If we were to ask any retailer what their accounting product of choice is, they would say QuickBooks Online.

Both in desktop and online formats, QuickBooks has seen immense success. The cloud-based version has been a favorite because of just how easy it is to use, and also because most accountants and number guys just ‘get it.’ In fact, we’re such big fans of QuickBooks Online that we’ve found a way to integrate it with our inventory management software!

Some retailers even choose to use QuickBooks Online for inventory management.

However, we think that isn’t the best idea.

This is because QuickBooks Online was not built for inventory handling, which adds some problems to the mix. Instead, we recommend using it in tandem with a powerful inventory management system like Primaseller.

6 QuickBooks Online Inventory Limitations

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of using QuickBooks Online for inventory management is that it isn’t meant for retail customers. As we know, the challenges of each industry are unique and the numbers are often an indicator of performance success.

The desktop version can indeed be used by retailers. But if the past few years are anything to go by, Intuit is swiftly moving its service to the cloud. While that happens, inventory management may or may not be part of the bigger picture because the idea is to build a good accounting software for every kind of business.

Here are some other QuickBooks Online inventory limitations that you should know about.

  1. No Serial Or Location Tracking

    In a warehouse, tracking products by location helps to store and pick them accurately. When you have multiple SKUs for a product that move at different rates, this can become an issue on the ground. Staff in your warehouse depend on this inventory management system to see where a product is and to pick it accordingly. When information on where each SKU is cannot be recorded properly, the process obviously suffers.

    Moreover, serial numbers allow you to uniquely track each product’s movement so you know exactly which one was returned or replaced with a similar product. Not being able to uniquely identify each product can cause problems in the form of more returns and general confusion in a warehouse.

  2. No Multichannel Integration

    Today, the only way to track inventory across multiple channels using QuickBooks Online is to use an inventory management software product. Otherwise, there is no direct feature in QuickBooks Online for multichannel integration.

    Why is this a problem?

    No retailer can get away with selling on just one channel today. Thus, multichannel selling is more of a norm than an option to consider. But because QuickBooks Online alone cannot handle this, you might quickly fall behind in making regular inventory updates from each channel.

    Imagine manually shifting all stock movement data to QuickBooks Online, often many times through the day. The scope for human error is massive. Once you make an error in inventory recording, the domino effect can soon consume your operations.

  3. No Visibility On Order Fulfillment

    As a follow-up to the last point, QuickBooks Online also does not support order tracking after it is placed. All online orders go through a fulfillment process and you need to be able to track deliveries, returns, and replacements accurately. This way, your inventory is always up-to-date, you know which products are faulty and how long delivery takes.

    Currently, this is not a feature that QuickBooks Online comes equipped with.

    Being able to track a package after the customer places an order needs close integration with a host of shipping partners, and with more than one warehouse location. The most effective way to achieve this is to use an inventory management product that already comes with these features and integrations such as Primaseller.

  4. Lack Of In-Depth Inventory Reports

    Reporting is a key feature in inventory management. You make key retail decisions based on inventory and its movement. A sophisticated inventory report should help you

    • forecast future demand better using past sales data
    • identify patterns in stock movement across multiple storage locations
    • find spikes and dips in the sale so you can prepare for future emergencies
    • give you a better picture of where to set your reorder levels for each product
    • identify stock losses and be able to pinpoint their root cause with greater accuracy.

    For such accurate and precise reporting, you need highly precise inventory tracking. But QuickBooks Online is not a software product that serves this purpose. It just works better with an actual inventory management system.

  5. No Module For Warehouse Management

    QuickBooks Online does not come with a module for tracking inventory in a warehouse. Instead, it tracks stock using the assigned serial number, thus matching it to an invoice. For smaller businesses, this might not pose issues. However, as you begin to expand further, you also need to store inventory across locations.

    QuickBooks Online simply doesn’t recognize multiple warehouse locations. In turn, you have no way of figuring out which warehouse holds what product, and where to fulfill an order from.

  6. No Module For Barcode Printing

    The desktop version of QuickBooks can print barcodes on various reports as well as use barcodes as a way to track product information. The wizard also creates new barcodes for you. However, the online version does not allow you to print barcode labels or to create new ones.

    While probably not a deal-breaker in itself, you will find that the best way to manage a large catalog is to use a system designed for it. More significantly, you also cannot track by serial numbers which are an added issue.

QuickBooks Online Alternatives For Inventory Management

As an accounting tool, there’s probably nothing quite like QuickBooks Online. However, if inventory management is your problem, you need to move to a robust inventory management system.

At the same time, we do not advocate moving away from QuickBooks online entirely since few other accounting tools are as effective. Hence, we have done the work for you and integrated QuickBooks Online with Primaseller.

As you know, Primaseller is a strong inventory management system. It offers inventory control features, purchase order management, B2B sales features with shipping integrations and better reporting.

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With the QuickBooks Online integration, you can migrate your accounting and inventory data to Primaseller today. Just sign in to your QuickBooks Online account on Primaseller!

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Armed with a degree and a pen, loves to tell stories. When not telling stories, she also works. Hard to decide which one she likes more.