Google Sheets Inventory Tracking Template | Step-by-Step Tutorial

This article will walk you through how our inventory tracking template is created.

Prepare the Sheet

In order to have all of the right column headers, start the spreadsheet by adding the following labels in the first row:

  • Item
  • Beginning balances
  • Purchases
  • Sales
  • Ending balance
  • Purchase Price
  • Ending Value
Headers
Headers

Enter the Items and Amounts

Enter your item descriptions in the first column under the Item header. When you use this spreadsheet for the first month, you need to hard-code the beginning balances. In subsequent months, you will be able to link the beginning balances to the prior period’s ending balances. We will review how to do that later but, for now, just type your amounts in.

We’re using an ice cream shop as an example so the example is using vanilla as one of the flavors. During the first month, you purchased four units and you sold two.

For the ending balance, you will use a formula. If your table is set up with the same rows and columns as the example, your formula for the ending balance should be =C4+D4-E4.

Formula for ending inventory 
Ending Inventory

Consider using this template. This is the end result of what are discussing below and what is shown in the video below as well.

Purchase Price and Ending Value

For purchase price, use the last price that you paid for a gallon of this ice cream flavor. That way, the value will reflect the market value closely if it’s the most recent market price. For the ending value, we’re going to take the ending balance, which is column F, multiply it by the latest purchase price, which is G4, =F4*G4 and that’s the ending value of your vanilla inventory.

Formula for ending value 
Ending Value

You need to remember to update the purchase price every time you buy it or it’s not going to reflect the current value.

To share this Sheet with everyone in your organization, consider upgrading your Google environment to G-Suite. This would also allow you to have  more space in Google Drive and to use a email address with Gmail. Send me a message for your unique 20% discount code for your first year.

Watch the video

This site has a companion YouTube channel that has pretty much, well almost exactly, the same content. If you like this, you'll like that.

Total Inventory Value

Next, we’re going to total the value of our inventory. Go to the bottom of the ending value column and type =SUM for your formula. Open up the parentheses and choose the range of all the ending values. I went back in and I filled out some activity for two more flavors of ice cream.

The ending value of this inventory is the total shown in the ending value column. To reflect the proper value of your inventory in your financial records, you need to adjust it to this number if that’s not what the balance is now.

Formula for total
Total Inventory Value

Formatting your Sheet

Let’s do a little bit of formatting so it’s easier to read. In order to get all of the numbers in the value column to have two decimal points, change the formatting to Number by going to the Format menu, choosing Number, and then selecting Number again. Now all of the decimal points are lined up which makes it visually easier to read.

Number format
Number Format

Let’s do a bottom border to show that this is the sum at the end of the table. Using a thick line at the end of a column of numbers helps a reader see that it is the end of the series.

Bottom Borderl
Bottom Border

Book to Actual Comparison

After all of your careful tracking, some of your inventory is going to mysteriously shrink, right? Or, you’re going to purchase something and record it incorrectly. In other words, this ending value over the months is going to become inaccurate no matter how hard you try to keep it right.

What you can do is a monthly or a quarterly physical inventory. Let’s add a physical count column. Let’s recheck the purchase price to make sure there are no errors there either. Then, add in actual value using a formula, in this case, of =I6*J6.

Formula for actual value
Actual Value

You don’t need to do physical counts throughout the month. You don’t really need to do one every month. But, if you want to double check yourself, this is a great way to do it. If any of these amounts or prices are different, the ending value of the count won’t match the ending book value in the spreadsheet to the left.

Adjust your GL

After you do your physical count and you check your prices, this is the dollar amount that you should have recorded in your general ledger as your inventory. For the months that you do a physical count, you should adjust your inventory to actual and then book the difference to your cost of goods sold.

Note that the first worksheet in the template is linked to a second that you can use for a subsequent month. This process can be repeated for as many months as you would like. Link the beginning values of the subsequent month to the ending values of the preceding month. You do this by typing =, left-clicking on the cell that you want in the other worksheet, and hitting enter.

That wraps it up for creating and using your new simple inventory management template. Hopefully you find this helpful for your business!

Template

Go to the Template here. Choose File -> Make a Copy to copy it into your drive.

Google Sheets Pivot Tables – Basic Tutorial

This tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating your first Pivot Table. I already made one on this linked Google Sheet with the source data on the “Raw Data” sheet and the Pivot Table on the, you guessed it, “Pivot Table” sheet. The Pivot Table in the linked file is what you will have at the end of this tutorial.

Start with Good Data

Table of data before being used in a Pivot Table
Table of data before being used in Pivot Table

The table of data in the image above is a good example of what makes good data for a Pivot Table. It has headers and the names of the headers describe the data that’s underneath it. The Sales Rep header is on a column that contains the names of the sales reps (duh). More importantly there are no breaks in this data meaning that there are no blank lines. Also, the table is so large that you can’t just look at it and get the information. If the table of data was small, there could be no need for a Pivot Table since you could see all of your answers by eyeballing the data yourself.

Video Explanation

Create Your Pivot Table

Go to Data then Pivot table
Go to Data then Pivot table

Make sure that you have selected a cell within the source table of data then go to the menu, select Data, and Pivot table as shown in the image above. That gives you a blank slate that you’re going to work with. Sheets will “suggest” different Pivot Table configurations using artificial intelligence to as shown in the image below. Unless you have very simple data, and you just want to have it summarized by one dimension, these are not going to guess what you want because there are so many different combinations. But, if you do just try one of these and click on it, it’s going to build a table for you which can be helpful if you have simple needs.

Suggested Pivot Table Configurations
Suggested Pivot Table Configurations

Add Data to the Pivot Table

Now we will start building out our Pivot Table. If we want to analyze the data by Sales Rep first, and get the Sales Reps names going down the left-hand column, this is where it gets little bit confusing and it may be more clear to watch in the video. You want the Sales Reps names in the leftmost column, but you want the name of each salesperson to be in a row. You need to add the Sales Rep for Rows even though these rows will be filling the first column. Sheets will fill them into the Pivot table in alphabetical order.

For the columns, you want the Ship Mode, and again, this is a little bit confusing, right? This is a row. It’s going to be your row of headers, but each column is going to have the data in it so it’s called Columns. Let’s add the Ship Mode.

Add Sales Rep as a Row
Add Sales Rep as a Row
Add Ship Mode as a Column
Add Ship Mode as a Column

You’ll notice, each time you add a field, it’s asking if you want to show the totals or not. Let’s leave both of those checked and there will be a Grand Total for the Sales Rep and a Grand Total for the Ship Mode.

Leave on the Show totals option
Leave on the Show totals option

The Values field is going to be what it shows you in the middle of your pivot table. For this table, we will be looking at the number of sales, not the dollar amount. Go to values and add our Sales column. It’s the field with the dollar amounts in it. Sheets defaults to summing dollar amounts. We want to count each one of them as one so we are going change the function from SUM to COUNT.

Add the COUNT of Sales
Add the COUNT of Sales
Basic Pivot Table
Basic Pivot Table

Add the Dates

Now that we have Sales Rep and we have a count by each Ship Mode, the last thing we want to do is look at the data by year. Let’s have the dates on the left-hand side to the right of Sales Reps. Remember this is called rows, even though it’s a column. Let’s add another column of rows, and we are going to make it the date.

Add Date as Another Row
Add Date as Another Row
Pivot Table with Too Much Detail
Pivot Table with Too Much Detail

Group the Dates

This isn’t what you want, right? We want it by year but, in order to do that, you had to add the dates. What you can do is right click on any of the dates, and create a pivot data group, and select Year.

Pivot Table Grouping by Year
Pivot Table Grouping by Year

This is going to summarize the data by year because Google Sheets recognizes the data as valid dates. It can extract the Year and summarize by just that.

Pivot Table Grouping by Year
Pivot Table Grouping by Year

Filter by Date

Let’s say you’re just looking for 2018. Let’s go back to the right, scroll down to the filters. We’re going to add a filter for the date. This will be a little bit tricky how we’re gonna do this. Let’s do a drop down it said showing all items. We’re going to select clear and then we’re going to type in 2018. We’re going to hit select all.

Pivot Table Date Filter
Pivot Table Date Filter
Pivot Table Just 2018
Pivot Table Just 2018

What we’re doing here is, we’re saying unselect everything, show no dates. Then, if you type in 2018, it’ll show only the 2018 dates that are in the original table. If you click select all, it’s going to select only the 2018 dates. Click OK. You have this filtered by 2018. Click OK, and there you are.

Completed Pivot Table

A really easy to understand pivot table with just the data that you need and, if you want to change anything, this is always live. I could just go back here and customize it however you want. So that’s all. Taking a good solid list of data that has columns with consistent data types in it, no blanks, and we’ve created this pivot table that gave you the exact information that you wanted to see.

Finished Pivot Table
Finished Pivot Table

Google Sheets – Group Data Inside a Pivot Table

Pivot Table Groups

If you’re using a Pivot Table in Google Sheets, and you want to create groups within that pivot table, you can do it with just a few clicks.

As can be seen in the linked example Sheet, we have a table of sales transactions and we are going to group them by region.

This tutorial assumes that you you have already completed your Pivot Table and you have a basic knowledge of how to use them. See this video if you need some basic help on Pivot Tables.

If you need a primer on Pivot Tables, this video will walk you through them.

Raw Data

When you look at the table below, we can see we have different regions. We have West, East, North, and, um, just one mile left of North.

Table of data before being used in a pivot table
Table of data before being used in pivot table

Build Your Pivot Table

Let’s make the rows of our Pivot Table the value in the Region column from the table of raw data. Select any cell in the table of data and go to Data and Pivot table. This will start to fill your Pivot Table. Click ADD for the rows and select “Region”.

Selecting Region as the row
Selecting Region as the row

To fill in the center of the Pivot Table with data, select ADD for the Values and choose SUM which is the default. This will show the sum of the sales by Region.

Add Amount as a value and SUM it
Add Amount as a value and SUM it

Let’s add another value here to make it look a little bit more informative. We also care about the item, right? Okay, add that as a column. This will give your Pivot Table a broader display of data.

Add Item as a Column
Add Item as a column

Video Description

Grouping the Data

Now let’s group together the compass directions and then group the One Mile Left of North in another group because he’s a little bit different so we want to analyze him differently. What you want to do highlight the three that you want to group separately, right click, and create a Pivot group as shown in the image below.

Add the Pivot Table Groups
Add the Pivot Table Groups

Now the Pivot Table has put the three compass direction territories together and then the one oddball on its own. Now you can expand and collapse these groups in the same way that you can in a spreadsheet without a Pivot Table. That’s the way to group data in a Google Sheets pivot table. That’s basically all.

Google Sheets – Pivot Tables | Summarize by Year, Month or Quarter

Start with a Pivot Table

If you have a table of data in Google Sheets and you want to look at it by a certain type of date, let’s say if you want to look at it by day of the week, the first thing that you want to do is create a Pivot Table.

As can be seen in the linked example Sheet, we are starting with a table, (also shown in the image below) for our raw data and we will be creating the Pivot Table on a new sheet called Pivot Table 1 which is shown at the end of this article in the embedded view of the Sheet.

This tutorial assumes that you know how to get this far with a Pivot Table. See this video if you need some basic help on Pivot Tables.

If you need a primer on Pivot Tables, this video will walk you through them.

Raw data before being used in a pivot table
Raw data used in pivot table

A well-formed table of data

As can be seen in the raw data above, it is important that you start with good data that has descriptive headers for each column and no empty rows. If you have empty rows, be sure to delete them before attempting to create a Pivot Table.

Once you are ready to create your Pivot Table, go to the menus, select Data then Pivot Table. The Blank Pivot table will be created on a new tab in your spreadsheet as shown in the picture below.

New, blank pivot table
Pivot table before customizing

Add the Dates

To get the dates to be the first column on the left, we want dates to be the rows so add Ship Date to the Rows field. As mentioned above, working with pivot tables is a lot easier if you have descriptive headers in your source data. Each one of these headers is telling us exactly what’s in the column.

Now I have my dates on the left-hand side and then I want show the items in each column. Let’s add items to the Columns field. To fill the table with the number of items shipped, tell it to use the COUNTA function for the Ship Date which will count each instance of a Ship Date as one.

Add the ship date field
Add the ship date field to the rows

Add the ship date to the value field
Add the ship date to the value field

Group by Day of the Week

Come over to the column that has the dates in it. Select any one of the days. Right click and do create pivot date group. It doesn’t matter what day you click on in the source table. Google Sheets will give you the option to sort by date or time as long as you left-click on a valid date or time inside the pivot table.

Group the days by day of week
Group the days by day of week

You can do this by week, month, day of the week or even units of time smaller than a day such as hour or minute. Since we are doing Day of the Week, it summarizes all of the data from Sheet1 into Monday, Tuesday, etc. If you have things in this column that aren’t working right, go back to your data and make sure that the dates are valid. There are several different ways to get valid dates and to check and make sure that they’re working. So that’s mostly it. We’ve summarized this data by month with just a few clicks!

Finished Pivot Table Grouped by Day of the Week

Live embedded view of Pivot Table Sheet

Follow image below for the live Google Sheet with this data

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How to Link an Excel File to a Google Sheet With Automatic Updating

If you have an Excel file that you want to directly linked to a Google Sheet, this can be accomplished using the steps outlined below. The Google Sheet that will be created will be automatically updated if the Excel file changes.

Google Drive

The first step is to upload your Excel file to Google Drive. The linking of the Sheet and Excel spreadsheet happens in the cloud. The original file and the new Google Sheet must in the same cloud service for this to happen. In this example we are using Drive, but this also works with Microsoft’s OneDrive. As seen in the example above, an Excel file called Record employee time including night shift.xlsx has been uploaded to Drive.

Excel file in Google Drive
Excel file in Drive

Sheetgo

After you have your Excel file uploaded to Google Drive, navigate to Sheetgo, go to Data Source, and choose Add source. Sheetgo will show you the files that you have in Google Dirve. In the picture below, it is showing the Excel file that we just uploaded. We will choose that file.

Excel file in Sheetgo
Excel file in Sheetgo

The destination will default to a Google Sheet named New Spreadsheet. You could go into Google Drive, create a new spreadsheet with any name you want, and add it to that if you wanted.

Excel file in Sheetgo
Excel file in Sheetgo

Below is the file opened in Sheets that was just created.

New File in Sheets

Excel file in Sheets
Excel imported into Sheets

Now you have a Sheets file with the same data that the Excel file has in just a few, easy steps!

Video Explanation

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