QuickBooks is a popular accounting software because it has a lot of benefits. It’s user-friendly, has a long history as a high-quality program, and it currently holds over 50% of the market share in accounting software. QuickBooks’ online platform holds another 7%, which means about 60% of businesses using accounting software are using their offerings.
There are a lot of reasons that businesses choose QuickBooks, but inventory management usually isn’t one of them. The original program didn’t even offer it.
They currently offer QuickBooks inventory tracking with their online Plus and Advanced subscriptions. These options are good for small to medium-sized businesses.
A lot of companies use a third party that specializes in inventory management software solutions. This is an excellent option because you have more control over the features and integrations with your other applications.
In today’s post we’ll be detailing the 7 best QuickBooks Inventory management applications.
The importance of inventory management
We’ve talked extensively about inventory management and how it can save you time.
In a nutshell, inventory management needs to help you organize everything that you have. Depending on your business model, this might include products, materials, logistics, and more.
With a good system in place, you have the ability to streamline efficiency, see where your products are, and predict your customer needs. It gives you a good understanding of what your customers are purchasing as a method to manage your orders and properly stock. Without an inventory management solution, you’re basically flying blind.
While QuickBooks has a long history as a popular accounting software, adding inventory to QuickBooks was not always possible. A lot of companies used other methods to track inventory.
Older methods included endless spreadsheets that made it difficult to get a real understanding of the specific inventory needs. It was hard to see which products offered the highest sales and profit margins with a manual method like this.
You might be surprised to learn that a lot of small businesses still use spreadsheets. Many don’t have any inventory management process in place at all.
It’s hard to imagine how much money is lost in those non-models. Businesses that keep departments separate and don’t share data across the entire company can’t compete with larger organizations that have streamlined their approach. The beauty of technology is that it allows smaller companies to leverage these advances to improve productivity and efficiency.
The ability to see all the data together – accounting, inventory control, customer service, marketing, sales – gives you a holistic picture of where your company is and where it needs to go.
All of these processes work together, so you need technology solutions that break down barriers in data for a clearer picture.
QuickBooks and inventory tracking
Using QuickBooks itself to track inventory is an option. Some companies prefer this because there are obviously no challenges in finding inventory systems that integrate with QuickBooks.
However, QuickBooks isn’t an inventory management solution.
Its strength is accounting. While it does offer inventory tracking features, it’s not robust on inventory tracking because that simply isn’t what the program is designed to do. So you might need to bridge gaps if you need more reporting options and better features.
Keeping track of inventory in QuickBooks can be a good solution for a smaller business that hasn’t scaled up. You might start there and look for another program that integrates as you grow.
Most businesses need to use additional programs to accomplish everything they need to do with regard to inventory. QuickBooks doesn’t have a lot of features that can really take you to the next level.
The reporting and analytics features are minimal, which means that you won’t be able to develop clear projections and feel confident in whole process oversight with these data sets alone.
Because you’ll also need to use add-ons to fill in the gaps, there is a higher risk of human error. Anytime you need staff to manually work with data, there’s a chance for error. Accidentally keying in numbers backward can have serious consequences in inventory management.
Deciding between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online? See the differences between the two and which is right for you in our recent blog post.
Inventory systems that integrate with QuickBooks
You might start with QuickBooks inventory control, only to find you don’t have all of the tools you need to grow. QuickBooks won’t give you the reporting options for the whole data picture needed to compete.
When you start looking for an inventory app for QuickBooks, there are a variety of options. Many are great quality and offer a wealth of tools. We always recommend understanding your own pain points and process needs first.
- Make a list of everything you want your inventory management software to do or streamline
- Make a list of the pain points you need to eliminate
- Itemize your priorities.
This self-assessment will help you focus on the apps that meet the majority of your needs to find the right solution for your own business. Some apps are specific to industries, which might be something you consider, as well.
Our list of seven ranked QuickBooks inventory management apps provides you with a great overview of some of the best apps available on the market. Each app offers something different suitable to your individual business needs.
Let’s take a look:
- SkuVault Core – SkuVault Core integrates with online and desktop QuickBooks allowing you to integrate all of your inventory management, sales, and accounting information. As new information comes into any of the channels, it’s automatically integrated. This means that every employee has updated information for their current tasks and you have a full picture, robust reporting, and a decrease in user error. SkuVault Core’s solutions are user friendly, integrate with many of the most popular apps, and are highly rated by its users.
- Cin7 – This is a robust and highly rated inventory management solution, though it only integrates with QuickBooks Enterprise edition, which might not make it the best fit for a smaller business or one that does not use Enterprise. It does have innovative features, uses cloud computing, and is a solution that will scale as your business grows.
- Ordoro – Ordoro lets you automatically sync your inventory, orders, customers, and products for a better picture in real-time. It also offers desktop and online integration so that you can use Ordoro, no matter which edition of QuickBooks you have.
- Fishbowl – This inventory management system is made specifically for manufacturing and it has some great features for manufacturers. You’re not going to need or use all of the features and tools if you’re not in the manufacturing industry.
- Unleashed – This is a great app for product businesses. It allows you to track stock in many locations in real time so that you can easily see which locations need which inventory to a higher degree.
- inFlow – The perk to this app is that its reporting options are customizable so that you can develop the information that is important for your unique goals. It’s a good solution for smaller businesses but won’t scale if you’re trying to grow very quickly or don’t want to level up to a new app at a later point.
- Vend – One of the perks with Vend is its barcode feature. Not every business is currently using barcoding, but it is growing and if you’re looking to add barcode later, Vend might be a top option.
Selecting the best inventory management solution for your business
Choosing the right inventory management system as a QuickBooks integration is going to depend on your own business model.
- What are you currently using for inventory management?
- What’s the process that your employees use and feel comfortable with?
- What type of support and training will you need?
Start with your own business needs and work from there. If you need a robust solution that allows you to grow, you’ll want to look at a solution that offers services to the company you are today, and the company you want to become.
It’s a good idea to look at your options in terms of not only where you are today but where you plan to take your business. One solution might work for a single warehouse, but will not scale for multiple warehouses around the world. Keep these things in mind as you compare solutions.
You also want to thoroughly understand the tools that are offered as you may be able to improve your inventory management process simply because the technology is available with your new solution.