Xero and Quickbooks Online (QBO) both have a rudimentary inventory module that works fine if you just need to track inventory in one location and have no assembly or manufacturing but if you venture beyond that simple criteria you will need some kind of add-on solution for your accounting software.
This is the position that two of our Atlanta, GA based clients faced in 2016. One client was placing inventory in Las Vegas, NV and New Orleans, LA to support expansion as well as shifting to a co-packing relationship with a company in San Antonio, TX where they would own raw materials and would need to manage the accounting of some light manufacturing. The other client started selling through Amazon FBA where they ship inventory to Amazon DCs which remain the client’s property but is sold and shipped by Amazon. As soon as these activities started it became clear that the existing system would not suffice so we embarked on reviewing multiple cloud-based inventory systems that would integrate with both Xero and QBO. After a thorough review, we implemented DEAR Inventory by DEAR Systems for both clients.
The following is an overview of some key features of DEAR Inventory that we use with our clients and what drove the decision by Actaeon and its clients to implement it. This is by no means an exhaustive list and even for the items which are listed, we are only scratching the surface of what DEAR Inventory can do.
Our clients use the following integrations successfully with DEAR.
DEAR Inventory becomes the inventory module for both applications and records all transactions in the General Ledger. There’s no manual recording of entries between systems. New customers and items that are set up in DEAR are synced to Xero and QBO as well. It is recommended to setup both customers and items in DEAR and let them push to Xero and QBO as there is much more information that can be set up in DEAR that we will cover below.
DEAR Inventory syncs with Amazon Seller Accounts so that sales are automatically recorded in DEAR and don’t require manual downloading from Amazon and uploading into DEAR Inventory or your accounting software. In addition, it pulls in name and address information with every sale which is not easily downloaded in the Amazon Seller Central portal.
Stripe is an online credit card payment processor. With the Stripe integration, you can collect credit card payments through Stripe either by clicking on a hyperlinked icon on your customizable invoice or through a DEAR B2B portal. This further integrates with Xero and QBO to further automate payment collection.
ShipStation is a cloud-based fulfillment application that captures shipping information from multiple sources and connects with multiple freight accounts to print shipping labels and documents on-site or remotely. The DEAR Inventory integration pushes shipping information from orders to ShipStation and then once shipped pushes carrier tracking information back to DEAR where it is recorded with the order.
Multi-Site Inventory Management
DEAR Inventory allows you to set up multiple locations and track inventory within each location. You can record where inventory is received into and where it is sold from with each transaction. Beyond a physical site, DEAR Inventory also allows you to track inventory by Bins within a Location for a light Warehouse Management system. This includes setting Amazon FBA up as a location to track your inventory held at their facilities.
Customer and Product Metadata
DEAR Inventory has standard fields for products and customers but also allows for up to 10 additional attributes for each. Examples of the use of additional attributes can be to define master rollup customers, customer verticals, and customer parent chains. In addition, multiple addresses and contacts can be set up for each customer and multiple suppliers along with their pricing can be set up for each item.
Actaeon currently pulls all of this information into a data warehouse for its clients that are using DEAR Inventory and marries it up with transaction history in Xero for dashboard reporting.
From a basic costing standpoint, DEAR Inventory allows you to associate incoming freight to your inventory valuation. It also allows for the buildup of manufactured items using bills of materials, yields, and labor and overhead rates. You can even set up sub-assemblies for more complex items.
DEAR Inventory makes it easy to customize all sorts of documents such as Purchase Orders, Sales Quotes, Sales Invoices, etc. It also allows you to customize email templates for sending these documents directly from DEAR Inventory to your customers/suppliers.
B2B Customer Portal
This was not a primary focus for implementing DEAR Inventory but it offers a B2B Customer Portal that allows you to invite customers to place their orders directly through the portal saving you the customer service hassle of manually taking the orders by email or phone and entering them into the system. You can set up multiple portals, define what group of products your customers see, what pricing they see, and allow for billing or immediate credit card payments.
As previously mentioned, this list gives the broadest of overviews of DEAR Inventory. Over time we will go into further details of the most powerful aspects of the application.
If you’ve concluded that your company needs a more powerful Inventory Management solution or you’ve already decided on DEAR Inventory contact Actaeon Consulting to implement the solution for you. We continue to support our clients that have moved onto DEAR Inventory so understand issues that may come up and how to address them. Click here to contact us for a free consultation.
About Actaeon Consulting
Actaeon Consulting was established to bring the vast accounting and financial capabilities of large companies to small and mid-sized businesses at cost-effective pricing. Based in Alpharetta, GA Actaeon has clients in the greater Atlanta, GA area but with its focus on cloud-based solutions has clients as far abroad at London and Hong Kong. Whether it’s basic bookkeeping, outsourcing your entire accounting department, real-time analytical dashboards or some other finance/accounting need Actaeon Consulting can provide you with a customized solution.