Chapter 5. Setting Up Items

Whether you build houses, sell gardening tools, or tell fortunes on the Internet, you’ll probably use items in QuickBooks to represent the products and services you sell. But to QuickBooks, things like subtotals, discounts, and sales tax are items, too. In fact, nothing appears in the body of a QuickBooks sales form (such as an invoice) unless it’s an item.

Put another way, to create invoices (which you’ll learn how to do in Chapter 10), sales receipts, or other sales forms in QuickBooks, you need customers and items. So, now that you’ve got your chart of accounts and customers set up in QuickBooks, it’s time to dive into items.

This chapter begins by helping you decide whether your business is one of the few that doesn’t need items at all. But if your organization is like most and uses business forms like invoices, sales receipts, and so on, the rest of the chapter will teach you how to create, name, edit, and manage the items you add to forms. You’ll learn how to use items in invoices and other forms in the remaining chapters of this book.

What Items Do

For your day-to-day work with QuickBooks, items save time and increase consistency on sales forms. Here’s the deal: Items form the link between what you sell (and buy) and the income, expense, and other types of accounts in your chart of accounts. When you create an item, you describe what the item is, how much you pay for it, how much you sell it for, and the accounts to which you post the corresponding ...

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