Fishbowl is an incredibly useful and powerful program for managing your inventory. Designed to integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks, it eliminates the need for double data entry and streamlines what can be some very complex processes.
Fishbowl acts as the “master”
The thing that many people fail to understand, though, is that in a Fishbowl/QuickBooks environment, everything gets pushed from Fishbowl to QuickBooks. Fishbowl is the “master” for everything except the Chart of Accounts. Nearly all transactions are done first in Fishbowl, which then pushes them through to QuickBooks.
Acting as though QuickBooks is the “master” causes significant problems
Think of the Fishbowl/QuickBooks communication channel as a one-way street. Changes made in Fishbowl flow through to QuickBooks. Changes made in QuickBooks are only made in QuickBooks, which is fine if we are dealing with rent. But it’s not okay if we’re dealing with inventory, since the Fishbowl system will never find out about these changes.
Here’s what happens with two of the most common tasks related to Vendor Bills that we see people doing in QuickBooks:
- Turning QuickBooks Item Receipts into Bills – The way that Fishbowl works is that Fishbowl sends an Item Receipt to QuickBooks when operations receives the inventory. Accounting should reconcile that receipt to the vendor’s bill in Fishbowl. After the Item Receipt has been reconciled to the Vendor Bill in Fishbowl, Fishbowl pushes the Vendor Bill to QuickBooks and deletes the Item Receipt.But what happens if, instead of reconciling the Vendor Bill to the Item Receipt in Fishbowl, you reconcile the Vendor Bill to the Item Receipt in QuickBooks by checking the little box that turns a QuickBooks Item Receipt into a QuickBooks Bill?You’ll end up with two Bills in QuickBooks, one created by flipping the Item Receipt in QuickBooks and one created by fulfilling the Item Receipt in Fishbowl.
Why? Because the Bill you created in QuickBooks will only show in QuickBooks. Fishbowl won’t know it exists. Fishbowl will create its own Bill, leaving you with two Vendor Bills for the same received items. This doubles your payables, and throws your inventory numbers off, too.
Then, when you notice this error, you will most likely respond by deleting one of these Bills, which generally screws things up even more.
- Changing dollar amounts in QuickBooks – If the numbers on a Bill for anything that will touch the inventory asset account are incorrect, they must be corrected in Fishbowl, not QuickBooks.