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QuickBooks items help you fill out purchase orders, bills, invoices and other financial business forms. Items can represent the services and products you sell, so they are an important part of filling out invoices you send to your customers. If you buy inventory to resell, you use items to fill out purchase orders and vendor bills too. But items come in other flavors, like discounts, other charges, sales taxes and even payments that your customers send you. Items you use reside in the QuickBooks Item list.
On the homepage, you can click Items & Services to open the window or on the menu bar you can choose Lists and then you choose Item List. For most companies, the majority of items represent services or products that you sell. As you can see here. But let's look at an invoice to see how you use items. Here is an invoice created by the Lynda Construction Company, which sells both services and products. You can see that the first several lines are for different construction services like Demolition, Carpentry and Electrical Work.
A service item can represent fixed-price services like snowplowing, services you charge by the hour, or a subscription, like a cable TV package. The invoice also has a few items for products needed for this small remodeling job. Items for products can be inventory or non-inventory parts. The products that you keep in stock to resell to customers are called inventory; products you purchase special for a customer or job are non-inventory parts. Items can represent things other than what you sell and the Other Charge item comes in handy for shipping charges, bounced check charges, finance charges and so on.
The Subtotal item adds up all the amounts from the preceding lines in an invoice, up to the previous subtotal or the beginning of the invoice. You can subtotal costs like the services or the products on this invoice. So you can apply a discount or shipping charge to several items. The Discount item lets you apply a percentage or fixed-dollar amount to an invoice. You'll learn more about all these types of items and how to set them up later in this chapter.
Some organizations get by just fine without using forms like bills and invoices. If you keep track of sales in other ways and simply deposit money into your business checking account, you don't have to create items at all. For example, a consignment shop sells other people's stuff. The owner keeps track of consignment goods in a spreadsheet and simply deposits payments into her checking account. She doesn't need items in QuickBooks. Remember, if you do use forms like invoices, bills, purchase orders or sales receipts, you need QuickBooks items to fill them in.
You'll learn how to create different types of items in this chapter.
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