I was fortunate enough to attend Revelry 2016. Revel's annual company celebration (six years now), and also a user conference where Revel employees get to hear directly from their customers. Customers also are introduced to partners, and both get a chance to see and discuss a host of features presented by Revel staff.
Revel has just released version 2.19 of their product, so there was plenty to see and discuss in the way of new features. Revel also laid out a roadmap of the scheduled future developments.
I was able to talk to several product managers including the team responsible providing support in connection with QuickBooks Online-Revel integration issues. I also spoke to the product manager for Revel's Retail line of business.
As you know, from listening to me speak on Revel, as well as through articles I've written for Insightful Accountant, retail still is not a strong suit for Revel. But it appears they have made several changes that get us closer to where the QuickBooks Point-of-Sale powered by Revel product needs to be to fully support retail businesses.
From my discussions, I could see that Revel now is taking Retail seriously. I'd expect them to have parity with the QuickBooks (Desktop) Point of Sale feature set in the near future.
New or Improved Features in the Revel 2.19 Release:
Revel has beefed up the functionality of house accounts (Those accounts where the customer will be invoiced later for goods received today.) Given this is V1 of the revamp, it still needs work, but it seems like they are on the right track. Currently, house accounts are managed within Revel and all of the activity comes across as one big blob on the QuickBooks side.
The next release should have individual customer integration.
If they're going to handle A/R in Revel, they'll need better statements, along with the ability to charge interest and a whole host of other functionality.
This was a needed feature that actually is pretty cool in release 2.19.
Rather than have the retailer process a return for cash, store credit can be given. Once the credit is linked to a customer, the system will print or even email a store credit voucher that can be scanned on a future order. In addition, you can get a report of store credit transactions.
This function is much nicer that the QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop workaround of negative A/R.
I have not tested to see how the accounting looks, but my guess is it is kept within Revel alone.
Tax Rule Enhancements
Another sign that Revel is serious about Retail is the ability to handle more sophisticated tax rules. For example, in New York City, clothing is only taxed above a certain dollar value. With the release of 2.19, Revel can now handle that.
QuickBooks Online Class Integration
Revel uses classes as a reporting tool. In Revel, you assign classes to products independent of the category to which they are assigned.
Now with Class integration, you can get reporting in QuickBooks Online from lines of merchandise, services, etc. For example, I could see my sales for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I used those classes in Revel.
Support for Alternate Inventory Cost Methods
One of the most exciting improvements – especially for us accounting geeks – is the support for LIFO (last-in, first-out) or FIFO (first-in, first-out).
QuickBooks Oniline has only supported FIFO, but Revel POS has, prior to 2.19, used Average Cost for inventory, which seemed problematic.
The new cost-method alternatives in 2.19 possibly are the first step in being able to integrate inventory between the two products. That could be a game changer if Intuit continues to beef-up the inventory functions of OuickBooks Online.
Insights by Revel
This is an exciting new feature that has replaced Revel's old Manager App. The Insights by Revel app gives owners and managers on the go a number of key metrics at their fingertips.
Sales, payments and other key metrics are available at a touch on the device.
One really cool feature is the ability view employee information and even manage their schedules on the fly.
In terms of the company culture, I saw significant evidence of Revel's commitment to support for the Intuit Channel. They have a team of 10 support agents now working directly with customers using QuickBooks POS powered by Revel.
I was able to discuss the need to develop a recipe of best practices when connecting Revel and QuickBooks Online. I'm really looking forward to working with this Revel team on development of that resource.
So what does this mean to the Intuit community?
If you're a QuickBooks ProAdvisor or an Intuit Reseller that has not been certified in the product, you must partner with an Intuit Reseller that has been certified in Revel on the sales side of the equation.
If you have customers who are interested, I would advise to seek out someone who has in depth knowledge of the product, and can best advise you and your client if this product is the best fit for their circumstances.
From reading the tea leaves, Revel clearly is the POS solution that Intuit has chosen and, therefore, there will be a ton of both opportunity and risks during the transition.
All in all, I was glad to participate in Revelry to make new connections, and to provide input to their various product teams and managers. As they say, it was good to "Revel Up!"
As always, I would be honored to answer any questions or help with any of your clients looking for a solution, or who have implemented Revel and are having issues.
Insightful Accountant contributing authority William S. English is president of English Management Solutions, Inc. He also is a recognized expert in Point of Sale products, including QuickBooks Point-of-Sale and QuickBooks Point-of-Sale for iPad powered by Revel Systems.