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Small Business

2020 Review of Fishbowl Warehouse

Fishbowl Warehouse is an on-premise inventory management application that is designed to seamlessly integrate with QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Xero, though it can also be used as a stand-alone inventory management application if desired.


Fishbowl Warehouse

From the 2020 review of inventory management systems.

Fishbowl Warehouse is an on-premise inventory management application that is designed to seamlessly integrate with QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Xero, though it can also be used as a stand-alone inventory management application if desired.  Fishbowl is available in U.S. and Canadian editions, and offers both warehouse and manufacturing options. Better designed for those that manufacture or distribute items, Fishbowl can also be used in both brick and mortar and online retail businesses.

Fishbowl Warehouse also includes a mobile app available that supports both iOS and Android devices, and those interested in online accessibility can use Fishbowl Hosted Services, which will host the product on their servers for easy online access.

Upon installation, users can choose the business type that they specialize in, choosing from manufacturing, distribution, service, warehousing, and asset management, as well as from various business types including online retail, government, retail, or wholesale.

The user interface in Fishbowl appears slightly outdated, and is reminiscent of applications popular in the 1990s, though the mobile app has a newer feel to it.

fbm-order-management[1]Some of the latest features in Fishbowl include the addition of a sales order module to Fishbowl GO, as well as numerous updates to system reports, receipts, and the ability to now export files as a Microsoft Excel file.

Fishbowl Warehouse easily tracks both inventory and parts and supports multiple warehouse tracking. The application offers an unlimited number of user-defined fields that make it easy to track the information desired. Fishbowl Warehouse also supports multiple pricing levels, with users able to create pricing rules which can be used for markups and markdowns. Pricing levels can be created as a margin, percent, fixed price, or amount and can also be set in tiers, or as an adjusted price based on order quantity, customer, day, product purchased or average cost. Users can establish product reorder levels, with an option to assign a substitute product should an item become out of stock. Fishbowl also supports multiple inventory valuation methods including LIFO, FIFO, Average, and Standard Cost.

Fishbowl Warehouse includes serialized inventory tracking, with users able to track inventory by vendor, lot, tag number, or even revision. Inventory can also be managed using barcodes, with an option available to create and print custom barcodes available in the application.  Users can also add product images and related documents to any product file in Fishbowl. Along with Fishbowl Warehouse, Fishbowl Manufacturing is also available, which offers bill of materials, along with standard and configurable kitting and assembly capability.

Fishbowl includes more than 150 inventory, warehouse, and manufacturing reports, though reports offer limited customization options. Those who desire custom reporting can opt to purchase custom reports directly from Fishbowl at an additional cost. Inventory reports available include an Inventory Aging report, Inventory Valuation Summary, Item History, Inventory Variance, On Hand, On Hand by Date, a Reorder report, and a Turnover report. There are also various plug-in options available for creating printable barcodes, and creating sales, product, and inventory graphs. Users can schedule reports to run when they desire, with the ability to email any report directly from the report screen. In addition, all reports can be exported as a CSV file or to Microsoft Word or Excel if customization is desired.

Along with its extensive warehouse and manufacturing capabilities, Fishbowl offers a variety of add-on options designed to integrate seamlessly with the core application, including Fishbowl Time, Fishbowl ShipExpress, Fishbowl for Salesforce, and Fishbowl Checkout. The product also offers integration with third-party applications such as QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Xero, Avalara, Magento, Salesforce, UPS, Amazon, XCart, Zencart, Volusion, and Shopify, as well as shipping services such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS, and ShipStation.  

Fishbowl Warehouse users can download the user manual from the Fishbowl website, and the support page offers access to resources such as a Getting Started tutorial, training videos, an FAQ page, and a searchable knowledge base. Fishbowl also offers toll free support during regular business hours, with support also available via email or chat.

Fishbowl Warehouse is an on-premise, scalable warehouse/manufacturing application that is best suited to larger retail businesses, online merchants, manufacturers, and distributors. Those that desire cloud-access can purchase Fishbowl Anywhere, a plug-in that offers remote access to Fishbowl from any location. In addition to warehouse and manufacturing options, Fishbowl offers a variety of add-on applications that can increase program functionality. Especially well-suited for retailers and manufacturers that are using QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, or Xero, Fishbowl can also be used as a stand-alone application. Fishbowl currently offers a free, 14-day trial for those interested in trying out the application, with pricing available directly from Fishbowl.

2020 Rating – 5 Stars


·        Integrates with QuickBooks and Xero

·         Offers warehouse and manufacturing options

·         Great integration with online selling platforms

Potential Weaknesses:

·         Outdated user interface

·         Primarily sold as an on-premise solution