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The Beginner’s Guide To Small Business POS Reporting (& 5 Essential Point Of Sale Reports)

Point of sale reporting tools can help you both simplify your business processes and scale. Our guide gives you examples of POS reports and the best vendor options.

    Erica Seppala

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Most of today’s best POS systems are full-on business management solutions that not only allow you to accept and track sales but also offer valuable POS reports. POS reporting tools can simplify managing almost any aspect of your business, from managing inventory to payroll, if you learn how to use your point of sale’s built-in reporting features.

So what types of reports should you look for when choosing the best POS system for your small business? Or, if you already have POS software, which are the most important reports to pay attention to?

In this post, we’ll look at the top standard point of sale report examples and provide our picks for the top POS reporting systems. Keep reading to learn more about POS reporting.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

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  • Best for employee reporting
  • Starts at $99/month
  • Extensive reporting, including Insights by Revel mobile reporting app
  • Best for employee reporting
  • Starts at $99/month
  • Extensive reporting, including Insights by Revel mobile reporting app

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  • Best for payment reporting
  • $0-$60/month
  • Free full-featured POS with strong core reporting
  • Best for payment reporting
  • $0-$60/month
  • Free full-featured POS with strong core reporting

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  • Best for sales reporting
  • $90-$519/month ($69-$399/month with annual billing)
  • Robust POS boasting numerous sales reports for restaurants of all sizes
  • Best for sales reporting
  • $90-$519/month ($69-$399/month with annual billing)
  • Robust POS boasting numerous sales reports for restaurants of all sizes

Visit Site

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  • Best POS for restaurant reporting
  • $0-$165+/month
  • Easy-to-use Android-based POS designed specifically for restaurants
  • Best POS for restaurant reporting
  • $0-$165+/month
  • Easy-to-use Android-based POS designed specifically for restaurants

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  • Best for inventory & customer reporting
  • $89-$168/month ($69-$199/month when billed annually)
  • Retail-specific POS with 100+ built-in & custom reports
  • Best for inventory & customer reporting
  • $89-$168/month ($69-$199/month when billed annually)
  • Retail-specific POS with 100+ built-in & custom reports

Visit Site

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

What Is A POS Report?

A POS report is a collection of data your point of sale system gathers. Because modern POS systems can track item sales, credit card transactions, or even employee hours, they can also generate a variety of reports on a weekly, daily, or monthly basis.

The biggest benefit to POS reporting tools is the ability to show trends, such as popular items or busiest times, that can feed into making crucial business decisions, such as which inventory to buy, when to schedule more employees, or which time of the year leads to the most sales.

How Does POS Reporting Work?

A POS is more than just a fancy cash register: it’s increasingly a hub for your entire small business.

A good POS can deliver reports on essential business functions automatically. Data is collected whenever an employee completes a sale, enters an item into inventory, clocks in for the day, or closes out their register. Various data points are also sent to your POS from online orders, customer feedback, marketing, and other activities.

Some apps even count your store’s foot traffic and send it back to your POS. Truly, there is no aspect of your business that cannot be measured and centralized through your point of sale reporting tools.

POS systems with highly capable reporting tools can collect and organize this data into digestible (and customizable) reports you can access online.

Some legacy POS systems require you to be on-premise and at a POS terminal to generate reports. Modern systems allow you to access your POS reports via the cloud and view them anywhere through a web portal. At the cutting edge of POS reporting technology are mobile apps built specifically for tracking business performance.

While it’s likely these point of sale reporting apps will become a central component, for now, most of them exist to supplement POS web reporting suites — that is to say, they’re not nearly as robust in their scope of data or their customization.

Is One POS Report As Good As The Next?

There are definitely variances in quality when it comes to point of sale reports. Even with the same POS system, there may be different plans that include varying levels of reporting. Advanced reporting, as you might expect, typically only comes with a higher monthly price tier.

It’s also true that some POS reports might be more valuable to certain business owners than others. For example, you may be especially interested in employee reports if you’re not sure if you’re over- or under-staffing.

5 POS Reports You Will Find In A Good POS System

There are five essential categories of reports found in good POS systems. At a minimum, your POS should have at least one report from each category. A good point of sale reporting suite will have several options for each category.

What makes these POS reports so important? They provide snapshots of the main moving parts of your business: sales, payments, employees, inventory, and customers.

1) Sales Reports

Sales are the bread and butter of any business, so the ability to generate detailed sales reports should come standard with any cloud POS. POS sales reports help you determine which items bring you the most profits, which times of the day/week/year are the busiest for your business, and which items are unpopular enough to remove from your shelves.

Here are some key metrics to track on your POS sales report:

  • Top-selling/worst-selling items
  • Sales activity by day/date range
  • Sales by employee/product/department
  • Menu reports (sales by menu item)
  • Most commonly returned items
  • Gross profits for week, month, year, etc.
  • Online and/or mobile sales

Toast POS report sample
POS Sales report example: Toast POS for restaurants provides a menu report showing how your menu items affect your sales.

2) Payment Reports

Sales are one thing, but the actual payments determine how much money your business makes…or loses.

POS payment reports help you track cash flow, credit card payments, and inefficiencies that affect your bottom line. Using the information from payment reports, you can help prevent employee theft and errors, determine how your customers prefer to pay, and figure out how many sales are discounted or sold at full price.

Here are some things you should be able to track in your POS payment reports:

  • Cash events
  • Taxes paid
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Voided sales
  • Refunds
  • Discounts
  • Payments by payment method (credit card, gift card, check, mobile, etc.)
  • Employee payouts (if, for example, waitstaff takes payouts at the end of every shift)

Clover POS report sample

Using the Clover POS cash log report, you can view the date, time, type, and amount of every cash transaction, as well as which employee handled the cash event and the reason for opening the cash drawer.

3) Employee Reports

They say your business is only as good as the people who work for you, and we couldn’t agree more. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to determine an employee’s precise value to your business and the areas in which they need further training.

Instead of hovering over your employees’ shoulders at all times (which we don’t recommend), you can use POS employee reports to keep track of your employees and monitor their sales.

Not all point of sale reporting suites will have all these features, but many systems will include integrations for third-party software to manage elements such as payroll and scheduling. At the very least, your POS should show sales-related employee activity, tracking each sale to an individual employee, such as:

  • Employee time clock/hours worked
  • Shift reports
  • Employee till counts
  • Sales by employee
  • Commissions by employee
  • Profitability by employee
  • *Employee scheduling and payroll

*Less likely to be included in POS software

Revel POS report sample data: employee management

Revel Systems includes robust employee reports in its POS, including an employee profitability report. This report compares each employee’s wage to their sales to calculate a profit percentage.

4) Inventory Reports

Most POS software includes some elements of inventory asset management software, allowing you to keep your stock volume in line with your sales volume.

The best POS inventory management systems let you generate reports showing your inventory quantities, inventory values, and which items or ingredients you’re running low on. In some cases, your POS might integrate with a third-party inventory software service to provide these reports. 

Here are some good POS inventory reports to look out for:

lightspeed retail inventory report

Lightspeed Retail’s inventory summary report shows closing inventory, days covered, revenue, average, and inventory costs.  

5) Customer Reports

If your POS has customer management features, you can monitor the information you need to track repeat customers, generate targeted marketing campaigns (usually using integrated email marketing software), and even create a custom loyalty program. To get the information needed for customer-related reports, your POS must be able to capture customer details at the time of sale.

You will probably need to use separate CRM software for in-depth customer insights and marketing reports. Many POS systems integrate with CRM software. For example, Square POS includes free customer engagement tools that show statistics on customer satisfaction, new vs. returning customers, and customer visit frequency.

For a more complex tool, you can opt into Square Marketing, which syncs perfectly with your Square POS reports. It’s a great example of why using your POS as your centralized hub can be a huge advantage. 

Even if you don’t add on a fancy marketing suite for your POS, here are some standard customer reports your POS should be able to provide:

  • Total sales by customer
  • Top customers
  • Purchase and return histories per customer
  • A sortable database of customer profiles (with name, email address, purchase history, account balances, etc.)

Shopify POS sales report - sales by customer sample

Shopify POS sales by customer report let you see a breakdown of orders by each customer over a period of time.

5 Point Of Sale Reporting Systems For Small Businesses

POS reporting systems should include strong customer, inventory, sales, payment, and employee reports. Custom report options, cloud-based reporting, multilocation support, and mobile reporting options are critical features in a good POS reporting system. Here are our five picks for POS systems that best meet these requirements.

1. Revel Systems: Best For Employee Reports

Revel POS Systems

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  • Advanced reporting
  • Multistore capability
  • Advanced inventory


  • May be too expensive for smaller businesses
  • A contract is required to secure the lowest pricing

revel insights - POS reporting on mobile

Why We Chose Revel Systems For Best POS Reporting

Revel Systems is an advanced iPad POS that boasts restaurant-specific features but can also be used as a retail POS or by appointment-based businesses. Revel is one of the pricier options on our list, but it is also one of the more feature-rich cloud POS systems out there, and its reports are especially extensive. In fact, we even included Revel on our list of best POS retail systems for small businesses because it has so much to offer.

Revel also has an especially strong mobile reporting app called Insights by Revel. It has instant notifications about employee activities and lets you change employee schedules from the app. Because of this, Revel could be a good choice for business owners who want to manage their businesses and employees remotely.

Revel Systems POS Reporting Features

Revel’s reporting suite synthesizes many sources of data into colorful visuals or a graphical table format. Here are some of the reports you get from Revel in the core areas:

  • Sales: COGS reports, product mix reports, hourly sales reports, sales by item reports
  • Labor: See who is at work, who was late today, who worked overtime
  • Inventory: Real-time view of available inventory, view costs vs. profits on all items
  • Customer: CRM insights, create segmented customer groups

Revel Systems Pricing

Revel Systems POS starts at $99/month per terminal. The lowest pricing is available for customers that opt for annual billing, sign a three-year Revel Advantage contract, and purchase at least two terminals. A free demo is available to check out the software before you commit.

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

Read our in-depth review

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2. Square: Best For Payment Reports

Square POS

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  • Free plan available
  • Mobile reporting
  • Suitable for all types of small businesses


  • Some reporting features are only available on paid plans

square gross sales email report - point of sale reporting feature

Why We Chose Square For Best POS Reporting

Square is an excellent all-around POS for any type of small business, from quick-serve to service businesses, such as hairdressers, to small retailers. Best of all, a fully-functional free version is available.

Square is all about efficiency and simplicity, and its POS reporting features are no exception. Though Square’s free reporting isn’t necessarily advanced, its core POS reports are sufficient for most small businesses. Being a payments company, first and foremost, it should be no surprise that Square’s payment and sales reports are especially strong.

You can use Square on virtually any mobile device or computer with a web browser, though Square for Restaurants and Square for Retail are just for iPad. As for the POS reporting suite, you can log into it from any web browser or the Square Dashboard app for iPhone.

Square POS Reporting Features

Here are the standout reporting features you can expect from Square:

  • Sales reports by item, employee, discount, and modifiers
  • Comp reports
  • Reports on voids
  • Gift card reports
  • Tax reports
  • Dispute reports
  • Custom reports
  • Access to many reports from the mobile Square Dashboard app

The paid versions of Square include more reporting features, such as:

  • Sales by floor plan
  • Sales by modifiers
  • Labor costing
  • Projected profits

Square Pricing

Square is a unique POS that has a fully-featured free POS and is one of the best free POS systems for small businesses. Square also has paid versions; for example, Square for Restaurants and Square for Retail are available for $60/month.

A 30-day free trial of Square’s paid plans allows you to test the software before signing up.

Get Started With Square POS

Read our in-depth review

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3. Lightspeed Restaurant: Best For Sales Reports

Lightspeed Restaurant POS

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Limited time offer. Sign up to Lightspeed by March 31st and get up to $1,500 in complimentary hardware. Claim this offer today.


  • Suitable for most small- to mid-sized restaurants
  • Multiple revenue support
  • Advanced reporting


  • Some advanced features only available on higher-priced plans

lightspeed restaurant labor report - POS reporting tool

Why We Chose Lightspeed Restaurant For Best POS Reporting

Lightspeed is a small business POS company that provides one of the best POS for restaurants. The Lightspeed Restaurant POS can run on an iPad or a desktop, depending on your preference.

While Lightspeed’s “basic” reports are robust enough for many small businesses, you may want to upgrade to the advanced reporting/analytics module, which offers a wider selection of reports and lets you build custom reports.

Most Restaurant reports are only accessible on the web dashboard, but a few can be accessed from within the POS app, depending on the user’s permissions. Managers can choose which employees are able to see certain reports, which is a useful feature for larger restaurants with multiple managers.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS Reporting Features

Lightspeed Restaurant offers a wide array of reports, although some may only be available on more advanced plans.

Reporting features include:

  • Business reports
  • Product reports
  • Ingredient reports
  • Shift reports
  • Staff reports
  • Kitchen display system stats
  • Hourly performance reports
  • Consolidated reports
  • Hourly, daily, monthly, and weekly reports
  • Closing reports
  • Revenue reports
  • IRS reports
  • Custom reports

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed Restaurant has three main pricing plans that range from $90/month to $519/month, or you can score a plan for $69/month to $399/month with annual billing.

As expected, the more expensive plans boast more features, including advanced inventory management, multistore management, and raw API access. A demo is available, so you can check out the software.

Get Started With Lightspeed Restaurant POS

Read our in-depth review

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4. Toast: Best For Restaurant Reports

Toast POS

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  • Android-based
  • Restaurant-specific reporting
  • Advanced reporting tools


  • Early termination fees

toast pos report on laptop

Why We Chose Toast For Best POS Reporting

Toast is among the best Android POS options, and it runs exclusively on Samsung devices. This POS for restaurants features an extensive reporting suite, perfect if you have a full-service restaurant and need something a step up from what competitors such as Square can offer.

Unlike some restaurant POS tablets that can only deal with ordering and taking payments, Toast’s handheld tablets can access the entire application, including reports.

Toast is easy to use and set up, and it has a lot of cool extras, such as online ordering, a loyalty program, and delivery management — though some of these features will require you to pay extra.

Toast POS Reporting Features

Some of Toast’s POS reporting features include:

  • Real-time sales, menu, and labor data
  • An automatic nightly email with the day’s reports
  • Mobile-optimized reports
  • Product mix report
  • Comparative reports
  • Loyalty guest reports

Toast Pricing

Toast’s basic Starter package, which includes POS reporting, starts at $0/month, and you can also finance a hardware kit with no upfront fee. Paid plans are available starting at $69/month if you need additional features.

You can check out the software by signing up for a free demo.

Get Started With Toast POS

Read our in-depth review

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5. Lightspeed Retail: Best For Inventory & Customer Reports

Lightspeed Retail POS

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Limited time offer. Sign up to Lightspeed by March 31st and get up to $1,500 in complimentary hardware. Claim this offer today.


  • Advanced inventory management and reporting
  • Custom reports
  • Advanced customer reports


  • May be expensive for smaller businesses

lightspeed retail inventory report

Why We Chose Lightspeed Retail For Best POS Reporting

Lightspeed Retail is a retail-specific POS suitable for mid- to large-sized businesses.

Aside from its robust features, strong eCommerce integrations, and excellent customer support, Lightspeed Retail features strong reporting functionality. In addition to custom report options, users can access hundreds of preset reports covering everything from sales and order status to marketing. Most reports are viewable in the web interface, though owners and managers have a separate screen in the POS app where they can view some reports.

With Lightspeed Retail’s most expensive plan, users can have access to advanced reporting. These reports include customer shopping data to improve engagement and performance reports to help your business forecast product demand. These advanced reports are essential for gauging your business’s current health while revealing insights to help you plan for the future.

Lightspeed Retail Reporting Features

Lightspeed Retail includes 100+ reports, including:

  • In-depth inventory and customer reports
  • Sales reports
  • Inventory reports
  • COGS reports
  • Sales by category
  • Employee performance reports
  • Marketing reports

Lightspeed Retail Pricing

Lightspeed Retail has three main pricing plans ranging from $89/month to $169/month. Users that pay for a year upfront can score pricing that ranges from $69/month to $199/month. A free 14-day trial is available to test out the software.

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Why We Don't Recommend These POS Reporting Options

ShopKeep By Lightspeed

ShopKeep previously topped our list for its strong sales reporting — specifically, for its accessible and easy-to-understand reports.

Unfortunately, you’re out of luck if you aren’t a current ShopKeep user. While existing users still have access to this POS and its reporting functions, new users are no longer accepted following ShopKeep’s acquisition by Lightspeed.

If you’re searching for a new POS, you can check out Lightspeed’s other products, including Lightspeed Retail and Lightspeed Restaurant.

How Important Are POS Reports To My Business?

POS reports offer views of the current financial state of your business while also providing critical insights for growing your business.

A POS system does come at a price, and it can take some time to find the right system for your business. This is why taking advantage of free trials and demos to test out the software before committing is important. There are also free options, such as Square, that come equipped with basic features and reporting to get you started.

And if none of these POS systems seem to fit the bill? Plenty of other options exist on the market, including industry-specific software and systems. Whether you’re looking for the best POS system for your bar, need to set appointments or perform other functions with the best salon-focused POS system, or need a POS with eCommerce integrations, there’s a POS system out there for your business.

Good luck!

FAQs: Small Business POS Reporting

What is POS reporting?

POS reporting uses the data collected from your point of sale system to provide insights into your business. A POS system tracks everything from customer sales to employee working hours and can compile this data into easily-digestible reports.

These reports can be used to assess the current financial state of your business, as well as provide insights that can be used to grow and improve your business.

What reports can you run through a POS system?

The types of reports you can run through a POS system vary based on the POS system you use and the subscription plan you’ve signed up for. At a minimum, your POS system should provide basic sales reports, payment reports, employee reports, customer reports, and inventory reports.

How do I analyze customer data with a POS system?

If your POS has customer management features and reporting, you can use this data to track repeat customers, create targeted marketing campaigns, and create a loyalty program tailored to your frequent customers.

Businesses that want more in-depth customer data may opt to use CRM software — preferably an option that integrates with their chosen POS system.

In Summary: 5 Point Of Sale Reporting Systems For Small Businesses

  1. Revel POS Systems:
    • Best for employee reporting
    • Starts at $99/month
    • Extensive reporting, including Insights by Revel mobile reporting app
  2. Square POS:
    • Best for payment reporting
    • $0-$60/month
    • Free full-featured POS with strong core reporting
  3. Lightspeed Restaurant POS:
    • Best for sales reporting
    • $90-$519/month ($69-$399/month with annual billing)
    • Robust POS boasting numerous sales reports for restaurants of all sizes
  4. Toast POS:
    • Best POS for restaurant reporting
    • $0-$165+/month
    • Easy-to-use Android-based POS designed specifically for restaurants
  5. Lightspeed Retail POS:
    • Best for inventory & customer reporting
    • $89-$168/month ($69-$199/month when billed annually)
    • Retail-specific POS with 100+ built-in & custom reports
Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in accounting, finance, and point of sale, Erica has been researching and writing about all things small-business since 2018. Erica's insights into personal and business finance have been cited in numerous publications, including MSN, Real Simple, and Reader's Digest. She is a graduate of Limestone College.
Erica Seppala
View Erica Seppala's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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