Top 5 Standard POS Reports
Congratulations! You’ve finally junked your old cash register or PC-based point of sale in favor of a modern, cloud-based point of sale system for your retail store or restaurant. Today’s POS systems, most of which run on an iPad or tablet, include so much more than just the point of sale itself. Most are full-on business management solutions that not only allow you to accept and track sales, but also report back to you on various aspects of your business—like, for example, which employees and products provide the most value.
So, what types of reports should you look for when choosing a POS? Or, if you already have POS software, which are the most important reports to pay attention to? Read on for a rundown of the top standard POS reports and a sample of systems that provide these reports.
If you’re just looking for a POS system with strong reporting capabilities, skip down to the section entitled POS Systems With Good Reporting Capabilities, or check out our full selection of general POS software reviews, iPad POS reviews, and restaurant POS reviews.
Table of Contents
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 figure out which items are bringing 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
Sales are one thing, but it’s the actual payments that 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
- 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)
POS payment report example: Using Clover’s (see our review) cash log report (seen above), 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.
They say your business is only as good as the people who work for you, and we couldn’t agree more. That said, 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.
What follows are some useful employee reports (not all POS’s will include all of these features, but many systems will include integrations for third-party software to manage elements like payroll and scheduling; at the very least, your POS should show sales-related employee activity, tracking each sale to an individual employee):
- 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
POS employee report example: Revel Systems (see our review) includes robust employee reports in its POS, including an employee profitability report. This report displays each employee’s wage compared to their sales in order to calculate a profit percentage.
Most POS software includes some elements of inventory asset management software, allowing you to keep your stock volume in line with your sales volume. As a business owner, you need to be able to generate reports showing your inventory quantities, inventory values, and which items or ingredients you’re running low on. In some cases, POS systems integrate with a third-party inventory software service to provide these reports. For example, Vend POS (see our review) integrates with Stitch Labs (see our review) inventory software.
Here are some good POS inventory reports to look out for:
- Inventory reorder report
- Inventory value report
- Raw ingredient report (for restaurants)
- Real-time inventory tracking report
If your POS is equipped with 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.
For in-depth customer insights and marketing reports, you will probably need to use separate CRM software. Many POS systems integrate with CRM software—for example, with Bindo POS (see our review) you can access the API to build an integration with third-party CRM systems.
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
- Sortable database of customer profiles (with name, email address, purchase history, account balances, etc.)
POS Systems With Good Reporting Capabilities
All of the POS systems mentioned above have pretty in-depth reporting capabilities. Read on for a more in-depth look at some of our favorites:
- Hybrid iPad POS (runs from locally-installed app and syncs data to cloud when there is an internet connection)
- Pricing starts at $69/month/register ($29/month/register for fourth register and beyond)
- Raw ingredient management
- Send orders wirelessly to kitchen printer or bar
- Split, merge, or transfer open checks
- Unlimited staff
- Accept cash, credit, EMV, gift cards, ApplePay with Shopkeep Payments or your choice of merchant account
- Shopkeep Pocket app lets you manage your business on the go
- 24/7 customer support
Shopkeep (see our review) is a leading restaurant POS systems for iPad. We like Shopkeep because it has a pretty amazing array of features for its affordable starting price point of $69/month. Many quick-serve eateries, bars, and full-service restaurants love this feature-packed system. Some favoriteShopkeep features include detailed modifiers with the option to add notes to clarify complicated orders, and an unlimited inventory matrix with raw goods management that alerts you when you’re running low. Smart management metrics also help you make important business decisions; Shopkeep shows you your top-selling items so you know what customers are craving most, and shows you your busiest hours so you know when to schedule staff.
Software integrations include MailChimp, QuickBooks, and BigCommerce. ShopKeep recently acquired online order and delivery system ChowBot and hopes to make the integration available to its users later this year. ShopKeep also recently expanded their partnership with First Data so that Shopkeep will eventually be available on the Clover hardware terminal.
Shopkeep is best for small to medium-sized businesses, though it does offer multi-location support. Award-winning 24/7 customer support is included, though you will have to pay extra for premium phone support. Note that Shopkeep doesn’t have table management or reservation management, so it’s generally a better fit for fast-casual restaurants rather than fine-dining. You can check out our Shopkeep review for more information on this system.
- Cloud-based Android POS
- Pricing starts at $79/month/terminal
- Accept cash, check, EMV chip cards, gift cards, credit cards, and mobile payments
- Includes 24/7 customer support
- Employee and customer management
- Extras include online ordering, loyalty program, delivery management
- Robust reporting capabilities
Toast (see our review) is the hot new POS system for restaurants who want to use a cloud-based tablet POS but don’t necessarily want an iPad system. In fact, Toast runs exclusively on Samsung Android devices. But despite that distinction, it has a lot in common with the other tablet POS systems on our list—it’s easy to use and set up, and allows servers to take orders and even payments right from their tablets. Plus, it has a lot of cool extras like online ordering, a loyalty program, and delivery management—though some of these features will require you to pay extra.
One thing you don’t have to pay a premium for with Toast is their highly rated 24/7 customer support, offered from a 100% US-based tech support team. Toast places a lot of importance on customer support, which is a major advantage of using this system.
Another thing to note is that besides using Android tablets, you also have to be okay with using Toast’s in-house payment processor—you can’t use an outside merchant account with this POS.
Toast is not the cheapest cloud POS out there, but with its extensive feature set and excellent customer support, it’s one of the best restaurant POS’s around for full-service restaurants large and small—including multi-location franchises. Larger restaurants that use multiple devices will also save money by using Toast’s cheaper Android tablets vs. the much pricier iPads required of most other cloud POS’s. You can learn more about the pros and cons of Toast POS by reading our Toast review.
- Cloud-based iPad POS
- Monthly pricing varies depending on your restaurant’s size and needs
- Table layouts with table timers and color coding
- Advanced raw ingredient tracking across multiple locations
- Delivery management
- Online and mobile ordering
- QuickBooks integration
- Tableside ordering
- Recently added table reservations feature
- 24/7 support
Revel Systems (see our review) is not made specifically for restaurants. Nevertheless, it is very capable of handling the needs of a full-service restaurant and includes key restaurant-specific features. In fact, Revel has one of the most complete feature sets of any restaurant POS, especially since the addition of a table reservation feature.
Revel is more suitable for larger restaurants with multiple locations. Though Revel is one of the pricier options on this list, it is still an affordable and very capable alternative to enterprise-level POS software like Micros or Aloha.
Revel is highly customizable and has a lot of different hardware options, including digital menu boards and a digital kitchen display system. The cloud-based Revel POS also has good offline functionality with its “always on” mode allowing you to continue to process payments even if the internet goes down. This POS also has many compatible credit card processors.
Get a more detailed view of this POS by reading our Revel Systems review.
- Hybrid system
- Basic Plan $29/month, Shopify Plan $79/month, Advanced Shopify Plan $299/month
- Enterprise option available
- Small to Medium businesses
- Integrates with eCommerce and accounting
- Mobile app
Shopify POS (see our review) is used by over 150,000 businesses and has been around since 2013. This system includes features such as the ability to accept split payments, the ability to grant refunds and store credit to customers, barcode support, gift cards, customizable receipts, order histories, CRM, detailed reporting (including reports on bestsellers), and inventory management that is able to sync both on and offline.
Shopify integrates with its own in-house merchant services processor, Shopify Payments. If you would prefer to use a different processor, Shopify offers a large selection. If you purchase Shopify’s Card Reader, you will be able to accept EMV and NFC payments. Free 24/7 customer support is offered via email, live chat, and phone. Some points to consider when it comes to Shopify are that the inventory feature does not offer a low stock alert and users are not able to properly issue store credit.
Other POS Systems With Strong Reporting Features
A few more systems with especially strong reporting features include:
- Lightspeed Retail (see our review)
- ERPLY (see our review)
- Breadcrumb (see our review)
- Hike (see our review)
- Quetzal (see our review)
If you’re still looking for a good POS solution and want more ideas, check out The Best Retail POS Systems For 2018 and The Best Restaurant POS Systems For 2018, or peruse a wide selection of POS articles on the Merchant Maverick blog.
If you already have a POS and want to know how you can best use its reporting capabilities and other backend features, check out POS 101: Take Advantage of Your POS. Happy reporting!