How to Create an Assembly Workaround in QuickBooks Pro

by David Roberts

One of the differences between QuickBooks Premier and Pro versions is the ability of the Premier version to build assemblies. An assembly is a combination of individual inventory items that are assembled together into one unit. The Premier version allows you to build, for example, a bar stool. The individual parts of the stool, the seat, legs, cushion and labor are all calculated into the assembled stool. These parts are removed from inventory and a complete unit of one stool is added as part of the inventory count each time one is finished. With the Pro version, the assembly capability is not there, but there is a workaround that will accomplish the same purpose

List all items in inventory used for assemblies. For each item that is assembled at your company, you need to list each individual part required for that assembled item. If these items are already entered into QuickBooks Pro, print the list of items by opening the item list. Click on the "Lists" button in the top menu bar and locate the "Reports" button at the lower center of the window. Print the item list and make sure each part for each assembled item is accounted for.

Enter any new item that is not accounted for in your current item list to build an assembled item. For example, the bar stool will need all the items or parts listed above, but may also need screws, glue, labor, and more. Add each of these as a single unit item for the stool. If the stool needs 8 screws and one hour of labor add each.

Create the "Group" for each item in your inventory made up of other assembled pieces. Open the "Item List" menu by clicking the "Lists" menu and holding the "CTRL" and "N" buttons. When the "Add New Item" window opens, click the down arrow, this will open the "Type" menu. Scroll down to the "Group" option and click.

Enter the "Name" for this "Group". In this case, the name would be "bar stool" or something more specific if your company builds more than one type of bar stool. Choose a description of this new "Group" that will print on the sales receipts and invoices you give to customers.

Enter each item in this "Group" that is used to build this unit. If you entered the items correctly the first time, the cost of goods sold for each piece used in the assembly will be added together for a subtotal cost to your company. The labor and other costs should be included to provide an accurate cost so that you can determine an appropriate markup for this assembly.

Enter discounts if applicable. If your company sells each individual piece in addition to the assembled units, you may wish to add a discount item to the "group" to account for its being purchased as a whole. Return to the "Add New Item" menu and under the "Type" choose, "Discount". For this example, you could name this discount "Bar Stool Assembly" and assign the discount as being either a percent or a fixed dollar amount by entering this in the "Amount or Percent" box.

Click the "OK" button. Your "Group" is now effectively an "Assembly". One advantage to handling inventory assemblies this way is that each individual item in the assembly is still counted as being in inventory instead of being a part of a work in progress or a separate raw materials inventory.

About the Author

David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.

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