In the hospitality sector, isolated point of sale systems are a source of endless manual labour for the bookkeeper. Matt Farrell, one of the original founders of popular Thai and Asian restaurant Diep, knows all about it, “We deal with a high volume of invoices which means a large amount of manual inputting and owner-operator time spent looking at matching pieces of paper.” The problem is that legacy POS systems do not communicate with any accounting software, resulting in hours of tedious work spent doing reconciliations.
That’s why we’re excited to say that’s we’ve successfully connected up Lightspeed, a progressive POS system used in the hospitality industry, with Xero accounting software! It’s all made possible by a middleware piece called Shogo and we’re very happy with the results. Matt has a partner company which will get other restaurants in Ireland setup with Lightspeed and we’ll be helping out on the Xero side of things.
Why did Diep choose Lightspeed as their point of sales system?
Matt oversees the bookkeeping for Diep and for such a large business, with two main Diep restaurants and 9 other franchises, there is a consistently large volume of accounting that needs getting through. Matt could see that this was a general problem for the whole of the hospitality industry, often resulting in restaurants hiring someone solely to go through delivery dockets! He knew there had to be a solution out there to make the management of a restaurant business easier.
Matt’s problem coincided with his long-term business partner, Mark Dillon, working in the technology industry. There Mark had learnt in-depth about POS systems and how they work on an international level. He was clearly able to distinguish Lightspeed as one of the biggest operators in POS worldwide and the most impressive in how it had broken away from legacy POS systems.
Lightspeed for small to medium businesses
There are many advantages to using Lightspeed. It is a cloud-based POS that centralises your various workflows, keeps your costs in check and provides you with powerful reporting functionality, all via the handy interface of a tablet. It is designed on iOS, which means it works just like an iPhone. Matt and Mark recognised this as being a great advantage when training up millennial employees in the restaurant because they already have an innate knowledge of how to use it. On top of this, the integration is powerful, particularly from a bookkeeping perspective.
There are no large upfront fees and no three-year contracts that are typical of legacy POS system providers. The problem with this traditional way of billing is that, because technology changes so fast, by the time you have paid it all off your POS needs major updates that can cost between €15,000 and €20,000. Lightspeed’s much more affordable subscription model means you automatically receive upgrades for as long as you continue the service. On account of Lightspeed’s progressive approach, you also have the benefit of getting exposed to other fantastic integrations designed specifically for the hospitality industry, for example, Deliverect. Deliverect is a middleware which helps you to keep all your aggregators in the one place. It integrates with all the popular third-party online ordering platforms, such as JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats.
Lightspeed is subscription-based, which makes it a lot more manageable for small to medium businesses when compared to alternative POS services. Right now, Lightspeed will cost a small business $99/month.
How Shogo syncs up Lightspeed with your Xero accounting
Lightspeed has been working on making integrations native to POS and Shogo is an example of that. This middleware piece makes it easy to integrate Lightspeed with Xero so that all the necessary data your POS system collects is automatically pulled across to your accounting software. This includes basic information such as VAT rates, line items, payment types, etc., but also information regarding loyalty scheme rewards, delays in credit card payments, vouchers, overages and underages. The middleware uses Xero’s nominal codes to match up with Lightspeed’s categories and payment types.
Get integrated with ResNet Communications
To transfer data between Lightspeed and Xero in an organised and meaningful way, there is a requirement for a skilled build in the menu for Lightspeed. ResNet Communications, a web development company run by Mark and Matt, build smart, logical workflows that incorporate the right kind of categories and sections for your business purposes.
“We’ve seen menu setups in Irish restaurants that are 100% not ready to integrate with anybody because they’ve been badly setup. Anything that is setup like legacy POS is not harnessing the full power of the Lightspeed infrastructure. If we [ResNet] can set it up correctly, we can enable somebody to – without having to pay somebody to redesign their menu – go to an integrated online sales solution for online ordering or integrate with a platform like Xero because the categories have been created correctly from the very beginning.” – Matt Farrell.
At Beyond, we highly recommend getting the professionals in for the initial integration configuration instead of plugging it in and hoping for the best. Research has shown that when people take the DIY route, what tends to happen is a bad integration with only 70% of it working and reoccurring problems. The result is a messy operations system that can be very costly to fix. That bit of investment in the beginning, whether it’s getting Xero set up with us or getting configuration for Lightspeed with ResNet, really is worth it in the long run.