QuickBooks

Groups vs Assemblies in QuickBooks

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Written by Charlie Russell

QuickBooks provides two item “types” that can have a list of component items – an Inventory Assembly and a Group. How do they differ, and when is it best to use one instead of the other? Today I’ll list the features of each and how you can use them.

Inventory Assembly Item

If you are a manufacturer you understand the basic concept of an inventory assembly item. This is the item that you are manufacturing. You pull some parts off the shelf, assemble or process them, and end up with a new part. Fairly straight forward. Let me list a few properties of an inventory assembly item in QuickBooks:

  • Inventory Assembly items contain a bill of materials (BOM), which is a list of the component items that you use to create it.
  • The BOM can contain other inventory assembly items, inventory parts, non-inventory parts, service and other charge items. You cannot include a group item.
  • You can have up to 100 component parts in the BOM with Premier, and up to 500 component parts with Enterprise.
  • QuickBooks Pro does not support this item.
  • When you sell an inventory assembly the sale decreases your quantity on hand of the inventory assembly itself, but has no affect on the component parts of the inventory assembly.
  • When you add an inventory assembly to an invoice (or estimate, sales order, etc.) QuickBooks will only list the inventory assembly item itself, it will not show the component parts.
  • With Premier, you cannot change the composition of the inventory assembly item at the time you sell (or build) it. You can only change it by editing the BOM in the edit item window. Note that in Enterprise you can change the BOM at the time you issue the build.
  • There is a special transaction called a “Build” that will consume the component parts (reduce the quantity on hand) and increase the quantity on hand of the inventory assembly. I discuss this in my starting with the basics post.

Group Item

On the surface, a Group item seems very similar. There are significant differences, however. I’ll list properties of a group item in the same order as I did for the inventory assembly item:

  1. Group items contain a list of component parts. It is not called a bill of materials but it is very similar.
  2. The component list can contain more item types – all the ones available to an inventory assembly item plus subtotal, discount and sales tax items.
  3. You can only have 20 component items in a group item.
  4. Group items are available in Pro, Premier and Enterprise.
  5. When you sell a group item the sale decreases your quantity on hand of the component items at that time. The group item doesn’t have a quantity of its own, so there is no effect on the group item itself.
  6. When you add a group item to an invoice (etc.) QuickBooks will list each of the component items on the screen. You have an option to show all of the components on the printed version of the form, or just show the group item itself.
  7. You can change the composition of the group item at the time you sell it. Once you add it to the invoice you can add or delete component lines, change quantities, and so forth. This does not affect the list of components as they are shown in the edit item window.
  8. There is no special transaction for a group item – you don’t “build” it. There isn’t a quantity on hand for the group item itself.

Understanding the Differences

It’s important to understand the differences between them because they take different processes to produce, and they show up in different ways in your reports.

An inventory assembly item is a real part – you build some and put them on the shelf, then you sell them or use them as a subassembly in another inventory assembly item. You will see the inventory assembly show up in your sales reports, but you will not see the component items show up as sales.

A group item is really just a shortcut, not a real part. You don’t have a balance on hand, you don’t see it in sales reports. It doesn’t exist, it is just a convenience to you to move a number of different parts through the sales process. You’ll never see the group item in your sales reports – you will see the component items showing up there.

In the traditional QuickBooks view, the inventory assembly item is what a manufacturer is working with. A group item is usually used more by distributors that are putting together standard kits or boxes at the time you are shipping.

However, group items can be used in some interesting ways to resolve certain kinds of problems for many manufacturers – see this article on using Groups for custom manufacturing.


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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Sleeter Report since 2011. Charlie can be reached at charlie@ccrsoftware.com

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

62 Comments

    • Hi Charlie,
      Funny I stumbled upon YOUR article while trying to figure out how to tackle a problem. I buy a Merchandiser from a vendor. It contains about 35 items I sell individually. But we get buy it as a kit from them and we get it at a better price. So I tried to use a group but it forces me to make three groups to accommodate them all. Plus I am not sure how I can adjust my cost with this method…
      I like the shortcut of a group but they are too small and price is not editable it seems. Any suggestions?

      • Amy! My favorite customer!

        I’m not clear as to what exactly you are doing here – why you need to make three groups, for instance. Or what you want to do for your COST? If you can give me some more details perhaps I can help…

  • We received a parts kit from a vendor that includes 78 different items. We plan to sell the items in the kit separately. How can we record the kit in QuickBooks so the items are updated with available quantities. When I received it as an inventory assembly item, the quantities of the individual items still showed 0.

    • Marlene, there isn’t a “disassembly” feature in QuickBooks. The only way in QB itself would be to use “group” items instead of “assembly” items. However, that has a limit of 20 components per group, so that is an issue. And, group items have many more differences than assembly items, and that might not work in your situation. Otherwise, you have to receive the items separately or do a lot of inventory adjustments.

  • We recently sold 2 assembly items to a customer. It turns out he ordered the wrong size so we now have them back here to be credited to his account. We are a little confused about the best way to proceed.

    We have put the individual components back on the shelf so we have increased our physical inventory for each item by 2. Now if we credit the assemblies we will show 2 of them in inventory, but we don’t really have the 2 assemblies anymore, we have the components.

    Do we now delete the assembly build to even things up? Does that introduce other complications that need to be dealt with?

    • Bill, how did you add the components back to the inventory in QuickBooks? There are several ways to do that, and how you deal with the assemblies does depend on what steps you took already.

      QB doesn’t have a disassembly feature, as I’ve mentioned. If this was a return of a sale, you would normally issue a credit memo against those items (but not necessarily – you could have handled that several ways). Then you can do an inventory adjustment to an “inventory variation” account, decreasing the quantity of the assembly and increasing the quantity of the components. However, that again depends on a number of factors, such as what kinds of items you have in the BOM, how long ago the original transactions occurred, and more.

      It is hard to give a specific answer without the details, as there are many variables. You may want to work with a knowledgeable consultant on how to do this.

  • I sell inventory assemblies (lamps), I buy inventory parts (sockets, switches etc). As needed I put them together to build a lamp. Some sockets apply to multiple lamps.
    I am having difficulty of tracking what I can sell ex. a customer calls asking about a product and a lead time. I would like to show my potential capability to build (lamps) Inventory Assemblies without actually building them yet.

    I can issue an Inventory Reorder Report, which shows “On Hand” (usually 0) and among other things “Available” (also usually 0 as I haven’t built any Inv. Assm. in QB yet).

    I am not using sales orders. I am afraid this will not resolve my problems, but further complicate my QB.

    What solutions exist? I am thinking of creating a workaround via groups:
    Each lamp SKU has an inventory assembly, that I build on order, that I sell. Each lamp SKU also has a group that matches the inventory assembly BOM, but the group is only used for purposes of evaluating potential capability to build lamps.

    Thanks for all your past comments to the community Charlie! Very impressive.

  • Hi Charlie,
    A client has a product that she sells individually for ie: $6. She also sells a package of 5 of these items for $25. Group sounds more appropriate for her than assembly. Can she “group” these items and charge a lesser price than the single items multiplied? And her on-hand count will reduce by 5 each time she sells a package?

    • Kathy, normally I would be thinking of using the unit of measure feature if I’m selling one item by “each” as well a a “package”. Then you have only one item in the item list. However, that doesn’t let you create a reduced per-unit price for the package.

      With a Group item, you now have two entries in the item list. If there are a lot of items like this, it clogs up the item list. And you have two descriptions to maintain (which might not be an issue). However, for price setting, this can work. You can add a discount item to the group, to reduce the price. So if the item is $6.00 for a unit, you can create a group that has 5 of that item (which is $30) and then a discount item for $5, to reduce the price to $25.

      And when you sell that group item, it reduces the quantity of the single unit by a quantity of 5.

  • Charlie,

    Thanks for the article. It helped because I was looking to see why I didn’t have the assembly feature and it is because I am using the Pro version. So – I will have to use groups (if I can.)

    Here is my situation. My husband buys old pinball and arcade machines, restores them and then (hopefully) sells them. I put the original item in inventory when he gets it. Then, I have an expense for “parts” for the little stuff that may not be specific to one game (cleaning supplies, paint, etc.) Occasionally, I need to get a new part (new back-glass for instance) that is specific to that machine. When I order the new back-glass, how do I add it as a “cost” to that specific pinball machine so that when we sell the machine, it will be reflected in the COGS?

    • Julie, I’d need to know more about your business and how you treat inventory before I could give you a comprehensive answer. I’m wondering if you shouldn’t just be treating some of these things as non-inventory parts and expense them up front, rather than worrying about COGS. However, you could use group items to include the back glass in the sale of the machine, if you wish. You might want to take a look at this other article, which may be appropriate for you: http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2011/02/groups-for-custom-manufacturers/

      • Charlie,
        Thanks for the link. Since I only have the Pro edition, I cannot use assembly items.
        As for how I treat inventory, I put it in as an item when it is purchased. Because each item is unique (depending on condition, etc.) even two supposed identical items would have their own item record. For example, two different items labeled: 1952 All Star Baseball and 1952 All Star Baseball (2). One has a cost of $1500 and the other has a cost of $2000. If the $1500 one needs more restoration before it can be resold, I would like to add the cost of that restoration into its actual cost. I tried making a COGS expense for it, but that doesn’t work, because it shows up as an expense for this year – even though it might not be sold (and hopefully recouped) for a year or more. We only buy and sell a few items every year, and some items may not get sold for several years, so I don’t want the expense for restoring them to be realized until the item is actually sold.
        Thanks,
        Julie

        • Julie, even though you don’t have assembly items, the idea of using the group item for “custom” work has some value.

          In any case, given that you have a low volume, you can work the cost of parts into the main product by using inventory value adjustments. You buy a machine for $100 and set up an inventory item, that gives it the value of $100. You buy a flipper for $5, also an inventory part. Then you do a “value/quantity” adjustment, decreasing the value of the flipper by $5.00 and quantity 1, increasing the value of the machine item by $5 but not changing the quantity. That moves the cost of the part into the cost of the machine, and your COGS will be accurate when you sell the machine.

  • Charlie,

    We are trying to use the Group feature to produce a “sub-total” for 5 different categories on our invoice. Within those categories are approximately 3-5 different types of service items, with none of the sevice items duplicated across categories. Is this even possible? If not, is there something you suggest to produce this type of invoice? Example below

    Category 1……………..sub total $1000
    – service item 1………..cost $500
    – service item 2………..cost $300
    – service item 3………..cost $200
    Category 2……………..sub total $2500
    – service item 4………..cost $1200
    – service item 5………..cost $600
    – service item 6………..cost $700
    ………………………Total Cost $3500

    • Vici, Group items won’t show in a sales report. They are just a shortcut, not a “real” item.

      The way to deal with this is to create a dummy “service” or “non-inventory” part (not an inventory part or assembly) that has a zero price/cost, and include that. It will be sold (at no cost or quantity) as a part of the group, and you can track that as far as number sold.

  • There IS a way to build assemblies in QB Pro (not Premier).
    First, create the new inventory item with costs totaled from the various components.
    Then, adjust quantity/value on hand with negative numbers of all the various components used in the build and enter a positive number of the new assembeled item and save & close.
    Your total value of the adjustment is $0, your sub item quantities have been reduced and the new assembly quantity is shown.

    • Sure, you can do it manually, but you have to make all the calculations yourself and do all the adjustments, and there is a lot of room for error. The whole purpose of using an automated system is to improve accuracy and reduce your workload. My opinion is that for just about any business that is building assemblies on a regular basis, the small incremental cost in moving up to Premier from Pro will pay off very quickly…

  • We have a small manufacturing business that has very complex inventory. I found out today that the database is messed up beyond what any of us knows how to repair. It seems that negative number and pending builds have been swept under the rug for years. The financial reports are useless and I believe it has cost me thousands in costly tax mistakes. How do I just start over?

    • Gaylen, several ways to do it depending on what you want to accomplish and what volume of work you have. You may want to work with a qualified accounting professional to map out the path.

      You can export “lists” into a new company, if you want to totally get rid of all transactions, but that might not be the best choice. There are tools to move transactions, also, but you may be better off working with someone who is familiar with them.

  • Charlie, I am using QB Premier Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition 2013. When I create a Group, the description is on the bottom, which I’m afraid might mess up my manufacturer since they will see…

    2 item A
    1 item B
    1 (group item name)

    I would prefer to have it display as…

    1 (group item name)
    2 item A
    1 item B

    That way they know right off that they are about to use the next items in a build. However, since I do not see where I can accomplish this, I tried un-checking “print items in group” since my group item name is sufficient to tell my manufacturer what they need to build – the group just helps with inventory on my side. The problem is, when I use the condensed version (name only) my Purchase Order displays a negative QTY a negative Amount and a positive (correct) Total. I don’t understand why it is displaying a negative on the first two columns and I’m afraid (again) it may throw off my manufacturer in someway. I have to resort to using just 1 inventory part for all 3 items, which I would rather not do since I then have to manually divide them (for every instance) come inventory time.

    As a side note, when I type my quantity (i.e. 3) then input the part number for a group, it erases my quantity (i.e. 3 resets to a blank) and I have to then go back and re-enter a quantity for the group

    • Eric, I’m not sure what you are seeing with the negative quantity on a PO – I’m not seeing that. If you can give us a screen shot that might help.

      As far as the way it displays with the description, well, that is the way they make it work. Lousy answer, but that is the best I can do. Perhaps you should be using Assembly items and printing a BOM instead of using PO’s.

      And, yes, quantity will change that way. That is why I usually arrange the columns to have the item first, then the quantity.

  • I thought I was going crazy because I couldn’t duplicate it either. However, I was able to duplicate it. If you use a group directly on a PO it will not give the negative. So, to duplicate the negative issue; create a Sales Order, then click the button to “Create Purchase Order” from the SO screen. Now, you should be able to see the negative on the print preview of the PO.

  • Hey Charlie,

    Really helpful article! Can you link to the article you mentioned at the end?

    “However, group items can be used in some interesting ways to resolve certain kinds of problems for many manufacturers – and I’ll go into that in more detail in another article.”

    • “All” is a tough thing to verify!

      All of the general concepts still apply. The only detail that might be different is that they may have increased the number of component items that you can have in a Group item in Enterprise, maybe in the 2013 product. I would have to go back and check that. But that is a small difference.

      • Thanks for the quick reply….. I was hoping that if I were to use Inventory Assembly Items instead of Group Items, I would be able to produce a pick list that showed the components like Groups does. I guess I’m going to have to use Groups for the products I sell that are assembled from Inventory Items.

        Best regards…..

          • Charlie,

            You are correct. But I wanted the bill of materials to appear on the Pick List that I send out to the warehouse to be pulled and packed. I don’t keep the Inventory Assemby in stock, because I build it from Inventory Parts as my pullers are assembling the order for shipping. About 25% (1,000 part numbers of complete exhaust systems for Harley-Davidson motorcycles) of my cataloged SKU’s are Inventory Assemblies…. keeping the inventory “modular” cuts down on having to have another 1,000 bin locations of these large and bulky items. The 600 individual front and rear pipes and brackets are all uniquely part numbered and have their own bin locations, and can be assembled in a myriad of combinations to become one of the 1,000 cataloged assemblies. For example: My 719C2 F front exhaust pipe can be used in 12 different Inventory Assemblies depending on which rear pipe and bracket it is combined with at the time of shipping.

            Thanks for the link….. I will look into it.

            Best regards

          • Steve, as you have found, the program doesn’t work that way. Invoices work with the finished components – they aren’t work orders. You can print docs from the build process, but they will only be for the one assembly you are building at the time.

            Custom assembly isn’t the simplest thing to do with QuickBooks. You may want a combination of group items and assemblies (see http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2011/02/groups-for-custom-manufacturers/) but you might not ever find, in QB itself, exactly what you want. It isn’t set up for a custom manufacturing environment.

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thanks again for the insights. Your blog is fantastic, and I have learned a ton over the past few days. I will probably pick up a copy of your book when it becomes available again.

    Best regards….

  • Hi Charlie! My question is this. I am working for a major company that recently purchased a small mom & pop business that they’d like to see grow in the next couple of years. We are now transferring all data for this company into QB. My question is: we have over 700 inventory instock, with majority of the items with the same name, but different serial numbers. Is there a way for me to enter – one name for all the items with the same name / and is there a field where I can separate them by serial number?
    From my attempts thus far has failed. Ex. we have 10 Motorola Radio’s with the same model name: CP200D – AAMNCIVIEEWD. All 10 of these items have a different serial #. How can I put these items in inventory as one group (I can’t use the group option as at different times there will be more than 20 items available), without having to put them as separate entries with a different name, (CP200D AAMNCIEEWD-1, CP200D AAMNCIEEWD-2, etc.) I haven’t found a way to do so, since QB won’t allow you to enter multiple entries with the same name for an item. I hope that makes sense. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Misha

    • Hard to answer based on this detail. Depends on the version of QB, how and why you are using serial numbers, what kind of budget you have. You may want to sit down with a QuickBooks inventory expert to go over the details. I can give you some references…

  • We are a small bakery and we use QB Premier Manufacturing edition. We sell only cookies but we sell them in different packages – individual cookies, packs of 6, 8, 12 and 48 as well as in boxes.

    We package the items when the customer orders them so the only inventory items on hand are the actual cookies, empty bags and boxes.

    We use Item Groups to sell the items as it allowed us to easily track the inventory at the cookie level. The challenge is we cannot get reports based upon the package sizes sold. Are there 3rd party tools that can report at the group level since QB doesn’t? Or is there another way to do “on the fly” grouping?

    Thanks.

    • You may be able to get a report like that from QQube (which I review at http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2011/03/quickbooks-reporting-is-simple-with-qqube/ ) although you would have to check with them on that.

      Otherwise, you could consider creating a non-inventory part that has no value that represents the packaged item, and add it to the group. If you have a group item “BoxOf48Cookies”, for example, that has an inventory or non inventory part for “Cookie” (quantity 48), perhaps a non inventory part for the box or bag, you could create a non inventory part “BoxOf48CookiesTracker” with a zero cost and zero price (do NOT make it an inventory part). Add that to the group, qty 1. Then you can report on that item.

  • Hi Charlie!
    Great thing I stumbled up on your article. I have a question that hopefully you can answer!

    We build docks, piers, bulkheads, etc. When we create an assembly for lets say a Timber Bulkhead, we know that we need “x” amount of boards and “x” amount of other items to “assemble” the bulkhead. Now, my problem lies in the fact that once I select the assembly on the estimate for the customer, how is my project manager suppose to know what material to order if he can’t see it on the estimate? Does he ALWAYS have to go into the assembly and print the BOM from there or is there, HOPEFULLY, an easier way that he can see the items in the assembly for that specific estimate? Thanks much in advance!!

    • Krissi, you got it – you have to go to a separate report to see the BOM.

      There are addons that can help – one inexpensive one to consider is CCRQBOM, found at http://ccrsoftware.com/CCRQBOM/CCRQBOM.htm. That has a report that would let you call up an estimate and print the requirements for all assemblies on that estimate. It might not provide you exactly what you need, depending on details. Note that this is a product that I created with my separate company.

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thank you for the article! It is a tremendous aid to the complicated and frustrating world of QB Inventory, and Manufacturing and Wholesale.

    I have a question about something you mentioned in your article (located in the bullet list under “Inventory Assembly Item”:

    “You cannot change the composition of the inventory assembly item at the time you sell (or build) it. You can only change it by editing the BOM in the edit item window”

    In QB Enterprise 2014, I can load an assembly with multiple sub-assemblies and/or components into the Build Assembly module and then, line by line, delete sub-assemblies or components that are located in the top level BoM from the Build Assembly screen by clicking on the line and hitting Ctrl+Del on the keyboard.

    When I say delete, I mean the item is removed from the Build Assemblies screen; does performing this action actually remove the deleted sub-assembly or component from the Build Assembly that is performed on the particular top level BoM that I originally added to the module? Or will the Build Assembly still recognize the entire BoM as entered in the Item List and build the entire product with all sub-assemblies, including the one I removed?

    Thanks for all your help!

    • Yes, since this article was originally written, Enterprise added the ability to let you edit the BOM at the time that you build the product. You can change the quantity of an item, add an item, or delete an item. I’ll update this article to add that (we have so many articles here, it is hard to keep older ones up to date).

      The build transaction will accurately reflect the part list that you see, so if you delete a sub assembly at the highest level then that sub assembly won’t be consumed, nor will a build be created for it if you issue a full level build.

  • Hi, Charlie

    Thanks for the article, it has helped me to learn a lot.
    I got a question, I uncheck ‘print items in group’ because I want the group item itself to be shown on printed invoice and it show its total price on the same line as well, but I also want the tax code for the group item to be shown on the printed invoice (all items being grouped assign the same tax code), is there a way to do this?

  • Hi, again! Thanks again for the great articles and help!!
    (Premier 2016 Canadian)
    I am struggling a little with setting up my assemblies. We build trailers. We build parts in the winter, hopefully enough to last us thru the busy time, summer and fall. So I have been setting up assemblies for those parts. But a part can be made up of 5 smaller parts, and we will build a run of each little part, instead of the complete part at once. So should I be setting up each little part as an assembly in itself, or can we do a build of the larger assembly, but make it in stages.
    And then there are parts of the trailer that get welded to the trailer, that I would not really call a ‘part’, but we do sometimes build them ahead. How would we handle that?
    And when we build, we just make a ‘build’, if its for stock, and a SO if its on order? Or can we make a WO if for stock?
    Hope this isn’t to many questions!

    • Charles, it is hard to give specific detailed advice through blog comments, particularly since I can’t see how you have things set up. There are many, many variables here.

      In one sense, yes, make an assembly for each “little part” that you manufacture, to move things through the stages. Then when an order comes in for the trailer, you build the trailer assembly.

      However, there are mitigating situations where that might not make sense. If the “little parts” are indeed little, and low value, you might not want to go through the extra work of issuing “builds” for them. And, for the trailer, do you have a lot of variations? The agricultural trailer manufacturer that I used to work with locally would have a variation on each finished trailer, to customize to fit the order. They had Enterprise, so they could vary the BOM of the trailer build when the build was issued, easily. You have Premier, which doesn’t support that capability. However, for this customer, the trailers where big and expensive, so they were treated like a job, for job costing. They would create an estimate, put all the components (base trailer assembly, type of hitch, type of cover, etc.) as separate items on the estimate. They didn’t have a final “finished trailer” assembly, they didn’t issue a build for that. They manufactured the subassemblies, then ran those through the estimate/invoice process so they could get the job costing.

      Lots of variables…

      • Thanks, Charlie.
        By little I mean a 1ft pcs of 2.5×2.5in sq tube, with 6 holes punched in it, welded to a 6” pcs of tube with 2 holes in it!
        That part in turn slides into a slightly larger part. So we will build 200 of the small part, or 203 if that’s what comes out of the lengths of tubing.
        Then the larger part we may only get 199 built. So I see doing individual assemblies as advantages for that, but looks like a lot of work to have to ‘build’ each part separately.?
        Our trailers have very little variation.
        And the second question was do we just use ‘build’ for stock, and then invoice (or SO and Inv) when we sell? We would never use SO/WO for our own stock?

        • These are the hard things to make recommendations on when you have a very limited view of what you are dealing with. You have to balance the control you have over details vs. the work it takes to do the accounting. That is really hard to give advice without knowing a lot more than I do now about your setup.

          If you are tracking the tube stock in detail, as inventory parts, then you need to consume them in assemblies. I often find (but not always!) that it is just too much work to track low cost items that are easy to obtain, as tube stock often is, as inventory parts. And to maintain accuracy, because you have scrap, waste and such. And if you have a lot of different kinds of things you make out of the tube stock, it is a pain to set up all those parts. So, I might treat tube stock as a non-inventory part, where I just periodically do a physical count rather than treat it as an inventory part. I subscribe to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your material cost is involved in just 20% of your actual parts, so we get the most benefit out of managing those high value “20 %” items, leaving the others to be non-inventory items I count periodically.

          I just can’t tell you exactly what to do based on the info I have.

          For the second part, you build to stock and only worry about sales orders when you actually sell something, usually.

  • Ok, I think it solidifying a little!
    Our setup is very basic, we have not been using QB’s for tracking inventory till now. Just built a bunch, and when the pallet is looking emptyish, better count so we know how many more trailers we can build!!
    I have set up all the raw steel as non-inventory, as well as the bolts ect.
    Just seemed like a lot of ‘builds’ (but I don’t even know yet how much work a ‘build’ is!) and didn’t want to make things more complicated then necessary, if others would say, oh no, don’t do it like that!
    Thanks again for your time. I am interested in the CCRQBOM if that would help with making these builds easier.

    • You have to balance the amount of work it takes to do the extra computer work off against the benefits it provides. Like the decision to make something an inventory part vs a non-inventory part – you may have more accurate counts with inventory parts, but for small items the work is more of a hassle than the benefit you get. Same thing with builds, you might not want to worry about doing builds for every small thing, particularly if there are a lot of variations.

      CCRQBOM (http://www.ccrsoftware.com/CCRQBOM/CCRQBOM.htm ) can help in several ways. One is the ability to print a full-level bill of material, which you can’t in QuickBooks by itself (it uses the info you already have in QuickBooks). With Premier, it can do multiple-level builds, but you might not need that ability. And, if you have accurate inventory part counts, it can give you some idea of how many assemblies you can make, as well as what the total number of items will be if you decide to build a number of your higher level assemblies.

      • Ok, then one more Q. ;-(
        Because I have no way knowing the benefits vs work load, cause I’ve never done builds, the question arises. As far as changing methods later, does it make any difference if I err on the side of too many assemblies, or possibly not enough?
        Is it easier to add or to delete assemblies if I do not like what I have done?

        • In your case, if you dont’ want to work with an inventory/QuickBooks expert who can help, I would make a copy of your QB company file and then play around with assemblies. Take a simple test case, set it up, see what it takes to run things through it. Don’t do the entire inventory, just play with it. Then you can try out different things without worrying about how it affects your “real” books, and you can figure out how you are going to use the program. Build a few assemblies, etc.

          If not, then I would start on the simple side if you want to work with your “real” database. Start by creating simpler assemblies, once you have that in hand then look at making things more complicated.

  • This article and answers to comments have helped me a lot in figuring out how groups work and can be used.

    I do have one question still. Is it possible to have the group items (descriptions) print on an estimate, but not print the individual line item pricing?

    For example:

    Group
    Item 1 – Quantity
    Item 2 – Quantity
    Item 3 – Quantity
    $Total

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