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QuickBooks Manufacturing and Wholesale guide 2024

Two men forging a large piece of metal.

Manufacturers and wholesalers have unique business processes that require industry-specific solutions. The QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale edition was created with that in mind. 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale edition, including its advantages and limitations. 

QuickBooks for manufacturing and wholesale

The QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale edition is an industry-specific version of QuickBooks Desktop accounting software. It caters mainly to small to medium wholesale or manufacturing businesses.

For enterprise-level wholesale or manufacturing businesses, QuickBooks Desktop has everything needed to account for inventory items and costs and analyze business performance.

The QuickBooks Desktop Manufacturing and Wholesale edition gives wholesale or manufacturing businesses a centralized platform. It aims to simplify business processes, such as inventory, sales order fulfillment, and manufacturing.

Is QuickBooks good for manufacturing?

Yes, QuickBooks is good for manufacturing, as the QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale edition caters specifically to manufacturing businesses.

You can download the edition with QuickBooks Desktop Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise at no additional cost. 

Some excellent features that make it ideal for a manufacturing business include:

  • Manufacturing processes optimization.
  • Manufacturing-specific inventory management. 
  • Order tracking and sales fulfillment.
  • Powerful reporting capabilities.

How to use QuickBooks for manufacturing

QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale has many features that benefit all phases of your manufacturing process.

Below are some ways you can leverage these features for your manufacturing business.

  • Inventory item creation: Choose the type of item to create (inventory, non-inventory, or assembly item) and track inventory levels, the average cost per unit, or assign a default sales price. You can designate a reorder point in the item screen to see additional information, such as items on hand, sales orders, and purchase orders (POs). 
  • Inventory assembly: QuickBooks Desktop lets you create inventory assemblies for the products you manufacture. The feature shows information regarding the bill of materials (BoM) per product, including the total cost, exact items, and labor that go into the manufacturing process.
  • Build assembly: This dashboard automatically updates your inventory when you create a product. The specified items in the BoM are removed from your available inventory and transferred into the manufactured product’s inventory, keeping stock levels accurate.
  • Sales order creation: When a customer orders a product, QuickBooks lets you create a sales order. This removes the items needed to manufacture the product from your available inventory, decreasing the chances of items being out of stock and interrupting your sales. 
  • Invoice creation: You can generate an invoice after fulfilling a sales order, which you can then email or print.
  • Create purchase orders: If you are missing inventory items to fulfill a sales order, you can generate a PO from the sales order. Specify which inventory items you need to purchase, and if a vendor or supplier doesn’t provide those items, you can record a partial sales order fulfillment.
  • Custom pricing: If you have a customer that buys in bulk, you may charge them a lower price. You can create a custom price level for that customer with a specific price per item or create a pricing rule that adjusts the default price by a certain percentage.

QuickBooks for manufacturing: How to unlock its full potential

Now that you know a bit more about how to use QuickBooks for manufacturing and wholesale processes, let’s look at:

  • How to track raw materials inventory and parts-in-process.
  • QuickBooks Manufacturing and Wholesale’s main limitations.

Tracking raw materials inventory and parts-in-process

QuickBooks Desktop can track and manage a business’s raw materials inventory and parts-in-process.

This makes it easier for businesses to remain organized and keep their inventory up-to-date.

Follow the steps to create new inventory items on QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Go to the Lists menu on QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Choose Item List.
  3. Click the Item drop-down menu, and choose New.
  4. Select the item’s type.
  5. Fill the item details out.
  6. Save your new inventory item.

Limitation of QuickBooks for manufacturing

Small and medium-sized businesses may benefit from using the basic functionalities of QuickBooks for manufacturing and wholesale. But some of the software’s downsides could prove to be a challenge.

For example, tracking inventory can be difficult as the system has limited capabilities compared to tailored industry solutions such as an enterprise resource planning system.

Similarly, it lacks crucial manufacturing processes such as:

  • Production scheduling.
  • Engineering change management.
  • Quality control.

Additionally, reporting functions are more limited than other more specialized options available on the market.

Overall, QuickBooks Manufacturing and Wholesale edition provides necessary accounting tools but may not offer customized solutions that some manufacturers or wholesalers may need.

If this is your case, your best bet is a solution you can tailor to your business needs.

Advantages of QuickBooks for manufacturing and wholesale

Earlier, you read about some of QuickBooks’ powerful manufacturing and wholesale features, and you just learned about its limitations.

Let’s look at what advantages this software can bring to your business.

Eliminate waste

Inventory waste due to unsold or unprocessed inventory items leads to lost revenue.

When a manufacturing or wholesale business has excess inventory, like unsold products, it costs the company extra to transport and store it. 

The key to avoiding inventory waste is efficient inventory management.

QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale eliminates waste by:

  • Streamlining your inventory through resource management.
  • Ensuring you stay on top of inventory levels.

Eliminate bottlenecks

Bottlenecks occur when manufacturing processes delay due to missing inventory items and inefficient tools. But it could also happen because of delays between paying suppliers and collecting customer payments. 

QuickBooks eliminates bottlenecks with features like inventory tracking, purchase order management, and sales order fulfillment.

The QuickBooks purchase order management feature gives businesses an overview of purchase orders and enables assigning recipients digitally. This simplifies the shipping process and reduces billing complexity. 

In turn, it decreases the chances of bottlenecks occurring.

QuickBooks’ inventory tracking features also let you set stock level alerts so you know when to order materials.


Automation doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune on conveyor belts and automated machinery. It simply means automating a process or a system to make it operate efficiently.

One such example is manufacturing workflow automation. 

QuickBooks Enterprise Manufacturing and Wholesale can automate numerous time-consuming processes and tedious tasks for manufacturers and wholesalers, including:

  • Payroll and accounts payable.
  • Invoicing and billing.

Integrate other apps with QuickBooks

The QuickBooks for Manufacturing and Wholesale edition specializes in processes vital to manufacturing businesses. But the factory version may not include additional necessary functions. 

Fortunately, QuickBooks integrates with third-party apps for increased functionality, like Method:CRM.

Manufacturing isn’t all just raw materials and production. Customer relationship management is also crucial in any manufacturing or wholesale business. 

Method is the top-rated CRM app in the QuickBooks app store. With Method:CRM, you can automate workflows like:

  • Email marketing.
  • Sales management.
  • Customer service.

Method’s real-time, two-way QuickBooks sync merges accounting data and customer history and centralizes customer communications, making it easy for your team to stay on track.

Centralize your entire business

QuickBooks helps you manage many business processes in one place, including:

  • Inventory and product distribution. 
  • Work orders.
  • Builds and purchase order tracking.

If you need a feature QuickBooks doesn’t offer, you’ll likely find it through a third-party app. 

Integration with third-party apps increases functionality while keeping all your data easily accessible and centralized on QuickBooks. 

Save your BoMs in one place

A BoM or bill of materials is the list of items you use to create a product. With QuickBooks’ inventory assembly feature, creating a BoM is easy. 

QuickBooks tracks and saves all your BoMs in one place once you’ve created an inventory assembly.

These features help businesses easily track product builds while reducing time spent micromanaging builds and simplifying the manufacturing flow process.

What is negative inventory in QuickBooks Manufacturing?

Negative inventory appears when you generate an invoice in QuickBooks without first updating your inventory.

It causes issues like incorrect calculation of average costs, jeopardizing your reports’ accuracy. 

Imagine you’re in the process of manufacturing a product and QuickBooks correctly shows the available quantity of this product as zero. 

You need to fulfill a sales order quickly, so when you get the finished product, you ship it and generate an invoice for payment.

But then, the inventory quantity is now shown as -1.

This problem arises when you don’t update the inventory before sending the item. So always make sure to add the item to your inventory before dispatching it and collecting payment.

How to find and fix negative inventory when using QuickBooks for manufacturing

If you sent inventory and collected payment before you recorded the items in your inventory, you’ll get negative inventory.

Luckily, there’s a simple way to find it and fix it. 

You can find negative inventory in QuickBooks by following these steps:

  1. Go to Reports, and select Inventory Valuation Detail.
  2. Under Dates, select All to get an overview of all inventory movements.
  3. Look at the QTY On Hand column to find the negative numbers.

Once you have found the negative inventory, follow these steps to fix it:

  1. Select the negative inventory in the QTY On Hand column.
  2. Adjust the dates of bills or invoices so that the bill date is before the invoice date.

Key takeaways

QuickBooks Manufacturing and Wholesale is a powerful tool created specifically for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.

It comes with all the accounting features of QuickBooks while giving you better inventory control and flexible pricing options. 

While QuickBooks gives you excellent accounting and manufacturing-specific features, it takes more than that to truly maximize your business for higher profits.

This is where Method:CRM can fill in the blanks. 

Method is the top QuickBooks CRM that merges your accounting and inventory data with your customer data. Its fully customizable platform creates specific solutions tailored to your unique manufacturing needs. 

QuickBooks for manufacturing and wholesale FAQs

Does QuickBooks Online support manufacturing?

QuickBooks Online doesn’t currently support manufacturing without third-party integrations. If you want to use QuickBooks for manufacturing, a QuickBooks Desktop Premier or Enterprise subscription offers more features for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. 

Is QuickBooks used for inventory management?

Yes, QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced have everything you need for efficient inventory management. This includes inventory tracking, sales tracking, alerts for restocking inventory, and reports on the status of your inventory. 

What is QuickBooks Advanced Inventory?

QuickBooks Advanced Inventory is a feature of QuickBooks Enterprise that helps businesses track, maintain, and move inventory over multiple locations. On top of the standard inventory management features provided in QuickBooks Online, it lets you track inventory by lot or bin number and use a barcode scanner. It also gives you more control over inventory categorization and offers automated forecasting to minimize stock-outs.

Start your free trial of Method:CRM today!

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