Advanced Inventory for QuickBooks Enterprise – 7 Things To Know
Based on many recent conversations, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the Advanced Inventory (AI) module for QuickBooks.
What can it do?
What can’t it do?
Given that, I’d like to elaborate a bit on QuickBooks Advanced Inventory. Here is some additional background as you evaluate options to manage and control your inventory.
Seven things to know about Advanced Inventory for QuickBooks…
#1 – QuickBooks Advanced Inventory can handle these tasks
● Multiple location tracking (i.e. multi-warehouse and/or multiple locations within a warehouse) – You can transfer items from one location to another
● Bin/shelf/rack location tracking
● Lot number OR serial number tracking – Note the OR – AI can do one or the other, not both. Also, note that it doesn’t handle expiration date tracking of batches or lots
● FIFO inventory costing
● Bar coding – it’s there, but somewhat limited in its’ functionality
As I tell my clients, if you don’t see your needed functionality listed above, don’t assume that AI can handle it. We know what happens when you assume.
#2 – Advanced Inventory is ONLY available in QuickBooks Enterprise platinum subscription level
You won’t find AI in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Online.
And you won’t find it in the silver or gold subscription levels of QuickBooks Enterprise either.
If you have QuickBooks Enterprise platinum edition, you access Advanced Inventory directly within the inventory preferences of QuickBooks as shown below:
If this button is “grayed out”, that means you do not have the Platinum Edition of QuickBooks Enterprise.
Once you activate AI, you then see these features:
#3 – QuickBooks Advanced Inventory has little to do with your purchasing activities
I’ve had numerous conversations where the belief was that Advanced Inventory also provides some additional features to help streamline or simplify the purchasing and purchase order process.
Other than the ability to create orders for multiple locations and serial or lot track product information, there is no “magic button” inside of Advanced Inventory that helps with: purchasing the same item from multiple vendors, purchase orders with multiple release dates, combining purchase orders or any similar type requirements.
QuickBooks Enterprise does a purchase order and receiving module, but those are completely separate from Advanced Inventory. Don’t be misled.
Looking for more robust purchasing/procurement than QuickBooks provides? Take a look at the Tradogram solution – may be just what you need. It also offers integration with QuickBooks.
#4 – Advanced Inventory will NOT help with landed cost or other inventory costing schemes other than FIFO
Based on my thirty years of working with manufacturing and distribution firms, I’ve seen a plethora of costing schemes in play, such as standard cost, landed cost, management costs, and a host of others.
Be aware – Advanced Inventory provides you the option to use the FIFO costing approach instead of the average costing approach that is standard in QuickBooks. It does NOT provide any other costing options. For those, you’d have to evaluate other inventory add-on packages for QuickBooks.
More things you should know about Advanced Inventory in QuickBooks…
#5 – Advanced Inventory does bring some new reports to your fingertips
In addition to the core inventory reports found in QuickBooks Enterprise, Advanced Inventory adds these reports to your toolkit:
● Quantity on hand by site
● Stock status by site
● Valuation by site
● Site listing
Since you are creating these reports within the familiar QuickBooks interface, you have the standard QuickBooks report tools at your fingertips as well (i.e. export to Excel, etc.)
#6 – Advanced Inventory is not a cure all for your inventory problems
I can’t stress this enough…if you are having trouble with various internal processes and procedures before Advanced Inventory, you’re likely to have them after Advanced Inventory is turned on as well.
As a consultant that specializes in manufacturing, distribution and field service businesses, I have rained on the dreams of many prospects that were hoping beyond hope that Advanced Inventory would solve the many problems they were facing in tracking their inventory.
No question – the features within Advanced Inventory can certainly help reduce certain trouble spots encountered in managing inventory. However, if people aren’t “turning in the right paperwork” or “telling someone when items are pulled off the shelf” (comments I hear again and again), Advanced Inventory isn’t a magic elixir.
#7 – Yes, there are alternatives to Advanced Inventory
This is where the conversation gets very interesting…
In the inventory management space, there are a number of very solid add-on programs out there. It gets interesting to me because this is the point where we need to sort out exactly what type of functionality your business needs to succeed.
Need multi-warehouse tracking? Do you need landed cost and shop floor reporting? Do you need the ability to have one part number referenced differently for the various vendors you buy from?
See where I’m headed with this?
Rather than making the assumption that Advanced Inventory is the right solution, you may also want to draw up a list of your “must have” and “nice to have features” when it comes to improving the management of your inventory, then also take a closer look at the add-on software marketplace for QuickBooks.
Take a tour of QuickBooks Advanced Inventory…
I’ve put together this short video to help you gain additional insights into the Advanced Inventory module
Looking for a discount on QuickBooks Enterprise?
Take advantage of my 20% lifetime discount on all subscription levels of QuickBooks Enterprise – silver, gold and platinum.
Need help sorting it all out?
I’ve been helping businesses with their QuickBooks, inventory, and finances for nearly 35 years and welcome the opportunity to help you too! Let’s talk about your situation in more detail.