For the last six months, Beyond has been busy working with the development team at CBE to come up with an integration solution for PixelPoint and Xero! We know that this is welcome news for any business in the hospitality industry working with Xero or PixelPoint because although they are fantastic products in their own right, the lack of communication between the two up until now has been the cause of many headaches for bookkeepers across the country! Let us tell you a bit about how this project came about and how you can get access to this integration solution.
The problem with point of sale (POS) systems
If you’re in hospitality, there is a good chance you have come across PixelPoint before. PixelPoint is a powerful point of sale system with hundreds of users across Ireland and England. It’s a fantastic product that cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars nationwide rely on every day to make sales transactions. However, because of the lack of integration solutions available for businesses wanting to connect their point of sale systems to their accounting software, the sales information PixelPoint collects has had nowhere to go up until now. At Beyond, our team first became aware of this issue through our Xero clients who were on the hunt for an easy way to sync their books with their point of sale systems.
What’s the problem with good old-fashioned manual data entry?
Really?! Well, in this scenario, the bookkeeper’s only option is to start the manual exercise of running the till(s), downloading the reports that are needed and then manually inputting that data into Xero as a sales invoice. This process is time-consuming for any business, but for those in the hospitality sector it is a particularly tedious task. A lot of time is spent reconciling payments and trying to figure out what each particular lodgement into the business’s bank accounting means.
As anyone who works in this industry knows, money moves in and out of tills for various reasons and in various formats. Customers may pay by cash, credit card or vouchers. It is not uncommon for there to be small discrepancies in the till when it goes over or under on any given day. Sometimes money will be sporadically taken from the till by management to pay for expenses. Not to mention that there are also delays to be taken into account because the bookkeeper may not lodge the money on a daily basis and payments by credit card often have a lag time of about two days.
CBE and Beyond join forces
PixelPoint’s main reseller in Ireland is CBE and they could see that there was a gap in the market for an integration solution to address this common problem. They also recognised that Beyond had the right people for them to team up with given our familiarity with Xero. International Product Manager Kevin Greene from CBE Systems says that, “The reason for doing the integration was because there is such a high demand for it out there. When we were considering what way to go about getting PixelPoint and accounting systems talking to each other, we knew that Xero is cloud first and offers a good package so would provide the best route to get started.”
It was clear to us that the hospitality market is underserved when it comes to point of sale and accounting software integrations and that if we were to create one it would have to be with an accounting system that could handle the complex demands unique to the hospitality sector. Beyond Team Leader, Jackie Murphy, oversaw the project from our end and explains why getting involved was a no-brainer, “It is expensive having bookkeepers do that amount of manual work every day, not to mention then having to find a place to store downloaded till reports in restaurants which are notorious for having limited space. Every business wants connected systems and for retailers it is no different.”
PixelPoint integrates with Xero accounting software
Putting it simply, this integration solution extracts sales information from PixelPoint’s point of sale system and automatically posts it into Xero. You can easily see the avenues through which payments have been made, such as credit card or cash. It will also deal with vouchers, expenses and under/overs.
We learnt from the past mistakes of other point of sale integrations and decided that instead of having invoices coming into Xero for every single transaction, there would be a single invoice uploaded for the entire day. This streamlines the amount of data coming into the system and makes it easier to reconcile. VAT return information is also included, which was another detail missed out on in other integration solutions.
We were concerned about the issue of duplication, given that we were connecting two innovative products that offer a lot of capabilities. For example, Xero can provide you with details about the products you are selling, but PixelPoint can do this too. Rather than having duplicates of information, we decided to have each application only do what it does best. The end result is that Xero is solely responsible for the accounting-related processes, such as reconciling the banks, VAT returns and the overall sales figure for the business. PixelPoint takes care of product level reporting because that’s where it shines!
Want access to this great integration solution for your business?
We are really pleased with the final product and have successfully tested the beta version with a restaurant in Sandymount. This integration is available able now. If you want access to a download get in contact with us today and we’ll talk you through the integration process step-by-step. CBE intend on charging approximately €20 per month (TBC). This includes the configuration setup and support.
If you’re interested in seeing Xero in action, you’re in luck! We hold free demos once a month, so you can get a guided tour with a Xero-certified accountant. We’re Ireland’s only Platinum Xero Partner, so if you have questions about Xero, we’re sure to have the answers!