Those of you using Expiration Date Tracking in QuickBooks Enterprise 23.0 may have already discovered what I’m about to write about. But since I didn’t cover these aspects of this feature in the initial summary I wrote last September, I wanted to cover them in the first edition of our return to Warehouse Wednesdays.
By the way, the new Warehouse Wednesdays will not be an every Wednesday feature, but a regular one returning to the headlines of Insightful Accountant. It will cover topics like inventory, warehouse management, shipping, ecommerce, and related aspects.
New for 2023, an Expiration Date feature was made available to some Enterprise subscribers who track lots or serialized products. With this new feature, they can view expiration dates on sales transactions and get expiration dates on various related reports.
The new feature is only available to subscribers within the US and Canada of QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum, Diamond and Enterprise Accountant.
To use Expiration Date tracking, you must activate it within Advanced Inventory functionality by logging into the QuickBooks file as the Admin user.
- From the QuickBooks Enterprise menu bar, select Edit > Preferences > Items & Inventory
- Choose the Advanced Inventory Settings button and select the Serial/Lot No. & Expiration tab (shown below):
Check the Activate expiration date checkbox to turn on the new feature (highlighted in the Red box in the illustration below). You then can choose which transaction types you wish to show expiration dates. You also can select whether you want to be alerted if an expiration date field is empty (or not).
Once enabled, every one of your items for which either serial or lot number tracking is active also will have expiration date tracking active by default.
Item Level Control of Expiration Date Tracking
For example, open an item from the item list in QuickBooks, like the Inventory Part “Cocoa Butter” (shown below). Then click on the Serial Numbers/Expiration Date button in the right-hand row of buttons.
You will notice this item is being tracked by serial number. By default, because Expiration Date tracking was turned on in Advanced Inventory Setting Preferences, the Cocoa Butter item also is tracking Expiration Dates.
Assuming you no longer wish to track Cocoa Butter expiration dates, you simply need to uncheck the Activate expiration date checkbox and click OK (shown in the example below).
Deactivating expiration date tracking here, on this one Inventory Part, will not impact the global setting. Expiration date tracking remains active for all other items unless you have individually removed them from expiration tracking.
You might think this is a real pain if you have many inventory items that might need expiration dates turned off. Well, I have another piece of great news.
Controlling Expiration Dates by Item Using Add/Edit Multiple List Entries
The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature allows you to Activate Expiration Date for each of your Inventory Items (or Inventory Assembly Items).
By default, if you have Activate expiration date turned on in Advanced Inventory Serial/Lot Number preferences, Activate Expiration Date will be one of the columns you have available in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature.
In my example (below), I have moved the Activate Expiration Date field and the Expiration Date field immediately next to the Item Name field for convenience. You can see that Cocoa Butter is the only item with Activate Expiration Dates set to No.
If I want to turn off Expiration Date tracking in another item, say Apple Butter, all I need to do is click on the Activate Expiration Date field for that item, then change the field to No, then click Save Changes (shown in the example below).
I can change two or three other items just as easily; I change each one I wish to turn off (see the example below) to No, then Save Changes after turning all of them off.
The option to control the Expiration Date on an item-by-item basis or via the Add/Item Multiple List Entries features gives you great flexibility in managing this new expiration date feature.
Who said, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”… “Just so long as your cake hasn’t expired.”
While there still are some needed alerting and reporting improvements that should be made in this new functionality, it is far better than what we had before, which was almost anybody’s guess in how one person tried to track expiration dates over another person’s way of doing it.
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