Choosing the right point-of-sale (POS) system is critical to a business’ success. An alternative to traditional cash registers and credit card readers, POS systems offer advanced capabilities beyond the ability to collect payments. POS systems also make business owners’ lives easier by providing automated ways to track sales, control inventory, manage customers and streamline the accounting process.

As all-in-one solutions, POS systems include all the basic hardware and software that a business needs to manage its sales, inventory and customers. There are several types of POS systems, each of which caters to a different type of business.

Retailer POS systems typically include a terminal, monitor, bar-code scanner, cash drawer, card reader, keyboard, mouse, receipt printer and retail software. For restaurants, POS systems usually come with a touch-screen monitor, terminal, receipt printer, cash drawer, card reader and restaurant software, as well as options for kitchen printers, wireless table-side order-entry devices, and customer displays. Customized POS packages are also available for other types of businesses, such as salons and grocery stores.

BusinessNewsDaily’s sister site, TopTenREVIEWS, does extensive in-depth reviews of POS systems. Here are TopTenREVIEWS’ top three recommendations for POS systems:

[What is a POS System?]

1. AccuPOS

AccuPOS wins TopTenREVIEWS’ Gold Award for its advanced accounting capabilities. It offers the only software that is line-item compatible with QuickBooks and Sage accounting software.

Who it’s for: AccuPOS has packages available for retailers, restaurants and grocery stores. While restaurants benefit from bundled features — counter service, kitchen printing, and frozen yogurt and kitchen bump bar packages — grocery packages include multiline bar-code scanning and charge-by-weight options.

Software: In addition to advanced accounting software compatibility, AccuPOS offers a wide range of capabilities: gift-card processing, check splitting, EBT processing, and tools for creating data backup and restoration.

Hardware: AccuPOS gives businesses the freedom of choice. Businesses can choose from nearly 10 POS systems, or they can purchase only the software and peripherals and run them on their own hardware.

After-Purchase Care: After purchase, AccuPOS offers 24/7/365 phone support, 24-hour email support, remote assistance, overnight replacement shipping, and migration services. Warranty is available for one year. AccuPOS also provides online training to help business owners and employees learn how to use the software.

Mobile and Wireless Technology: AccuPOS offers point-of-sale capabilities for handheld POS and handheld inventory. Mobile support is also available for Android devices and non-iOS tables.

Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS’ best POS systemshere.

2. Harbortouch

Harbortouch earns high praise for its low-cost, payment-processing-focused POS system.

Who it’s for: Harbortouch is built for retailers, restaurants and salons. It is primarily for businesses that need a POS system to process payments, manage customers and track inventory.

Software: Harbortouch offers two free versions of its software: Harbortouch POS and Harbortouch Elite. Harbortouch offers software versions specifically tailored for retail, C-stores, liquor stores and restaurants. For retailers, Harbortouch POS software can perform a range of functions: manage inventory by color, size or style; create purchase orders; manage vendors and customers; process rentals and layaways; and print gift registries and gift receipts. The company also offers a hospitality POS system that can track tables and bar tabs; split checks; handle reservations online; and manage special pricing. Restaurants also receive a free iPad software for table-side service. Harbortouch POS software can also create reports and even track employees’ hours and performance.

Hardware: Harbortouch includes all standard hardware. The Harbortouch POS includes a touch-screen PC, card reader, cash drawer and receipt printers. The Elite package includes a faster touch-screen PC with a cast aluminum body. The retail package also includes a bar-code reader, PIN pad, keyboard and customer display, while the kitchen package includes kitchen printers and scales, as well as kitchen video systems, bump bars and caller-ID boxes.

After-Purchase Care: Harbortouch provides each business with its own local account representative who can help it on-site when needed. After receiving the POS system, users are given on-site training and remote training for the remainder of their contract. Remote support is available 24 hours a day directly through the software via a Support button, as well as 24/7/365 telephone support, 24-hour email support, remote assistance, overnight replacement, on-site technicians and migration services. Harbortouch POS systems have a lifetime warranty. 

Mobile and Wireless Technology: Harbortouch provides a number of mobile and wireless payment-processing options, as well as table-side order entry for restaurants and bars. Its mobile processing works with a variety of smartphone operating systems, including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

Costs: For just $25, business owners can have a POS system preloaded with company data. To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS’ best POS systems here.

3. POSGuys

POSGuys earned TopTenREVIEWS’ Bronze Award for offering a wide range of low-cost point-of-sale products, including full POS systems, equipment, software and supplies.

Who it’s for: In addition to retail stores and restaurants, POSGuys features packages specifically for salons and spas. The company provides flexible solutions for all types of businesses.

Software: Whereas AccuPOS and Harbortouch each use its own software, POSGuys is a full-service POS systems provider that offers a vast selection of POS and accounting software. This includes QuickBooks POS, Cash Register Express, Restaurant Pro Express, Proxis Store Manager, Salon Iris, Aldelo, Amigo and Microsoft RMS.

Read more: The Best POS Systems

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