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I am looking for advice on software to be used in a very small business for very basic accounting or POS.

I need the ability for employees to process guests, and orders at a bar or restaurant, and to generate basic reports such as total income, or the total purchases of one guest.

I need the ability for remote access, so probably a web based application is ideal, but if there are any stand alone applications that allow remote access this would be fine.

All the systems I have looked at so far are double entry or ERP or whatever, and hideously complex.....

edit: Paying for a system is not an option, nor is hiring a programmer. I am in a 3rd world country and it simply is not an option, so please don´t suggest it and assume you understand my circumstances better than I do.

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closed as off topic by slhck Nov 30 '12 at 7:19

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Not really a helpful answer, but I can tell you, after helping local shops and businesses - you really get what you pay for and if this is going to be used in a business, I would spend some money. There are some free ERP tools out there, but for small businesses, it is overkill and most likely intimidating / it will be a negative to the business rather than a helpful tool. –  William Hilsum Jun 26 '10 at 18:38
A feature list or something along those lines would probably be best. Of course if something you need is so specialized you could always hire a programmer. –  Josh K Jun 26 '10 at 18:41
@josh, I would advise you to stop posting solutions that don´t answer the problem asked. While you may think you are helping, all you are doing is making arrogant assumptions. If you don´t have anything useful to say, better to say nothing at all. –  Bill Jun 26 '10 at 18:52
In that case I'll simply vote to close as Not a real question. You're asking for help but giving very few details. What other options have you investigated? What specific features do you need? Why does it need to be remotely accessible? –  Josh K Jun 26 '10 at 18:56

3 Answers 3

To get answers that are a good fit for your situation will require more details about the amount of business you need to do, how many POS terminals you want to use, etc. Processing POS for a cafe inside a small hotel is a much different situation than a full-service restaurant and different still from a night club.

If you need a free solution, your best bet is probably going to be Openbravo POS. It is designed for touch-screen terminals (but doesn't require them) and can be customized for your needs.

I suspect you will find this solution is too complex, but I believe POS with automatic reporting is inherently a complicated system. There is a large jump in complexity between a real POS system and just having cash registers.

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Comment from Bill @Stephen: I just want a basic system to input sales and such, and have the ability to generate reports. This is only on one computer, we don´t have multiple terminals or anything like that. –  Ivo Flipse Jun 28 '10 at 10:03
@Bill A basic system is a cash register. Having the ability to generate reports requires a much higher level of complexity that only a real POS software can provide. –  Stephen Jennings Jun 29 '10 at 3:53

You want something free, simple, and with remote access. Reminds me of a saying, "You can have it fast; you can have it cheap; you can have it work well. Pick two." Whether you're putting together a spreadsheet or building a global network, if you want it fast & good it'll be expensive. If you want it cheap and fast, it's not going to work.

This may be your best bet.

Truly, though. You can have free and good - those would be the open source systems that you saw and found 'hideously complex'. You can have fast and good - out-of-the box solutions, but not free. You can have fast and free... that's Google Docs.

Just for starters, it's not enough to grab up a 'web based application' for POS. Are you talking about taking credit card numbers? Well now you need some kind of security, or all manner of bad elements are going to get to your (free & simple) web-based POS app via the same method you use to remotely access it. A firewall, even software, is going to scale upward in complexity the more you ask it to do.

You sound a bit fed up with the responses to your question, but just because the answers aren't what you want to hear doesn't mean people aren't trying to help you.

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Google docs is not remotely useful for what I am asking for. At all. If i take credit card numbers with the software, then this is the responsibility of whatever software i choose to provide approraite security, as well as following good security practices in conjunction. Only one port would need to be open for remote access, most likely https. At the moment, phpBMS seems my best bet. I don´t understand how so many people can misinterpret my simple requirements. –  Bill Jun 27 '10 at 4:15

I have found that the best thing to do is to go to a business software directory that is of good quality to find software. There are a few good ones, but I usually go to Buissy.com.

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