94 posts categorized "Inventory Management in QuickBooks"

Webinar: Understanding Assemblies, Bills of Material and Groups/Kits in QuickBooks

  Assembly Concept_665907886
Looking for a better understanding of how to set up and track assemblies and groups/kits in QuickBooks Premier, or Enterprise?

Get the insights you're looking for with my new webinar called "Understanding Assemblies, Bills of Material and Groups/Kits in QuickBooks"

Designed for all inventory based businesses that are looking for insights and ideas on how to use QuickBooks better!

Be sure to take advantage of the early registration discount too...

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The QuickReport in QuickBooks - See the History of a Customer, Item or Vendor Instantly

QuickReport in QB

Ever found yourself trying to figure out why the on-hand quantity of an item went negative?

Wanted to see the invoices and payments for a customer during a particular period of time?

Been in search of the transaction details for inventory, customers or vendors?

If so, the QuickBooks Quick Report is something you'll want to have in your tool kit! (this is found in QB Pro, Premier and Enterprise - if it exists in QuickBooks Online, I don't see it...)


For example, let's say that you want to see the history for an inventory part in QuickBooks.

Simply find the part in your item list, highlight it, click the Reports box at the bottom of the item list, then click QuickReport (or CTRL + Q if you prefer keyboard shortcuts). You'll get a report that looks like this:

QuickReport Sample

As you can see, this provides a great way to visualize exactly what happened with this item during the period.

The same concept applies if you want to see what happened with a customer and/or jobs. Simply find the customer/job, right click on the name, choose QuickReport, and you'll get a report that looks like this (in this example, I did a QuickReport on the main customer and all the jobs for that customer):

  QuickReport Customer Sample

Hopefully having this report in your tool kit will help you save time while working in QuickBooks each week!


Webinar: How to Track Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop (Pro/Premier/Enterprise)

Inventory and Warehouse

Wish you had a better understanding of how to set up and track inventory in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise?

Get the insights you're looking for with my new webinar called "Tracking Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop - From Purchase to Shipment"

Designed for all inventory based businesses that are looking for insights and ideas on how to use QuickBooks better.

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5 Reasons to Pause Before Selecting QuickBooks Online for Inventory Tracking

Pause for QBO Inventory

Thinking about using QuickBooks Online (QBO) for tracking your inventory?

It may very well be a good choice for your business, but here are five reasons why it may not...

(NOTE: Unlike the desktop versions of QuickBooks that only update new features once per year, QBO releases new features and functionality more often. The listing below is accurate as of the date of this blog post).

Reason #1 - No backorder tracking

If your business is lucky enough to ship every order complete, then this isn't a concern at all.

If you do have backorders, then QBO won't help so much.

Unlike the sales order tracking feature in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, QBO does not offer sales orders. Without them, you're forced to develop some alternate method (think Excel) to track your unshipped orders.

I have seen some businesses try to use the estimate feature of QBO for open order tracking. While that is certainly a start, it usually isn't robust enough to run your business on.

Reason #2 - No ability to fix calculated average cost problems

Every inventory item you create in QBO has two costs that are associated with it. 

The first cost is the one you see in the inventory item master. I'll refer to this as the "purchase cost" and this is shown in the graphic below:


QBO Purchase Cost


The second cost is the one that QBO carries that you can't see - the "calculated average" cost, as shown in the graphic below:

QBO Average Cost

Unlike the Pro, Premier and Enterprise desktop versions of QuickBooks, QBO has no button, lever, or option available to fix this calculated average cost figure if it goes out of whack. I have worked with 3 levels of support at Intuit on this issue, and the only sound I hear is crickets when discussing it.

And it WILL go out of whack due to reason #3...

Reason #3 - No ability to stop on-hand from going negative

Do you often "ship negative" to get an invoice processed and out the door?

By that, I mean you create the invoice first, drive the on-hand quantity of an item negative at that time, and then make a vow to go back and fix it later?

If that's you, QBO is going to give you some heartburn.

If you "ship negative", that process then starts to cause problems with the calculated average cost that QBO holds (see reason #2 above). The calculated average then becomes incorrect, and then any inventory valuation type reports you run in QBO will be incorrect. I've seen the effects of this process first hand in a number of customer QBO files.

The Enterprise edition of QuickBooks desktop does have an option to stop a business from "shipping negative". The Pro and Premier desktop versions of QuickBooks don't have this option, but at least they have the "fix" available for the average cost.

Reason #4 - Can't Set the Closing Date if Inventory On Hand is Negative

The closing date in both the desktop QuickBooks and QBO is a great thing! It stops entries from being made or changes to existing entries in closed accounting periods.

Sadly, if you have just one (that's right, just one) inventory item in QBO that has a negative on-hand quantity at the time you go to set the closing date, you'll be presented with this lovely message:

QBO Closing Date

Sorry to say, there is no way around this other than to get in and fix each and every negative on hand value as of the date you want to set.

I have never seen the Pro, Premier or Enterprise versions of QuickBooks flash this message if an on-hand value is negative.

I am unable to even attempt to explain the logic behind the scenes as to why this happens in QBO - it makes no sense to me.

Reason #5 - No Custom Fields for Inventory in QBO

The Pro/Premier desktop editions of QuickBooks offer you five custom fields to use as needed.

The Enterprise desktop edition of QuickBooks provides fifteen custom fields to use as needed.

QBO offers....zero (at least that I could find anyway).

Depending on what type of information you need to track for your inventory (i.e. color, weight, size, etc.), you may find this to be a very limiting factor.


If you like the concept of QBO and find that it works well for other aspects of your business, you'll be glad to know there are options out there that can help fill in these missing pieces when it comes to tracking your inventory.

Plug-ins such as:

can be brought into the mix to help you overcome the inventory limitations currently found within QBO. Naturally, it's important to understand just what it is about your inventory that you need to track - that will help determine which plug-in may be the best fit for you.


I've been working with inventory-based businesses for over thirty years, and I welcome the opportunity to consult with your business on this topic.



The Inventory Planner - An Inventory Forecasting Tool for Your Business

The inventory stock status report in QuickBooks is a good way to keep score on your inventory, and see what items you need to order.

But what if you want more than it provides?

Consider a closer look at the Inventory Planner software package to help with your QuickBooks inventory forecasting needs.


Designed to help e-commerce businesses with their inventory management, Inventory Planner brings many helpful features to you, including:

  • Automatic forecast and replenishment
  • One click purchase orders
  • Overstock analysis
  • Tracking multiple sales channels in one central place

I really like the forecasting module, as it looks at both the sales history of an item as well as forecasted usage, as shown in the screen shot below:

Inventory Planner Forecasting

The same applies to the overstock module, as Inventory Planner identifies slowly moving inventory and helps to take action on it. You will see if product is overstocked according to its current sales velocity. It can also analyze some common reasons why a product might not be selling well, for example the most popular sizes or colors are sold out.

Inventory planner overstock


Currently, Inventory Planner connects to QuickBooks Online, as well as e-commerce platforms such as: Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce and many others.

You can use Inventory Planner with the desktop versions of QuickBooks, but you'd have to use their CSV import tool in order to accomplish that. They currently do not offer a direct integration with QuickBooks desktop products (Pro, Premier or Enterprise).


Inventory Planner provides a free 14 day trial of their software. At the conclusion of the trial, pricing starts at $99/month for tracking up to 1000 skus, and then scales from there based on the number of stores and number of skus being tracked.

I have found their support team to be exceptionally responsive and helpful as questions have popped up in working with their software.

If you've been looking for a tool to help you plan and manage your inventory more effectively, I encourage you to take a closer look at the Inventory Planner package.


Spreadsheet Type Calculations within QuickBooks?

Have you ever needed to make additional calculations within a QuickBooks form, but found it limiting?

For example, if you have tried to:

  • Total shipping weights on an invoice
  • Total or subtotal columns on a purchase order, sales order, or invoice
  • Add line numbers to a packing slip or invoice
  • Calculate a running total on a bill of lading

or any other type of calculation beyond quantity x rate, you've likely found QuickBooks to be rather frustrating!


  FormCalc SST Logo

The FormCalc SST add-on for QuickBooks can help you extend the functionality of QuickBooks to handle the above scenarios (and many more too!).

The SST stands for Superior Spreadsheet Technology, and what it means for you is that you can literally add spreadsheet like calculations to the following QuickBooks forms:

  • Invoices
  • Sales Orders
  • Quotes/Estimates
  • Purchase Orders
  • Credit Memos
  • Sales Receipts


Setting up calculations involves taking a "snapshot" of the QuickBooks form (Invoice, etc.) you want to work with, then entering spreadsheet formulas in it. From there, you will save the FormCalcSST template.

When ready, you then simply use a series of "hot keys" that will then call up the template you have created and put to work on a form within QuickBooks.

FormCalc SST can also enhance your QuickBooks by offering:

  • Text handling and calculations
  • Column totals and subtotals
  • Date and time math
  • The use of custom field, headers and footers in calculations
  • Results and text formatting
  • "Mini-spreadsheet" features


Regardless of which desktop version of QuickBooks you have (Pro, Premier or Enterprise), FormCalc SST can plug right in and get to work so you can get more done in less time every day.

A 30 day free trial of the software is available for you to try before you buy.

If you don't need as much horsepower as FormCalc SST offers, you can easily choose the core FormCalc product,

FormCalc Logo

This is the original application in the FormCalc series.

Are you already using FormCalc SST or FormCalc in your business? Would love to hear from you and learn more about what things it is handling for you!


New Webinar - Advanced Inventory Topics in QuickBooks

If you've been looking for the "straight scoop" on how QuickBooks does (or doesn't) handle activities such as:

  • Groups/kits
  • Assemblies/bills of material
  • Unit of measure conversions
  • The advanced inventory module features of QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum, including:
    • Multi-warehouse/location tracking
    • Lot or serial tracking
    • Barcoding

then my Advanced Inventory Topics in QuickBooks webinar is built just for you.

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Hope to see you there!


Stop Inventory Balances from Going Negative with QuickBooks Enterprise

Have you been wishing that QuickBooks would add a feature that would stop your inventory on-hand balances from going negative?

Your wishes have been granted!

Learn more about how the Enterprise edition (2015 and newer!) stops this annoyance from occurring...

In case you didn't know it, by having inventory go negative in QuickBooks, it is known to cause all sorts of issues and concerns with the average cost of items getting totally whacked out as well. My friends over at the Intuitive Accountant have a great article that discusses the impact of negative on hand on QuickBooks average cost.



See What's New in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2017 - Part 1

If you're interested in taking a quick peek at the new features and functionality that have been baked into the 2017 edition of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, the video below will get you started:



Automatically Create Purchase Orders in QuickBooks Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise provides the functionality to automatically create purchase orders to your vendors with just a couple mouse clicks.

My video will show you just how it works: