How to Use Excel for Inventory

Written by k.a. francis
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How to Use Excel for Inventory
A business must keep track of its inventory. (notepad and pen image by Erika from

Inventory is an indicator of business functionality. Fluctuations can reveal which products are selling and which are not as popular. At tax time, a business's inventory will affect its tax liability. A business with a small inventory can survive keeping inventory with a pen and paper, but when the inventory gets large, or products take several parts to create, a business needs a more streamlined process to keep track. Microsoft Excel is an option for keeping track of what a business uses and what a business sells.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click on the link for the Inventory List on the Microsoft website (see Resources below). The template works with Excel 97 and later versions. Click the "Download" button and follow the prompts. Save it in a location that you will easily remember, such as the Downloads folder.

  2. 2

    Open Excel and click the Office icon on the left-hand side of the screen (for Excel 2007) or click the "File" menu for previous versions. Click "Open." On the "Open" dialogue, navigate to the location where you saved the Inventory List file and double-click on it to open. The Inventory list has preset columns: Inventory ID, Name, Description, List Price, Quantity in Stock, Reorder Level, Reorder Time In Days, Quantity to Reorder and Discontinued.

  3. 3

    Enter the information for each product in the business inventory using the columns that apply.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to keep your product inventory separate from your parts inventory, copy the Inventory List spreadsheet by right-clicking on the top left corner of the spreadsheet (between column A and row 1) and selecting "Copy" from the down-down menu. Then select a different sheet in the workbook (tabs are found at the bottom of the spreadsheet). Right-click on the A1 cell and select "Paste" from the drop-down menu.
  • Keep the inventory list up-to-date. As you buy and sell products, make sure you update your list. Otherwise, it will be of little use to the business.

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