What Is the Unit of Measure Preference and How Does It Work?

The Unit of Measure preference is a way to specify the basis for quantities, prices or rates, and costs for an Item.  It’s only available in Premier and Enterprise Solutions, and support for it varies by product and edition.

QuickBooks supports 2 modes for assigning a unit of measure: Single (Single U/M Per Item) and Multiple (Multiple U/M Per Item).  In Single mode, each item can only have 1 unit of measure; in Multiple mode, an item can be converted from a base unit, such as each, to another, such as case or dozen, that contains a specified number of the base unit.

These QuickBooks products support only a Single unit of measure per item:

  • Premier
  • Premier Nonprofit Edition
  • Premier Professional Services Edition

These QuickBooks products support both Single & Multiple units of measure per item:

  • Premier Accountant Edition
  • Premier Contractor Edition
  • Premier Manufacturing & Wholesale Edition
  • Enterprise Solutions
  • Enterprise Solutions: Contractor Edition
  • Enterprise Solutions: Manufacturing & Wholesale Edition
  • Enterprise Solutions: Nonprofit Edition
  • Enterprise Solutions: Professional Services Edition

The Unit of Measure preference is set by clicking on the Edit->Preferences menu selection and selecting the Company tab on the Items & Inventory submenu.  If you've never enabled this functionality in this company file (.qbw), you can enable it by clicking the Enable… button.

You’ll then need to specify the unit of measure mode: either Single U/M Per Item or Multiple U/M Per Item.  Click Finish to complete the process and return to the Items & Inventory preferences.

If the unit of measure has previously been enabled, you can change the unit of measure mode or disable it using the pulldown selector.

You can disable or change the Unit of Measure preference after you’ve previously enabled it, but doing so will impact how item quantities, prices, and costs are displayed.  For example, if you previously had the Multiple U/M Per Item Unit of Measure preference enabled, disabling it will cause all item quantities, prices, and costs to be displayed in base units only, even if the transaction was recorded in a related unit of measure.

See our articles on using a unit of measure for a single unit and multiple units per item.

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