5 Things Considered: Sales by Category


Recently we've discussed two new features for Clover businesses that we're about to bring to market, Credits and Returns and Xero Multi-Tax. We are now excited to announce a third highly sought after feature: tracking Sales by Category.

What is Sales by Category?

After Commerce Sync activation, by default, all Sales totals are tracked in a single income account called Clover Sales. (This is separate from discounts, tips, returns and other sales information). For some businesses, this is sufficient. Others, such as restaurants, may want more visibility into the tracking of various types of goods and services sold. For these businesses, we offer Sales by Category.

When enabled, Commerce Sync transfers sales information into distinct income accounts in QuickBooks and Xero. Upon transfer, sales appear in the Chart of Accounts based upon the way Items are categorized in Clover. Sales by Category requires a little additional setup, but the results are powerful: automated tracking of sales, categorized exactly as you wish.

How do I enable Sales by Category?

Setting up Sales by Category occurs after completing Commerce Sync activation and consists of the following steps:

  • Categorize Items in the Clover Inventory app. The example below shows a few items categorized as Food and Beer.
  • Map each Clover Item, by Label or Category, to a set of existing QuickBooks or Xero accounts.
  • Notify Commerce Sync with your request for this feature.

We work with businesses closely to ensure this feature is set up properly and will best meet their needs.

What does it look like in my Accounting Software?

For both QuickBooks and Xero, each category of sales appears on its own Invoice line with the total dollar amount for that day (or individual Order). This includes any applicable tax, discounts, tips and other sales information. Here is a Daily Summary example for QuickBooks Online:

In this example, the business sold $679.42 worth of Cheese Plates, Custom Sandwiches and other Items under the "Food" Category. The "Food" item appearing on the Invoice is, in turn, tied to an Income entry in the QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts. This mapping was defined during step 2 of setup or created automatically by Commerce Sync if it did not already exist.

Here is the same day of sales portrayed in Xero. In this case, the appropriate Account appears directly on the Invoice:

A few additional things to note:

  • Sales by Category does not make use of QuickBooks Classes. This means you do not have to purchase a premium subscription (e.g., QuickBooks Online Plus) to take advantage of the feature.
  • While you could map each Clover Item 1:1 with an Account in QuickBooks or Xero, Sales by Category only deals with dollar amounts.

Do I have to Categorize Everything?

It is certainly possible that not all of your products and services will fit neatly into a set of categories. Also, you may add Items later, but forget to categorize them before Commerce Sync transfers your sales automatically at 3 a.m. your local time. To account for this, Commerce Sync transfers each Item that does not have a Label or Category as appropriate into Uncategorized Sales. Additionally, each unique uncategorized Item is transferred on its own line with a description containing the name of the Item. This makes it easy to update Invoices with items that you come back and categorize later, as shown here:

Is Sales by Category Right for Me?

Sales by Category is great for businesses that require visibility into the performance and health of different products, services or lines of business. Here are a few kinds of businesses we find it particularly suited for:

  • Restaurants and Breweries
  • Coffee Shops and Bakeries
  • Antique Shops, Thrift Stores and other Boutique Retail Stores
  • Any business that uses Labels and/or Categories in the Clover Inventory app

In fact, we have several business already seeing the benefits of this feature. Learn how Mountain Java is taking advantage of Sales by Category!

Commerce Sync is continually making improvements to our product to best meet the needs of our customers. A few additional enhancements to Sales by category that will be coming soon include Sales by Server/Employee and Sales by Time of Day.

If you would like to enable Sales by Category or have other ideas for slicing and dicing your revenue, contact us today!