Set Up Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop

Set Up Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop
  • December 31, 2023

Effectively managing your inventory is crucial for the success of your business. QuickBooks Desktop provides robust inventory tracking capabilities to help you stay on top of your stock levels, costs, and sales. Setting up inventory in QuickBooks Desktop involves several key steps to ensure accurate and efficient inventory management.

So What are Inventory items?

Inventory items are those that your business has in stock; for instance, if you own an electronics shop, you can monitor the number of specific television models. Non-inventory items are those that are specially ordered or drop-shipped to your specific clients.

To create your inventory parts, it is crucial to turn on inventory tracking in QuickBooks. However, non-inventory parts can be set up without altering the setting in QuickBooks.

How to Receive Inventory in QuickBooks?

Why do you Need to Set Up Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop?

Tracking inventory for business is crucial and necessary in order to measure profitability and growth. But to track inventory, first, you need to set it up in QuickBooks software.

QuickBooks has everything required to manage your business inventory. By setting inventory in QuickBooks, you can monitor what’s on hand, and get notifications when the stock is low and needs to be restocked. 

Additionally, it also helps get insights on what as a business owner you need to purchase or sell. Entering non-inventory products/services is also possible in QuickBooks, in order to quickly add them to individual sales forms.

In other words, tracking and managing business inventory is a lengthy and tedious task. However, this compulsory task cannot be avoided or overlooked to make sure adequate products are available to satisfy all your clients.

How to Set Up Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop?

  • In your QuickBooks account, select Edit from the Menu on the top.
  • Click Preferences.
  • On the left side of the Preferences dialog box, highlight the options Items and Inventory and then choose the Company. Preference tab.
  • Mark the checkbox that says, Inventory and Purchase Orders are Active.
  • Select OK. QuickBooks will send you a notification that the open Windows needs to be closed.
  • Click OK.

How to Enter Inventory Purchases in QuickBooks?

How to Add an Inventory Item in QuickBooks Desktop?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the process of setting up inventory in QuickBooks Desktop, covering the following key areas:

Turning on Inventory Tracking

The first step in setting up inventory in QuickBooks Desktop is to enable the inventory tracking feature. To do this:

  • Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences.
  • In the Preferences window, click on the Items & Inventory icon.
  • In the Company Preferences tab, check the "Inventory and purchase orders are active" box.
  • Click OK to save the changes.

Once you've enabled inventory tracking, QuickBooks Desktop will begin recording inventory-related transactions, such as purchases, sales, and adjustments.

Creating Inventory Items

After turning on inventory tracking, you'll need to set up your individual inventory items. To create a new inventory item:

  • Go to the Lists menu and select Item List.
  • Click the Item button and select "New."
  • In the New Item window, select "Inventory Part" as the item type.
  • Enter the item's name, description, and other relevant details, such as the purchase cost, sales price, and accounts for tracking inventory and cost of goods sold.
  • Specify the opening quantity and value of the item, if applicable.
  • Click OK to save the new inventory item.

Repeat this process for each of your inventory items. You can also import a list of items from a spreadsheet or other source to save time.

Note: When setting up inventory items, consider using a consistent naming convention and providing detailed descriptions. This will make it easier to locate and manage your inventory items in the future.

Adjusting Opening Inventory Balances

If you're starting to use QuickBooks Desktop to manage your inventory, you'll need to enter your current inventory balances as of a specific date. This is known as your "opening inventory."

  • To adjust your opening inventory balances:
  • Go to the Inventory menu and select "Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand."
  • In the Adjust Quantity/Value window, select the inventory item you want to adjust.
  • Enter the correct quantity and total value of the item as of the date you want to start tracking inventory.
  • Repeat this process for each of your inventory items.

Note: When adjusting opening inventory balances, it's important to ensure that the quantities and values you enter are accurate. This will help you maintain a clear and reliable record of your inventory from the start.

Configuring Inventory Preferences

QuickBooks Desktop offers several preferences and settings to customize your inventory management. Some key settings to consider include:

  • Inventory Costing Method: QuickBooks Desktop supports several inventory costing methods, such as First-In, First-Out (FIFO) and Average Cost. Choose the method that best fits your business needs.
  • Reorder Points: Set reorder points for your inventory items to receive alerts when stock levels drop below a specified threshold, prompting you to reorder.
  • Inventory Alerts: Configure alerts to notify you when a sale exceeds the available quantity or when an item's quantity falls below the reorder point.
  • Inventory Valuation: Determine how QuickBooks Desktop calculates the value of your inventory, such as using the lower of cost or market value.

To access and configure these settings:

  • Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences.
  • In the Preferences window, click on the Items & Inventory icon.
  • Adjust the settings in the Company Preferences tab as needed.
  • Click OK to save the changes.

Using Advanced Inventory Features

QuickBooks Desktop offers several advanced inventory features to help you manage more complex inventory scenarios. These include:

  • Multiple Inventory Locations: Track inventory stored at different sites or locations, such as warehouses, trucks, or consignment locations.
  • Lot and Serial Number Tracking: Maintain detailed records of your inventory by tracking lot numbers, serial numbers, or expiration dates.
  • Inventory Assemblies: Create and manage inventory assemblies, which are products made up of multiple components.
  • Barcode Scanning: Use barcode scanning to quickly and accurately record inventory transactions, such as receiving, picking, and shipping.

To set up and use these advanced inventory features, refer to the specific setup guides and documentation provided by QuickBooks Desktop.

Generating Inventory Reports

QuickBooks Desktop offers a wide range of inventory reports to help you monitor and analyze your stock levels, costs, and sales. Some of the most useful inventory reports include:

  • Inventory Valuation Summary: Provides a high-level overview of the total value of your inventory.
  • Inventory Stock Status by Site: Displays the current quantity, value, and status of your inventory items at each tracked location.
  • Inventory Stock Status Report: Gives a detailed view of your current inventory levels, including quantities, costs, and sales information.
  • Inventory Turnover Report: Helps you analyze the rate at which your inventory is being sold and replenished.
  • Inventory Shortage Report: Identifies items that are running low or out of stock, allowing you to take action to replenish your inventory.

To generate these reports:

  • Go to the Reports menu and select the desired inventory report.
  • Customize the report settings, such as the date range, filtering options, and sorting preferences.
  • Review the report and use the insights to make informed inventory management decisions.

What are the main steps to set up inventory tracking in QuickBooks Desktop

Based on the provided search results, the main steps to set up inventory tracking in QuickBooks Desktop are:

  • Turn on Inventory Tracking: Go to the Edit menu, select Preferences, click on the Items & Inventory icon, and check the "Inventory and purchase orders are active" box to enable inventory tracking.
  • Create Inventory Items: Go to the Lists menu, select Item List, click the Item button and select "New". Choose "Inventory Part" as the item type and enter the details like name, description, purchase cost, sales price, and accounts for tracking inventory and cost of goods sold.
  • Adjust Opening Inventory Balances: Go to the Inventory menu and select "Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand". Enter the correct quantity and total value of each inventory item as of the date you want to start tracking inventory.
  • Configure Inventory Preferences: Customize settings like inventory costing method, reorder points, inventory alerts, and inventory valuation under the Items & Inventory preferences.
  • Use Advanced Inventory Features: Implement features like multiple inventory locations, lot and serial number tracking, inventory assemblies, and barcode scanning to manage more complex inventory scenarios.
  • Generate Inventory Reports: Use reports like Inventory Valuation Summary, Inventory Stock Status, Inventory Turnover, and Inventory Shortage to monitor and analyze your inventory.

The key is to carefully set up and configure the inventory tracking features in QuickBooks Desktop to meet your specific business needs and maintain accurate inventory records from the start.

Conclusion

Setting up inventory in QuickBooks Desktop is a crucial step in effectively managing your business's stock levels, costs, and sales. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be able to turn on inventory tracking, create inventory items, adjust opening balances, configure preferences, leverage advanced features, and generate valuable inventory reports.

Remember, the key to successful inventory management is to continuously monitor and optimize your processes. Regularly review your inventory data, make adjustments as needed, and leverage the powerful tools within QuickBooks Desktop to drive the growth and profitability of your business.


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