Accounting Software and Inventory Management for Manufacturers

By Stephanie Elsen

Accounting Software and Inventory Management for Manufacturers

All businesses can benefit by implementing accounting software. Manufacturers have their own specific set of needs when it comes to setting up and maintaining an accounting system, especially when it comes to inventory. With the right system, a manufacturer can increase profits, streamline practices, and keep customers happy. Here are some of the most important features within an accounting system and inventory management for manufacturers, along with their benefits.


‘Assemblies’ is a term that refers to creating finished products from other component items in your inventory within your accounting system. Once you set up inventory components and organize which ones are used to create the finished item (“assembly”), you can move forward with production. You enter which assembly items to be produced, and the system will pull the necessary component items out of inventory, and let you know what is needed. (It will also show you whether you need to order any missing components.) Using assemblies helps you understand your profits, streamline your order management, and stay organized.

Bill of Materials

A bill of materials is a list of materials to be used for an assembly process. When you create a production plan to build your assemblies, the system looks at what you are building and then looks at the supplies that are needed for that plan. A bill of materials lists what is needed, and what is available or not available in your inventory.

Costing Method

User specified costing method, ranging from LIFO, FIFO, average or standard. Generally your accountant can help you determine the best costing method for your organization, and your accounting system should be set up accordingly.

Item Alias

Item alias refers to the ability to give inventory items alternative names for easier lookup of name variations. When you have a long list of inventory items, it can be difficult to remember exactly what each item is called. Setting up each item with an alias, or alternate name, can help you find inventory items in the accounting software more easily.

Physical Inventory Count

Taking a physical inventory count allows you to update your on hand quantities and adjust for accuracy. Accounting systems typically have a tool that allows you to print documents that aid in the process of collecting a physical inventory count.

Pricing Method

A pricing method allows you to specify, on an item by item basis, how to calculate the price of the item. Common pricing methods include: fixed price, markup based on cost, gross profit margin based on cost, percentage of base price, other. Your accounting system should accommodate the pricing system that works for how you calculate pricing for your products.

Serial/Lot Number Tracking

Certain types of products carry serial or lot numbers, and those numbers need to be tracked by the manufacturer. The ability to track serial and lot numbered items within your accounting program is more organized and more easily accessible than tracking them on a spreadsheet or by hand.

Multiple Units of Measure

If you purchase products in one unit of measure and sell in a different unit of measure, you will need to the ability for your accounting software to handle that capability. Managing multiple units of measure within your accounting software allows you to keep inventory numbers accurate and streamline the order entry process.

Make the most of your accounting system by using features that are designed to help manufacturers! CenterPoint Accounting Software has the tools manufacturers need to manage their inventory. Visit the CenterPoint Accounting Software product page to learn more.

The Person Behind the Voice – Mark Machtemes

Mark Machtemes.

Mark Machtemes has a long history working at Red Wing Software, so if you are a Red Wing Software customer, there is a pretty good chance you have talked to Mark. During his time at Red Wing Software, Mark has worked in many different sales positions and is currently the Business Development Manager. In this position, he works with the Red Wing Software partner channel, corporate accounts and third party software companies.

Here’s what Mark has to say about his time at Red Wing Software so far! “Having worked in the software industry since the early 1980s, I’ve been involved with many challenging and exciting changes to the industry. We’ve experienced computer changes from floppy drives to hard drives, DOS to Windows® software changes, the birth of the internet, and computer capabilities that are amazing. As we look into the future, who knows the possibilities that will follow. I enjoy talking with our customers about their goals and needs, along with working with great customers. We also have an amazing group of talented staff and management that makes it a great place to work.”

Outside of work, Mark enjoys golfing, fishing, traveling with his wife Pam and spending time with the family at their lake cabin and other activities.

Mark Machtemes and his family.

Notes from the President

Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

You may not be able to tell by looking out the window, but the calendar says spring is here. This would be a good time to do some spring cleaning of your financial data.

Do you have some customers or vendors in the list of names in your database that no longer exist? Maybe you have some accounts that just don’t apply to your business anymore. These items are just making lists longer and harder to filter through to get to the information that you may be looking for.

Here are a few things you can do to spruce up you data. First, before you do anything that you haven’t done before, or may be uncomfortable with, make a backup of your data.

Depending on the software you are using, you may be able to mark unused list items as “inactive”. This could significantly reduce the size of these lists, and make finding useful information easier. It is often not possible to just “delete” these items, as they may have been used in transactions and they need to be available for historical reports.

You also may be able to “combine” items in a list. For instance, it is easy to accidently create two different names in a list just because you didn’t think the item was there. Combining the two names will make your reports more accurate and concise.

How long has it been since you checked to make sure your inventory is up-to-date? Several minor mistakes in inventory quantities or values can make a big difference, and your financial statements may not be accurate because of these issues.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to make sure all of your systems are providing you with the most valuable information for the management of your business, but if you haven’t spent a little time keeping up with these tasks, it might be a good time for some spring cleaning.