How to Use QuickBooks Point of Sale for Inventory

by Jackie Lohrey

QuickBooks point of sale (POS) software can store product information and assist in inventory management, as well as create both standard and customized items reports. QuickBooks POS software uses a perpetual inventory management system that immediately updates item quantities and costs as you process sales or return transactions using POS reference documents. POS documents include sales or return receipts, adjustment memos or transfer slips. While some manual input of information is initially required, inventory management is an automated process.

Create Inventory Items

Open the "New Item" data-entry form from the "Inventory" menu tab. The window opens to the default "Inventory" item type that allows you to track and manage item quantities.

Enter item details such as the department, vendor, item name, size and attributes (such as color or size), if necessary.

Enter quantity information to enable item tracking. Quantity information includes on-hand quantity and a reorder point you'll use when setting a reorder reminder.

Enter price and cost information. This information will include the regular item price, order cost and average unit cost.

Select "Save" to enter the item into the inventory. Repeat this process for all inventory items and then select "Item List" from the "Inventory" main menu tab to view your inventory list in its entirety.

Use Inventory Reminders

Click the "Reminders" icon located in the taskbar at the bottom of your computer screen to open the "Reminders" window.

Double-click an item in the "Reminders" list to open item details.

Select "Generate Purchase Orders" to create a purchase order and replenish inventory levels.

Set and View Inventory Ratings and Trends

Set preference ratings by first selecting "Company Preferences" from the "Edit" main menu tab and then selecting "Ratings & Trends" from the list on the left side of the screen.

Select the "Activate Ratings & Trends" checkbox and define ratings criteria, such as by sales quantity within a set time.

Set the "Time Period for Trends" to no more than 499 days. This is necessary because QuickBooks POS software limits the time you can enter to 999 days and needs two full periods within that 999 days to calculate trends accurately.

View inventory ratings and sales trends by selecting "Item List" from the "Inventory" main menu tab.

Create Inventory Reports

Access the "Reports" window by selecting "Reports" from the main menu tab, then select "Items" to view available inventory items reports.

Select a report to view and click the "View Report" button.

Modify a report by selecting the "Modify Report" button and then changing report parameters such as dates, or add or delete columns. To save modified reports, select "Memorize Report."

View modified reports by selecting the "My Reports" option from the "Reports" menu.


  • check The "New Item" data-entry form includes an option to include a picture or photograph of the inventory item. Adding a photograph can be useful if you routinely stock items that are similar in appearance.
  • check The calculation to determine average unit cost is average cost times on-hand quantity. Be sure to enter this information, as QuickBooks POS software uses it to determine inventory valuation amounts.
  • check The "Reminders" icon is only visible when you have reminders that need attention.
  • check Ratings uses a five-star system that represents 20 percent increments between high and low values. For example, if you define ratings criteria by sales quantity, items selling between 81 and 100 units within the time you specify receive a five-star rating.

About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera vintage toy cash register image by Scott Williams from