At a Glance: Comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise Edition (Part 1)

Often when new clients come to us, we hear a lot of their frustrations regarding the limitations of their existing accounting system when it comes to inventory and manufacturing control.

A common question that people ask is, “Why can’t there be one system that just does it all?”.

The truth is, there are large-scale ERP systems that can “do it all”, but even they can have their shortcomings, and you will need some serious surplus in the budget to afford them.

Stand-alone software that strives to be good at everything can often struggle to master what is really needed.

In most cases, stand-alone accounting systems such as Reckon Accounts or Xero are excellent accounting systems, but they clearly know their limits when it comes to managing inventory and manufacturing.

This is where integrations between Fishbowl, with its expertise in inventory and manufacturing control, and a dedicated accounting system such as Reckon Accounts or Xero, can ensure that all bases are covered for your business.

This article is the first in our series of outlining what Fishbowl brings to the table when working alongside of Reckon Accounts. Today, we will focus on the inventory side of things.

Reckon Accounts Enterprise is the top-tier version of one of Australia’s most popular accounting software. It has the best features available to businesses. Let’s see how the very best Reckon Accounts has to offer, stacks up against Fishbowl inventory and manufacturing software.

fishbowl inventory software comparison with Reckon Accounts

Both offer a great deal of inventory management and manufacturing features, as well as plugins and integrations. Let’s take an honest look at both solutions. When Reckon Accounts outmatches Fishbowl, we’ll point that out and when Fishbowl outmatches Reckon Accounts, we’ll point that out, too.

In this first part of our At a Glance series, we will begin by going through many of the inventory management features found in Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Costing Methods

Fishbowl: You can use Average, Standard, Last In First Out (LIFO), and First In First Out (FIFO) costing methods.

Reckon Accounts: You can only use Average costing methods.

Lot/Serial Numbers & Expiry Dates

Fishbowl: You can associate both lot and serial numbers with items on a case-by-case basis.

Reckon Accounts: Currently does not handle lot, serial or expiry date tracking further than a note or a memo against a transaction.

Generating Tracking Numbers

Fishbowl: Able to auto-generate a variety of inventory tracking numbers.

Reckon Accounts: Unable to auto-generate lot or serial numbers.

Due Dates

Fishbowl: You can add due dates to orders and item levels.

Reckon Accounts: You can use Past Due stamps.


Fishbowl: There is a feature that allows you to manage outsourced processes.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.


Fishbowl: Fishbowl GO is an app that can be installed on Android and Apple mobile devices to pick, pack, ship, receive, and complete work order. It also helps with making inventory adjustments, transfers, and more.

Reckon Accounts: No mobile inventory barcode scanning features.

Custom Fields

Fishbowl: There is no limit to the number or type of custom fields you can add to Fishbowl’s modules.

Reckon Accounts: You are limited to 6 custom fields in the Item list, and 6 in the Customer, Vendor, and Employee lists.

Other Fields

Fishbowl: By default, Fishbowl includes other fields on the Purchase Order screen to reveal the customer sales order, vendor sales order, date issued, date confirmed, date completed, purchase order revisions, and the user who made the most recent modification to the order.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.


Fishbowl: You can receive more than what is contained in an order, if necessary.

Reckon Accounts: You can’t receive more than what is contained in an order. Anything extra will have to be added as a separate line item.


Fishbowl: The Purchase Order module lets you receive, reconcile, and fulfil purchase orders all in one place.

Reckon Accounts: Purchase orders, item receipts, and bills must be accessed separately in different windows, so it’s a little more complicated to take care of them.

Automatic Reorder Points

Fishbowl: There is a featured called the Auto ROP, which allows you to automatically review and assign reorder levels to every part in your inventory.

Reckon Accounts: There is no equivalent feature in Reckon Accounts. You’ll have to assign reorder levels manually.

Automatic Purchase Orders

Fishbowl: The Auto PO feature lets you automatically generate purchase orders when inventory items hit their reorder points or are in backorder status on Sales Orders.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Landed Costs

Fishbowl: There’s a fairly simple process to add landed costs to incoming items.

Reckon Accounts: Adding landed costs requires a much more in-depth and complex manual process.


Fishbowl: The Picking module shows you all of the orders that are waiting to be picked or already committed. You can print out pick lists that are sorted by warehouse locations and scan barcodes to pick, pack, and ship items.

Reckon Accounts: You can print a simple pick as a Sales Order template but it does not define locations or allow scanning of barcodes to pick items.


Fishbowl: You can integrate with a variety of shipping solutions, such as Australia Post and UPS Worldship using an out of the box integration, and more with custom integrations. Tracking numbers and other data get automatically sent to Fishbowl via these integrations.

Reckon Accounts: There aren’t built in connections between Shipping providers and Reckon Accounts.

Packing and Shipping

Fishbowl: The Shipping module helps with packing and shipping items. You can monitor tracking numbers, batch ship products, print packing lists, and more.

Reckon Accounts: You can print packing lists.

Next At a Glance: Manufacturing

We’ll continue next week with Part 2 where we’ll compare the manufacturing features of Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

This post was originally post by Robert Lockard in the US and has been modified to suit the Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Published by

Alan-Dean Simonds

Alan-Dean Simonds works at Fishbowl Australia and makes sure that everyone is knowledgeable about the popular inventory management software for Reckon (formerly QuickBooks) users. Dean enjoys playing StarCraft II, creating 3D animations and watching movies.

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