Shopify asked that I discuss my points offline via email. Here is the list I gave them.
(a) timing of such return - Shopify discards the date of the return and defaults to the order date as the date of the return irrespective of when the actual return takes place. This causes material reporting issues across tax and shareholder reporting. If one closes their books at end of December and realises a return in January, Shopify adjust my December revenues and taxes as opposed to January. Which means when I run my January tax period data there is no mention/adjustment for the January reduction in cash being the result of inventory increase and off set in tax liability. In fact if I run January reports the return is nowhere to be found so unless i keep track by hand I will never know the return took place from a tax perspective.
(b) return of POS order - if I cannot find the order Shopify decides for me that I cannot take such return. Unless I want to do manual adjustment to inventory and cash from register. This defeats purpose of automated POS system. No logic for Shopify to make this policy decision for merchants
(c) return in person of online order - refund button is inoperable from POS for online orders. So if I want to transact a return from POS of an online order (meaning customer is standing right in front of me) it simply cannot be done. Even in shopify current POS system of encouraging store credit for POS returns no such option for store credit exists for online returns. Store credit is also a bad work around when all that is needed is ability to conduct a negative order
(d) exchanges - the simple way is to create new order for preferred item and a negative order for item being returned so that inventory is adjusted for both and reports are accurate. But without a negative order function the process defaults to a return first and new order second but then see issues with returns above and consider them in context of an exchange of partial order and you have major adjustments needing to be made in order for Sales to be accurate which means you have to cancel entire old order and resell kept. Its just crazy
Product - do not adjust downward for returned transactions unless entire order is cancelled. There is no logic in reporting Sales of returned products. It is simply a measure of fraud. You have the data reduce sales for returns so use it.
inventory - no reports what so ever. You have all the meta data as to what inventory levels are at any given date so why not give it to me in a report
3. Inventory -
(a) no ability to conduct inventory count to match against actual inventory. The freedom by which inventory can be adjusted without audit feature such as Shopify disclosing inventory levels at any given day despite having the information is bewildering.
(b) unit cost of inventory - notice I did not say COGS as we both know this is a difficult area but what is not difficult is the simple cost per variant and leave to merchant to use however they wish. Point is that merchant want a quick reference as to value of inventory. You have all the daily inventory data but do not offer any inventory related reporting and
(c) exporting feature is not manageable. Each variant is listed but not all rows are full of complete data specific to the product which makes re-sorting of the exported data to do the data manipulation that frankly Shopify should be doing in reports section almost impossible
4. Bluetooth and Star - Shopify is not current in their SDK with Star as detailed in my week long communication with Star and shared with a guru. The lack of update is causing Shopify to process receipt printing and register opening to be twice as long as what Star has programmed. Star was not too happy that Shopify was not executing the performance of their product to the best of the ability they programmed.
Totally agree with this list. I've been waiting patiently for over a year for a fix on these key issues and I don't think I can wait any longer. Really frustrating because I'm expanding my business and the online portion of shopify is pretty fantastic, but I need a solid POS system for multiple locations.
It would also be nice to have product history - when inventory was updated, when it was sold or if the levels were adjusted. It's a pretty huge loss prevention issue at the moment.
A recent email reply from Shopify below. The content of which is simply mind boggling as it strongly suggests that the help desk has almost no contact or influence over development which is to say the help desk while responsive is tasked with blocking and tackling issues not improving the product as the email further suggests that the development/coding team will do what they wish without regard for feedback or justification. Also, despite my many 'tickets' this email only addressed one but was phrased in the hope it addressed all of them, which it did not do even in the slightest. Here is the entire email:
"Christian here from Shopify Support, nice to meet you!
Hoping to clear up a few points brought up in several tickets, from what I understand we're concerned specifically about refunds not taken into account in the Product Report of gross sales?
Succinctly, that report follow these rules:
Sales by Product/SKU
Factors in Gross Sales, meaning it simply looks at (Product Price * Quantity Purchased).
Doesn't factor in Refunds, Discounts, Shipping, Taxes, Quantity Breaks etc.
Everything is based on date of Order.
Cancelled/Deleted orders are not factored in.
There is no plan to make changes to those rules currently, but I've opened up an issue with our merchant analytics team to review how that report handles refunds. The support team as a whole isn't often able to dive into the 'why' of platform development, as the code language that the Admin is built upon is foreign to any team members outside internal development, I'll attempt to get an answer from the builders themselves to satisfy this request."
On a separate thread I got this reply to request for hard timetable for Shopify 3.
"What kind of upgrades/changes are you looking for? As far as I know, Shopify isn't anticipating any major overhauls anytime soon (like the change from our previous Admin to the current one). We are constantly improving things at the core of Shopify that you can't see, working on new features, and re-designing the Admin based on our merchants' needs and user-friendliness of our software. We push new code on the daily - so there's always something happening and coming down the pipeline!"
13 days and no reply from shopify???? I got tired of waiting, all I got was work arounds which basically gave me the impression their staff have no clue how their POS suppose to work. I mean, how on earth is a refund qualify to them as a revenue? cause that is what their reports are reporting. KEep the original transaction and the refund as separate dates when in fact they were made on separate dates. I know you keep transaction history but use that when filtering dates for reports. Now please tell me this, if I want to search what got refunded today, how do I do that? If you go to the orders all you see are NEW orders that occur that day, but if you like to know what got refunded TODAY you have to search all your orders. Get your act together cause if this continue you will loose customers. There will be a major exodus of people going somewhere else.
Store Staff - your assessment is correct. You can find Refunds in the Orders section of Admin and filter for Payment Status - Refunded. However, remember that Shopify books refunds not on the day of the refund but the day of the original order. I have researched nearly every cloud POS system and nobody books refunds/exchanges in the way Shopify does which is to suggest that Shopify development team may not have consulted accounting or tax advisors regarding this feature.
Here is the LightSpeed description which says exactly what we want out of Shopify:
"Before processing returns, it is important to understand how Lightspeed OnSite handles returns and refund payments. The original sale Invoice isn’t simply cancelled or removed. Instead, the return is processed on a second Invoice, which appears like a “reverse sale.”
It is important that Lightspeed OnSite track sales and returns on separate documents so that you can accurately determine when a return was performed, or by whom. Lightspeed OnSite might also need to track the store credit which results from an un-refunded return Invoice.
Return: inventory comes back into stock.
Refund: a payment returning the customer’s money.
Exchange: one or more Products are returned to stock, other Products are sold at the same time.
A line item with a positive Qty indicates it is leaving your inventory.
A line item with a negative Qty indicates it is being returned to your inventory."
It has been explained to me that one of the main constraints for Shopify POS addressing certain issues is that it was built from ecommerce mentality meaning that the POS is in effect programmed to operate like an online order.
But this does not explain why refunds are not booked on the day of the refund. Whether or not the order is online purchase or in person purchase any return should be booked on the say it was returned else it is simply misleading and potentially fraudulent. It is also does not explain why returns still count as revenue events on net basis. A return is a negative sale event which is completely ignored by Shopify unless you cancel the original order which makes partial order refunds to be executed in a ridiculous work around.
The complete lack of engagement on this forum topic by anyone from Shopify suggests a lack of interest in having a real debate on these issues. Time and again guru's have tried to deflect the topic by referring to work arounds that don't work or don't address the point. Lets hear from a senior company official and developer. I hereby offer Shopify to contact me directly to arrange a voice to voice discussion if Shopify were to include such senior management executive and developer on the call/video conference to discuss these issues. I am wiling to have a professional commercial discussion when ever it suits Shopify senior management. Happy to provide my profile to Shopify before such call so that you can better understand who I am and my background for such call. You have my email so please feel free to reach out if interested in this proposal.
I would be interested to know what they have to say about this issues. What boggles my mind is that these are not minor issues, like refunding the wrong amount because you don't know which tax to use. Then the so call "gurus" give you a workaround like use the admin to issue a refund instead of the POS. WE moved to an electronic POS to avoid extra work and to be able to manage inventory and sale reporting easier. Our 1970s cash register produced better daily reporting, with accurate tax, refunds, etc., which we had to then enter into spreadsheet and accounting software for overall history. Now we still have to enter things manually into spreadsheets to keep track of which day the refund was made so the tax collected for that particular day would be accurate. Is just frustrating...I would invite Shopify to come and visit us to see your POS in action.
As a developer on the Merchant Analytics team, I work hard to help merchants like you better manage your business through our reporting tools. Hearing that these tools aren't practical is important to me. In order to help you manage your business we're aggressively making new reports that will fix the issues you and many others have raised.
When we launched in 2012, Shopify Reports gave merchants the ability to slice-and-dice the sales numbers that they saw on their dashboard. This meant focusing on when orders were created, instead of calculating the revenue of a business.
This past Fall we started hearing requests for product and order reports that accounted for refunds. This is best accomplished by reporting on transactions instead of orders. In recent weeks we've realized the immediate demand for better transaction reports, and are now working on this full time. In retrospect, we naïvly oversimplified our model compared to the requirements of most Shopify merchants. A transactional reporting system, something we've avoided in the past, is essential for the management of a retail business.
On Tuesday afternoon, myself and the Merchant Analytics team sat down to discuss this in light of merchant feedback such as these forum posts. Since then, we have been working to model all the intricate behaviors needed to encapsulate the details of Shopify (discounts/shipping/taxes/gift cards/refunds/partial payments/partial refunds/etc). Now, on Friday, our focus is shifting towards implementing and verifying our model.
Thank you for your patience, and the trust you put in Shopify. We're excited to launch these new reports.
Developer at Shopify