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Serial and lot numbers

When you subscribe to Advanced Inventory, you can track serial numbers or lot numbers. You can't track both, so decide which you want before you begin.

Select serial numbers if you:

  • Buy and sell inventory items that have unique serial numbers

  • Keep track of which customers bought specific serial numbers

  • Want to know which serial numbers are in stock

  • Need a report that shows the invoices related to a specific serial number (this helps you track down a serial number's history for a warranty)

Select lot numbers if you:

  • Buy items in lots

  • Keep track of which customers bought items from a specific lot

  • Need a recall report in case you have to track all the items from a specific lot (such as which items are in inventory and which customers purchased them)

Turn on serial or lot numbers

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences.

  2. On the left side of the Preferences window, click Items & Inventory.

  3. Click the Company Preferences tab.

  4. Click the Advanced Inventory Settings button.

  5. In the Advanced Inventory Settings window, click Enable Lot or Serial Numbers.

  6. Select Serial Numbers or Lot Numbers.

  7. (Optional) Select which forms serial or lot numbers appear on.

  8. (Optional) Under Default settings for inventory and assembly items, click the drop-down arrows to set your preferences for warnings for all inventory and assembly items.

    Note: You can override these global warnings for each inventory and assembly item in the Edit Item window.

  9. Click OK.

  10. In the Preferences window, click OK.

Once you turn on serial or lot number tracking, QuickBooks adds a serial or lot number field to most:

  • purchase forms

    • item receipts

    • bills

    • credit card transactions

    • checks

  • sales forms

    • invoices

    • credit memos

    • sales orders and pending invoices. However, QuickBooks doesn't remove these numbers from what's available to sell. The serial/lot number moves to the invoice or sales receipt when the sale becomes final.

You can also assign serial/lot numbers when you build assemblies and adjust inventory.

Set up to track serial or lot numbers

You don't have to assign serial or lot numbers to existing inventory to start tracking serial or lot numbers. If you have lots of items with serial numbers in stock, you may choose not to enter all your serial numbers in QuickBooks right away. It's OK to continue your current method of tracking while slowly moving to QuickBooks by entering all newly purchased or assembled items with serial numbers as you acquire them. Eventually, QuickBooks will have all your serial numbers.

To assign serial/lot numbers to existing inventory:

  1. Gather information about the serial/lot numbers associated with your current inventory on hand.

  2. Use the Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand window to assign serial or lot numbers to existing inventory:

    For serial numbers

    1. Choose Inventory > Inventory Activities > Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand.

    2. Click the Adjustment Type drop-down arrow and select Serial Number.

    3. Click the Item field.

    4. Enter the item name, or click the drop-down arrow and select it from the list.

    5. Enter the serial numbers for the items currently on hand.

    6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each item.

    7. When finished, click Save & Close.

    You can paste serial numbers from Excel or a comma delimited file.

    To do this task

    1. In Excel, copy the serial numbers.

    2. In QuickBooks, click the Add Serial Numbers column.

    3. If your serial numbers are separated by commas or spaces, paste them directly into the field. If your serial numbers are a column in Excel, click the drop-down arrow and select Quick View for Serial Numbers. Then in the Serial Numbers column, right-click and select Paste.

      If your serial numbers are in a row in Excel, you can easily put them into a column.

      To do this task

      1. In Excel, copy the serial numbers.

      2. Click the column where you want to put the serial numbers.

      3. Right-click and select Paste Special.

      4. Select Transpose.

      5. Click OK.

    4. Click OK.

    For lot numbers

    1. Choose Inventory > Inventory Activities > Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand.

    2. Click the Adjustment Type drop-down arrow and select Lot Number.

    3. Click the Item field.

    4. Enter the item name, or click the drop-down arrow and select it from the list.

    5. Enter the lot number.

    6. In the New Count column, enter the number of items in that lot.

    7. To assign a different lot number to more of the same item, or to assign a different lot number to a different item, repeat steps 3 to 6.

    8. When finished, click Save & Close.

  3. To check your setup, run the Serial/Lot Numbers in Stock report.

Reports

Lot Recall Reports

If you track lots and need to know where items from a specific lot are, follow this 2-step process:

Step 1: Find out how many items from a particular lot are still in inventory.

  1. Choose Inventory > Inventory Center to open the Inventory Center.

  2. From the list on the left, select the item.

  3. On the right side of the window below Recall Information, click Quantity on Hand by Lot Number. The Quick View window appears and shows the quantity on hand for each lot number associated with the item.

  4. When finished, click Close.

Step 2: Find out which customers purchased items from the lot:

  1. Under Recall Information, click Transaction List by Lot Number.

  2. Click the Item drop-down arrow and select the item from the list.

  3. Click the Lot drop-down arrow and select a lot number.

  4. Click OK. QuickBooks lists all transactions that include the lot, including assemblies and subassemblies.

On the Transaction List by Lot Number report, click the Sort By drop-down arrow and select Name. This groups invoices by customer.

Serial or lot numbers in stock by site

Serial or lot numbers in stock

Transaction list by lot or serial number

Common questions

How do I enter multiple serial or lot numbers on a transaction?

Same item from multiple lots:

You can only enter 1 lot number per line. If you buy or sell items from multiple lots, use multiple lines.

Multiple items that are the same but have unique serial numbers:

If you buy or sell multiple items with serial numbers, enter all the serial numbers on the same line. Separate serial numbers with a space or comma.

I don't have any serial/lot numbers, but when I make an inventory adjustment, QuickBooks warns me.

Do one of the following:

  • In the warning window, click OK and then record the inventory adjustment.

    or

  • Turn warnings off through Preferences.

    To do this task

    1. Choose Edit > Preferences.

    2. On the left side of the Preferences window, click Items & Inventory.

    3. Click the Company Preferences tab.

    4. Click the Advanced Inventory Settings button.

    5. Under Default settings for inventory and assembly items, click the drop-down arrows and select Don't warn me.

    6. Click OK.

    7. Click OK in the Preferences window.

How do I enter multiple serial numbers on a transaction?

You can enter multiple serial numbers on a single line by separating serial numbers with a space or comma.

You can also paste serial numbers from Excel or a comma delimited file.

To do this task

  1. In Excel, copy the serial numbers to the Clipboard.

  2. In QuickBooks, click a blank line in the Add Serial Numbers column.

  3. Click the drop-down arrow and select Quick View for Serial Numbers. The Serial Numbers Quick View window appears.

  4. In the Serial Numbers column, right-click and select Paste.

  5. Click OK.

What does the Serial Numbers/Lot Numbers button do in the New Item and Edit Item window?

When you add or edit an item, QuickBooks adds a Serial Numbers or Lot Numbers button to the window. Clicking this button opens a window where you can override the global warnings you set in preferences.

How do serial/lot numbers appear on printed forms?

You can edit templates to add or remove serial/lot numbers on printed forms. Serial/lot numbers always appear on the screen.

On printed forms, multiple serial numbers appear in the description separated by commas. The lot number appears in its own column.

KB ID# H_SERIAL_LOT_OVERVIEW
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