Add, edit and delete items in QuickBooks Enterprise

Item is anything that your company buys, sells or resells in the course of business, such as products, shipping and handling charges, discounts and sales tax (if applicable). It shows up as a line on an invoice or other sales forms.

Item types

There are different item types in QuickBooks with each one following a specific guideline.

Item type Item guideline
Service A service you provide to a customer. You can create services that are charged by the job or by the hour.
Inventory Part A product you buy for the purpose of reselling. This item type isn’t available if you haven’t enabled the inventory during the Easy Step Interview or activated inventory on the Items & Inventory section in the Preferences.
Non-Inventory Part A product you:

  • Purchase but do not resell.
  • Sell but do not purchase.
  • Purchase and resell but do not stock in inventory or track as inventory.
Other Charge An item type used for things like shipping charges, markups, or other line items that appear on your invoices.
Subtotal An item type that adds up everything that comes before it. It provides a subtotal before you add shipping charges, markups or subtracts any discounts or prepayments. In Enterprise 15 and later you can also subtotal Quantity, Price, Cost, and numeric custom columns.
Group This item type can be used to enter a group of item (all of which must exist in the Item List) all at once. For example, if you frequently have a shipping charge accompanying another type of charge, you can create a group item that includes those two items.
Assembly An assembly (available only in Premier and Enterprise editions) is a product you assemble from parts. It is tracked as an inventory item in QuickBooks.
Discount A discount as a line item cannot be given if this item type does not exist. You may have more than the item that falls within this item type – for example, a discount for wholesale customers and one for volume purchase. When entering a discount item, you can indicate a flat rate or percentage.
Payment If a payment is received (either a total payment or a partial payment as a deposit), you can indicate it as a line item using this item type.
Sales Tax Item Create one of these item types for each sales tax authority for which you collect (available if sales tax is enabled).
Sales Tax Group This is for multiple sales taxes that appear on the same invoice (available if sales tax is enabled).

Add items

Create an item

  1. From the Lists menu, select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. On the Item List window, click Item > New (for Windows) or + > New (for Mac).
  3. Select the type of item you want to create.
  4. Fill in the fields.

    What are the available fields?

    These are the common fields for all item types:

    Field Guideline/Description
    Item Name/Number Enter your desired name for the item. You can use up to 31 characters.
    Description Use this field to add information about the item. You can enter up to 4095 characters.
    Sub-item of: Click the check mark box if you want the item to be a sub-item of an existing item.

    The following additional fields under Purchase information and sales information appear when you create Inventory PartNon-inventory Part (“This item is used in assemblies or is purchased for a specific customer:job” box is checked), Service (“This service is used in assemblies or is performed by a subcontractor or partner” box is checked), Inventory Assembly (“I purchase this assembly item from a vendor” box is checked), and Other Charge (“This item is used in assemblies or is a reimbursable charge” box is checked).

    Field Guideline/Description
    Cost Enter the cost of the item when you purchased it.
    Expense Account The account you use to track the amount spent on purchasing the item.
    COGS Account Cost of Goods Sold is the amount attributable to the total amount spent on the production of the goods sold by a company. It is also the account you use to track payments for the item.
    Preferred Vendor Choose the name of the vendor where Inventory is usually purchased.
    Sales Price Selling price of the product. It could be equal or more than the cost
    Income Account The account you use to track the amount you earn from selling the item.

    These fields under Inventory Information appear when Inventory is selected as item type.

    Field Guideline/Description
    Asset Account Generated by QuickBooks and automatically assigned.
    Reorder Point The number of items before QuickBooks prompts you to reorder the item.
    Quantity on Hand Number of items you already have in your stock.
    Total Value The total value of the stock you have on hand.

    The following fields appear when you are creating a Group Item. Note that before you create a group item, all individual items must already be set up.

    Field Guideline/Description
    Item List Table that lets you choose the items to include in the group item and their respective quantities
    Print items in group Check this box if you want the individual items to show on invoices and other transaction forms when you use the group item.

    The following appears when you create a Payment Item.

    Field Guideline/Description
    Payment Method Click the drop-down to select the payment method you want to use for when the payment item is used in transactions.
    Deposit option Choose between Group with other undeposited funds and Deposit To radio button.
  • (Optional) Select Custom Fields to add your own customized fields.
  • Save the item.

Add an item as you need it

You can create an item without leaving the Invoice or the Sales Form. Just enter the name of an item and click Yes (for Windows) or Set Up (for Mac) when you get the prompt asking if you want to set up the item.

Create multiple inventory or service items

QuickBooks for Windows

  1. From the Lists menu, click Add/Edit Multiple List Entries.
  2. From the List drop-down, choose the Item type (Service Items, Inventory Parts, Non-Inventory Parts, Inventory Assemblies) you want to add.
  3. (Optional) Customize the columns that appear on the window so you can focus on just the columns you want to work on.

    To customize the columns:

    1. Select the Customize Column button.
    2. To add a column, select it in the left pane and choose Add. To remove, select the column in the left pane and choose Remove.
    3. To change the order of the columns, select a column in the right pane and choose Move Up or Move down.
    4. When you’re finished rearranging the columns, select OK.

    You can select Default at any time to return to the preset columns for the list.

  4. To add items, click in the first empty row at the end and begin making your entries. You can copy (Ctrl+C) data from Excel and paste (Ctrl+V) them into the Add/Edit Multiple list window.

    QuickBooks also gives you the option to:

    • Copy Down: Highlight any field, right-click and choose Copy Down. The data in the field is copied into all remaining fields. If data is in any of those remaining fields it will be overwritten.
    • Duplicate Row: Place your cursor in any row, right-click and choose Duplicate Row. The record is duplicated into the next row and is preceded with the word “DUP.”
  5. Select Save Changes.
  6. Fix Errors that might appear.
    1. When you save your changes in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window, QuickBooks will tell you whether there are any errors. Errors appear in red text.
    2. Hover your mouse in any field with red text to see what the error is.
    3. Choose Save Changes and repeat the process until all errors are fixed.
    4. If you don’t want to fix an error, you can save the changes you’ve made so far and choose Close to close the window without making any further changes.
    5. QuickBooks will not save the changes that contain errors.

QuickBooks for Mac

There are two ways to create multiple inventory or service items.

Option 1: Select Next as soon as you have created a new item to get another New Item window. Fill in the necessary fields and repeat the process until you finish creating all items.

Option 2: Import the items.

  1. From the Lists menu, select Items.
  2. On the Item List window, select the icon and choose Import Items.
  3. On the Add Products and Services window that appears:
    1. Choose the Item type (Service, Non-Inventory or Inventory)
    2. Enter all required information.
    3. Put a check mark on the Import box next to items you want to import.
    4. Select the Import button.
    5. The Results window appears. It tells you how many items are imported. Choose the Fix Errors button if not all items were imported.

Modify items

Edit an item

After you create an item, you can edit information about it at any time.

  1. From the Lists menu, select Item List  (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Double-click the item you want to change.
  3. Enter your changes in the Edit Item window.
  4. Choose OK.

If you need to edit multiple items, go to the Add/Edit Multiple List window (List > Add/Edit Multiple List) instead.

Change item type

You can change an item’s type if the item is a Non-inventory part, an Other Charge item, or an inventory part.

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Item List  (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Double-click the item you want to change.
  3. From the Type drop-down, select the new item type.
  4. Choose OK.

Reminders when changing inventory items:

  • If you are changing the item to an inventory part or an inventory assembly item, the “as of” date that you enter for the total value of the item must be a date that is after the date of the last transaction that uses the item.
  • Because the types of items that can be changed and what they can be changed to are limited, you cannot always change an item back. For example, if you change an Other Charge item to an inventory part item, you can no longer change its type.

Duplicate an item

Your business may require the creation of a large number of similar items. Save time by making a duplicate, or copy, of an existing item, modifying it, then saving it with a new name. Note that this only available in QuickBooks for Windows.

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac) .
  2. Highlight the item you want to copy, then right-click and choose Duplicate Item.
  3. Changes the item’s information as necessary. The item’s name will be the same but the “DUP” will be appended to it. You can rename the item as desired. Remember though that two items cannot have the same name.
  4. Choose OK.

Reminders when duplicating items:

  • If you duplicate a main (or “parent”) item, the new item will also be a parent item. If you duplicate a parent item that has subitems, only the parent item will be duplicated. The subitems will not.
  • If you duplicate a subitem, the new item will also be a subitem.
  • If you duplicate an inventory item, all item information will be copied except “On Hand” and “Reorder Point.” Those fields will be set to “0.”

Remove items

Combine two items

If you mistakenly entered the same item twice but with a different name, you can merge them so that all of your transactions are associated only with one item name.

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac) .
  2. Right click the item you don’t want to use then select Edit Item.
  3. In the Edit Item window, change the item name to the same name as the item you’re combining it with.
  4. Select OK then, Yes to confirm that you want to merge the two items under the same name.

Reminders when merging items:

  • Once you merge two items, you CANNOT reverse it. All transactions, even in closed periods, will be under one item. It may also affect previous financial reports. The data associated with the merged item is removed from your records along with the item itself.
  • You CANNOT combine more than two items at a time.
  • You CANNOT combine items if both have sub-items. You must first remove the sub-items from the items you want to remove.

Hide an item

For good record keeping, QuickBooks will not allow you to delete an item if it’s ever been used in a transaction. If you no longer use or sell the item, it’s better to just hide it.

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Item List(for Windows) or Items (for Mac) .
  2. Double-click the item you want to hide.
  3. In the Edit Item window, put a check mark on the box Item is inactive (for Windows) or Inactive (for Mac) .
  4. Choose OK.

Reminders when hiding an item:

  • When you hide an item, it is removed from the list but not from your QuickBooks records.
  • You can display inactive items on your list by selecting Include inactive box on your item list.
  • Once the item is inactive, you can make it active again at any time by unchecking the Item is inactive box. If the box is grayed out and you are unable to make the item active, check if it is a sub of an inactive item. If it is, make the parent item active or remove the connection between the parent item and sub-item.

Delete an item

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Select the item you want to delete.
  3. From the menu bar, choose Edit > Delete Item.

Reminders when deleting an item:

  • You cannot delete several items or the entire item list at once.
  • You can revert a deletion immediately after you delete an item. If you perform any other action in QuickBooks, you won’t be able to reverse the delete. If you delete an item by mistake, you must immediately go to Edit menu and choose Undo Delete.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many items can I set up in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks Pro and Premier, QuickBooks for Mac: Up to 14,500 items (active and inactive).
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: can handle unlimited numberof items.

How many characters can I use for the item name?

You can use up to 31 characters for each item name.

How many items can I use in a group?

QuickBooks Pro and Premier, QuickBooks for Mac: Up to 50 individual items
QuickBooks Enterprise: Up to 500 individual items

How many items can be added to an assembly item?

QuickBooks Premier: Up to 100
QuickBooks Enterprise: Up to 500

If you are using QuickBooks Pro, you cannot create new inventory assembly items. You can view and edit inventory assembly items from the Item list in any edition of QuickBooks, and you can also view and edit the transactions that use them. For more information about inventory assembly, refer to Create, build, and work with inventory assembly items

Why do items appear with a negative amount on my invoice?

If you create an item as a Discount type, this item will appear as a negative amount when you use it on an invoice. Discount items should only be used to subtract a percentage or a fixed amount from a total or subtotal. Once you create an item as a Discount item, you cannot change it to another type. If you have created a Discount item by mistake, the best solution is to delete the Discount item and create a new item using a different type.

Why can’t I use a discount item on a purchase order?

You can’t use discount items on purchase orders or bills. They will not appear in the Item drop-down list. A workaround for this is to create an Other Charge item and enter a negative fixed amount (percentages will not work), for example, -10.00, in the Amount or % field.

How can I discount all items on my invoice?

You must create a subtotal item if you ever want to apply a percentage discount or surcharge to several or all items on an invoice. Because QuickBooks calculates percentages only on the line above, you must subtotal the items before entering a discount item that calculates on a percentage basis.

What’s the difference between price levels and discounts?

Price levels let you set custom pricing for certain customers or jobs. Once you create a price level and associate it with one or more customers or jobs, each time you create an invoice, sales receipt, sales order or credit memo for those customers or jobs, QuickBooks automatically pulls up the correct custom price for a customer or job. Discount items can be used on any invoice.

If I change the price of an item, will it affect my existing transactions?

No. If you change the price of an item, it will not affect existing transactions.

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