Late last month Intuit released version 10 of Point of Sale. This version represents a huge change in the GUI interface, attempting to make the user interface better for a touchscreen user as well as to try to simpify the sales process.
POS expert Will English’s first blush, recently posted to his QuickBooks technology blog, reminded me of the problem I had when I upgraded my Nitro PDF a couple years back. It didn’t take me long to realize that my trusty Nitro PDF software had more functions and fewer problems BEFORE I upgraded it! And then there is Windows Vista. Why do software companies do that?! Never mind, I think we know!
Will gives Intuit’s latest POS offering a proper public flogging:
William English –
Since Intuit releases a new version every year and had to make so many changes, I beleive they ran out of time to get everything done properly. We have been told they are planning an agressive patch schedule and in fact, they have just released R3 which fixes a number of problems and R4 is on its way.
What Will likes –
The new GUI is very clean for taking sales. The ability to select payment directly from the sales screen can speed a standard sale. The fully indexed search including help is cool. The look and feel is something very different than any other QuickBooks product and more in line with POS systems. The notes feature is pretty slick.
Now for the bad news:
This product is NOT complete. Purchase Orders, Sales Orders, etc are still in the old interface. You can’t customize the sales screen nor change sales dates, etc. The item list has no way to filter except what is out of stock nor is there anyway to save a filter. This is core functionality that has been left out. List edit is sort of gone. If you go to the item list report and click on any item, you are back in the old interface. Receiving without a purchase order is very time consuming as you can’t select from the item list.
But wait, there’s more!
Additional QuickBooks POS V-10 “Problems”
Add-ons – Well, they are just gone. This was really an up and coming feature that was allowing third party developers to create utilities that made a great deal of functional difference – Like integrating scales for example. We hope it comes back soon.
Filters on Lists – The ability to create and save filters in V10 lists has been removed and in its place is a much less desirable search feature. When working with key list elements it is almost a failure. Let’s say for instance that i want to review all my assembly items only, the search feature will not even search on the item type name. There are ways to still get to some of this functionality, but it really looks like that is just a delay in what portions of the program have been revamped and will likely be patched into non-existence.
Multi-sort and Zoom – From the view menu, which is now gone itself, the option to sort lists on multiple (up to three columns) as well as the Zoom feature for those that needed to make the text bigger have been removed.
Tool Bar – The tool bar which had been customizable so that you could easily get to many of your favorite functions quickly and easily has been removed. There is a somewhat customizable side bar that works fairly well.
Select from List – This is no longer available on Receiving Vouchers or Sales Receipts. This tool was extremely helpful. It can still be found on things like Purchase Orders and Sales Orders; but for how long?
No Customizable Sales or Receiving Voucher Screen Views – It is no longer possible to customize the view of the columns that are displayed. Plus, to make a change to something like the associate, the item description or the qty/price/discount requires drilling down into many individual screens – you can no longer change all fields in one location by using the edit item option.
Customers and Sales Screen – While you can drill down to the customer from the sales screen, much of the information that was previously presented for you is no longer there. Rewards status, account balance and even the option to enter a purchase order number for tracking as a company have been removed.
Sales Screen and Transaction Date – The transaction date has been removed. I foresee this as an issue for those that use a credit card processing system outside of the integrated payment solution from Intuit. Many users that inadvertently fail to ring up a sale in POS that they ran through their external cc machine will now have difficulting posting it to the correct day. I would imagine you could change the sytem date on the computer and then open POS to do it, but that is likely to mean people will forget to change it back as well.
Customer History Screen Hard To Read from Sales Screen – Rather than the tabbed viewing we have been used to working with that would adequately display information by moving through the tabs, The information is now displayed on one page. In and of itself, this is a good thing, but the reality is that there is just not enough real estate – so things like history and rewards have to be scrolled not just up and down, but left to right as well. Oddly, if you are just looking at the split view on the customer list, it works fine.
Keyboard Shortcuts – One of the many usefull navigation tools (like the tool and status bar have been removed from the application. One of my particular favorites, F5 which was used for editing a line item on a sale or receiving vouhcer seems a big loss.
Find Receipt – You can no longer search for a receipt while in a sales receipt, you will have to go to the sales history or search from the Home window.
Custom Vendor Fields – These have been removed, they still exist in preferences, but the tab on the vendor record or any other way to get to the information seems to have been removed from the actual interface.
Store Exchange Fee – For many years now those using the multi-store function have been able to exchange files for free using the Intuit service method. There is now a fee. This is no big deal, but those upgrading may get a surprise notification that they need to pay $20 for a three year period.
Resend Files – For multi-store users, there was a utility that could be used to specify a resend of exchange files with date specific information and such. Sometimes mailbags would get lost and doing the roundtrip exchange would not fix it, but this would. Perhaps Intuit feels it is not needed any longer. Of course, it is still in help.
Reminders – The finger with the string is gone, but reminders do show up in the sticky notes field.
Status Bar – Along the bottom of the screen had long been a bar that was filled with useful information, including that you had reminders to deal with, the logged in user, list count information (though that is displayed on the list screen now) what workstation you were on and more. This is now gone
Help – Clearly the in-product Help updates are not complete, there are plenty of references to features and locations that simply no longer exist as the help is written. This will make thing a bit more difficult on users.
Practice Mode – This has been removed too. It is just gone. Be carefull if copying a full version of your data to practice, check and make your merchant service and connection to QBFS are turned off.
Training Videos – also known as the learning center have been removed. These videos were great tutorial guides for learning the basics of how to do so many things in POS. There loss will likely mean even more end user mistakes
Whew, how is that for a laundry list! Enough to convince you not to upgrade yet? Its enough for me. Intuit is allowing us to continue selling the trusty, powerful, invincible, reliable, QuickBooks POS v9 until they have a “major patch” sometime next year.
We’ll keep you posted!