June 2014 / PhreeBooksR36RC3importicon
Author – Charles

Importing Inventory should be straightforward:


  1. Make absolutely sure that when you OPEN your spreadsheet programe to read the ‘Sample CSV’ and/or to create your .csv for Inventory Import, that you select ONLY the      ,delimiter. I have come across spreadsheet programs defaulting to 2 or 3 different delimiters – if a .csv is created with more than 1 delimiter defined, it will not import into PhreeBooks. Moreover, later ‘saving as a .csv text file’ and/or mucking around with it in Text Editors will not help you – you will have to re-create the .csv from scratch. See more details in SKU-Pricer    …   at the bottom of the page.
  2. If you re-run the Inventory Importer a second time with the same SKU’s present, you will get a second, double-entry of these SKU’s.
  3. Inventory Importer can be used to ADD SKU’s to an inventory already populated with other SKU’s.
  4. If you want to amend SKU details that are already entered into Inventory using a .csv bulk update, use SKU-Pricer.
  5. If you want to manually amend SKU details that are already entered into Inventory, either amend each SKU details page or:
    CUSTOMERS > Customer Price Sheets > Load Item Pricing (bottom left in blue letters)
  6. RecordID – start at 2 and go up from there. Row 1 is reserved for column headers.
  • Export a ‘Sample CSV‘ and open in a spreadsheet – make sure that the spreadsheet used to prepare your .csv for Importing Inventory uses the correct column-headings (no gaps in column-headings). You don’t need to use all column-headings, however, if not being used for .csv import, they should be removed.
    TOOLS > Import/Export
    Inventory Module, green arrow on RHSinventoryimport2
  • Make sure that you have no gap rows or gap columns in the block of data that you want to import into PhreeBooks. It should all be tight, up in the top left-hand-corner of your spreadsheet. Remember, no column or row gaps (you can have empty cells).
  • Make sure that the spreadsheet column Type (Inventory type) is populated correctly. Make an Inventory Export to get the correct ‘Type’, if necessary.
  • Save the file as a .csv (comma-separated and NOT tab-separated) text file. Only use double quotes (“) as a delimiter if a field has a comma within it.
  • You are now ready to import your Inventory.
    TOOLS > Import/Export
    Inventory Module, green arrow on RHS
  • Select ‘CSV‘ file-type to import, browse to your .csv file and then click on ‘import inventoryinventoryimport3
  • Clear browser cache

NOTE: there is no Import Report (a simple one line report, in green, on import success) in Importing Inventory, unlike SKU-Pricer.

Please post any comments or queries to the Forum.

Installing PhreeBooks Small Business Toolkit

Installing the PhreeBooks small business toolkit consists of a single form necessary to gather the core information to initialize the database and install core files and directories. Once the basic installation has been completed, more configuration will be necessary to set up your preferences, chart of accounts, defaults and features.

NOTE: It is not recommended to install the application manually as many background tasks are performed during the install and, if skipped, will most likely lead to a non-operational system.

Before you begin, you will need to have an existing database, database access information, and a
web server running MySQL and PHP 5.3 or greater.

NOTE: PhreeBooks will install all modules that are present in the /modules directory during initial installation. If you plan on using add-on modules, copy them into you web server /modules directory prior to running the installation script.

  1. Download and unzip the phreebooksRx.x.zip file from Sourceforge or Google Code.
  2. Upload/Copy the files to your web server directory where you want as your PhreeBooks homepage. This may be in a path below your website root directory.
  3. Navigate to the PhreeBooks homepage (http://path_to_your_server/path_to_phreebooks/index.php)
  4. You will be re-directed to the install directory where you should see the welcome screen. Read and accept the terms and press Continue.
  5. PhreeBooks will perform an initial check of the system and alert you if any issues are present.
    Issues in RED must be handled before the installation script can continue. Issues in YELLOW are cautions and are for informational purposes only. If all critical issues have been resolved, the information screen will be displayed. Enter the information and press Continue to initialize your installation and setup the databases.
  6. If successful, you will see the confirmation page. Read the latest information and press the ‘Go To My Company’ button to access PhreeBooks.
  7. PhreeBooks creates a list of prioritized ToDo’s that need to be addressed to take advantage of it’s functionality. Consider these part of the initialization as you will receive errors and your system will not operate properly if some of them are not completed.
  8. Remove or rename the /install directory. This is no longer needed and could allow unwanted access to re-initialize your system.

Troubleshooting Installation

The best source for help for installation problems is the forum.

inventorydraft – there are some descriptions required and some contradictions.

December 2013 / PhreeBooksR36RC3
Author – Charles

Inventory Classifications (in alphabetical order):

Stock, Non-stock

Activity Item – treated like a service or Charge. A non-stock item. Activity Items are a lot like service items with the main difference being they are supposed to be a fixed length item. For example, oil change labor would be an activity item whereas repair oil leak in engine would be a service item where the time allotted is unknown.
Charge Item – a fixed price charge for materials and/or services. Shop supplies and disposal fees would be examples of charges.
Description – a text only item to communicate information. Typically a standard statement included with purchase orders and sales orders. e.g. bank payment details. Also used for Cost-Codes.
Flat-Rate Serviceneed description
Item Assembly – One or more inventory items grouped together and sold as an individual item (with own sku).
Labor – associated with employee chargeable time. May be applied to internal work order activities as well as labor charges to customer for services provided. Typically charged by a unit of time.
Master Stock Assembly – A Master Stock Assembly is simply a Master Stock Item that is an ‘assembly’ i.e. it is assembled using other inventory items in quantities defined in the BoM (Bill of Materials).
Master Stock Item – Items that contain ‘attributes’ e.g. colours and sizes. PB will assign a unique item id (SKU) to each variation to track inventory activity but retain the link to the MSI for reporting.
Non-Stock Item – physical items whose costs are not tracked in the Genaral Ledger. This may include supplies, packing material, assembly materials. Also used for Cost-Codes.
Serialised Assembly – A Serialised Assembly is simply a Serialised Item that is an ‘assembly’ i.e. it is assembled using other inventory items in quantities defined in the BoM (Bill of Materials).
Serialised Item – assembled and sold by a unique serial number. Movement and cost are tracked in the General ledger.
Service – represent a fixed charge for a service e.g. a packing charge or handling would be a service.
Stock Item – common retail item. Purchases and sales are recorded. A count of stock is recorded.


December 2013 / PhreeBooksR36RC3
Author – Charles

Decisions on what is the appropriate Inventory Cost Method for your sort of business will need to be made with your accountant.

Once you have decided on the correct Inventory Cost Method to be employed in your company, it should not be changed lightly. Normally, there are strict rules enforced by your taxing authority covering how and when you can change – expect to have to fill in some forms to fulfill your statutory reporting requirements. Once again – talk to your accountant BEFORE attempting to change your Inventory Cost Method.

COMPANY > Module Administration > Inventory Module > Cost Method on right-hand-side.

 FIFO First-In-First-Out: An item’s unit cost is the actual value of any receipt of the item, selected by the FIFO rule.In inventory valuation, it is assumed that the first items placed in inventory are sold first. In business environments where product cost is stable.(When prices are rising, the balance sheet shows greater value. This means that tax liabilities increase, but credit scores and the ability to borrow cash improve.)For items with a limited shelf life, because the oldest goods need to be sold before they pass their sell-by date.
 LIFO Last-In-First-Out: An item’s unit cost is the actual value of any receipt of the item, selected by the LIFO rule.In inventory valuation, it is assumed that the last items placed in inventory are sold first. Disallowed in many countries, as it can be used to depress profit.(When prices are rising, the value on the income statement decreases. This means that tax liabilities decrease, but the ability to borrow cash deteriorates.)
An item’s unit cost is calculated as the average unit cost at each point in time after a purchase.For inventory valuation, it is assumed that all inventories are sold simultaneously. In business environments where product cost is unstable. When inventories are piled or mixed together and cannot be differentiated, such as chemicals.

FIFO, seemingly used by Dave in his business and also seemingly the ‘default’ setting in PhreeBooks, is only a recent addition to some other popular commercial accounting packages (perhaps – I’m guessing here – because it is complicated). I think that Quickbooks only introduced a core FIFO option into their inventory in 2012 – before that it included only the ‘average cost’ method – FIFO was only available through a “third party add-on product that manages inventory entirely outside of QuickBooks“.

Average cost method

PhreeBooks uses Perpetual AVCO for the Average Cost method.