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When you add a subtotal item or a percentage discount or other charge to an invoice, those items interact with other items in the invoice table. A subtotal item simply adds up all the previous lines up to the last subtotal or the top of the table. A discount or other charge item that is setup as a percentage, applies that percentage to the value on the previous line, which means you have to add subtotals and percentage items to the invoice in the right place, or they won't do what do you want.
To see how this works, on the homepage click Create Invoices. In the Customer List select a customer. In the Item Code cell, choose the items you want to add. Let's says some demolition work and some carpentry work. Suppose you want to discount what you charge for both of these services. If you add a percentage discount item after the carpentry item, QuickBooks applies the discount only to the previous line, which is the carpentry work.
So you have to add a subtotal. The subtotal adds up the amount for the lines up to the top of the table in this case. Now you can add the percentage discount item, 10% discount in this example. QuickBooks calculates the discount as a percentage of the previous line. Now suppose the customer also orders some products from you and wants you to ship them. We'll add a few products to this invoice. I'll add a second line of products to this invoice.
You want to calculate shipping as a percentage of the product cost. You'll need another Subtotal item to add up all of the product prices. The subtotal adds up the totals up to the previous subtotal. In this case the discount line. Now you can apply a Shipping Other Charge item to calculate the shipping. If you hadn't added the subtotal and discount for services to the invoice, this Subtotal below the products would add up all the prices for services and products.
Because the order of these items matters, you might worry about forgetting an item in the invoice. But you don't have to start over if you forget an item or add one in the wrong place. To insert a line somewhere in the invoice table, right-click the line below the position you want to add, then choose Insert Line on the shortcut menu. QuickBooks inserts a blank line. On the other hand if you've added an item in the wrong place, right-click the line and choose Delete Line.
Then you can insert a blank line where you want it and fill in the fields again. When you're done click Save & Close to save the invoice and close the dialog box. Discount and other charges that are setup as dollar amounts don't affect their neighbors the way the percentage based items do. You can add them wherever you want.
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