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QuickBooks Online and inventory management guide 2024

man in a knit hat reaching over to place a product on a top shelf.

According to the SEC, public companies are required to record and track stocks.

As per our expertise, many choose to do this through inventory management.

There are multiple ways to track inventory, such as using physical records, spreadsheets, or other inventory management solutions. 

After putting it to the test, we learned that QuickBooks is a great way to manage your accounting and inventory through a single platform.

QuickBooks Online is an accounting software solution with key features that help businesses of every size manage their inventory more efficiently than traditional tools. 

This article will cover QuickBooks Online and inventory management features, along with how you can use it to improve productivity.

QuickBooks Online and inventory management

QuickBooks Online inventory management helps businesses efficiently manage and organize their stock.

We have found from using this product that you can set stock alerts to always know what stock quantities are available and manage supplier info to make reordering easier. It also tracks stock value in real-time by automatically adjusting your balance sheet.

The essentials of inventory management

Drawing from experience, there are many ways companies can set up their inventory management protocols. Regardless of the setup, it always boils down to efficient inventory tracking. 

While there are many ways to do this, our findings show that these are the fundamental basics:

  • Categorizing your inventory.
  • Tracking product information and sales.
  • Analyzing supplier performance.
  • Implementing the 80/20 rule.
  • Investing in inventory management technology.

Things to look for in an inventory management system

Over time, we found that almost every company faces unique challenges with inventory management at some point.

The inventory system you choose should include specific key features for any business dealing with inventory management challenges.

These features should allow you to:

  • Track materials, logistics, and stocks. 
  • Track inventory value in real-time.
  • Organize stock by product, customer, or both.
  • Generate invoices, estimates, and sales orders.
  • Seamlessly integrate with systems you already use. 

Inventory management in QuickBooks Online

As indicated by our tests, the QBO inventory management solution only comes with the Plus or Advanced plan. 

Useful features in these plans include:

  • Inventory tracking and triggered alerts.
  • Inventory and purchase order reporting.
  • Products in stock summary.
  • Best-selling items and sales trends view.

Using QuickBooks Online for inventory management

Upgrading to QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced will offer even more inventory management options.

Let’s look at what QuickBooks Online and inventory management options there are.

QuickBooks Online inventory assembly

The QB Online inventory assembly feature comes with QuickBooks Enterprise, Accountant, and Desktop Premier.

It can combine separate inventory components with building a singular product. This means you can easily track your finished goods and their components’ inventory status. 

QuickBooks helps you keep an eye on the parts needed for your build.

After trying out this product, we learned that you can set inventory tracking and stock alert triggers so that you’re always aware of your stock levels. You can then easily reorder the missing components.

QuickBooks Online inventory reports

QuickBooks provides standard reports such as a balance sheet, cost of goods, and a breakdown of your best-selling items.

You can generate customized reports that show details like total sales of a product, sales transactions, and other information.

Inventory reports can also show you what items you have in stock. For example, it can show details like quantities available and the average cost per item.

You will also get an overview of completed transactions for each item and how it affects your stock, the value, and the cost. 

Problems with inventory management in QuickBooks Online

Despite its many great features, Intuit created QuickBooks primarily to assist accounting professionals. 

So, there are areas where it doesn’t perform as well as other dedicated inventory management solutions.

Let’s take a look at some of those areas. 

QuickBooks isn’t designed for inventory management

If you use QuickBooks Online and inventory management is on your radar, you must upgrade your account to Plus or Advanced. 

Moreover, based on our firsthand experience, QuickBooks lacks support for inventory management, and its inventory tracking capabilities are very elementary. QuickBooks Online doesn’t support tracking items across multiple locations, for instance.

You’ll likely need additional programs to bridge the gaps

One of the advantages of QuickBooks is its ability to integrate with third-party software.

However, this can also be one of its disadvantages. 

Additional programs are necessary if you want to use QuickBooks for more than accounting and basic inventory reports. But this ends up costing you extra money, time, and effort.

Limited inventory analytics and reporting

Inventory analysis can help businesses increase operational efficiency by determining the appropriate amount of stock according to demand.

If you want these more advanced features on QuickBooks, you need to upgrade to Desktop Enterprise, which will cost you more.

Reports are available on the basic plan, but provide minimal information. 

QBO inventory add-ons

QuickBooks has an app center where you can leverage integrations for increased functionality.

Some of the many useful apps include:

  • Receipt Bank: Enables photo capturing of receipts, reducing data entry.
  • Transaction Pro Importer: Allows importing and recording of Excel and .csv files.
  • SOS Inventory: Inventory management app that syncs data with QuickBooks Online.
  • TSheets: Employee management app with features like a time tracker and scheduling software.
  • Quotient: Work order app that allows for creating, sending, and managing quotes.

How Method helps manufacturers using QBO inventory add-ons

Though QuickBooks Online offers a great accounting solution, the basic version is not designed to handle more advanced tasks and reports without additional add-ons.

Besides, sorting through and viewing all the data can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort.

This is where Method:CRM comes into play. 

Method:CRM makes life easier for manufacturers through efficient organization and automation of crucial workflows. It gives you a two-way, real-time sync with QuickBooks, allowing you to manage and view all your data in one place.

While it includes standard CRM solutions like lead generation, it also offers other essential features, such as:

  • Online customer portal.
  • Contact management.
  • Time tracking.
  • Workflow automation.

Watch this video to learn more about Method’s capabilities.

Method demo video

Key takeaways

Efficient inventory management is essential for businesses of all sizes, but keeping track of everything can take time and effort.

While the QBO inventory management solution can help, it may be too limited for what you need to do.

But with Method:CRM, QuickBooks Online and inventory management can coexist without hassle.

Automate your key workflows and spend the time you win back on growing your business.

QuickBooks Online and inventory management FAQs

Can I use QuickBooks for inventory management?

Yes, QuickBooks has inventory management software available to Plus or Advanced plan users. However, it’s far less functional than a QuickBooks-integrated app.

How many inventory items can QuickBooks Online handle?

With QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier, you can add up to 14,500 inventory items to your list. After using QuickBooks Enterprise, we have found that you can add up to 100,000 items. 

How do I expense inventory in QBO?

You can expense inventory by creating an invoice or sales receipt and zeroing its balance. To do that, create an expense item, then add it to the appropriate invoice or sales receipt with a negative amount. 

How do I fix incorrect inventory in QuickBooks Online?

If you’re tracking your inventory on QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced, you can manually adjust the quantity of an item without recording a purchase or sale. As this may register as stock shrinkage, there is also an option to delete and recreate items with the correct quantity.

Sign-up for your free trial of Method:CRM now!

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