QB Point of Sale

Troubleshooting QuickBooks Point of Sale Connectivity

Written January 5, 2016

Occasionally you may encounter a problem connecting your QuickBooks Point of Sale client computer to the data file located on your QuickBooks Point of Sale server computer. There’s an excellent article in the Intuitive Accountant Newsletter‘s online newsletter that clarifies what each error message means and what to do about it. While you’re there, I suggest you sign up for the newsletter to stay on top of what’s happening with your QuickBooks products. The article also refers to Intuit’s POS downloadable connectivity troubleshooting tool to help you solve the mystery.

24 QuickBooks Point of Sale Terms You Should Know


September 9, 2014

24 QuickBooks Point of Sale Terms You Should Know

If youre new to QuickBooks Point of Sale, get ready to expand your vocabulary.

When you first start using QuickBooks, even if you’ve been doing manual accounting for your business, there’s a learning curve. You recognize some things, like check blanks and invoice forms, but you have to take on an unfamiliar workflow, deal with new words and phrases, and learn more about double-entry accounting concepts than you perhaps knew before.

The same is true as a novice QuickBooks Point of Sale user. Whether you’re opening your first retail location or you’ve been selling auto parts or craft supplies or bakery goods for a decade, there will undoubtedly be some education required of you.

Here’s a sampling of some of this new lingo that comes with the territory. You may look at the definition of a word or phrase and still be confused, but that’s where we come in. Seasoned shopkeeper or first-time seller, you will likely need our help when you first start using this complex piece of software.

Address Verification Service (AVS): In transactions where a credit or debit card is not physically present, AVS adds an extra layer of security

Assembly: Multiple products pre-assembled in a unit

Average Unit Cost: The average (not actual) cost of the items on hand in your inventory

Chargeback: A credit card charge disputed by a customer

Class: A categorization method used in creating reports; can, for example, run Profit and Loss reports by store

Committed Quantities: The number of inventory items that have been included on active customer orders

Figure 1: QuickBooks Point of Sales Financial Exchange establishes an ongoing connection to QuickBooks for data-sharing.

Financial Exchange: QuickBooks POS tool that helps you share data with QuickBooks

Merchant Service Center: An Intuit website dedicated to helping you manage your merchant account

Non-Inventory Item: An item for which you do not keep track of on-hand quantities, like shipping or delivery fees

Payout: Funds taken from the cash drawer for any of a number of reasons, like a bank deposit, office party, or to make a necessary purchase

Physical Inventory (PI): The process of tallying the number of items physically present in inventory; used to correct quantities recorded in QuickBooks

Price Level: Price charged for items that differs from the regular price; can define up to four additional reduced prices in QuickBooks POS (employee cost, promotions, etc.)

Quick Add Item: Process by which you can quickly create a new inventory item while completing a transaction with a customer; doesn’t require as much immediate detail

Quick Find: Found on the QuickBooks POS Navigator; functions as a search tool for locating customers, items, receipts, etc.

Figure 2: You can enter a search word or phrase in the Quick Find box at the top of the Navigator page.

Quick Pick: A user-defined group of selected items that can be easily accessed during checkout

Quick Zoom: Lets you “drill down” on a line or value within a report; can see the origin of the selected item

Remote Store: Refers to every store other than Headquarters in a multi-store QuickBooks POS configuration

Simple View: An abbreviated version of a sales receipt that may be viewed via touchscreens and virtual keyboards

Split-Payment Sale: A transaction that is completed using two or more payment methods

Store Exchange: Data shared between Headquarters and remote stores via:

  • Desktop email
  • Web-based email
  • Removable media, or
  • Network file exchange

Transfer Slip: Documents transfer of merchandise between stores

X-Out Shift Report: Available throughout the sales day, monitors recent sales activity

Z-Out Drawer Count: End-of-shift or end-of-day cash drawer reconciliation

Z-Out Store Close Report: End-of-day sales and cash flow summary; assists in readying a bank deposit

You can see that there are a lot of new terms to understand when you begin managing your retail transactions using QuickBooks Point of Sale. We can help further your education by putting those words and phrases in context, so you can see where they fit in your workflow.

How to Turn Point of Sale Shortcuts into Employee Habits.

Written October 9, 2011

I love using keyboard shortcuts but they are a pain in the you-know-what to remember. It’d be different of there were just a few. I could handle that. But the list in the help menu, as shown below, is daunting, to say the least. So here’s a fairly pain free way to learn them and teach your employees at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »

How to use the basket feature in QuickBooks Point of Sale V10.

Written Sept. 5, 2011

Most people don’t even know there is a basket feature in POS. It’s almost like a hidden bonus feature. The truth is, many retailers don’t need it but it’s quite useful for processing large orders as opposed to small counter sales of just one or two items. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Record Donating a QuickBooks Point of Sale Gift Card

Written Sept. 1, 2011

Scenario: A store using POS would like to donate a gift card to a local charity.

There are several was to record this but the best solution I’ve seen requires only a single transaction and no need for any adjustments in QuickBooks financial. Read the rest of this entry »

Where You’ll Find Those Missing Tutorial Videos for POS v10.

Written August 17, 2011

Yes, there really are tutorial videos for QuickBooks Point of Sale v10. They’re just not in the program itself. Intuit has posted the following videos on YouTube for easy access. These give you a general introduction to fundamental aspects of POS v10 as a starting point for your learning experience. By no means should these be considered a complete training program. There is oh so much more to understand about getting the most from QB POS and keeping your data accurate. But if you’re looking for a basic explanation of how the program works, especially if you’re training a new employee, these videos are a great first step in the training process. Read the rest of this entry »

How to stop your cashiers from giving away the store.

Written August 1, 2011

Have you ever wondered how you can stop your cashiers from using, and abusing, those “quick discounts” in Point of Sale version 10.0? Read the rest of this entry »

How to process those QuickBooks POS sales even faster!

Written July  23, 2011

One of the questions I hear most often is “How can we skip all of those extra screens that QuickBooks Point of Sale takes us through when we’re trying to print a sales receipt?”

It’s easy.

Go to Edit/Preferences/Workstation/Print Options and remove the check mark next to the Sales Receipt in the Print Dialog section.

When Coupons Don’t Work in QuickBooks Point of Sale and What to do About it.

Written July 16, 2011

QuickBooks Point of Sale has a feature that allows you to create discount coupons with bar codes that can be added to a customer sales receipt, or included in print advertising, to be scanned during a subsequent purchase.  In most cases, this works quite well. You just create the coupon.

Then select the items for which the coupon is applicable.

However, there’s a unique situation where coupons don’t work. The coupon feature doesn’t work when you have anything posted in the Unit of Measure field for the item being sold.

Now, here’s a way around the problem. It’s not ideal, because it’s not automatic so your cashiers have to actually remember an extra step during the sales process, but it works. Create a non-inventory item, non-taxable, called “Coupon for (whatever you want to call it)” and enter a negative dollar value. When you “sell” that coupon item on the sales receipt, it reduces the total sale by the dollar value you assigned to that coupon item. Since POS tracks all items, it tracks how many times the coupon item was used, so you can see how popular your coupon was, and total discount you’ve allowed to customers for any period of time.

By the way, if you discover that QB Point of Sale doesn’t do something you would like it to do, be sure to tell Intuit. In spite of people saying they think Intuit doesn’t care, the truth is, virtually every software change made by Intuit is in direct response to user requests. It’s a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the most attention.

So use the Help/Send Feedback feature and squeak loudly my friends, squeak loudly and often.

Import QuickBooks and Point of Sale Items to Enter Many Items Quickly

Written June 10, 2011

One of the most arduous tasks in setting up either a new QuickBooks file or a QuickBooks Point of Sale file is entering the Items. I find that many people spend an excessive amount of time entering each item individually. With either program, the easiest method for entering many items is to use the built-in Item template. There’s a trick to making this easy, but it’s a simple one.

Import Items in QuickBooks

First, enter at least one of each type of item that you’re going to use: inventory, non-inventory, service, and other charge. Leave any group items or assemblies items until later. Those are best entered directly into QuickBooks. Next, using the built-in utility, export your item list. The menu path is File/Utilities/Export/Items. This will export as an *.iif file readable in Excel.

Open the file in Excel. The Text Import Wizard will pop up. Don’t worry about understanding the instructions. Just click NEXT, NEXT, FINISH and you’ll be fine. Now just enter all of your items into this spreadsheet. Often you’ll already have your items accessible in another Excel file so you can just cut and paste into this file.

IMPORTANT: Don’t change anything in the column header row, or anything above the header row. In column “A” enter INVITEM for all newly entered items. Be sure to enter the Item Type and use the exported items as examples for the correct code. When saving the file, answer YES, you do want to keep the file in *.iif format.

Then simply import the entire file back into QuickBooks. File/Utilities/Import

So the trick is that by creating at least one of each type of item before exporting the template:

  • You’re not starting from an empty template so there’s less confusion as to what each field represents.
  • You can easily see which columns represent the fields you’ll typically use.
  • You can copy the exact spelling of item types and column A text that QuickBooks expects to see when importing.
  • You don’t have to worry about which excel fields to map to which QuickBooks fields because that can lead to errors and frustration.
Import Items in Point of Sale

For POS, the process used to be essentially the same as for QuickBooks until POS version 10.0 came out. Now the import process is a bit different. If you use the built-in template, you can’t export existing items within the template in order to see what fields you should use.

So you have two choices. One is to follow the steps I’ve described. Then, during the import process, select Custom File instead of Default Template and use the mapping feature to match up the spreadsheet columns with the POS fields.  The other is to start at File/Utilities/Import, select Inventory Items/Default Template/Open Import Template, and enter all of your data into the spreadsheet. There won’t be any existing items for you to look at so just be sure to enter two required fields for each new item, Item Name and Item Type. I recommend that you DO NOT enter an item number (column A). This field is for POS to use in assigning a unique sequential number that it uses for its own purposes including bar code creation. This entire process needs to be performed on the POS server workstation in single user mode.

My final suggestion is that you try the whole process with just a couple of items until you’ve figured out any quirks and you feel comfortable with the process. From there it should be smooth sailing!

Intuitively Yours,


Addendum added June 2019

Times change, software changes, and since QuickBooks Desktop software is still going strong in spite of Intuit’s push towards QuickBooks Online, here’s an important update to this blog. Recent versions of QuickBooks desktop software have a feature in the Lists menu called “Add/Edit Multiple List Entries”. Use this feature to add many Service Items, Non-Inventory Items, or Inventory Items at the same time using a spreadsheet-like format. Be sure to use the Customize Columns button in the upper right corner of the screen to add or remove columns as needed before you start entering your data. If you save the data and then discover mistakes, you can also use this feature to edit many entries at the same time. Warning! You can’t use this screen to delete items, so don’t click the Save Changes button unless you’re sure it’s really ready.