QuickBooks Inventory Software [Complete Buyer’s Guide]

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If you’re currently managing your accounts through QuickBooks, it makes sense to look for an inventory management tool that complements your accounting system. While QuickBooks offers some inventory functionality, it might not have all the solutions you require.

In this QuickBooks inventory software guide, we break down managing inventory within QuickBooks – and compare this with implementing a third-party inventory software integration.

Glasses on top of QuickBooks inventory accounting papers

QuickBooks inventory software often forms the foundation for a super-powered, efficiency-optimised tech stack.

An introduction to QuickBooks inventory management

Inventory management is the fundamental process of tracking and managing your various parts and products throughout the fulfilment cycle.

QuickBooks offers some native functionality to assist users with their inventory management.

QuickBooks’ in-built inventory features include:

  • Track inventory location as it moves through the supply chain
  • Check stock levels and the value of stock in real-time
  • Get alerted when you’re running low on specific items
  • Supplier management and order status tracking

As this inventory system is contained within QuickBooks, all of this data feeds straight into your financials.

You can easily add inventory items to invoices, run data analyses to better understand product popularity, and create simple reports combining stock and financial information.

How to track inventory in QuickBooks:

  • Upgrade (if necessary) to a QuickBooks Plus plan
  • Switch on inventory through the QuickBooks preferences menu
  • Add each item to QuickBooks and input appropriate details such as SKU and location

See a more detailed version of this process on QuickBooks’ website.

For small or newer businesses with minimal SKUs and uncomplicated product portfolios, QuickBooks’ native inventory software could sufficiently cover all your needs. And if you’re already using QuickBooks Plus for your accounting, you can add the inventory features at no additional cost.

For larger or more complex businesses, you may require an integrated QuickBooks inventory add-on.

The benefits of tracking inventory in QuickBooks

Upgrading to QuickBooks’ inventory from a paper- or spreadsheet-based system can offer a huge productivity improvement.

Three main benefits of using QuickBooks for inventory management include:

  • Simple to use: QuickBooks automated inventory offers a clean interface and easy-to-use functionality.
  • Centralised data: Managing stock inside QuickBooks keeps all of your essential financial and inventory information in one place.
  • Improved revenue: Real-time inventory management and stock alerts help you to avoid over- or under-stocking on key items and better understand your inventory costs, ultimately impacting revenue and profits.

One major benefit of QuickBooks we haven’t mentioned is its compatibility with other software.

By integrating QuickBooks with additional tools from the QuickBooks app store, users can expand on the features mentioned above. An optimised tech stack, also known as a best-of-breed solution, allows businesses to use the right tools for the right job.

Limitations of tracking inventory with QuickBooks

While native QuickBooks inventory management is sufficient for some businesses, its features may be limiting for others.

Three major limitations of using QuickBooks for your inventory management include:

  • Tricky to scale: QuickBooks can scale to a degree, but there is a cap – even for top-tier users. It’s possible to eventually run out of data storage space or start relying on too many APIs and integrations to perform necessary tasks.
  • Limited reporting: QuickBooks lacks deeper business insight reporting than surface-level metrics, meaning evidence can’t be produced for certain quality control, profitability, and efficiency decisions.
  • Missing key features for manufacturers: Manufacturers will struggle the most with QuickBooks, due to a lack of key features. These include:

QuickBooks is a powerful accounting tool with robust functionality. It’s easy to quickly tailor it to your business needs through various integrated apps and add-ons.

Connecting to an inventory management app permits you the complete functionality of a dedicated inventory system, while QuickBooks takes care of the bookkeeping tasks it does best.

Three people discuss QuickBooks inventory software

While QuickBooks offers some inventory software functions, you’ll need to integrate a third-party app to gain complete control of your stock across multiple warehouses.

QuickBooks inventory software add-ons

If the limitations of QuickBooks inventory functionality will stop you from achieving maximum efficiency, you can optimise it with the use of add-ons.

Let’s cover some of the most useful QuickBooks third-party integrations for managing inventory.

1. Inventory management software

Inventory management software is the logical first integration to consider.

With a QuickBooks inventory integration, you can track goods and raw materials throughout their entire life cycle. This allows you to better control costs and timings at the beginning of the process, manage the flow of goods through your business, and accurately manage customer expectations.

Additionally, syncing QuickBooks with inventory software allows you to store all your key business data in a single centralised location.

Features to look for in an inventory management add-on

Depending on your specific business needs there may be other functions to consider. Make a list of these before shopping for inventory add-ons.

Unleashed QuickBooks inventory software

Unleashed is the ultimate inventory management integration for QuickBooks users.

Loaded with useful features like serial number tracking, purchase order management, and superb customer service, Unleashed offers businesses an efficient way to track and manage stock.

For manufacturers and producers, the advanced production capabilities and rapid automation take much of the tedium and manual labour out of producing and tracking new products.

Other benefits of using Unleashed Quickbooks inventory software:

  • Flexible order management. Synchronise with your ecommerce store and shipping app for a complete end-to-end fulfilment solution.
  • Tracking across multiple warehouses. For businesses carrying stock in multiple locations, Unleashed ensures you never overstock or sell the same product twice by mistake.
  • Powerful upgrades. For larger businesses requiring even further functionality, keep your customers happy with an accessible B2B store, business intelligence reporting, advanced inventory forecasting, and much more.

To learn more about the features of Unleashed, visit our product page.

Two people compare QuickBooks inventory software research

Inventory management software is the perfect addition to your QuickBooks tech stack, offering end-to-end visibility across products and COGS.

2. Commerce and POS apps

Inventory is not just affected by inventory management apps, but also any software governing the point-of-sale or wider commerce processes.

It’s vital for the smooth functioning of a business that when items are purchased by customers, that purchase is reflected not only in the inventory system but also in the financials.

With an integrated commerce app, financial and stock information can be shared across your inventory and QuickBooks accounting systems, helping you further automate the entire production process from the supply chain through to sales and reporting.

Features to look for in a commerce or POS system

  • Synchronised sales orders
  • Synchronised customer details
  • Perpetual stock updates
  • Real-time order fulfilment updates
  • Integrates with your current systems

If you’ve already got a commerce platform but it doesn’t integrate with QuickBooks or your inventory software, you have a decision to make. You must consider the costs, risks, and benefits of migrating to a new platform compared with using third-party API integrations to connect your different systems.

QuickBooks commerce & POS apps

The QuickBooks app marketplace offers many great apps for managing sales and accepting payments.

Here are some quick links:

Shopify, Amazon, and Magento are popular ecommerce platforms for businesses that wish to expand online. However, none of these systems offers a natural integration with QuickBooks.

For sellers already using or intending to use these channels, you’ll also need to find an appropriate third-party connector app to send the financial information through to QuickBooks. Popular tools for this include Link My Books and A2X.

B2B ecommerce store

Wholesalers and manufacturers that opt for a best-of-breed, Unleashed/QuickBooks solution can expand into ecommerce without adding any additional third-party apps.

The Unleashed B2B store allows businesses to set up an online sales portal seamlessly integrated into their inventory management system, with no need to install (and learn) any new software.

This minimises the amount of administrative work needed to be done on your end to take orders and makes for a fast and easy buying experience for your sellers.

3. QuickBooks shipping and logistics apps

Shipping impacts inventory and accounting, so it’s an apt final addition to our list.

A good shipping app should communicate directly with your inventory management software, accounting software, and ecommerce app, allowing seamless data sharing so one automatically updates the other.

The ideal solution will simplify supplier communications with your local carriers, make cost estimates based on your item details (weight, value, destination, etc.), and help you track returns or broken goods without impeding your data

Features to look for in a shipping platform

  • Inbuilt cost estimates and complete visibility over your charges
  • Shipping and tracking information built into the sales process
  • Automated courier label printing
  • Automated shipping rules based on products and recipients
  • Works across multiple warehouses

QuickBooks shipping and logistics software

The QuickBooks app marketplace offers several shipping and logistics solutions.

Here are some quick links:

Take your time getting to know the product features of any apps you’re considering adding to your tech stack. Consider key factors such as cost, integration capabilities, and your physical location before making any purchases.

Products tracked by quickbooks inventory software

Once your inventory and accounting processes are automated, you can enjoy accurate stock levels and a much more efficient, simplified workflow.

QuickBooks inventory software: Do you need a third-party app?

For small, uncomplicated businesses, QuickBooks may be suitable as an inventory tool as well as an accounting system.

It’s a major upgrade from paper-and-pencil and spreadsheet systems. You’ll be able to track inventory in real time and easily transfer key data into your books without adding a separate inventory system.

So long as your business isn’t growing too large and your software needs remain simple, it may be sufficient.

For manufacturers and wholesalers, the limitations will likely kick in sooner. For complete end-to-end production and order fulfilment management, you’ll quickly find that QuickBooks is missing some core functionalities.

The good news? With a wide range of inventory management apps available in the app store, you can quickly supercharge the system with new, dedicated functionality.

Get started with Unleashed inventory management software today.

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Oliver Munro - Unleashed Software
Oliver Munro

Article by Oliver Munro in collaboration with our team of specialists. Oliver's background is in inventory management and content marketing. He's visited over 50 countries, lived aboard a circus ship, and once completed a Sudoku in under 3 minutes (allegedly).

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