Product Reviews QuickBooks

New QuickBooks Feature: Cycle Counts

Written by Marjorie Adams

Year-end cycle counts are now possible with QuickBooks, and can even be performed with handheld Android devices.

As we move closer to the end of 2018, many businesses begin thinking about performing a year-end cycle count. Cycle counts are an essential part of inventory management, as they allow operations to continue while performing inventory audit on various subsets of physical goods. Cycle counts are essential to ongoing inventory accuracy, and therefore business operations and profitability.

As of October 2018, QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum Edition now includes the ability to perform cycle counts in product. Intuit hasn’t advertised this feature too heavily, but we know from working with clients in retail, manufacturing, and wholesale that it will be a game changer for inventory management.

How It Works

You’ll access all cycle counts from a central hub, which will show you the cycle counts that have been performed on various inventory items in a certain time period. Here you can see four different items. QuickBooks shows the quantity (a number derived from inventory entry and sales) vs. the counted quantity, which is the number counted in your recent cycle count. It then displays any difference between the stated and actual quantity.

Click on Status to view past cycle counts, current cycle counts, or cycle counts that are pending review.

From there you can export to Excel, adjust the quantity on hand based on the counted inventory, or mark as closed to complete the cycle count.

Mobile Integration

The best part of the new cycle count feature is that cycle counts can be performed on a handheld Android device.

With the Android, you can be on site at your inventory location, performing the inventory count. This can be done manually, by entering in the number counted. Or it can be done by barcode scanning. As of this writing, this can be done by serial number, but not by lot number. Simply use the Android to scan and it will automatically adjust the counted number.

Cycle counts is an extremely user-friendly feature and will obviously be a huge time-saver during year-end inventory management. Prior to this release, many of our clients have continued to manage cycle counts in Excel—exporting the inventory list, performing a physical count (sometimes lugging their computer to a warehouse to do so), and then re-uploading. Now this function can be performed entirely inside of QuickBooks.

Cycle counts is only available inside QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum. If you are a current Platinum user you can simply download the upgrade from the Intuit website, or inside the product. The feature has already been released, so you will have access immediately.

If you currently use QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise Silver or Gold you will need to upgrade to access this feature. You may consider the upgrade well worth it when you consider the man hours your team is spending performing manual cycle counts.

About the author

Marjorie Adams

Marjorie Adams is the President and CEO of Fourlane, Intuit’s #1 partner every year since 2010. Marjorie founded Fourlane in 2009 after years working in-house as a Controller for a large manufacturing company. Marjorie identified a market gap for consultants with both accounting expertise and deep understanding of financial software. She has led Fourlane through 8 years of sustained growth, and personally advised more than 3,000 companies.

An early adopter of the remote work movement, Fourlane was one of the first 16 fully-remote companies. Marjorie continues to be a thought leader around the topic of distributed workforces and remote collaboration.

Marjorie has been voted the Top QuickBooks ProAdvisor Nationwide for 6 years in a row, was named to the 40 Under 40 List by CPA Practice Adviser, and a top Austin-area CEO by the Austin Business Journal. She is the chair of the Intuit User Feedback Committee and a member of the Forbes Finance Council.

Marjorie is an alumnus of Santa Clara University. She lives in West Austin, Texas.


  • Thanks for writing about this, Marjorie. Cycle Counting is something that QuickBooks has needed for a long, long time. I wish that this feature wasn’t limited to Advanced Inventory in Enterprise, but I understand that Intuit wants to push heavy inventory users into this product.

    I haven’t gone through this in detail but I have a few comments so far. I hope that Intuit will expand upon this feature, although they have a tendency to throw out a new feature partially done, and then ignore it afterwards.

    Exporting to Excel is useful, but importing adjustments from that Excel worksheet would be really helpful. As it is now, you have to manually re-enter your counts (a possible source of error) if you don’t have the Android device.

    Having to mark items as closed after you make the adjustments is a hassle, it should be an option off of the adjustment process.

    The biggest issue now is the lack of filter features in the item selection step when creating a new cycle count. If you have a large item list, this is laborious. I really wish there was a way to implement ABC processing – where you can select certain high-value items by some means other than location or manually picking from a list. A BIG MISS here, in my opinion.

  • Marjorie, thanks for the comments on the Cycle Count feature. Have you seen a way to create cycle counts based on quantity available rather than quantity on hand? I can elaborate if I need to.

    • Hey Michael. It would be helpful to know how this feature would be used. Do you mean a way to account for items that have already been selected for picking/shipping?
      We can certainly take this up the chain to the QuickBooks programming team.

      • Marjorie, thanks for the response. You are exactly right.

        To be specific, we are a repair/manufacturing company for oil & gas drilling/production. Our repairs may go on for 2-3 months. During that time, we pull items from stock and place them on a work order, to be closed into an invoice when the job is complete. So, until the invoice is created, our actual quantity on the shelf in our warehouse equals Quantity Available, or QOH less quantity on sales/work orders. Advanced Inventory already uses this concept of Quantity Available for reordering, through the Inventory Stock Status by Item report. Hopefully, it would not be too much of a stretch then to make the same application available for Cycle Counts.

  • I am especially looking for this information because I want to know what updates will come in QuickBooks software. After reading this information I am able to understand the new features of QuickBooks software. Thank you so much for sharing this important information.

  • This is one of the important features. Inventory management is really cumbersome tasks and takes lot of efforts. Currently, most of our clients face problems in inventory management and i am sure this new release will be great help for them