As you read, developers across the globe are coding away to fulfil the integrated vision that business cloud services promises.  And don’t get me wrong, we are big fans of the revolution and the streamlining benefits are manifest but in some areas, if you aren’t careful integration can lead to more work not less.

One such area is the integration between Xero, EPOS and Card Services.  You can get EPOS systems that integrate with Xero, you can get Card Services that integrate with Xero and no EPOS system worth the name is without integrated Card Services.

So in theory you have a fully integrated system working seamlessly.  But if you aren’t careful you have an unholy mess.

Here is how the problem usually looks.  The EPOS system records a sale and it records how the payment is taken – usually card or cash.  The EPOS system then aggregates this information over a day and when the till is closed sends it off to Xero.

So far so good, Xero now has a sales information recorded in the form of an invoice and payments against them in the form of ‘Money In’ transactions to the bank.  The problem comes with reconciling these to the bank transactions because Card Services rarely deposit an amount of money that matches this money in.

The reason for this is two-fold.  Firstly card fees are often deducted before money is transferred from the Card Services provider to the bank.  Secondly there is a timing issue.  The Card Services provider will often deposit some money from one day and some money from another all in one payment a few days later.  The poor bookkeeper is left scratching their head how to make it all reconcile.

In fact the best Card Services providers are wising up to this problem and giving account holders the option to pay fees separately to money transfers and to have control over how payments are bundled up.

Square is the best we have seen at achieving this, but we also know Payment Sense gives this functionality and potentially PayPal although we have yet to see it work.  Stripe at least gives you access to an account which breaks down payments and their fees but iZettle seems to have no way to deal with the problem that we have been able to find.

So if you are researching an integrated EPOS / Xero system make sure you consider how the card services will interract and if possible choose one that will all you to:
  • Separate card service fees out from deposits to the bank account
  • Bundle payments by day as the EPOS system will (vs as a random collection of days and parts of days)