QuickBooks POS is a robust system. It has a number of excellent tools that increase productivity of the company. One of its greatest features is the “Units of Measure,” which is covered in this section.
A unit of measure is used to define a product more closely – both for sale and for receiving. Units of measure allow a company to order by the case and sell by smaller units such as a can. This is done by defining different UPCs for the case and for the single unit within the case. Manufactures usually, but not always, create UPCs that are somewhat similar but different enough to uniquely define the product as a case or a unit of measure within the case, such as a six pack or a bottle within a six pack.
Units of Measure are especially handy when receiving items. If units of measure are defined in the system, a receiving clerk can check in a product using a bar-code scanner for the UPC located on the case. This automatically enters all of the base units into inventory according to the number of units in the case. Again, the UPC on a case is usually different than the UPC used to identify a single unit inside the case (or unpacked and placed on the shelf for sale).
Setting up Units of Measure in QuickBooks is fairly simple; however, with a large inventory, this task can be quite time consuming. Nevertheless, it will save countless hours in the long run if the time is taken to set up the system properly from the start.
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In order to enter multiple units of measure, follow these steps:
1. From the product’s edit menu, select the base unit. The base unit is the smallest quantity of the product that would be available for sale such as a can, a bottle, a pack, a box, a jar, or other base units.
2. Select the drop down next to “Base Unit of Measure” and select the name that most closely defines the base unit’s smallest package available for sale (as shown on the following page).
3. Once you have selected the base unit, a message box will appear warning you that this may affect the quantities in the Commissary’s stock. If you have selected the wrong unit of measure, such as a 12-pack when single bottles are also sold, this warning is valid. Otherwise, there should be no problem as long as you have selected the smallest unit available for sale. Click “Okay” to proceed. The following window shows that a “can” was selected as the base unit.
4. Next, click on “Units”
5. In the window that appears, select the next measure of unit larger that defines the package from the drop down below the base unit as shown here.
6. After you have selected the unit of measure defined in the dropdown for “Unit of Measure 1,” you will need to enter the number of base units that make up the unit of measure in this section. The example shows that a 12-pack was selected, so the number of base units in this example would be 12 as shown below:
7. If the Commissary plans to sell this unit of measure at the cash register as with 12 packs of beer or soda, you will need to set the price. Select “Pricing” (shown in red in the previous image). The following window will appear:
8. Enter the markup for that item (in this example, the Commissary marks Alcohol & Tobacco items up by 50% – all other items are marked up by 20%)
9. Tab to or Click on Another Field: After you have entered the markup, tab to another field in order to allow QuickBooks to update the pricing for that unit of measure.
10. Important: Click on “Close Pricing Window” (shown in red on the previous image). If you select enter, you will need to go back into the edit mode for the product, which increases your time spent waiting for the application. This will bring you back to the “Units of Measure Field.”
11. Place the cursor in the UPC field of the larger unit of measure (a 12-pack in this case), and scan the case’s UPC. This will close the window and enter the new UPC for that unit of measure.
12. Test the Product! Try and make a sale. If the new case appears with the proper case price, you are one step closer to success.
13. After testing the case successfully, make a test sale (Don’t actually complete the sale unless it is actually being sold) of a single unit of the same product to ensure that the single “base” unit displays the proper price also. This will ensure that the manufacturer did not use the same UPC on the base unit as it did with the case UPC – which has indeed been done on occasion.