Using Multiple Units of Measure in Point of Sale

A great feature in QuickBooks Point of Sale is Multiple Units of Measure.  This can keep your Items list more manageable, simplify data entry, and reports can be more meaningful.   Here’s how it works.  Let’s say you sell light bulbs – individually, in packs of 3, or packs of 12.  Without multiple units of measure, you would need 3 different items in your Items list – one for the individual, one for the pack of 3, and one for the pack of 12.  But you have to buy by the case, which contains 48.  So, you if you ordered 5 cases (240 widgets), how would you receive it into inventory?  Do you receive them all into the individual or do you break it out between the different selling units? What happens if you don’t allocate the way you end up selling them? As you can see, this can be confusing and very cumbersome.  And, relying on someone to calculate how many to order or receive might have some problems as well.

With Multiple Units of Measure, you need just 1 item in your items list.  The base unit (smallest unit you sell) would be 1 or single or individual. In the setup screen you list each multiple unit of measure, quantity, and sales price.


If you click on Manage Units of Measure, you can specify how you order (by the case) and the most common way you sell; these are defaults, but you’ll see that you can change the unit of measure when selling. In the Manage Units of Measure, note that you can add barcodes and alternate lookups. So, if these light bulbs have barcodes, you can scan them into this screen


When you go to sell, the default unit of measure will automatically fill in, but you can change that if need be.


Working with multiple units of measure is very common in the retail world. So take a look and see if there are places were using multiple units of measure would simplify your system.

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