Quickbooks POS vs. Rain POS? Which One’s Best For Your Business?

by | Feb 8, 2018

If you’ve been searching for a new POS, you know how incredibly frustrating it can be to wade through all the information out there on business software, especially when you’re limited on time.

The purpose of this article is to help you narrow the playing field a bit. We’ll focus on QuickBooks POS Desktop (version 12.0 R 10) in this post to help you determine if the software is a good match for your business.

The Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Point of Sale for Desktop

Firstly, QuickBooks POS is a local point-of-sale system. While there are some benefits to this type of POS platform, they are dwindling fast. And when it comes to cost, Intuit’s partiality to charging for updates can present hardships for small-business owners, especially those just starting up.

If you prefer to be in full control of your software’s back end, QuickBooks POS may be a viable solution for you. A lot of thought was given to the software’s functionality and features, which offer a set of tools that are more in line with an “Enterprise Resource Planning” solution than a virtual cash register.

The software helps retailers handle inventory management, monitor employee hours and commissions, maintain a master list of customers and their contact info, as well as managing customer credit accounts, and handle shipping, sales orders, and much more.

While Intuit has added some simple mobile functionality and backups over the Internet, it’s not quite enough to boost the user experience to the level that more modern, cost-effective POS options are offering. QuickBooks’ point-of-sale software only operates on Windows and you will be limited to both hardware and credit card processing options.

Concerned about customer support? QuickBooks POS does not offer support as a free service and has received poor ratings for customer and tech support services.

Check out the chart below for a comparison of how Quickbooks POS Desktop stacks up against cloud-based platforms like Rain POS:

Features QuickBooks POS Desktop Rain’s Cloud POS
Payments / Term Commitments? Pricey and restrictive license fees + monthly customer support/tech fees One-time set-up fee. You pay a reasonable monthly operating fee and you can cancel anytime. Customer support is always FREE!
Software? Installed on Premise Hosted Online
Hardware? Stationary Terminal; There is an app that lets you integrate with a tablet or iPhone, though you can not install it on mobile devices. Tablet usage is limited to Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Mobile or Stationary. Available anywhere you have Wifi or Internet connection, including on mobile.
Data Storage? Internal Server Securely stored on remote cloud servers that are backed up automatically, and securely.
Updates? Nope. Because software is static, you’ll have to buy new versions to keep it updated. Yep! Rain’s cloud POS is updated automatically every week, so you’re always running the latest version.
Accessible Anywhere? With an app, you can integrate with a tablet or iPhone; To make sales and track stock from your mobile phone or tablet, you’ll need a “Go Payments” card reader. Yep! Process transactions and access sales data and reports anywhere from your desktop or mobile devices.
Omnichannel Solution? Nope…Boo! Yep! Rain seamlessly integrates with your website so everything’s always synced!
All-in-One Solution? Nope…You’ll need additional systems for rentals, class management, repair services, etc. Yep! POS & Website, Marketing Automation, Reporting, classes, and managing other systems if offered.
Automated Marketing Nope. While it features CRM capabilities, an automated marketing option is not included. Yep! Automated marketing tools, like email campaigns, are integrated right into your point of sale!
Additional Services Integrates with other applications offered by or integrated with system vendors. Rentals, repair tracking, Reporting, and class management are part of Rain’s integrated point of sale and website system.

Is QuickBooks POS Worth Trying?

QuickBooks POS is good at transacting sales, managing your inventory, and keeping your books clean. But in an era of cloud computing, Intuit’s point of sale doesn’t hold its own against the newer, innovative POS platforms. Its easy-to-use interface and feature-rich suite don’t quite compensate for the prohibitive licensing, additional costs, and IT headaches.

Don’t be surprised if, after spending thousands of dollars on licensing and hardware, you end up shelling out several hundred more a year for support, as well as spending additional funds for processing credit cards and gift cards. Plus, you won’t have the freedom to choose your processor.

The dated architecture of QuickBooks’ point of sale presents the added worry of your hardware becoming obsolete, especially after applying updates to every machine running the platform. Furthermore, there is the possibility of security flaws occurring in the Windows operating system.


The whole purpose of point-of-sale software is to make life easier for business owners. In a digital world where software is constantly changing, QuickBooks POS is falling behind.

True, when compared to a traditional cash register or inventory recorded on paper ledgers, it’s a huge step forward. But, when it comes to competing against more tech-savvy, cloud-based options, QuickBooks POS isn’t winning any races.

“Cloud technology provides small businesses (and large ones, too) with the mobility, simplicity, efficiency, and security that traditional POS’s just can’t offer.” 

If your goal is to reduce costs and run efficient business processes, you owe it to yourself to look at other POS options.