POS software's shortcut through channel

Australia's point-of-sale (POS) infrastructure lacks maturity and small businesses are not always being offered the best accounting solutions as a result according to Jason Seed, national sales manager of Shortcuts, a developer of POS systems for the small business market.

"The point-of-sale market in Australia is very immature," Seed said. "For example, Coles Myer has only just introduced an interactive point-of-sale system, but it has been available overseas for almost five years."

The Brisbane-based company is expanding its reseller network following the release of its retail software aimed at the small business market.

"There are not a lot of good resellers with the skills base because there hasn't been that focus by retailers," said Seed.

"At the moment, the popularity of POS software is based purely on marketing. MYOB, for example, is the dominant player in the small business market but our software is way beyond MYOB in terms of ease of use. The likes of MYOB and Quicken have not concentrated on the POS market in the past, but the GST has forced [those software product developers] into it. In contrast, Shortcuts is intuitive because is has been developed for a retail and services industry."

Originally developed for the hair and beauty industry, Shortcuts 2000 is available in three tiers: a cash register product, front office and the professional edition. All products link directly with Quicken and MYOB accounting packages, Seed said.

As well as dealing with GST sales, the software handles time bookings, preconfigured charges and will print Business Activities Statements in the current format suggested by the Tax Office. It also integrates marketing tools such as a comprehensive database, Boolean search engine and customer reward scheme.

"Our software is touchscreen based, which is really where POS applications are heading."

With the deadline for GST implementation imminent, the accounting software industry is booming. Seed said he could not foresee a cessation in growth for at least the next two to three years.

"We have looked at the market, and in particular the New Zealand GST experience. I don't see the growth stopping after GST implementation because it is not just the GST, it is how you manage the reporting aspect. This software allows reporting to be done once only at the point of sale.

"It is a big market, because most small business owners are working longer hours to begin with, and they cannot deal with doing a few more hours paperwork reporting. This saves them that hassle."

"We are trying to recruit from the "traditional" reseller and systems integrator base because we need them to have Server/Network based experience.

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