Should you buy QuickBooks Point of Sale v19?

The short answer is Yes.

New QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale offers more

It’s built for your retail business—online and in-store—with seamless ecommerce integration, contactless payments, multichannel inventory management, and a whole lot more.

Pricing for QBOS v19 is on sale in February. Sales prices are available for new customers of Intuit Payment Services (IPS) – the fastest, most accurate and efficient way of processing cards in QBOS. IPS offers competitive rates and no long-term contracts and dscounts on software. It’s a win-win-win.

Please call us at 843-936-0632 to arrange a purchase of the software or send us an email we will reach out to you. sales@mortonbusinessconsulting.com

MBC Consulting – We Fix Your Business Processes

man and woman discussing and sharing ideas

MBC consults with businesses to provide process implementation, point of sale and accounting solutions, security and data protection, website creation and integration, and a 3rd-party unbiased view on your business.

If you suspect or know there are issues with your business, we can help.

If you sense there are things that can be fixed but need a plan of action, we can help.

If you need an unbiased consultant to implement changes, we can help.

Morton Business Consulting can help. Let us come in and review your business model and provide concrete solutions to help your company grow successfully. Doug has 20 years of consulting experience to help your business become efficient, increase productivity and grow your bottom line.

What does this entail? MBC comes to your business and reviews your business model from the top down to custom tailor a solution. We review every aspect of your business, from customer service to accounting, from processes to management style, from employee roles to vendor costs, from banking and payroll to reviewing and building sales channels.

It is an in-depth review of your business to provide a specialized path to super-charge your business.

Why do this?

As a business owner, are you working 80 hours a week and not getting any free time for your family?
Do you have concerns that you should be making a lot more money but can’t pinpoint exactly where it all goes?
Do you need to shake up the business model to find new sales?
Are your employees complacent and not helping the business be dynamic and vibrant?
Do you want to sell the business for maximum profit?
Are you concerned about business continuity and what will happen if you die unexpectedly?

MBC can help with all of this.

Contact: 843-936-0632 | doug@mortonsc.com

Retirement and Taxation

In my business I interact with many small to medium business owners and their employees. Since I deal with accounting, I naturally get asked questions about personal finances and more specifically retirement planning. Just to be transparent, I am not a certified financial planner and what I share is not meant to be construed as advice. I read a lot and share what I learn and can offer the solutions to my clients. If it fits and works in a given situation, then we run with it and get the solution in place. If it is not a solution I can provide, I let you know and offer alternatives outside of my expertise. While a 100% tax-free retirement would be great, it is more realistic to be tax SMART and lower your tax burden as much as possible to provide more income in retirement.

Regarding retirement and taxation, I believe that the banking and investment world has sold the American employee the belief that a qualified retirement plan such as a standard tax-deductible IRA or 401(k) is in their best interest. The transition to pushing these products heavily in the 1980’s was portending the end of the pension era. Pensions were funded by the employer and managed by the employers fund management. With that management comes a lot of pressure to perform and pay the pensioners what they are promised in retirement. A vast majority of companies liked the concept of the 401(k) as it is funded by the employee (generally also contributed to or matched up to 3% by the employer) and directed by the employee on its management.

Employees liked the 401(k) because they were given matching funds by their employer to entice them to build their retirement. Who doesn’t want free money? The lure of tax-deferred growth was also sold as very beneficial. The retiree would pay taxes at an assumed lower rate since they were no longer working and Social Security benefits are provided tax-free.

The reality is different. Retirees are finding they no longer have itemized deductions they did when they were working. No mortgage interest write-off after paying off the house. No school loan interest write-off with the kids out of the nest. Just a standard deduction. The current 2020 tax rate for ‘married filed jointly’ for income less than $80,250 is 12% for a tax bill of up to $9,630. It jumps to 22% over $80,250 ($17,655 in income tax for $80,251 in income – yikes!) and goes up to 37%. The money you withdraw from the IRA and 401(K) is taxable income (not capital gains). Retirees are finding that if they want to live a lifestyle befitting a well-off retired person that they have to contend with a higher tax rate than expected which eats away at the nest egg. This forces some to reduce the lifestyle they were expecting if they want the money to last. If you have a 30 year retirement, it is said by Morningstar research that you should only withdraw 2.8% a year on a million dollar retirement fund (pre-tax) in order for it to stay funded (producing money for you) over that 30 year period. 2.8% on $1,000,000 is $28,000 – that’s pre-tax! A millionaire having to live on $28,000 a year. That’s sad. It also speaks volumes about our current retirement planning system. Oh yeah, remember when I said Social Security benefits are paid tax-free? Not so fast – if you are taking Social Security and you have a retirement distributions funded by an IRA or 401(k), you are eligible to be taxed on your Social Security payments through the Provisional Income model. The IRS adds 50% of your Social Security income to all of your annual IRA/401(k) distribution to set your Provisional Income and then tax it according to the income tax schedule. If that total is over $80,250 then expect to pay a minimum of 22% in tax or $17,655. So much for tax free Social Security benefits. Note – if all your income is just Social Security – it is tax-free in full.

What are your options, you ask? There are several good paths.

One is to fund a Roth IRA with after-tax dollars and also participate in a matching 401(k) up to the maximum. A Roth IRA is taxable now; and then generally tax-free upon withdrawal in retirement years. The 401(k) with the matching funds is a no-brainer for free money. If your employer offers a matching 401(k), take the money and match the contribution, but when you want to go over 3% (which you should as 3% is only covering the cost of inflation), put that money into a Roth IRA at up to $6,000 a year if less than 50 years old or $7,000 if over 50. Any money available after the additional $6,000 may go into a standard IRA for conversion into a Roth later on. This is a blended solution to provide tax-free growth benefits from the Roth IRA and matching contributions

Another path to Roth IRA is to convert funds from a qualified account, pay the taxes now, and convert the funds to a Roth IRA. It’s also good to do this in a down year for income. That means a 50 year old with $57,000 converted into a Roth IRA has about $50,000 (taking into account a 12% tax) that grows it to $225,000 (4x basis) over the course of 20 years can enjoy ALL of that money tax-free at retirement paying tax on just the original $57,000 basis (the amount he originally put into the account). In 2020, with the corona virus and economic hardships and job layoffs, a 12% tax rate is feasible for many. Conversions to Roth IRA’s are ideal during low income years. A $57,000 (or more) conversion for a business owner who has a loss in 2020 would hit the 12% tax rate. You do need to keep in mind the tax implication of converting too much each year in combination with your income could put you into a higher tax bracket for that year.

Another path to tax-free retirement funding is through an over-funded high cash value 10-pay whole life insurance policy through a non-participating mutual insurance company. You get many benefits with such a policy. You get a guaranteed death benefit. You get tax-free withdrawals in retirement. You get access to cash via loans where the interest charged can be offset by dividends provided by the policy. You get guaranteed growth of your basis as well as non-guaranteed growth by way of dividends and indexing.

As a member of the SMART Advisor Network, I am trained to providing solutions as listed above to you. I can help individuals (the employee or business owner) as well as companies create options to assist your employees plan for a smarter retirement. Click this link to fill out a contact form or watch a video on more of these concepts. I’ll get back with you ASAP!

Point of Sale, eCommerce and QuickBooks Online Integration Made Easy!

Oh yeah, who hasn’t pulled their hair out when trying to synchronize all the working pieces of their accounting software, point of sale software, shopping cart and middle-ware? If you can’t see me, I’m in the back office pulling out my hair. Ouch.

But there is a better way! MBC (that’s us at Morton Business Consulting) can make all the pieces work.

We offer two very distinct but very workable solutions:

QuickBooks Online with WooCommerce Shopping Cart and WooCommerce POS

This is the ultimate online solution. Use QuickBooks Online to manage your accounting and inventory control. Use WooCommerce to sell online via its shopping cart. Use WooCommerce POS to sell to your brick and mortar customers. All integrated!

QuickBooks desktop (Pro, Premier, Enterprise) with WooCommerce Shopping Cart and QuickBooks Point of Sale

This is a traditional way of doing things. Use QuickBooks desktop perform your accounting, use WooCommerce to sell online and use QuickBooks Point of Sale to manage your inventory and sell to your brick and mortar clients.

MBC can get all of this set up for you. Call us at 843-936-0632 or fill out the form and we will reach out to you.

CARES ACT 2020 and Tax Law

Hello

Hope you are well during the coronavirus quarantine. I wanted to provide some insight into the CARES Act of 2020 that pertains to tax law. This is a quick note to make sure you do not forget about your tax burden while secluded. The CARES act may provide up to a 5 year look back on your taxes to find any deductions or credits that may be applicable today. This has resulted in 100’s and 1000’s in refunded money back for some of our clients.

This service is a free 2nd opinion review of your last tax filing and profit/loss statement by a tax attorney. They provide guidance on where and how to save on your federal tax liability. Our typical client finds a 30% less tax burden after review.

If interested, submit a contact form to me and I’ll get it to our tax attorney group to reach out to you.

Breaking open the Silo that is your Business

An MBC consultation encompasses many facets of business and offers an outsiders point of view on your business infrastructure. This can provide many avenues of change and growth for your endeavors to build a growth oriented company. Silos in business are typically necessary. They provide department structure (sales, finance, installation, distribution). But the silo I am talking about is the core one that many business owners have put themselves in naturally by using the same methods they created when starting the business and have taught employees the same methods over the years. This can tend to stagnate a business’s growth over time due to having a perspective of this process worked then, it should work now.

The method needs to be refreshed from time to time to bring about the change needed to make a business grow again, or perhaps realigned to take away major pain points. When is a change needed? Can you look at your P&L from year to year and see income growth or do you see mainly growing expenses? Do your employees complain constantly about other departments not carrying their weight and following through? Have your customers let you know either vocally or thru their wallet that there is a problem? Are several people in the organization trained to provide the same function but none of them do it waiting for someone else to do it? Do you have the proper documentation and processes or are you winging it based on how it has always been done? Do you pull your hair out trying to increase sales of your sales team?

All of these can be signs of needing some outside perspective on the business.

Give MBC a call at 843-936-0632 or send an email to dougm@mortonbusinessconsulting.com to see how we can help you and your business grow.

QuickBooks POS – Invalid Product Number: Error 176109

Solution 1: Delete the contents of the entitlement client folder

  1. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Program Data\Intuit\Entitlement Client\v8.
  2. Press the CTRL+A on your keyboard to select all the files in the folder, then press Delete.
  3. Select Yes to confirm the action.
  4. Relaunch QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale and re-register the application.

Solution 2: Rename the WSActivity file

  1. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to: C:\Program Data\Intuit\QuickBooks Point of Sale XX\Ini
  2. Right-click WSActivity and select Rename.
  3. Enter OLDWSActivity and click anywhere to save.
  4. Close the window then delete the entitlement again.
  5. Relaunch QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale.

QuickBooks POS Firewall Settings

Configure Windows firewall

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows+R to open the run command.
  2. Type in control, then click OK to open the Control Panel.
  3. Set the “view by” to Small Icons, then select Windows Firewall.
  4. Select Advanced Settings, then choose Inbound.
  5. Click New Rule.
  6. Select Port, then click Next.
  7. Enter the port numbers, then click Next (See Point of Sale Firewall Ports section).
  8. Select Allow Connection, then choose Next.
  9. Name your firewall rule (e.g. POS), then click Finish
  10. Follow steps 5-9 to create a new Outbound Rule.

Point of Sale Firewall Ports

PORTPORT NUMBERS
TCP
(Incoming)
8040, 8443, 8036, 8035, 8025, 8024, 46228, 46225, 46216-46220, 46203, 2638, 443
UDP
(Outgoing)
8036, 8035, 8024, 2638

Integrating QuickBooks or QuickBooks POS with a Shopping Cart

Generally, there are just a handful of good ways to connect QuickBooks Point of Sale to an online shopping cart, same for QuickBooks desktop (QuickBooks Online will be covered later). You have to use middleware. Middleware is the software that translates the data between QuickBooks and your shopping cart.

Preferably you are going down this path with the horse in front of the cart. Meaning, do some research before building a website and then wanting to retroactively connect to QuickBooks as you’ll find that not all shopping carts will connect to QuickBooks without spending a lot of consulting dollars to make it work.

To make all this work, you need QuickBooks POS or QB desktop (Pro, Premier or Enterprise) or QB Online; a shopping cart and website and middleware. My personal favorite is QuickBooks POS with a connection to QB desktop, my own website hosted on my domain name using WordPress as a content manager and WooCommerce as my shopping cart.

I am going to focus on the middleware for this conversation. Both QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks financial software are similar in how they connect. Of course there are some differences that I’ll mention as needed.

A lot of the middleware out there provides similar functionality. They all offer comparable functionality in levels such as basic, pro, multistore, etc… And they are all priced as an ongoing subscription service.

This is not an all-inclusive list of middleware providers nor are they rated in order.

Webgility eCC: Webgility offers eCC for desktop versions of QBO and QB, and eCC Cloud for QBO. Offered as a subscription service with levels based on features and order volume. Sync with QBPOS for inventory quantity starts on the first level of Premium (a step above Lite). A bit pricey in my book but offers a boatload of integrated features. Webgility is also a well-established company with top-notch support. I think it fits well with a medium to large scale company with lots of sales volume in ecommerce.

A while back, a very inexpensive WooCommerce connector called 61Extensions came out and was a hit but they had bad business management and went under. Some of its customers got together and bought the website and now point to a connector called MyWorksSync. A moderately priced subscription service connecting WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento (and others) to QBPOS and QB.
6/17/2020 – so far so good on using a new connector between QBPOS v18 and WooCommerce. It has a wordpress interface that talks to Intuit’s Web Connector that then transfers data to and from QBPOS. Their pricing is very reasonable and they actually answer their phones, respond to email, and provide a Slack account access.

Atandra T-Hub: Atandra offers an online version for QBO and a desktop version for QBPOS and QB. Offered as a subscription service with various levels – note that you connect to QBPOS with the Pro version, you can’t sync inventory quantities until the Advanced level. You pay for features – not volume. Pricing is reasonable to me for the Advanced feature set. Atandra has been around for a long time and support is reasonable in its turnaround.
6/17/2020 update – It is disappointing to say this but Atandra’s support has slipped a lot. It has taken a lot of brow-beating to get them to respond, if they respond at all. T-Hub does not sync categories from QBPOS to WooCommerce – what a major fail! Just based on this lack of support – I can no longer recommend Atandra T-Hub.

Connex for QuickBooks: Connex is a subscription service with various levels – note that you can’t sync inventory quantities or attach to QBPOS until the Pro level. You pay for features and for order volume. For QBPOS, it uses a proprietary web connection to send data between QBPOS and your shopping cart. For QB, it uses Intuit’s Web Connector.

If you want an assist on getting this up and running for your business, give us a call at 843-936-0632 or email sales@mortonbusinessconsulting.com