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Level 1

Adding Inventory Cost

I run an online business, we deal in vintage and used items. Every item is sourced one by one and is unique in it’s cost price/sale price/age/and what it is. So there is no consistency with ongoing inventory ordering.
The problem I am having is that I purchase the majority of inventory from a third party website. I make random lump sum payments to this site. Sometimes$1k or 2k or 5k etc, this is essentially as a credit. Then, out of this credit, I purchase items within this website as they are available.
I then have the items packaged and they are shipped to me (generally packaged 2-15 at a time). I would then enter these items to my inventory, then sell.
The problem I have is how do I account for and enter the cost of the product without doubling up the expense of the item?
For example: If I credit this third party site with $2000, this amount of $2000 is deducted from my business bank account, which I will need to record. Should I record it by using a bill/expense?
Then (within the third party site with the $2000 credit) I buy 2 x items for $500each. If I then enter these items into my inventory later, with a cost price of $500 each, I am now doubling up the same expense. Correct?
Also I would have $1000 credit, still remaining in the third party site, not yet assigned to any inventory.
How do I record this all correctly?

5 Comments 5
Level 8

Adding Inventory Cost

Hi ssbm,


Thank you for posting in the Community and for the detailed information.


You can record the supplier advance payment in QuickBooks Online as an expense and use the Accounts Payable if you'll be expecting future bills on a later date. Then, link the two transaction together when making a Bill payment. Here's how:


To record the supplier advance payment:


  1. Click on the +New button.
  2. Click on Expenses, and select the supplier name under Payee, select a bank account under Payment account, date.
  3. Under Category details choose Accounts Payable.
  4. Under Amount enter the figure or lumpsum amount paid to the supplier. You can also enter a description like advance payment or something for easy tracking.
  5. Click on Save or Save and new.

You've now record the lumpsum figure you've paid to your supplier. When you're ready to make an order, create a Bill and select the items you've ordered. The bill will add the quantity in your inventory list and then, you can use the advance payment to pay off or close the bill.


  1. Click on +New button or go to Expenses tab, and select Suppliers.
  2. Select the supplier name and click on New transactions.
  3. Click on Bill.
  4. Under Payee select the supplier name.
  5. Under Item details, select the product/item you've purchased, enter a quantity and select a GST code.
  6. Click on Save or Save and new.


When you're ready to apply the advance payment/credit to that Bill, click on Pay Bill or Make Payment for the specific Bill and then look for Outstanding Transactions, tick box for Bill and Expense to link them together and close off the bill. Remaining amounts/credit should still show if you have remaining credits from the supplier.


Message us back if you have additional questions about QuickBooks Online. I'll be here to help you. Take care!

Level 1

Adding Inventory Cost


Thank you so much. This works perfectly for what I need, and resolves this issue. 

QuickBooks Team

Adding Inventory Cost

It's a pleasure to have you here again, ssbm. 


I'm happy to hear that my colleague IntuitSheila was able to help with your concern. Please know that you're always welcome to post in the Community space for any QuickBooks concerns you may have.


If you require guidance and tools to handle your QuickBooks Online account and finances, you can visit our Support page for additional assistance. This page offers valuable information to enhance your navigation experience and make it more efficient. 


Keep safe and have a great day!

Level 1

Adding Inventory Cost

Hi again.

I am having an issue that I just found, from the original above question.

I have followed all steps, and everything is working.

However, while creating a bill, and adding/creating  a new item to inventory item, it records this new inventory item in the opening balance equity as "START". 

Obviously this is not part of the opening equity, and I do not want it recorded here. 

How do I avoid/correct this?

Thank you 

Level 8

Adding Inventory Cost

Hi ssbm,


Did you selected the same Product/Service when you created the bill when purchasing stocks? If you have initially set up an initial quantity on hand for that item, there should only be one starting value/opening inventory value.


I'd recommend checking this link to learn more about how to restock inventory items in QuickBooks Online: Set up and track your inventory in QuickBooks Online.


If you're still seeing multiple start up value when adding bills, I would recommend contacting our Customer Care Team. That way, they can further check your items in a secure form.


  1. Go to Help (?).
  2. In the Search tab, select Contact Us.
  3. Enter your question and select Continue.
  4. Choose a way to connect with us:
  5. Have a chat with a support expert.
  6. Get a callback from the next available expert.

Let me know if you need more information about creating another QuickBooks or anything else. I'm always here to help. Have a great rest of the day!