Using QuickBooks Items
The form-driven functionality of QuickBooks enables the user to quickly interact with each transaction form, either by manually entering the information necessary or relying on the customization of previously saved templates with pre-populated information. Invoices, sales receipts and bills may be populated with the descriptors of goods and services sold. These lines are referred to as items, and they function as a direct link to the related expense or revenue accounts by immediately posting the transaction once the form is completed and saved.
Types of Items in QuickBooks
Service industries can easily utilize items by populating a list of items related to the various types of services offered. Established work types, professional pro-rata work or professional services benefit the most from item setup. For instance, a plumber may charge a flat rate for the visit as well as set rates for various types of services offered in addition to a house call. In QuickBooks, the invoice for these services may set up with each type of income listed separately, as well as the charge rates and total due. By limiting the number of revenue accounts available in the Items column drop-down, entry is simplified.
Businesses who also track inventory purchases for their production cycle or resale may particularly benefit from setting up a list of items related to their products. The inventory is tracked within QuickBooks from point of purchase until point of sale. These items list are often comprehensive, including detailed information about the differing products available. A hardware store may have specific items for all inventory, or generalized items for similarly-priced items, such as screws and nails. In this case, the sales receipt may be populated with multiple lines of information, similar to a receipt. These items would correspond with both pre-entered or customizable sales prices and cost of goods sold, as well as determinable quantities of the product sold.
QuickBooks also allows for other items to be populated that may often relate to sales. Other charges, such as additional labor, postage and delivery, or miscellaneous fees may be added to further detail the invoice or sales receipt. Subtotal lines can be inserted to create distinction between services or products sold and other line items, such as charges or sales tax. Discounts can also be applied, and are entered as an item that corresponds to an income account. A user may choose to apply sales taxes as a singular item (meaning payment to one taxing authority) or as a group (for payment to multiple taxing authorities at once); when either are applied, the form presents this amount as a total of the tax due.
Of particular interest to some users is the Group function of QuickBooks items. This allows for multiple items to be populated at once on a form, predetermined by ‘grouping’ services or products together in the Items customizing screen. For even easier population, forms may be memorized as templates, including the various items as desired by the user.