Glossary of POS Terms

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Accounting Integration:
A POS software‘s ability to merge sales, inventory and other pertinent business information with the establishment’s accounting program for convenience, rather than re-entering the data manually.

Accounting Program:
Any of a variety of business management software programs for both Apple and PC computers, used to keep track of inventory, sales, sales trends, employee hours, tax information, etc.

Inventory management software developed by AccuPOS Point of Sale that links an accounting system’s inventory with the AccuPOS Point of Sale program. AccuCOUNT manages wireless inventory scanners and assists in making customized barcodes.

AccuPOS Point of Sale:
A point of sale company started in 1996, that specializes in POS integration with various popular accounting programs. Headquarters located in Los Angeles, CA, and also has offices in Columbus OH and London, UK. Also refers to the actual PC-based point of sale program.

Timeclock management software developed by AccuPOS Point of Sale that integrates with the user’s accounting program. The interface is a component the actual POS screen, and allows for password protected shift sign-in and sign-out. Employee swipe cards are available at an extra cost.

Attitude POSitive:
Former company name of AccuPOS Point of Sale.


A standard or establishment-only printed set of bars used in identifying a specific product, which is usually brandished on the product itself or its outer casing. Can be read by a barcode scanner, or read visually from its accompanying set of numbers.

Barcode Scanner:
A hand-held or counter-embedded device which reads the barcode of a specific product with a laser and transfers that information to a receiving system, usually a POS computer, inventory software or accounting program.

In business, a package consisting of various hardware, software and other products, sold as a unit that typically fits a customer’s business need and budget. Usually the package’s price is reduced from the total of buying the components separately, as an extra sales incentive.

See “Sage BusinessWorks”


Cash Register:
A digital or analog sales terminal that houses the cash, change, coupons, vouchers and any other items associated with exchanging immediate payment for goods at a business establishment. The register is actually a collection of components, usually: an input keypad (actual keys or a touchscreen computer screen) for the cashier, a cash drawer, a display for the cashier to keep track of the sales and a receipt printer. Various extra components can add functionality and convenience to improve check-out speed, including: credit card swipers, hand-held barcode scanners, digital/analog scales, in-counter embedded scanners, customer pole displays, extra/remote receipt printers for other areas of the establishment and wireless hand-held devices.

Shortened name for ‘Category 5’ computer cable, the most common type of cable used to link components of both home and business networks. Varies in length and color, and is also known as “Ethernet Cable”.

See “Point of Sale”

Acronym for Central Processing Unit, or a physical computer device that processes and transfers information as needed. Can reside in either its own standalone box, or can be part of a larger multi-use device, such as an all-in-one POS interface.



The united collection of data, usually stored in one computer file in one location, although databases can encompass information from many sources and locations.


See “Electronic Benefit Transfer”

Electronic Benefit Transfer:
A state-level government assistance program that allows for qualified individuals or parties to receive material or financial benefits from participating authorized dealers. The payment system is processed via a wallet-sized swipe card detail the customer’s EBT information.



Gift Cards:
Wallet-sized cards, usually printed with the establishment’s logo, business information or branding identity, that are sold to customers with a varying amount of pre-purchased credit for that store or company’s product or services. Usually given as a gift from one customer to another prospective or current customer. Establishments also use them for promotional purposes. As an added incentive for businesses considering using gift cards, research shows a certain percentage (which varies from year to year) of them are never redeemed. The latest researched number is 27% by Consumer’s Union, publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine.

Go Live!:
A process established by AccuPOS Point of Sale that sets specific and dated goals of setting up different aspects of a point of sale system, with the end result of opening the business establishment ready for POS transactions, or smoothly implementing a new point of sale of a business that is already open.

Gold Developer Status:
A level of the The Sage Development Partner Program that specifies not only a software partner’s ability to integrate with Sage’s software, but signifies an established close-working relationship with Sage and their respective products. For detailed information on the Gold Developer tier from Sage, click here (PDF link).



In point of sale terms, the actual device or devices used to convey sales

The physical count of products in the establishments shelves, storage areas or both.





MAS 90 and 200, or “MAS”:
see “Sage MAS 90 and 200”

Merchant Services:
A company that provides the onsite and offsite ability to immediately process credit/debit cards, EBT and other forms of non-cash payment in a business establishment, usually used in conjunction with a card swiper linked to a cash register. Merchant Service providers usually charge a small percentage of each sale to the vendor, depending on the amount and contracted agreement. Also see “PA-DSS”.




Optimus Wireless Data Collector
A hand-held wireless device developed by Honeywell used for taking inventory. Features an LCD screen, numeric input pad and durable outer casing.


Acronym for the Payment Application Data Security Standard, a system set up by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to ensure that credit card transaction information of a particular business establishment is secure from any outside parties or employees. PA-DSS is mandatory for all business that process credit cards, regardless of global location or income level.

PCI Compliance or PCI Compliant:
A title given to software vendors that designates them as being compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, or PCI-DSS.

Peachtree by Sage or “Peachtree”:
An accounting program by Sage, with a focus on small- and mid-sized businesses. Now called Sage 50 US Edition.

PLU or Price Look-Up code:
Product identification numbers, usually on a barcode affixed to the item or its outer packaging.

Point of Sale:
The particular area in a retail store, restaurant or other establishment where the company’s product are sold, usually at some form of cash register, computer terminal or cash box. The point of sale is usually run by an employee of the company, but there are some that are automated, or “self checkout”. Typically a dated and numbered receipt is printed for the customer, although some are produced electronically.

Point of Sale System:
A general term used for the collection of all aspects of how an establishment processes and reviews all of its purchases and inventories, including the actual POS register, credit card payment equipment and connection, any other POS-related peripherals, the actual network of the establishment, additional software and computers used in the POS process, auditing hardware, etc.

Pole Display:
A device used to show details, the total payment and other pertinent information to a buying customer during a purchase at a point of sale.

See “Point of Sale”

A point of sale hardware company based in Bellingham, WA.


An accounting program developed by Inuit, with a focus on small- and mid-sized businesses.


A printed piece of paper showing the details of a particular sale, usually: the date, establishment name & address, cost of items sold, tip, tax, total, and form of payment rendered. Some receipts also show upcoming promotions, the company’s website or other non-sales information. Receipts have a wide range and sizes, shapes and number of pages, depending on the needs of the company, and some are produced electronically and sent to the customer via email.

See “Cash Register”

Remote Module:
See “Remote Transfer Module”

Remote Printer:
A receipt printer that prints only specific information of a transaction to an area of an establishment that will use that data to fulfill a purchase. Can also be configured to print out different information to different areas of an establishment, i.e. a waiter can put in an order at a restaurant’s POS, and the system splits the order and prints the food order to the remote kitchen printer and the drinks order to the remote bar printer. Note that thermal printers do not typically perform well in most kitchens because of the heated environment; dot matrix printers usually are utilized for kitchen printing.

Remote Transfer Module:
Usually used in retail stores with multiple locations, a software component that allows sales and other business information to be transferred to a remote accounting program, so the data can be accumulated in one central system, at at times specified by the user or users.

Return On Investment:
The eventual ability of a particular service or product to pay for its initial/additional cost, and its continuation of producing value, income or savings. Can be measured in either time, monetary amount or both.

ROI or R.O.I.
see “Return on Investment”


A software development company founded in 1981 specializing in small- to mid-sized business accounting applications, including Peachtree by Sage, Sage BusinessWorks, Sage MAS 90 and 200, Simply Accounting by Sage, and others.

Sage BusinessWorks:
An accounting program by Sage.

Sage MAS 90 and 200:
Accounting systems by Sage.

Sales Report:
See “Web Reports”

See “Barcode Scanner”

Discrepancy between the actual number or amount of a certain inventory and the reported number or amount in that establishment’s accounting system. Can usually be attributed to employee/customer theft, poor accounting practices or product damage/spoiling.

Simply Accounting by Sage or “Simply Accounting” or “Simply”:
An accounting program by Sage, with a focus on small- and mid-sized businesses.

SKU or Stock-Keeping Unit:
Product identification numbers, usually on a barcode affixed to the item or its outer packaging.

See “SKU”

In business, a service that provides the process that meets a specific for the customer.

Splashproof or Splash Proof:
In point of sale terms, a given device’s ability to be liquid resistant, and usually indicates general durability of that product’s outer casing.

The act of running a gift, credit or other form of plastic payment card through a specific device that recognizes the number encoded into the card’s magnetic strip and transfers that number data to a point of sale or other computerized system for processing. Typically used for the convenience of not having to manually type the number information onto a keypad, or for security purposes.


In business, a term synonymous with payment or type of payment.

Thermal Receipt Printer:
A device used for printing out paper receipts for an establishment’s customers to take with them as a record of the purchase. “Thermal” refers to the ink heating process used in the actual printing, and requires a special kind of paper.

Touchscreen or Touch Screen:
A component of hardware with the ability or recognizing human touch, usually on a display screen. Replaces the need for a computer mouse, or used in addition of a mouse, for transaction speed and convenience.




In business, the process of canceling a sale, or specific item in a sale, usually during a transaction at the POS

See “Receipt”


Wasp Barcode Technologies:
A barcode software and hardware manufacturer founded in 1994, headquarters located in Plano, Texas.

A web conferencing and videoconferencing application owned by Cisco, where a virtual one-way or two-way meeting takes place via internet. Audio is usually communicated through telephone.

Web Reports:
Online reports developed by AccuPOS Point of Sale that allow users to sign in from any online computer in the world and view general or specific information about sales and sales trends. Information can be from various time segments (day, month, specified time range, etc) or can be cross-sectioned with other data (shift, user, credit card sales, gift card transactions, etc). A variety of reports are currently available, and many are in development.




Z-Out or Zed-Out:
Closing a cash register’s shift and bringing its sale information to accounting