There was a very large number of new and changed features in QuickBooks 2012, and that makes it tough to do a truly detailed analysis of all of the features. I missed a few things in my early reviews of the new inventory features in QuickBooks Enterprise, so here are some corrections and updated information. My thanks to Catherine Fisse, a Senior Product Manager at Intuit, for patiently walking me through these corrections without beating me on the head too much. I’m very grateful to Catherine for her candid discussion of the new inventory features in QuickBooks Enterprise.
All of the changes that I’m listing here apply only to QuickBooks Enterprise.
I should note that there is a reasonable chance that many of the problems that I outlined in earlier articles, as well as those I point out in THIS article, will be fixed in subsequent releases. I’ll try to mention these fixes as the later releases come out. I’m not allowed to talk about a release until it is actually publicly available.
Lot Number Tracking
Inventory Center: I missed something in the R1 release of the Inventory Center when Lot Tracking is enabled– Recall Information. This provides you with links to information that you might want to access if you have a “recall” situation, where a lot of a component has been recalled and you need to see how this affects your inventory information.
Quantity on Hand by Lot Number: In my article on the Lot Tracking feature I mentioned that you could not get the quantity on hand by lot number from an inventory report. The Lot Numbers in Stock report doesn’t have that information. Well, I was only partly right. The quantity by lot is not on THAT report, but there IS a Quantity on Hand by Lot Number “Quick View” in the Recall Information section of the Inventory Center. This isn’t a report, it is a “view”, and I wish that we could get it as a report. But, at least it is there!
Lot Tracking Preferences by Item: This is a big one that I missed . I complained about all of the warnings you get if you have Lot Tracking enabled BUT you are working with an item where you do NOT need to track lots. If you have a part that isn’t being tracked then all transactions give you warnings if you don’t enter a lot. Very annoying. What I missed was the Lot Numbers button in the Edit Item window. If you click this, you can disable the lot number warnings for an individual item. Or, perhaps, enable it. If you have a small number of items that are tracked by lots, set your global Preferences to NOT warn, then turn on the warning for those individual items. This is GREAT! Well, almost great. The button is there, the intent is there, but there is a bug. You still get warnings even if you turn an individual item to “Don’t warn me”. Still, that should be fixed soon. Easier to fix the bug in the feature that exists than it is to add a completely new feature in the next release.
Lot Numbers in Stock Report: The next thing I want to point out was actually mentioned as a problem in my Serial Number article, but the same issue exists in the Lot Numbers in Stock report. If you have large number of lots for an item, they aren’t all listed on this report. You get SOME of the lot numbers, but the line won’t wrap to show you all. You can widen the column, but if you have a lot of lots you are out of luck. However, I missed one feature – if you double-click on the lot number column, a Quick View window opens that will list all of the lot numbers. I still would like to get this info on a report, along with the quantity in each lot. At least we DO have the ability to see the lots.
Tracking Lots through Multiple Level Assemblies: I was a bit off base on another criticism that I had – relating to multiple level assemblies. You CAN track a lot number of a low level component through multiple levels of builds, as long as you use lot numbers at every level. I didn’t do that in my first tests.
Let’s take a look at a very simple example. I have a component “Lowest” that is used in an assembly “middle”. Then, in turn, “middle” is used as a component in the assembly “High”. Here is a view of the product structure (using CCRQBOM, an add-on product that works with QuickBooks).
I have some “Lowest” items in a lot “LOT1”. I’ll issue a build assembly transaction for “middle”, using LOT1, creating a lot for “middle” named “MIDDLE2”.
Then I’ll build an assembly “High”, using the part from lot “MIDDLE2”, and creating a lot “HIGH2”.
Now, if I run a Transaction List by Lot Number for part “Lowest” and lot “LOT1”, I can see all of the transactions and lots that would incorporate that part from that lot. This is important, as I can see all the high level builds that have incorporated that part from that lot. Unfortunately, I still have a problem with the report itself. It doesn’t list which part I’m looking at (“Lowest”) anywhere, and it doesn’t tell you with assemblies are involved in each transaction, You CAN double click on each transaction to see the assembly that is affected, but that can be a lot of work.
Search: In my article on Lot Tracking I mentioned that the Search feature didn’t do a great job of finding information by lot number. According to Catherine Fisse, the Recall Information section is a better way to search for information about a particular lot, rather than relying on Search.
Serial Number Tracking
Serial Numbers in Stock Report: In the Serial Number article I mentioned that the Serial Numbers in Stock report won’t show you the entire list of serial numbers that are available. As I mention above for Lot Tracking, you can double click on the serial number column to open a Quick View that will list all of the serial numbers for that item.
Automatic Cost and Price Updates
I overlooked something here. In my article on Automatic Cost and Price Updates I said that this was only available for Inventory Part and Inventory Assembly items. Well, I fell into a trap on that one that I shouldn’t have. This feature is also available for service items, non-inventory parts and other charge items. All you have to do is make this a “two sided item” by checking the This item is used in assemblies… button. Once you do that, the Edit Markup button appears.
One little problem remains, although this button shows up for Other Charges, it doesn’t work. If you buy one of these items and the individual markup settings are set to ask you for the update, the new Item’s Cost Changed window does NOT open. Instead you get the older style window that we had before, without all the options. I’m sure that will get fixed.
Enhanced Inventory Receiving
One of the issues that I pointed out (in this article), not as a problem necessarily but as something you have to be aware of, is that with Enhanced Inventory Receiving many more transactions will be created than without this feature. I may have overstated the point – you get twice as many transactions (a bill and a receipt, instead of just a bill) and a few journal entries.
New Problems Found in 2012 R1
In my early testing I only had one Advanced Inventory feature turned on at a time. You can, however, combine things like Multiple Inventory Sites and Lot Tracking. This does make testing much more complicated.
I found, for example, that if you have Multiple Inventory Sites and Lot Tracking enabled, there are new reports available to you. For example, a Lot Numbers in Stock by Site report. That is useful, because when you are selling items you not only have to specify the site to use, you have to specify the lot number that is stored at that site. I haven’t dug into THAT aspect of things very much (it seems to work fine so far), but unfortunately I have not been able to get that Lot Numbers in Stock by Site report to run yet. It just doesn’t run, at least in my test installation.