How are you transferring time and wage data from your point of sale (POS) system to your payroll and accounting platform? Chances are your small business is relying on manual data entry — but is this the way it has to be? What if a POS system for small business could handle more heavy lifting?

The SMB Paradox

As a small-business owner, time is your most valuable resource. But moving data from POS systems comes with substantial time costs. As noted by Jeff Holmen, vice president of business development at ADP, small business owners spend between seven and eight hours per payroll cycle entering POS data and correcting errors. And it gets worse. Whose time is most valuable in your organization? Owners and senior staff, who are often the same employees trained to handle payroll and scheduling. The result? You're spending big money just to move data.

But here's the thing: This information is critical. Holmen notes that in a retail operation, POS systems are "heavily focused on what an individual employee might be doing for the day." In a restaurant, for example, there's lots of focus on shifts and scheduling. Having wage, time punch and schedule data available is essential both to manage current operations and to predict future trends. This leaves business owners with a paradox — while they can't afford to spend time entering data by hand and correcting errors, they also can't afford not to.

A Changing Landscape

So what's the solution? While it may not be feasible to completely replace an existing POS system, new cloud-based applications make it possible to easily transfer data directly from a POS system for small business to payroll or scheduling solutions. And the benefits go beyond streamlining your process. Consider the following advantages:

  • EMV Adoption: According to Business 2 Community, many small businesses are considering the move to POS systems that support EMV chip cards. Why? Because recent rule changes now put the onus on retailers to ensure card safety. As Holmen notes: "If you're still using swipe, you've put the responsibility for collection to the bank on yourself as the business owner."
  • Outside Links: The data from POS systems offers value beyond internal payroll and scheduling. Accurate data combined with analytics tools can help predict future inventory, production or scheduling needs.
  • Automation: Why do work you don't need to? Start by automating the movement of data between POS and payroll systems, then leverage apps that let you automatically notify staff in the event of scheduling conflicts or shift replacements.
  • Compliance: Is your data being handled securely? Is it encrypted? SMBs are considered the "owners" of employee and consumer data on their system, even if this data is handled by third-party POS systems. Eliminating the need for manual movement increases both security and auditability.

Making the Switch

The market for POS automation is diversifying as SMB cloud solutions become more ubiquitous, so here's a quick look at must-haves for any point of sale data solution:

  • Easy Integration: The application should be simple to download and easy to install and should, according to Holmen, "tell you where you're aligned and where you're not and where you need to update certain employee information, so that all data flows accurately."
  • Cloud Connection: POS applications should offer both on-premises and cloud-based backup to ensure data security.
  • Inherent Accuracy: Look for solutions that account for data on "both sides of the fence" — POS and payroll — to ensure outputs are accurate.

Tired of spending seven to eight hours a month moving POS data? Opt for app-based automation, integration and accuracy and you can break out of the POS payment paradox.

Tags: Payroll Data and Analytics