Import Inventory into QuickBooks Online with Inventory Sheet

Learn how to import your inventory into QuickBooks Online using a sample inventory sheet that you can download from your company.

Learn what each column means and how to set up your inventory properly the first time. Also learn what some mistakes some users make when they first set up the sheet, along with some helpful tips for Amazon sellers!

Where to download the sample inventory sheet from QuickBooks Online

Before you can import inventory into QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to make sure that you have inventory tracking enabled. That means that subscribers must have at least the QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced subscriptions.

If you have a lower subscription, you’ll have to upgrade to be able to take advantage of inventory tracking.

Don’t want to use a sheet? Read our article on setting up inventory in QuickBooks Online for Amazon sellers for more advice.

To turn on the option, go to the Gear icon > Company Settings. Then click on Sales, and under Products and Services, turn on “Track quantity and price/rate” and “Track inventory quantity on hand.”

Once you’ve enabled these options, you can now download a sheet from QuickBooks Online to fill out so that you can import inventory.

To download the sample inventory sheet, click on Sales. Under New, click on the dropdown arrow, and then click on Import. On the next screen, you can download the form to edit and upload.

Once you download the form, open it up using Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or any other spreadsheet application you use (LibreOffice or OpenOffice, for example).

Understand QuickBooks Online PnS (Products and Services) Sample Inventory Sheet

We’ll go through each column and discuss what to put in each one. Where relevant, we’ll offer some advice to keep your books more organized. Below is the sheet—close-ups are provided below.

The fields in the sample sheet correspond to the fields on the inventory or service items when you first create them. The form is below for reference.

Here’s a closeup of the first half of the sheet:

Product/Service Name – This field is required and unique—meaning only one Product or Service can ever have this name.

If you’re integrating your inventory with any other app, then changing the name may cause errors with that app.

If you’re an Amazon seller, we highly recommend that you set the QBO Name field to the same as whatever your Amazon SKU is. That’s because the Amazon SKU, like the QuickBooks Name, does not change.

Below is a reference. To keep things the same, we’d recommend that sellers use “SS_Spoon” in QBO for the Name field. That way, unique identifiers from Amazon and QuickBooks Online match.

Otherwise, whatever you decide to use for your Inventory Name, you’ll want to maintain a naming standard or consistency. Too often, sellers will just type anything into this field, and then as the business grows and others add to their product list, their entire inventory database can become very messy.

Then it becomes a mess to rename and redo everything; in some cases, renaming won’t be feasible. So think carefully about how you want to name your inventory.

Sales Description – This field is optional. This is where sellers would normally put the Product Name, or title, from Amazon. This field will automatically populate on the invoices whenever you select the product or service for documents. While it’s not necessary, it may be helpful if you don’t have descriptive item Names/SKUs.

If you’re optimizing your product title, then you may want to consider populating this field later if you want to maintain more precise and consistent records.

SKU – The SKU field is optional in QuickBooks Online. This part usually confuses many sellers since SKUs remain static or unique for most retailers. That means you can have multiple products in QBO that all share the same SKU.

If you sell on Amazon, we highly recommend you use your product’s ASIN here. That way, you can easily search by Amazon SKU or ASIN in QBO.

Type – This field is required. You can put either Inventory, Service, or Noninventory in this field. Most sellers would put Inventory here. If you’re uploading services and non-inventory, you may want separate sheets for those to keep them organized, or have a different section for services and noninventory so that they’re all grouped together.

Sales Price / Rate – This field is optional. You may want to leave this field blank so that users entering in transactions are forced to enter the correct price here.

Any value you put here will automatically populate when creating transactions. Since prices change often when it comes to ecommerce, you may want to leave it blank.

If you’re using SellerZen to automate your Amazon to QuickBooks Online integration, then we’ll automatically enter the price the item sold for on the transaction.

Taxable – By default, QuickBooks Online will mark Products as Taxable. If they’re not taxable, then you should enter “No” in this field.

Income Account – By default, QuickBooks Online will use the Sales of Product Income account for all sales proceeds from this item.

If you have a different account, then it’s important that you select that here.

For instance, if you have two Amazon seller accounts, and you’re tracking both accounts on the same QuickBooks Online company, then you may want to consider having two separate sales of product income account—one for each seller account.

This allows for better reporting so that you can see sales from each account rather than having both lumped into one sales account.

Some sellers may use separate sales of product income accounts to track different brands, product lines, etc.

You can have SellerZen use different accounts if you’re using our platform to automatically synchronize your Amazon seller accounts with QuickBooks Online.

Here’s a closeup of the second half of the PnS sheet:

Purchase Description – This field is optional. Some sellers may want to put the manufacturer’s description here or just notes regarding the item.

Purchase Cost – This field is optional. QuickBooks Online doesn’t really use this field to calculate your COGS or purchase cost. In the absence of any number, QuickBooks will refer to this field.

Your actual purchase cost will be determined through your POs, Bills, or other documents you use to purchase the item.

Learn more about why Cost of Goods Sold may be zero or missing from your reports.

Expense Account – This field is required. The default account is the Cost of Goods Sold account. If you’re using a different Income Account, then consider using a different Expense Account as well.

Quantity on Hand – This field is required. Many sellers are tempted to put their actual quantity on hand here. But if you’re setting up your company for the first time, you’ll want to put zero.

Then use vendor documents like POs, Bills, or Expenses to record inventory purchases. This way, QuickBooks Online will accurately track costs. Make sure your dates are correct, as QuickBooks Online uses FIFO.

Reorder Point – This field is optional. This will let you know when you should reorder a particular product.

Inventory Asset Account – This field is required. You may want to change this if you’re changing the Income and Expense accounts.

Quantity as-of Date – This field is required. This date is important because QuickBooks Online uses this date as a limit; you won’t be able to backdate a transaction to a date before the as-of date of the product.

If you’re setting up your company for the first time, then you’ll want to use a date that precedes your first sale. Some sellers make the mistake of using a current date, and that will just result in errors when employees try to enter earlier transactions.

Even if you make a mistake, you can re-upload the form to update your list of inventory. Just select the fields you want to change. We’ll go over this in the next section.

Importing your inventory sheet into QuickBooks Online

Once you’re ready with the sheet, it’s time to upload it to your QuickBooks Online. Warning: make sure that everything on the sheet is correctly formatted. The dates should be in MM/DD/YYYY format.

The first row will be ignored, but everything after that will be imported. Delete the yellow warning on the first column that starts with “Do not import this file as is…”

You’ll want to avoid re-importing to update items, as that can sometimes cause confusion and errors.

Here’s a completed row for the inventory sheet. Note that the first row, containing the labels, will not be imported.

Let’s go ahead and upload this sheet into QuickBooks Online and get the product created.

Go back to Sales > Products and Services > Import (under the New dropdown menu). Click on Browse and select the sheet you’ve just created.

Click on Next on the bottom right of the screen.

Verify that all of the fields that have data in them are selected so that QuickBooks Online will import those settings.

If you changed the labels, you’ll have to select them again on the next screen to map your labels to the correct QuickBooks Online labels. For instance, if you renamed the Product/Service Name label to “Inventory Name,” then you’ll need to select “Inventory Name” so that QuickBooks Online knows the two labels are the same.

Click next once you’ve verified all the labels are correctly mapped. If you’ve used the same sheet you downloaded without editing the column labels, then you should be fine.

On this screen, you can verify and make any final changes to your products or services before you start the import. If you notice a lot of mistakes, it’s better to cancel the import, fix the mistakes on the sheet, and then go through the process again.

Otherwise, if you have just a few mistakes, fix them on this screen and start the import by clicking on Import on the bottom right of the screen.

And here we have the new product in QuickBooks Online that we’ve imported.

If you missed a column, then you can re-import and overwrite some of the values you previously entered, but this process can be tricky.

Sometimes, QuickBooks Online will overwrite the values with the updated ones on the sheet, while other times the process will complete with no updates even if you’ve checked the “Overwrite all values” option.

You’ll want to do your best to make sure that all the values are correct to save yourself the headache here. If the “Overwrite” option doesn’t work, you’ll have to manually edit all of your products to the correct value.

Conclusion

That’s it! The sample product and services sheet from QuickBooks Online may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a fairly quick process since many of the fields will stay the same. For instance, you’re likely to use the same information for the Taxable, Accounts, and Type.

As for the Name, Sales Description, and SKU fields, you’re likely to copy and paste the information from wherever you currently keep your inventory information. Most marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, will allow you to download a spreadsheet of your inventory, making this process a bit less frustrating.

Learn more about inventory tracking from QuickBooks Online.

Like this article about QuickBooks Online? Read other helpful articles below.

Set up inventory in QuickBooks Online for Amazon Sales

It’s easy to set up inventory in QuickBooks Online to track your Amazon sales, but there’s a lot more you can do to optimize your inventory for better tracking.

Learn more about these related topics on SellerZen:

Let’s take a look at the different options when you add new inventory in QuickBooks Online. You’ll need a QuickBooks Online plan that supports inventory tracking, so that means you’ll have to get Plus or Advanced.

To add a new product or service, go to Sales > Products and Services > New > Inventory.

QuickBooks Online only requires a few fields to quickly set up inventory, but you’ll want to think about how you’re going to organize inventory in QuickBooks Online.

Consistency will help with your workflow, and it’ll lead to better reporting and more efficient reconciliation if you always follow the same procedure.

Let’s take a look at the new inventory setup below.

Here’s an example from your Manage Inventory on Amazon.

Below is the recommendation for how you should populate the fields for your inventory item in QuickBooks Online.

Notice that the Name, Initial quantity on hand, and As of date are the only fields required. QuickBooks uses the default accounts for the other accounts.

For the Name field, many sellers are tempted just to use their Product Name on Amazon. That might be something like “Super Shiny Stainless Steel Spoon 4-Pack,” but this isn’t ideal because Product Name on Amazon can be changed. Some sellers will go through multiple Product Name changes before settling on one they like.

When you change a product title on Amazon, you’ll have to change it through QuickBooks, and this can cause a lot of confusion.

We use the Amazon SKU to QuickBooks Name field so that there’s no confusion when the Product Name changes.

For the QuickBooks SKU field, we recommend using the Amazon ASIN just so sellers can search for convenience should anyone change the QuickBooks Name field for whatever reason. Using the Amazon ASIN in the QuickBooks SKU field also gives you another level of fine detail should you need it.

For the Initial quantity on hand, we recommend that you put 0 when you create a new inventory item. Why? If you enter a number here, QuickBooks Online will put the Cost of Goods Sold at $0, giving you 100% profit when the item sells. Of course, that’s not likely to be true.

Use Vendor Bills or Expenses to receive and increase your inventory accordingly.

The “As of date” field is also important. For this field, you’ll want to enter a date that precedes the date of the first sale. This is because putting the current date on the inventory item will mean you can’t create a sales transaction with a date before the one you selected.

So if you’re setting up your QuickBooks Online for the first time, have those inventory purchase dates ready, or at least have an estimate of it ready so that you can post transactions to QuickBooks Online without errors.

FBA sellers may want to use the inventory shipment date here, or simply use the date of the Purchase Order, Bill, or Expense when you purchased the inventory.

These settings can be changed later, but any changes will also affect your reporting.

The remaining fields in the inventory item deal with the associated accounts.

Notice for the Description field, we entered the Product Name here. While this isn’t necessarily required, having it will make reviewing your transactions much easier. But you’ll have to update this field whenever you make a change on Amazon.

This can be very tedious if you’re optimizing your Amazon listings daily. Otherwise, leave it blank if you have a fairly descriptive Amazon SKU and QuickBooks Name.

One common mistake sellers make here is to add their Cost to the field. QuickBooks Online will generally ignore the value in the Cost field if you’ve used Bills, Expenses, or Checks to receive inventory. But in their absence, it’ll use the value in the Cost field.

The reason you should leave the Cost field at 0.00 is that any update to the Cost field will mean that you’re using averages instead of the actual cost per unit. And averages will give you some misleading information about your inventory status.

One thing sellers can do with the inventory accounts (Inventory Asset, Income, and Expense account) is to set up the inventory so that inventory transactions are tracked across multiple warehouses or brands.

Alternatively, you can use class tracking or location tracking in QuickBooks Online, but if you’re already using those features for other reasons, then having different Inventory Accounts can be helpful.

For instance, you can have all of your kitchen utensils use a Kitchen Utensils Sales of Product Income Account. And you can just use the default Inventory Asset and Cost of Goods Sold account.

When you run reporting later, you’ll be able to see your sales income from Kitchen Utensils, Home Goods, and Furniture income accounts.

Or, if you’re like many sellers, you can use different accounts to track various warehouses. For instance, you’d have a Warehouse A Inventory Asset, Warehouse A Sales of Product Income, and Warehouse A Cost of Goods Sold.

When you run reporting later, you can more details about sales and inventory at both of your warehouses.

The remaining fields aren’t necessary. Leave the Sale price, Purchasing information, and Preferred Vendor fields blank. If you’re using a repricer on Amazon, then it’s pointless to enter a Sale price on the actual item—you’ll enter it on the document that you create.

The Preferred Vendor field is a convenience that may help your workers if you have multiple vendors for the same item. This will let your employees know which one you prefer.

If you set up inventory in QuickBooks Online correctly and consistently, then your accounting for your Amazon transactions will be far more detailed. Better financial reporting in QuickBooks Online will give you an advantage over other Amazon sellers who are just guestimating what their finances are.

Or use a service like SellerZen to automate the hassle of manually entering all of your Amazon transactions.

Like this article and want to learn more?

Difference between Vendor Bills, Expenses, and Checks

Learn about the differences between vendor bills, expenses, and checks in QuickBooks Online in this article.

We’ll go over how these transactions affect the various accounts in your books.

Generally speaking, bills should be used to record expenses that you’ll pay later, while expenses and checks should be used to record expenses and payments made right away.

Vendor Bill

The biggest difference between a bill and an expense or check is that a bill is generally used when you have an expense that you’ll pay later.

When you do pay the bill, you’d use Make payment button on the bill or Pay Bills feature in QuickBooks Online.

Why does this matter?

With bills, you can track open balances and amounts owed to vendors. These transactions are also tracked in your Accounts Payable account.

Various reports will also be affected if you’re on accrual accounting since accrual accounting counts money when it’s earned and billed, whereas cash accounting recognizes money when it is received and paid.

When running reports in QuickBooks Online, you can switch between cash and accrual accounting.

You might use a bill when you have a utility bill that is due at later in the month.

Or if you sell online, you may use bills when you pay half up front for inventory and the other half upon receipt.

Check

There isn’t much of a difference between a check and an expense in QuickBooks Online. Both a check and an expense will record the expense and payment immediately.

Use a check when you need to print the check or when you want to print it later with other checks.

Many businesses today have moved away from checks, but if you still use checks and need to print them, then use this document to pay your bills.

Vendor Expense

You’d use a vendor expense for the same reasons you’d use a check: to record expenses and payments immediately.

You might use an expense for office supplies at a Staples or Office Depot. Because you paid for the items on the spot, you wouldn’t need to use a bill and payment.

If you don’t use checks, then you can likely use a vendor expense for all of your expenses instead of having to worry about which document to use.

If you’ve paid with a credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT), then use an expense to record the payment.

How do these transactions affect my accounting?

These transactions will primarily affect those using accrual accounting since this method of accounting considers revenue and expenses as they happen, not when the money exchange actually occurs (cash basis).

As a result, you’ll see a balance on your Accounts Payable account if you’re using bills.

These transactions will also affect the values in your reporting if you change the report from accrual to cash in QuickBooks Online.

Do any of these features affect inventory?

All three documents can be used to receive inventory. There’s no difference to how inventory is handled with these documents.

QuickBooks Online will automatically calculate the inventory-related accounts like Inventory Asset, Sales of Product Income, and Cost of Goods Sold.

You’ll want to make sure that the dates on the transactions are correct, as they will affect the profit reports and calculations in QuickBooks Online.

For instance, if you receive inventory on June 10 using a bill and a sale happens on June 9, QuickBooks Online will record the COGS at $0 or at the previous COGS calculated.

As a result, your reporting would have inaccurate profits. That’s why it’s important to keep the dates on the documents correct. Avoid guessing the date when it comes to expenses related to inventory.

Learn more about adjusting inventory in QuickBooks Online.

So there you have it! The next time you’re confused about which document to use, ask yourself this: have I already paid the bill?

If so, then use an expense document. Otherwise, create a bill and click on make payment or pay bills when you pay the balance. And if you’re still using checks to pay some bills, then use the check feature instead of an expense.

While these differences may seem minor, having proper bookkeeping practices will give you more details about your business and your cash flow, allowing you to make more informed decisions.

Learn more about QuickBooks Online from other articles on SellerZen:

Amazon to QuickBooks Online Accounting: Recording Reimbursements

Learn how to record Amazon reimbursements in your QuickBooks Online company!

Amazon has two different kinds of reimbursements: inventory and cash. Many sellers don’t really track individual reimbursements, but failure to do so can result in large inventory discrepancies. In turn, these discrepancies to lead to issues with your seller performance metrics since you may end up selling inventory you don’t have. Or you’ll end up with a lot of dead stock once you get around to auditing your inventory.

In this article, we’ll go over how to properly and accurately track Amazon reimbursements in QuickBooks Online to keep your inventory counts accurate and your business running smoothly.

Locating reimbursements on Amazon

You can find all Amazon reimbursements under Reports > Fulfillment > Reimbursements. You can also just wait until the settlement to import all of the settlement-related transactions onto one document. This way, you won’t have to create individual documents.

Amazon Reimbursements reports

You can filter Event Date by a custom date to see a list of all of your reimbursements. If you’re catching up, you can create one document that includes all of your cash reimbursements and another document that includes all of your inventory reimbursements for the period.

In fact, many sellers may just take some time every settlement to create the proper reimbursement documents since these types of transactions don’t happen on a daily basis like sales transactions. But doing this means your inventory won’t be correct until you account for these reimbursements.

If you choose to process all credits and expenses on one document, you can go to Reports > Payments. Sort by Other transactions.

Other Transactions

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Recording inventory reimbursements in cash

Sample reimbursements

You’ll see how Amazon reimburses you at the end of the row. In this particular example, we see a reimbursement for 1 quantity in cash.

To process this transaction in QuickBooks Online, you’ll want to create a Vendor Credit to credit an income account, preferably one you’ve created to track Reimbursements instead of just an Other Income account.

If you’ve been keeping accurate records of transactions thus far, then you would have created a few documents related to the initial order:

  • Invoice and payment for the initial order
  • Refund receipt for the customer refund
  • Sales receipt for $0 to record the absence of a return

So you’ve lost 1 unit of this item because the customer was refunded and never returned the item. The sales receipt accounted for this. Now we’ll need to account for the reimbursement.

When you create the Vendor Credit document for this item to credit the account (not the item), you’ll properly credit your income account. You don’t need to create any documents to adjust inventory since the sales receipt would have already documented the loss.

Vendor Credit location

Vendor Credit Filled

Once you’ve saved the Vendor Credit form, your Amazon Reimbursements account will correctly show this reimbursement. No adjustments were made your inventory accounts because you entered the reimbursement under the Accounts section.

Profit and Loss for Reimbursement

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Recording inventory reimbursements in inventory

Reimbursements Inventory

You’ll see how Amazon reimburses you at the end of the row. In this particular example, we see a reimbursement for 1 quantity in inventory for a customer who didn’t return the product.

To process this transaction in QuickBooks Online, you’ll want to create a Vendor Expense for the quantity reimbursed for $0. You don’t want to enter $22 here because doing so will make QuickBooks Online adjust your Cost for the quantity you’ve entered.

If you’ve been keeping accurate records of transactions thus far, then you would have created a few documents related to the initial order:

  • Invoice and payment for the initial order
  • Refund receipt for the customer refund
  • Sales receipt for $0 to record the absence of a return

So you’ve lost 1 unit of this item because the customer was refunded and never returned the item. Creating a Vendor Expense for an inventory reimbursement will properly adjust your inventory count and the related inventory accounts.

Vendor Expense location in QuickBooks Online

Make sure you select the right product that Amazon reimbursed.

Ensure that the amount is $0.00. Adding a value here will change your Cost for the item, and we’ve already recorded the cost of this item with the Sales Receipt for $0.

Inventory Reimbursement

Here’s an example of the report for a sale (Invoice), refund, lack of return (Sales Receipt), and reimbursement (Vendor Expense).

Profit and Loss with Vendor Expense

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Recording reimbursement reversals

Amazon will sometimes reverse their cash reimbursements when they discover your product. When this happens, you’ll need to account for the transaction since failure to do so will mean your accounts won’t balance. These reversals involve taking back the cash and returning inventory.

Reversed Reimbursement

We can record this transaction by creating a Vendor Expense document. This effectively means you’re “buying” back the product with a cost of whatever Amazon took back.

Creating the Vendor Expense document will properly increase your inventory by 1 and reduce your Undeposited Funds account by the reversal amount. Make sure you choose your Undeposited Funds account since Amazon takes the amount from your current seller balance.

Vendor Expense location in QuickBooks Online

Vendor Expense filled

To summarize, this Vendor Expense document debits or decreases your Undeposited Funds by the amount Amazon took back. It also increases your inventory count by 1.

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Recording non-order reimbursements on settlements

When it comes to non-order reimbursements or income, like Warehouse Lost, Warehouse Damage, or any other account-related reimbursements or adjustments, many sellers choose to lump these non-order reimbursements into one account, like “Amazon Other Income.”

Some sellers separate the more common reimbursements from the more rare ones, like Warehouse Lost and Warehouse Damage. Doing this will give you an idea of how much inventory was lost or damaged at Amazon versus what was actually sold. You should create specific accounts to track the type of transactions you want details about.

Create an Income > Other Primary Income account in your Chart of Accounts called “Amazon Reimbursements” or “Amazon Other Income.” When the settlement arrives and you create the proper documents, you’ll select the proper account to credit. See below for an example.

Because these inventory adjustments happen outside of sales, you’ll have to run the FBA Reimbursement report to see them all. Or just process these transactions on the day of the settlement to reconcile these transactions with your accounts and inventory.

Recording non-order reimbursements in cash

You’d use a Vendor Credit for these types of transactions where Amazon loses or damages your product. One example of such a transaction is a Lost:Warehouse item.

You’ll create documents for these transactions because they affect your accounts and inventory.

Create a Vendor Credit document. This time for the Item details section, we’ll want to document the quantity reimbursed and the amount Amazon reimbursed you for the product. By doing this, we’ll subtract one quantity from the inventory and add a credit from Amazon for the amount.

After we create the Vendor Credit document, we’ll have to create a corresponding Deposit document to move the credit from Amazon to the Undeposited Funds account.

You can then Make payment and zero out the Vendor Credit balance or just do it when you’re processing the rest of the reimbursements from the settlement.

Lost Warehouse Cash

Vendor Credit for Lost Warehouse

Once you’ve saved the Vendor Credit, we’ll have to create another deposit from Amazon (the Vendor Accounts Payable (A/P)) account to move the credit to the Undeposited Funds.

Deposit document for Vendor Credit

QuickBooks Online should track the Deposits and Vendor Credits, but you may have to click on Make payment and confirm that all the Deposits and Vendor Credits are tracked. The balance should be zero.

Overdue Vendor Credits

Vendor Credit Bill Payment

 

Recording non-order reimbursements in inventory

Much like the order reimbursements, you’d use a Vendor Expense in order to receive the reimbursement into inventory. But do this only if you’ve already created a Vendor Credit document for the initial loss.

If you haven’t documented the lost inventory, then creating a Vendor Expense will incorrectly add to your inventory quantity. You can run an Inventory Adjustments report to see lost and found inventory.

Another option instead of having to look at the inventory adjustments is just to create a Vendor Credit document and a Vendor Expense document every time you receive a reimbursement for inventory only. This way, your inventory will always be accurate.

Your inventory may still be different from Amazon’s count because of lost and damaged inventory. Don’t create documents or adjustments in your inventory until you’ve opened a case with Amazon. Once Amazon finds the inventory or reimburses you, you can then create the proper documents.

Inventory Adjustments

Sample Adjustments

Confirm that Amazon hasn’t found the unit. Then check that you haven’t already processed the reimbursement for the Lost item. In the example above, Amazon lost 2 units but only found 1. The reimbursement is for the second missing unit.

Lost Inventory Warehouse

Inventory Reimbursement

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Learn how to handle other accounting aspects for your Amazon business:

Amazon to QuickBooks Online Accounting: Using Purchase Orders to Receive Inventory

Use purchase orders in QuickBooks Online to properly record inventory purchases and receipts. Many Amazon sellers don’t use the proper workflow when receiving inventory for their Amazon business.

While you can use other Vendor documents to receive inventory (Expense, Check, or Bills), these transactions make immediate changes to your accounts.

These Vendor documents don’t work too well if you’re ordering inventory from overseas or if there’s a delay between order and arrival date. By using Purchase Orders, your inventory quantities and accounts won’t be affected until you create the related Bill.

We’ll go over how to properly use Purchase Orders in QuickBooks Online and we’ll see how using Purchase Orders can properly track your inventory accounts.

Creating Inventory items in QuickBooks Online

Before creating your Purchase Orders, you’ll have to create the Inventory item in QuickBooks Online. While you can Add New inventory when filling out the Purchase Order, you’ll want to understand the required fields when creating inventory.

QuickBooks Online Inventory Add

We highly recommend that you use the Amazon SKU field for the Inventory Name field. That’s because the Name field in QuickBooks Online is unique.

Many sellers use Amazon’s Product Name field for the Inventory Name field because both fields are “Names.” But that’s a mistake because the Inventory Name field is limited in the number of characters it can contain, whereas Amazon’s Product Name field can be quite long.

What will end up happening is that you’ll have to truncate the Inventory Name, causing a lot of confusion for you and your employees. Amazon’s Product Name field can also be changed, causing further confusion.

The Inventory SKU field in QuickBooks Online is not unique. What that means is that you can have multiple inventory items with the same SKU identifier.  We suggest you put your ASIN here. That way you can track your transactions using Amazon’s SKU or ASIN.

You shouldn’t manually enter the Initial quantity on hand unless there has been some kind of mistake. Enter zero for this field. When creating inventory items, you’ll want to use Purchase Orders and Vendor documents to add to inventory.

If you manually enter the quantity of inventory you’ve purchased and you later create the Bill, you’ll end up with double the inventory.

The As of date field is very important. This date should precede any transaction related to this inventory item. Otherwise, you won’t be able to create invoices with dates that precede the As of date of the inventory item. If you’re using FBA, you can set the date that the item was received at the fulfillment center. Or just use the date you placed the order for the inventory.

For example, let’s say you pre-sell 10 units on October 1. But you later create the inventory item and set the As of date to October 10. When you later create an invoice, QuickBooks Online won’t allow you to select a date of October 1 because the inventory item didn’t exist then. You’d have to either post-date the invoice to October 10 or go back to the inventory item to change the As of date.

For most sellers, post-dating the invoice may not matter. Running the reports for the month or the year will give you the same numbers. But if you run reports daily or weekly, then all of your October 1 transactions will be pushed to October 10.

Finally, you may put your Product Name under Sales information. This field is the sales description that displays on the invoice. This isn’t necessary since Product Names may be adjusted often on Amazon. If you constantly adjust your Product Name to optimize your listings, you’ll have to go back to the inventory item to adjust it as well.

See image below for matching Amazon labels to QuickBooks Online Inventory item fields.

Inventory Item

 

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Creating purchase orders in QuickBooks Online

You should note that Purchase Orders don’t affect your company in any way. Purchase Orders don’t modify your transactions or accounts until you Copy to Bill.

Location of Purchase Order in QBO

Filled Purchase Order

If this is a brand new inventory you’re receiving, then you’ll want to set the starting quantity to 0 when you create the inventory item. When you Copy to Bill, QuickBooks Online will increase the quantity by the Purchase Order amount (unless you adjusted it on the Bill).

Save the Purchase Order when ready. The next step is to Copy to Bill so that QuickBooks Online will receive the inventory.

Purchase Order Copy to Bill

If you’ve already paid for the inventory, click on Make payment and select the Bank account you used.

Vendor Bill Make payment

Select Bank account for Vendor Bill

Once you’ve created the Bill from the Purchase Order, your inventory quantity increases by the quantity on the Purchase Order.

Inventory Report

Why can’t you just create a Vendor Bill? The moment you create a Bill, QuickBooks Online will adjust your inventory.

If you haven’t yet received inventory, then you may sell inventory you don’t have. While you may be able to keep track of this, your employees may not. And if you’re dealing with a lot of SKUs, then it’s unlikely that you can remember everything.

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What to do if you’ve prepaid for inventory

In many cases, you’ll pay the vendor before you receive your inventory. When this happens, you’ll want to document the charge so that your bank account reconciles properly. It could be a month or more before the actual inventory arrives.

To handle this case, we’ll write a check into the Prepaid Expenses account for the Account details section. This will debit your bank account and credit the Prepaid Expenses account. Don’t select any items since QuickBooks will adjust inventory for any item you select.

If your QuickBooks Online company doesn’t have a default Prepaid Expenses account, you can create one with Account Type Other Current Assets and Detail Type Prepaid Expenses.

When the inventory finally arrives, you can Copy to Bill and add the Prepaid Expenses account in the Account details section. Since the Bill is $0, you won’t have to click on Make payment.

Location of Check in QuickBooks

Check Filled out

Once you’ve written the check, you’ll see the accounts debited and credited properly.

Chart of Accounts with Prepaid

Remember that Purchase Orders don’t post any transactions to QuickBooks Online. You may want to put the Prepaid Expenses account in the Purchase Order as a reminder.

Prepaid Purchase Order

Once you’ve Copied to Bill, QuickBooks will receive in the inventory and automatically calculate the per-unit cost when you create the invoice. Any reports you run will accurately reflect the Cost of Goods Sold.

Filling out Vendor BIll

Once you click on Save for the Bill, you won’t have to make a payment since the balance is $0. QuickBooks Online will automatically adjust your inventory and cost.

If you haven’t yet paid the Bill because you’ve purchased inventory on terms, then make sure you go back to pay the Bill when you’ve paid your Vendor.

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See how FIFO works in QuickBooks Online

Here we’ll see how FIFO adjusts the various accounts when properly using Purchase Orders in QuickBooks Online.

Inventory Report showing POs and Invoices

Let’s take a look at this sample inventory report. The first bill occurred on June 1 with 100 units at $10. In the next month or so, we’ve recorded sales of 90 units at $20 each. That leaves us with 10 units remaining in stock.

We’ve recorded another bill on September 1, but it’s for 100 units at $5 this time. We now have 110 units, with 10 of those units costing us $10 each and 100 of those units costing us $5 each.

On October 1, we’ve recorded a sale for 30 units on Invoice #1070. You’ll see 2 entries on the report because QuickBooks Online splits the purchases up to account for the difference in price. Notice that of the 30 units, 10 of them were recorded at the $10 price and the other 20 units were recorded at the $5 price.

If you use average cost and adjustments instead of Vendor Bills, you wouldn’t get accurate reporting since the average cost of goods sold would have been $7.50 ($1500 divided by 200 units). With 110 units sold, you’d have a Total Cost of Goods Sold value of $825. That’s a difference of $275.

Anyone looking at a report for the period would mistakenly see net sales income of $1575 with average cost instead of the actual $1300 with FIFO. The value of your Inventory Assets account would also be incorrect.

By using Purchase Orders and Vendor Bills to receive inventory, QuickBooks Online will automatically calculate and display the correct values for the accounts. You’ll no longer need to enter inventory Cost or worry about typing in the wrong numbers.

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Learn how to handle other accounting aspects for your Amazon business:

5 Amazon Inventory Forecasting Software

Inventory forecasting is a tricky balance. The last thing you want to happen for a successful product on Amazon is to run out of inventory. But knowing when to reorder is an art in itself.

The time it takes to manufacture, ship, and prepare can take months, and if your products sell out, then you can lose the buy box. Your sales rank will drop as well. On the flip side, if you send in too much, then you’ll be stuck paying higher storage fees.

Timing is everything when it comes to inventory, and if you can manage to balance sales with supplies, then you’ll be able to maintain sales velocity and profits.

Below, we’ve gathered 5 Amazon inventory forecasting software that can help your business. Most offer a free trial so that you can try them out.

SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. We’ve created this list only for informational purposes, so do your own due diligence before you sign up with any services listed in this article.

Cash Cow Pro

Cash Cow Pro is an analytics platform that provides other services as well as inventory management. Although it’s not dedicated to forecasting, the price is competitive for the features it offers.

Some other features this service includes are sending unlimited emails, keyword tracking, and sales data.

Forecastly

If the name sounds familiar, then it’s because Jungle Scout interviewed the CEO. This service focuses only on inventory forecasting, and their pricing is a tiered system based on the number of orders per month.

ForecastRx

ForecastRx is unique in that it integrates with both QuickBooks and Amazon to provide a more accurate forecast of your inventory. For sellers using QuickBooks for their accounting, then this service may be one to use.

Managebystats

Like Cash Cow Pro, Managebystats is a suite of tools for Amazon sellers. Managebystats provides other services in addition to inventory forecasting analytics.

This service allows you to look at your sales history for products. One feature that sets this service apart is the ability to view customer lists.

Restock Pro

Restock Pro is from by the same people who are behind Feedback Five. This service is solely inventory management, and it has features that track your suppliers as well.

Each business is different. What works for one Amazon seller won’t work for another because of the different requirements in each category. The only way to know what works best for you is to try out the service. Most new sellers are only handling a handful of ASINs, but once you start selling hundreds or thousands of ASINs, then manually going through each one is a full-time job. But in our eyes, that’s a good problem to have.

Interested in more? Look through our list of Amazon tools.