage. As I said, it depends much on your taste.

Quickbooks/Reckon is a little cheaper then MYOB, and that is why I suspect is part of the reason for its rise in popularity. Also, I think because their software is very flexible. It does, however, require more training than other software packages and seems to cause more problems.   

Cashflow Manager is an excellent and popular accounting program. I am surprised there is a drop in the product.

Xero is the most expensive and is also very good. Now it is facing pressure from other vendors that others can do cloud as well, so I think that is why people are moving away from it. 

Overall nothing changed in the rankings for this to last year.

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Full service bookkeeper


Most SMB companies cannot justify internally because of cost a full time financial controller, however, they often feel a need for a part-time full service bookkeeper who has the responsibly for looking after the accounting operations within the business, and as they are not charging like an accountant, the costs are affordable. What they do is much more complex than a regular bookkeeper and they also sometimes include the preparation of interim reports and snapshots, which lets you know how you are going. This is a section from a sample report from BAS and More which is one that we do recommend to our clients which come online through an API in their software.

These Full-service bookkeeper also handle the accounting cycle duties and supervise others in the basic tasks, code the accounts, check the payroll, do spot checks and ensure that the correct ledger accounts are being debited or credited and monitoring cash flow. As well, they produce the figures for the financial statements and general ledgers for your accountant at the end of the year, although some do produce these for their clients say quarterly. No doubt there is much more that I have not mentioned.

The information they use comes from a range of sources, including our point of sale software, bank statements, etc.




Managing Customer Accounts new flexibility


One problem we all have is that customers, accountants, bankers, etc call all the time, demand information about their accounts on a range of dates such as current account information, last financial year, the financial year before last, last month, three months earlier, two weeks ago, it can be anything. Not only that but they often change their mind, they say this date, and once you give it to them, they can say oh no, I meant the date a week earlier.

So what our clients need from their POS Software is the ability to find out at any time what a client or the total clients owed on this nominated date.

So go to main menu.

Register reports

Now normally, I would recommend using Trial Balance(excel) but for this example, I just wish it to be simple, so I selected Trial Balance.





Now select the date that the client or whoever requested, just to show you the power of our system, I picked a random date five years ago.

I also selected by order by Surname as I think it makes it easier to find, and I ignored the "More Criteria" because I do want to keep it simple, but I urge you to experiment later with these options.



Now out pops among other details a page like this one below Although for security reasons, I blanked out the names, you can see all the relevant information is here.


A Grand total will be printed at the end for say a banker or accountant.

This is another example of just how flexible our system is in practice.