QuickBooks Guide: Adding Items

Quickbooks Item List 2


In Quickbooks, an item is anything that your company buys, sells, or resells to run your business.  Items are your products, services, and things such as shipping and handling charges, discounts, and sales tax.

When you select an item from the Item list, Quickbooks fills in a description of the line item and calculates its amount for you.

Quickbooks provides 12 different types of items.  Some items, such as service or inventory part items, help you record the services and products your business sells.  Other items, such as the subtotal or discount item, are used to perform calculations on the amounts in a sale.

Quickbooks New Item

To add an item, follow these steps:

  1. From the Lists drop-down menu (see image of pop-up window above), select the Item List option.
  2. Click the Item radio button at the bottom of the pop-up window, and then choose New.
  3. Select the Type drop-down arrow and select the type of item you want to create.
  4. Enter a name for the new item (Note: the name you select for the item will be displayed on documents printed from Quickbooks; such as purchase and sales forms).
  5. Enter the description that you want to appear on sales forms when you use the payment item.
  6. In the Rate field, enter the amount you want to charge for the item or, if the rate varies, leave as zero.
  7. In the Account field, choose the account that is associated with this item (in most cases, you will assign the item to an income account).
  8. In the Tax Code list, select the appropriate sales tax code or create a new one. If you do not see the Tax Cod list, you must turn the tax preference on in the Sales Tax area under EditPreferences.
  9. Click OK or Next if you want to enter another item.


Key Terms

Items – An item is anything that might appear as a line item on an invoice, including subtotals, discounts, and sales tax, as well as the products and/or services that you sell.  You enter items on your invoices and sales receipts.  For example, a writing consultant might set up one item for editing services with an hourly rate, and another item for writing services with a different hourly rate.  On an invoice the items would be entered with the number of hours worked as the quantity.

While providing a quick means of data entry, items also handle the behind-the-scenes accounting.  When you create an item you link it to an account.  When the item is used on a form it posts an entry to that account and another to the appropriate accounts receivable, accounts payable, checking, or other account.

Did You Know?

Adding Multiple Items at once – If you need to add several items to your Quickbooks company file, consider using the Add/edit multiple list entries feature.  For more information, refer to the in-product Help.

Which Item Type Should I Choose?
Quickbooks provides 12 different types of items to help you fill out sales and purchase forms quickly.
Item Type Purpose
SERVICE Use for services you either charge for or purchase, like specialized labor, consulting hours, and professional fees.
INVENTORY PART Use for goods you purchase, track as inventory, and resell.
INVENTORY ASSEMBLY Use for assembled goods you build or purchase, track as inventory, and resell.
NON-INVENTORY PART Use for goods you buy but don’t rack, like offices supplies or materials you buy for a specific job that you charge back to your customer.
FIXED ASSET Use for an asset you do not expect to convert to cash during one year of normal operations. A fixed asset is usually something that is necessary for the operation of your business – like a truck, cash register, or computer.
OTHER CHARGE Use for miscellaneous labor, material, or part charges, such as delivery charges, setup fees, and service charges.
SUBTOTAL Use to total all items above it on a form, up to the last subtotal. Useful for applying a percentage discount or surcharge to several items.
GROUP Use to quickly enter a group of individual items on an invoice.
DISCOUNT Use to subtract a percentage or fixed amount from a total or subtotal. Do not use this item type for an early payment discount; for an early payment discount, use the Set Discount feature in the Receive Payments window.
PAYMENT Use to record a partial payment you received at the time of the sale. It reduces the amount owed on an invoice.
SALES TAX ITEM Use to calculate a single sales tax at a specific rate that you pay to a single tax agency.
SALES TAX GROUP Use to calculate and individually track two or more sales tax items that apply to the same sale. The customer sees only the total sales tax reflected on an invoice.

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