2011 Review of Cougar Mountain Software — DENALI Retail/POS


Cougar Mountain Software — DENALI Retail/POS

From the August 2011 Review of Retail Point-of-Sale Systems

Best Fit: DENALI opens up the market sector considerably for Cougar Mountain Software. While still an excellent selection for small to midsized retail businesses, Denali is also powerful enough to appeal to larger, multi-location stores with more complex needs.

For the past 29 years, Cougar Mountain Software has been providing small to mid-sized businesses with a wide selection of financial solutions along with industry-specific options such as the POS module. This year, Cougar Mountain Software has undergone a complete company redesign including a new corporate logo, new website and new mindset. DENALI, Cougar Mountain Software’s modular system, offers flexibility that the older system could not.


  • Modular design allows users to choose the modules they need
  • Intuitive user interface & color-coded modules simplify system navigation
  • Excellent reporting options built using Crystal Reports
  • Supports e-Commerce functionality
  • Excellent customer tracking

Potential Limitations:

  • Does not offer touch-screen technology
  • Does not offer or support customer loyalty programs
  • Does not offer dedicated shipping integration

DENALI products are much more flexible and powerful than its predecessor, opening up the market sector considerably for Cougar Mountain Software. While still an excellent selection for small to midsized retail businesses, DENALI is also powerful enough to appeal to larger, multi-location stores with more complex needs.


The DENALI interface screens are easily navigated, with all modules color-coded for easy recognition. A drop-down menu at the top allows users to access all installed modules from the file option, or just by clicking on the corresponding module icon. Users can choose to display options such as the Toolbar or the Status bar. The POS functionality is found in the Sales module and is where users would set up salespeople, departments, registers and customize sales entry screens. The POS option provides additional options.

The sales entry screen is wonderfully designed, with the option to choose transaction type, customer and proceed to enter or lookup product codes for entry, or items can be quickly scanned for retailers with high transaction volume. To the left of the screen user will find various options that pull out to the right when clicked on, such as with options, where users can enter any discounts on the items scanned, and history, where a detailed financial, sales or customer history can be quickly accessed during the transaction. Layaways and gift card processing options are also available. When the sale is complete, users can choose the type of tender to process the transaction.

DENALI’s Retail/POS option includes Inventory POS and Purchase Order modules, but all DENALI modules are available including GL, AR, AP, Bank Reconciliation, Multi-Location Inventory, Sales Order Entry and Specialty Shop. DENALI’s modular structure provides true scalability, allowing retailers to choose the modules they need today and add on when necessary. Managers can assign various user roles and options accordingly. All users must sign in and can set an optional password, and system access is set in the Controller modules and as a secondary Salesperson Security option, specific tasks can be authorized or denied.

The Sales Dashboard, provides managers with a quick summary of current sales figures as well as sales trends, along with sales by product and by customer. Lookup fields are found throughout, and multiple transactions can be entered from the sales entry screen. DENALI POS easily supports multiple store locations, and the Inventory module handles up to six separate pricing levels and types including List, Margin, Markup, Level List, Level Margin and Level Markup. The Multi-Location Inventory module makes it easy to track and manage inventory at all warehouses, and the optional Integrated e-Commerce module integrates directly with DENALI and other Cougar Mountain Software products, and tracks all online sales in real time.


As previously noted, the Integrated e-Commerce module allows retailers to get and maintain an active web presence. All web orders are processed in real time, with inventory checked during each order. An excellent customer management system allows cashiers to access transaction, sales and financial history for all customers, including the option to search for specific invoices. Those using DENALI’s AR module will have an even more comprehensive customer database.

Layaways and sales orders are easily processed, and gift cards and promos are easily accepted, as well. The Gift Card processing option provides users with detailed setup and options for selling gift cards, and can track sales increments on each card. Tobacco and liquor and any age-restricted products are easily managed using the Tobacco, Beer and Liquor Retailers add-on, which allows age verification during the POS transaction entry. User-defined fields in the customer account allow users to easily track the information they need. DENALI also accepts EBT transactions.


DENALI offers a great selection of reporting options in all modules. Reports are processed using the Crystal Reports reporting engine so good report customization is available, as well. DENALI utilizes a batch system so users need to make sure that all sales transactions are posted prior to reports being processed. The Sales by Item report details all sales for each inventory item. The Movement report provides excellent detail on which inventory products are selling and which are not. Customer detail is tracked in both the AR module and the POS module, including customer location, purchasing history, credit history and items purchased. The Sales Dashboard provides a great summary of current sales transactions as well as a sales summary, sales by product and sales by customer. DENALI also provides excellent audit trail functionality, from the detailed list of all system transactions entered to the security levels that are set for each employee.


DENALI is a modular product so all modules integrate with each other for true front/back office functionality. While the DENALI Retail/POS product includes Inventory, POS and Purchase Order modules, all DENALI modules are available for purchase and will fully integrate with those already purchased. Cougar Mountain also offers a good selection of third-party applications designed to expand the functionality of DENALI including Merchant Services, Integrated e-Commerce, Bar Code Software, and others. Shipping options can be set up for order tracking, but this is not true shipping integration. Customer, product and vendor data can be imported and exported in DENALI. A wide range of POS hardware accessories works with DENALI, including barcode scanners, pole displays, cash drawers, MSR/CC readers, receipt printers, keyboards, data collectors, monitors, battery backups, pin pads and check readers.


Software Assurance is included for the first 12 months after purchase of DENALI. Users also receive access to the newly updated Cougar Mountain Software website, which provides access to all related system updates and downloads as well as a FAQs area, along with tips and tricks. DENALI also contains a good Help system available in all of the system modules. Extensive training options are offered, including phone, online and on-site training. All support is done at Cougar Mountain Software’s home office in Idaho.


DENALI’s POS module is an excellent addition to its strong selection of modules. Suitable for just about any size retailer, DENALI modules start at $599 with a $295 user license attached.

2011 Overall Rating: