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Compare QuickBooks POS Desktop to Revel’s iPad system

If you compare QuickBooks POS Desktop software to Revel’s iPad, there are usually one or two deal-breakers that are identified right away.  While they are both POS systems, they deliver the features in different ways and some of those features are more useful to certain businesses than others.

Compare QuickBooks POS Windows “Desktop” vs. Revel POS iPad “Cloud”

Cost –

Hate subscriptions?  While Revel’s POS offers monthly subscription plans, the payment never goes away.  It’s very common for total cost over 3 to 4 years to exceed QuickBooks Desktop.  The on-boarding costs in Revel are difficult to avoid…even if you’re the ultimate do-it-yourself owner.

QuickBooks POS desktop software has traditionally offered one up front payment, but allowed you to run it multiple years.  Also, QuickBooks POS may have its own complexities, but many businesses have been able to get it up and running without incurring professional service fees.

Business Type

Revel’s iPad solution fits the requirements of Restaurants, Bars, and similar type businesses.

QuickBooks POS just is not suited for some business types.  However, it you’re a traditional merchandise retailer, you’ll find that QuickBooks POS will perform nicely for a lot of retailers.

Technology –

Revel’s POS is a cloud based system, meaning you can manage your company’s back-end data anywhere with an internet connection.  The iPad software is updated automatically for you (back-end and iPad front end).  So it really takes you out of the IT business in terms of software maintenance.

Are you Windows PC savvy?  QuickBooks POS desktop software is PC Windows based software.  If you have multiple users, you will need to use a Local Area Network.  This will increase your costs if you cannot set this LAN up yourself.  If you’re just a single-user operation, then a LAN won’t be needed anyhow.


Revel’s iPad offers mobile solutions, but they also cost more, both upfront and ongoing.  Also, here’s a misnomer.  Most people consider the iPad mobile inherently.  However, the “base unit” iPad is designed to be stationary (see photo above).  If you need true mobility, then you will need to purchase additional ‘mobile’ units (at least at the time of this writing).

Comparing QuickBooks POS desktop mobility to the iPad, you might hit the same issue.  Solutions exist, but you pay for mobility.  Once you purchase at least 1-user of the desktop software, you can add-on 3rd party mobile units.  However, most costs happen up front to buy the mobile units.

QuickBooks POS also offers “Multi-Store” features.  This option allows you to do Road Shows while leaving your brick and mortar store in place.  The Multi-Store feature brings an element of mobility using desktop software.

Credit Card Payments –

Revel can accept credit card payments while the system is offline.  This might pose a risk.  These data are batched and processed at a later time because the internet connect is lost.  If those charges are later denied (when the customer is gone), the business owner might be left holding an empty bag.

QuickBooks POS solution offers a backup in the event of internet outage.  If you lose your internet connection, you can still accept payments in real-time using a backup system with QuickBooks.  It’s called Go Payment and works through your smart phone.  Therefore, it’s very possible to continue making sales, but taking credit card payments on your smart phone until service is restored.  Not perfect, but at least you’ll know if the charges are approved in real-time while the customer and card are present.

Scalability –

Revel’s POS will grow with the largest businesses.  For this reason, it may not even play in the same space as QuickBooks POS.  It’s marketing toward larger companies that need robust scalability and can afford it.

QuickBooks POS will be limited to 20 total stores sharing data with each other.

Compare QuickBooks POS for Windows PC – Example Package

Legacy DIY Solution.  You install the software and maintain your own computer.

QuickBooks POS Bundle

Point of Sale as a Loss Prevention Tool

Can a Point of Sale system really stop theft or reduce your losses?  Yes!  Consider just 3 elements:

  1. Merchandise Pictures
  2. Separation of Duties/ Permission Security
  3. Login Control

Pictures – does the picture on screen match the merchandise on your counter?  If not, it is possible someone switched the tag.

Login Controls – Track and identify a user’s transactions in the system.  Force a cashier to login after each sale.  It’s much harder to cover up deception if a transaction is date stamped with a user-id.  If your transactions don’t make sense chronologically, then something is wrong.

Did the cashier start on time?  Only pay for hours worked.

Permission Security – Don’t let the fox guard the hen house!  Make sure your system offers a separation of duties, and offers managerial overrides.  Avoid conflicts of interest with good permissions.  If a manager makes a lot of overrides, they might discover either a training, or employee issue.  Another very worthy cost reduction.

System Cost – Ignore all the other benefits of a POS system (marketing, productivity, etc).   What’s your Return on Investment if you avoid $5,000 a year in losses?  The mere presence of a Point of Sale system lets customers, employees, and vendors know you’re watching.  After all, isn’t speeding abated with the mere presence of a police car?  Keep them honest and let them know you’re watching.

Both QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop for windows, and Point of Sale for iPad (Powered by Revel) offer these features.  Neither system will break the bank, but they will bring an element of control to your business.  After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.

iPad Point of Sale Remote Access

Do you need remote access (from home or various locations) for QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop?  If so, this is an uphill battle.  QuickBooks POS is designed for local installations on the Windows PC (Laptops, Desktops, and Servers).  While others have tried Remote Desktop solutions or VPN’s, it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” something will fail.  Usually during a peak busy moment. 

iPads to the rescue!  If you really need QuickBooks POS hosted, you should take a look at the QuickBooks Point of Sale for iPad.  It’s native to the cloud.  Best of all, there’s no backend server to maintain.  This takes you out of the IT business altogether.