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Perform a physical inventory

SOLVEDby QuickBooks5Updated 1 year ago

Learn how to do a physical inventory in QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale.

Physical inventory is the process of verifying or connecting the on-hand item quantities in your inventory by doing a physical count. This is recommended after initially entering your inventory, when you first started using QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale, and periodically thereafter.



  • You can select Save & Continue at any time to pause your physical inventory. After saving, you can exit and return later to finish. To resume, select Continue Physical Inventory from the Inventory menu.
  • If transactions affecting the quantity of previously counted items occur during a physical inventory, the items are flagged on the Physical Inventory window and you're alerted. You should recount these items.
  • If you've entered counts but wish to cancel and start over, select  Clear Counts and Restart from the I Want To... ▼ drop-down menu.
  • If your computer loses power or crashes during a physical inventory, QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale retains the counts you've entered to that point and automatically recovers them for you.
  • If necessary, you can select Print Tags from the Print menu to create new tags for items as counting.
  1. From the Inventory menu, select Start Physical Inventory.
    Note: If you're using the Multi-store edition, you'll be prompted to choose which store you are entering the counts for.
  2. Physically count item quantities on hand using one or both of these methods:
    • Print a Store Count Worksheet and take it with you through the store, recording counts.
      Note: From the I want to... ▼ drop-down menu, go to Run a Report, then select PI Worksheet. Modify the report as necessary to display and group your items in a manner that makes sense for counting in your store.
    • Use the option QuickBooks-approved physical inventory scanner to go through your store scanning item barcodes and entering counts.
      Note: Since the Physical Inventory Scanner (sold separately) is portable, you can move freely around your store and scan thousands of items in one session.
  3. Transfer your counts to QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale by:
    • Using the "Add Count by Hand" option
      This is usually the fastest manual way to enter counts, even an item is counted several places in the store on different worksheets. Enter an item identifier (UPC, alternate lookup, or item number) and then count, pressing Enter after each entry. Point of Sale consolidates multiple entries and then transfers the counts to the Physical Inventory window.
    • Entering counts directly in the Counted column
      This is convenient for entering a small number of items or items that are grouped together, but may be time-consuming if the same items are scattered throughout your store.
      Tip: Filtering or sorting the list on this window can help make entry of counts faster.
    • Upload counts from Portable Scanner
      1. Place the scanner into the cradle and ensure the adapter is plugged into a USB port on your workstation. Turn on the scanner.
      2. If the Point of Sale Physical Inventory window isn't open, select Start Physical Inventory from the Inventory menu.
      3. From the I Want To... ▼ drop-down menu, select Add Counts from Scanner.
      4. Follow the displayed instructions to upload the scans from the scanner unit.
      5. When the upload is finished, you are prompted to clear the scanner memory. You can do so now, or wait until you've finished reviewing and saving the scans. But you must clear the scanner so the same scans are not uploaded again the next batch.
      6. When you close the upload window, the scans are displayed for your review on the Get Scans window. The scans are not added to the Physical Inventory window until you select a save option at the bottom of this window.
  4. Review your counts and the total summary displayed on the screen and, if applicable, select the Set all items not counted to zero. This setting ensures that all inventory items for which no physical count was entered are zeroed out when you update inventory.
  5. Select Apply Changes to Inventory to update your inventory on-hand quantities with the counted quantities.

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