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Fishbowl's Frequently Asked Questions

About Fishbowl Inventory

QuickBooks Integration

Upgrading Fishbowl Inventory

General Questions


What is Fishbowl Inventory?
Fishbowl Inventory is a full-scale, inventory-control software designed for companies that are currently using either QuickBooks or spreadsheets to track their inventory. Fishbowl is an affordable solution that solves many of the problems that only expensive solutions solved in the past. Fishbowl integrates with Intuit’s QuickBooks and is the leading inventory control and manufacturing solution, allowing companies to continue to use the QuickBooks software they already know. In short, Fishbowl provides control over many problems faced by small and medium-sized businesses that are trying to survive in today’s highly competitive business world.

What are Fishbowl Inventory modules?
Fishbowl Inventory is designed to allow the user to easily select an inventory item, observe the properties of that item (ie: quantity, location, tracking parameters, and detailed allocation), then easily adjust inventory levels and properties without having to sort through multiple screens to reference or edit the data. The Fishbowl organization of inventory information into modules gives our clients the ability to view their inventory processes at a glance.

Does Fishbowl Inventory have a Bill-of-Materials?
Fishbowl Inventory with Manufacturing has a Bill of Materials feature. This feature provides users with the ability to create custom, basic, or configurable items. The Bill of Materials module works hand in hand with our Manufacturing module, where users may manufacture, disassemble, repair, or service items. For a more detailed overview of Fishbowl's ability to handle Bill-of-Materials, please see our 10-Minute Test Drive, or our Bill of Materials Module.

Can I run Fishbowl Inventory without integrating with QuickBooks?
Yes. You can run Fishbowl Inventory as a standalone product. You need to integrate Fishbowl Inventory with QuickBooks only if you want to import data from QuickBooks or have Fishbowl Inventory send accounting transactions to QuickBooks.

Which functions does Fishbowl Inventory take over from QuickBooks?
Fishbowl Inventory takes over all inventory functions from QuickBooks. Sales and purchase transactions fulfilled in Fishbowl will automatically post "Invoices" and "Vendor Bills," respectively, to QuickBooks. As manual adjustments are made to Fishbowl's inventory levels, any affected accounting data will be exported to update the General Ledger in QuickBooks.

Is Fishbowl Inventory Scalable?
Fishbowl Inventory runs on the Firebird database engine: a very fast, reliable, efficient database. This means that as your data accumulates and the complexity of your business increases, you will not be constrained by this virtually unlimited database.

On which platforms does Fishbowl Inventory run?
Fishbowl Inventory Server and Client will run on Windows and Linux platforms. Fishbowl Client can run on the Mac platform. Please note that in order to integrate with QB, the server must be on the Windows platform.

Which Operating Systems does Fishbowl Inventory run on?
Windows 2000, Windows XP Pro, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista (Pro, Business and Ultimate), and Windows 7 (Pro and Ultimate). Fishbowl does run on Linux but is only partially supported. The Fishbowl Client does run on Mac OS X but is only partially supported.

For a more complete list, please see Fishbowl's Supported Operating Systems

What are the hardware requirements for Fishbowl Inventory?
The hardware requirements for Fishbowl Inventory can be found within our Getting Started Manual here

Which versions of QuickBooks does Fishbowl Inventory integrate with?
Fishbowl Inventory integrates with the QuickBooks versions found on the following page: QuickBooks versions compatible with Fishbowl Inventory

Which features does Fishbowl Inventory have that appeal to the independent manufacturer or wholesale/distributor?
Fishbowl Inventory gives awesome functionality to the manufacturer and wholesaler with the following features:

  • Multiple warehousing
  • Specific inventory locations
  • Lot, revision, expiration date, and serial number tracking
  • Auto-purchasing for re-order points and backordered parts
  • Outsourcing
  • Dropshipping
  • Consignment management
  • RMA Tracking
  • Flexible pricing levels
  • Landed Costs and Purchase Order Reconciliation
  • LIFO, FIFO, Standard and Average Costing accounting methods
  • Pick lists, packing slips
  • Finished goods possessing Bills-of-Materials
  • Work Order generation for manufacturing, repair, and disassembly
  • Staging with work orders
  • Auto-Work orders for staying up to designated levels and sub-assemblies
  • Basic Point-of-Sale capability
  • Extensive Reporting
  • and much more

Does Fishbowl Inventory handle multicurrency?
At this time, Fishbowl does not handle multicurrency.

Can URLs be associated with items in Fishbowl?
Yes, within several different modules in Fishbowl, such as the Part, Product, and Vendor modules, the opportunity to place a URL is available for ready reference to files on your PC or the Internet.

Can part numbers be exported from Fishbowl into QuickBooks?
No; because Fishbowl is a robust inventory-control software, we strongly encourage QuickBooks users to disable purchasing and inventory tracking in QuickBooks after the Fishbowl Integration. However, part numbers that are entered into QuickBooks may be imported into Fishbowl via the Accounting Configuration Wizard.

Is Fishbowl Inventory ODBC compliant?
Yes; Fishbowl's database is ODBC compliant and therefore can maintain ODBC connections with other compliant programs such as Crystal Reports, Wasp Bar-coding software, and Microsoft Access. For instructions on how to complete an ODBC setup, click here

What is the maximum number of items I can have in Fishbowl Inventory?
Fishbowl Inventory has no limit to the amount of inventory items you can manage in your database. However, depending on the amount of parts or data within your Fishbowl database, we do recommend the following System Hardware Requirements to ensure the proper speed necessary to run your datafile.

What are incidents and how do they work?
Once a Customer's Free 30 days Support is over, an incident is used per training and support call that takes place for the length of time 10 minutes or greater. Incidents are not used if a Customer calls in with an issue Fishbowl is responsible for. Customers are given a set amount of incidents with their initial maintenance and support package purchase. Once all their incidents are used, additional incidents may be purchased at $75 each.

General Questions

How do I know what will be included in the next Fishbowl Release?
Fishbowl Inventory has a Release Notes page as well as a Change Log page that include all of the enhancements and new features for the upcoming release. The Change Log provides a list of all the bug fixes completed for the next version.


{{FAQ| question= What types of Costing Methods does Fishbowl handle?| answer= There are several different | types of cost fields requiring different types of information. The following table definies the various types of costing methods that Fishbowl inventory offers.

Warning: Once a costing method is used with Fishbowl Inventory, the only way to change methods is by creating a new database. Always consult with your accountant before switching costing methods.







Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How can I find where all of the Fishbowl Module Options are and what they do?

Answer: Within most of the Fishbowl Modules, there are customizable options called "Module Options". They can be found within each module by going to Tools | Module Options on the Toolbar. To see a complete list of all the Module Options and their functions, please see Fishbowl Module Options

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Type Of Cost
Standard Cost
Cost units are pre-determined for estimating the cost of an order or product. The difference between standard costs and actual costs are recorded as variances and will be reflected in a Cost Variance account. The specified Standard Cost of a part will be used to debit the Cost of Goods Sold account.
Average Cost
The rolling weighted average of all your costs. It is calculated by taking your total cost
divided by quantity. The weighted average of current inventory will be used to debit the Cost of Goods Sold account.
Last in, First out. This method assumes your last inventory purchased will be the first sold. When these goods are sold, the value of the newest inventory will be used to debit the Cost of Goods sold account.