QuickBooks Online Inventory Management: How to Track Inventory in QuickBooks Online & Desktop?

QuickBooks Online Inventory Management

Inventory refers to the items you purchase from your vendor and sell to the customer. To keep track of these items, users prefer to enable QuickBooks Online inventory management. By using the Inventory Tracking feature, you can add the inventory products and items so that you can find out what has been sold. If you are eager to learn the whole procedure of QuickBooks and inventory tracking, we will help you with the information.

In this comprehensive guide, we will show how to set up inventory in QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks for Mac. We will also highlight how to add non-inventory items in QuickBooks.

How to Get Started with QuickBooks Online Inventory Tracking?

QuickBooks Online users can easily use the inventory. By using QuickBooks Online for inventory, you can keep track of what is on hand, see insights on what you sell and buy, and get alerts at the time of restocking. If required you can add the non-inventory products and services as well. This way you can add the products and services to the sales forms.

If you are wondering how does QuickBooks keep track of inventory, we will enlighten you with the relevant information. Before getting started with QuickBooks Online inventory management, you are required to enable the inventory tracking feature. Thereafter, you can add the inventory products so that it can keep track of what is being sold. After that, we will teach you to restock the inventory and use the report to view the inventory status. Have a look at the detailed steps:

Step 1: Enable the Inventory Tracking

Before you add inventory products, it is important to turn on the inventory tracking feature in QuickBooks Online. If you have not enabled the QuickBooks Online inventory module, you can pursue the following steps to do it:

  • Navigate to the QuickBooks “Settings” option.
  • Then, choose the “Account and Settings” option.
  • Select the “Sales” option.
  • Move on the “Edit” button located in the section of “Products and Services”.
  • After this, you can enable the “Show Product/Service” option on the “Sales Forms”.
  • Here, you can enable both the options; “Track inventory quantity on hand” and “Track quantity and price/rate”.
  • Press the “Save” button.
  • Click the “Done” option.

QuickBooks considers the first item you buy as the first item you sell. This method is known as FIFO (first in, first out). Please note not all accounting software applications use the FIFO method.

Step 2: Add the Inventory Products

After turning on the QuickBooks Online advanced inventory, you can continue adding the inventory items along with the products & services you are selling into QuickBooks. This will let you add them to the sales forms as line items. To add inventory in QuickBooks Online, you can go through these steps stated below:

Add Products to Track as Part of Inventory

By adding the products you sell, you can set and track the quantities of products. These are the steps that you are supposed to follow for QuickBooks Online inventory management:

  • Enable the Inventory Tracking feature if not.
  • Then, start adding the name of the products, category, and SKU.
  • Add the number of products, inventory asset account, and low stock alert.
  • After this, add the sales of products, purchasing information, and tax.

Add Products and Service that You Sell or Buy

Here, you are required to add the products and services that you are buying or selling. However, you need to make sure you don’t track them as a part of the inventory. Check out the following steps you are required to follow:

  • First of all, add the “Service Items”. These will be services that you sell to your customers. For example bookkeeping or landscaping services.
  • Then, add the non-inventory items. These will be the items that you sell or buy but don’t track as inventory. For example; bolts and nuts used during the installation.
  • Now, continue creating the bundles. These bundles will let you group several services and products together. For example; cheese, fruit gift baskets, or wine. Adding these products in a bundle prevents you from selecting the item one by one in your receipt and invoice.

Please remember that QuickBooks will not track the non-inventory items, quantities for services, and bundles of products and services.

Step 3: Track the Items You Sell

After you set up the inventory products, you can now track them when sold. To do so, there can be two ways one can use:

  • You can create the invoice if you are going to get paid later.
  • Or, you can add the cash memo if the customer paid you on the spot.

Thereafter, QuickBooks decreases what is on hand based on amounts mentioned on the cash memo or the invoice. At this point, you can review what is on order and what is on hand as you work on cash memos, invoices, or other kinds of transactions. All you have to do is hover the mouse pointer over the quantity you have added for the item. This will display the information.

Note: In case you have set the reorder points then QuickBooks will let you know if something is running low. In the same way, if you have set up the low stock alert then QuickBooks will tell you if something is running low.

Step 4: Restock the Inventory

If there is any requirement for restocking, QuickBooks will let you know about this. Then, you can order the inventory in QuickBooks. After that, you can continue tracking what is in order and what you received from your suppliers. As you do it, the quantity will increase automatically by the quantity of items you receive.

If you are running out of stock, you can order it again by following these steps:

  • First of all, you have to check the low stock or out-of-stock items in the “Sales” menu.
  • Then, create the purchase order and send it to the supplier. This order will let the supplier know what you require.
  • After that, you can track what you are receiving from the supplier.

Once you are done reordering your items from the supplier, you can pay them at your convenience.

Step 5: Check the Inventory Status using the Reports

By using the reports, you can check a lot of information such as the best seller, cost of goods, what is on hand, and much more. To use the reports for checking the inventory performance and status, you can do the following:

  • Click on the “Reports” menu.
  • Then, select the “Standard” option.
  • At this point, you will see the following options:
  • See the best sellers
  • Check what is in stock
  • Check what is still on order

These are the steps for setting up inventory in QuickBooks Online. You can even customize the reports to pull out the necessary information only. All you have to do is click on the top of any report and edit the report date, information of grouping, and more. Then, press the Customize button to view the changes.

How to Use QuickBooks to Track Inventory in Desktop Version?

For keeping track of inventory in QuickBooks Desktop, one has to enable the Inventory and Purchase Orders. Thereafter, you can add the inventory to your account. To know how to manage inventory with QuickBooks Desktop, you can follow this series of steps:

Step 1: Enable Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop

To activate the inventory feature in QuickBooks Desktop, you should go to the main menu and change the company preferences by activating the Inventory and Purchase Orders. Here are the detailed steps for this:

  • Launch “QuickBooks Desktop” on your computer.
  • Then, select the “Menu” option.
  • Click on the “Edit” button.
  • Press the “Preferences” option.
  • Go to the “Items and Inventory” from the list located on the left.
  • Select the “Company Preferences” tab.
  • At this point, you need to place a checkmark for “Inventory” and “Purchase Orders”.
  • As you activate these options, click the “OK” button.
  • Doing so, you may receive a warning message stating that QuickBooks should close all the open windows to modify the preference.
  • You can press the “OK” button.

Step 2: Add the Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop

After you activate the inventory feature, you are required to add the inventory items to your account. For that, you can pursue the following steps for how to track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Launch “QuickBooks Desktop”.
  • From the homepage, click on the “Items and Services” icon.
  • Go to the “Item List” dialog box.
  • Select the “Item” button.
  • Press the “New” option.
  • Here, you can click on the “Type” drop-down menu to select the “Inventory Part” option. You will also see other options under the “Type” menu that you need to fill. Check out these options:
  • Enter the item identifier in the field of “Item Name/Number”.
  • Leave the “Unit of Measure” field blank unless you use “QuickBooks Premier” or a higher version.
  • Now, enter the “Sales Information and the “Purchase Information”.
  • QuickBooks will detect the “Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)” account automatically.
  • After this, you can enter the income account in the “Income Account” section. This account can help you to track the income from the inventory item.

After filling out the other details, you can click on the OK button to finish the process. In case you are not sure about the above process, you can contact the QuickBooks Support Team to ask for help filling the critical fields.

How to Track Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise?

In QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, you can easily enable the Advanced Inventory to keep track of items. Before proceeding further, we want you to be aware of the capabilities of enabling this feature. As you enable the Inventory Tracking feature, the following services can be used:

  • FIFI costing
  • Bar code scanning
  • Multiple location inventory
  • Bin or lot tracking
  • Serial or lot numbers
  • Sales order fulfillment process

To know how to use QuickBooks to track inventory for the Enterprise version, you can pursue the following steps:

  • Select the “Edit” menu.
  • Click on the “Preferences” option.
  • Choose the “Item and Inventory” option from the left menu.
  • Now, go to the “Company Preferences” tab.
  • Place checkmark for the “Inventory Orders” and “Inventory” options. Also, make sure that these options have “Active” status.
  • Select the “Advanced Inventory Settings” option. If you are not able to set the active status for these options then sync your license data online. By doing so, QuickBooks will recognize the features.
  • For this, go to the “Help” menu.
  • Click on the “Manage my License” option.
  • Select the “Sync License Data Online”.

As you perform these steps, Advanced Inventory settings will not be inactive. This is how you can set up the inventory feature in QuickBooks Enterprise to track the inventory.

How to Track Non-Inventory Items in QuickBooks?

Items that you purchase from your vendor and sell to the customer are called inventory. Whereas, the non-inventory items are the ones that you sell or buy either. However, most items don’t require tracking, for example, nuts and bolts for machinery. Yet if you want to add the non-inventory items to your QuickBooks account, you can do it easily by following these steps:

  • Go to the “Items and Services” option.
  • Then, select the “Item” option.
  • Click on the “New” button. This will open a new window.
  • Now, click on the “Non-Inventory Part” using the drop-down menu.
  • After this, add the “Item Name or Number”.
  • Here, you can choose the relevant account that you want to use for tracking the inventory.
  • Thereafter, you can enter the information in the required fields.
  • Once done, press the “OK” button.

This is how you can add non-inventory items in QuickBooks. If required you can link your bills and checks with the items. Thereafter, you can convert them to the inventory item type. Most options in inventory management tools are matched with inventory items.

How Does QuickBooks Have Inventory for the Mac Version?

There are many users who run QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. If you are one of them and want to know how to check inventory in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, we will enlighten you.

Before proceeding further, you need to create the item so that you can edit it and update the quantity as per requirement. Thereafter, you can use these added items to update the quantity while creating purchase checks and orders. Let us have a look at the further details:

Create the Item in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

  • Click on the “Lists” menu.
  • Then, select the “Items” option.
  • When you see the “Item List” page, select the “Plus (+)” icon.
  • Click on the “New Item”.
  • Here, you can select the type of item you want to create.
  • Now, enter the details in the required fields. You can also use the “Custom Fields” tab to make new fields based on your preference.
  • Press the “Save” button.

Add the Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

  • Go to the “Lists” menu.
  • Then, select the “Items” option.
  • Now, open the item for which you wish to edit or update the details.
  • From the “Edit item” window, you can make changes.
  • Press the “OK” button.

By following these steps, you can add items and update the inventory information in QuickBooks for Mac. If required you can change the information you have entered for a particular item.

In Brief

QuickBooks Online inventory management helps to add items and track them in accounting software. If you are willing to track your items, enable the inventory tracking feature in your account and add the inventory or non-inventory items to keep track of them. In the guide, we have explained how do you track inventory in QuickBooks for Desktop and Online versions.

If you are looking for help to disable inventory tracking or import inventory, we have already prepared these guides for you: