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Add, edit, and delete items in QuickBooks Desktop

SOLVEDby QuickBooks49Updated 1 week ago

Learn how to add, edit, and delete items in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows and Mac.

Items are anything your company buys, sells or resells, such as products, shipping and handling charges, discounts, and sales tax (if applicable). They show up as a line on invoices or other sales forms.

Add items

Here's a list to help you decide what type of items to add.

ServiceA service you provide to a customer. You can create services charged by the job or by the hour.
Inventory PartA product you buy to sell.

You can't use this item if you haven't turned on inventory Items & Inventory section in the Preferences.
Non-Inventory PartA product you:
  • Purchase but don't sell.
  • Sell, but don't purchase.
  • Purchase and sell, but don't stock or track as inventory.
Other ChargeUsed for shipping charges, markups, or other line items that appear on your invoices.
SubtotalAn item that adds up the items before it in invoices and other sales transactions. You can subtotal Quantity, Price, Cost, and numeric custom columns.
GroupYou can use a group item to put multiple items together. For example, if you often have a shipping charge with another charge, you can create a group item with those two items.
AssemblyAn assembly is a product you put together from other parts and track in inventory. Only Premier and Enterprise editions have assemblies.

Here are the item types that perform calculations. 

DiscountA discount reduces the price of specific items by a percentage or flat rate. You can have more than one discount item for different discounts you offer. For example, a discount for wholesale customers and one for volume purchases. Check out Use discount and subtotal items on an Invoice for more info.
PaymentIf you receive a total or partial payment as a deposit, you can list it as a line item on an invoice with this item type.
Sales Tax ItemIf you charge sales tax, you can create sales tax items for each sales tax you charge.
Sales Tax GroupThis is for multiple sales taxes that make up one larger sales tax. For example, you charge a sales tax that is the total of a state, county, and city sales tax.

  1. Go to Lists, then select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Select Item then New (for Windows) or plus + (for Mac), then select New Item.
  3. Select the type of item you want to create.
  4. Fill out the item fields.
  5. Use Custom Fields to add your own customized fields.
  6. Select Save.

The following are the common fields for all item types:

Item Name/NumberEnter your desired name for the item. You can use up to 31 characters.
DescriptionUse this field to add information about the item.
Sub-item of:Select the checkbox if you want the item to be a sub-item of an existing item.
Sales Price/Rate/Price/AmountThis field varies depending on item type:
Sales Price (Inventory) - The amount you charge for the product. It could be equal or more than the cost.
• Rate (Service) - The rate you charge to your customers. It can be a flat fee or an hourly rate.
• Price (Non-inventory part) - The price of the part you charge to your customers.
• Amount (Other charge) - The amount of the charge. You can enter a dollar amount or a percentage. If the amount is a percentage, include a % sign.

Purchase Information and Sales Information

Purchase information and Sales information appear when you create an Inventory Part or when you select:

  • This item is purchased for and sold to a specific customer:job on Non-inventory Parts.
  • This service is performed by a subcontractor on Service items.
  • I purchase this assembly from a vendor on Inventory Assembly items (Windows only).
  • This is a reimbursable charge on Other Charge items.
Description on Purchase TransactionsThis is the description that will appear for the item on bills and purchase orders.
Description on Sales TransactionsThis is the description that will appear on invoices, sales orders, estimates, and sales receipts.
CostEnter the cost of the item when you purchased it.
Expense AccountThe account to track the amount spent on purchasing the item.
COGS AccountCost of goods sold is the total amount spent on the production of the goods sold. It’s also the account to track payments for the item.
Preferred VendorThe name of the vendor where Inventory is usually purchased.
Sales PriceThe amount you charge for the item. It should be equal to or more than the cost.
The account to track the amount you earn from selling the item.
Tax Code (Windows) Sales Tax Code (Mac)Select the Tax Code (Windows) or the Sales Tax Code (Mac) if you charge sales tax for the item. When you make a taxable sale, QuickBooks will calculate tax on the item.

Inventory Information

These fields under Inventory Information appear when you select Inventory as the item type.

Asset AccountGenerated by QuickBooks and automatically assigned. If you don’t want to use the default account, here are the two types of assets:
  • Current Assets - These are the assets you're likely to convert to cash within one year.
  • Fixed Assets - These are the assets you don't expect to convert to cash during one year of normal operations. These items are usually necessary for the operation of your business.
Reorder PointQuickBooks reminds you to reorder the item when inventory reaches this number.
Quantity on HandThe quantity of stock you have on hand.
Note: For items newly added to inventory, enter zero. For items you already have in stock, enter your last stock count.
Total ValueThe total value of the stock you have on hand.
Note: For items newly added to inventory, enter zero. For items you already have in stock, enter the value of your last stock count.
As ofThe date to which your reorder point, quantity on hand, and total value applies.
Note: When you convert non-inventory, service, or other charge items to inventory you must enter a date after the last transaction for the item. If you enter a date in the past, you’ll need to enter all sales and purchases of the item up to the current date for your inventory to be accurate.

The following fields appear when you create a Group Item. Before you create a group item, all individual items must already be set up.

Item ListA table that lets you choose the items to include in the group item and their quantities
Print items in a groupSelect this checkbox 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.

Payment Method Select the payment method you want to use when the payment item is used in transactions.
Deposit optionSelect how you want these payments deposited. 
Group with other undeposited funds - adds the payment to the undeposited funds account.
Deposit To - adds the payment to the account you select.

You can create an item without leaving the Invoice or any sales form. Just enter the name for the new item and press the tab key. Then select Yes (for Windows) or Set Up (for Mac) when you’re asked to set up the item.

QuickBooks for Windows

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 you have created all the items you need.

Option 2: Import the items.

  1. Go to File, and select Import then select Items.
  2. Select the Item type (Service, Non-Inventory or Inventory).
  3. Enter all the required information.
  4. Make sure the Import checkbox is selected for the items you want to import.
  5. Select Import.

Edit items

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

  1. Select Lists, then select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Double-click the item you want to change.
  3. Edit the info for the item.
  4. Select OK.

You can change an item's type if the item is an inventory (windows only), non-inventory, or other charge item.

  1. Go to Lists, and select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Double-click the item you want to change.
  3. Select Type, then select the new item type.
  4. Select OK.

The items you can change the type on are limited. You can't always change the type back. For example, if you change an item to an inventory or service item, you can no longer change its type.

You may need to create similar items. You can make a duplicate, or copy, of an existing item and save it with a new name. This is now available in QuickBooks 2023 for Mac.

  1. Go to Lists, select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac) .
  2. Select the item you want to copy.
  3. Right-click, or select plus + (for Mac), and select Duplicate Item.
  4. Update the item name and details. Remember, two items can't have the same name.
  5. Select OK.

Note: If you duplicate a parent or sub-item, the new item will also be a parent or sub-item. If you duplicate an inventory item, all item info is copied except On Hand and Reorder Point. These fields are set to 0.

Remove 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. Check out Merge list entries in QuickBooks Desktop for more info.

QuickBooks won't let you delete an item if it's ever been used in a transaction. If you don't need it anymore, you can hide it. When you hide an item, it's removed from the list but not from your books.

To hide an item:

  1. Go to Lists, and select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Double-click the item you want to hide.
  3. Select Item is inactive  (for Windows) or Inactive (for Mac) .
  4. Select OK.

Once the item is hidden, you can clear the Item is inactive checkbox to unhide it at any time. If the checkbox is unavailable and you can’t unhide the item, check if it’s a sub-item of a hidden parent item. If it is, unhide the parent item or remove the connection between the parent item and sub-item.

You can select the Include inactive checkbox on your item list to show hidden items.

  1. Go to Lists, and select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Select the item you want to delete.
  3. Go to Edit, and select Delete Item.

You can't delete more than one item at once. If you delete an item by mistake, you must immediately go to Edit and select Undo Delete. The delete can’t be undone if you do anything else in QuickBooks.

Frequently asked questions

  • QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Mac: Up to 14,500 items (active and inactive).
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: can handle an unlimited number of items.

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

  • QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Mac: Up to 50 individual items
  • QuickBooks Enterprise: Up to 500 individual items
  • QuickBooks Premier: Up to 100
  • QuickBooks Enterprise: Up to 500

Assembly items are not supported in QuickBooks Pro. You can view and edit inventory assembly items and the transactions that use them in any QuickBooks edition. For more info about inventory assembly items, check out Create, build, and work with inventory assembly items

When you use a Discount or Payment item on an invoice, the amount will be negative. In QuickBooks for Windows you can also enter a negative rate to cause a negative amount to appear. If you have created a Discount item by mistake, the best solution is to delete the Discount item and create a new item with a different type.

You can't use discount items on purchase orders or bills because they are intended for sales transactions. If you need to add a discounted amount to a purchase order or bill, you can create an Other Charge item and enter a negative fixed amount in the Amount or % field. For example, -10.00.

QuickBooks calculates discounts only on the line above the discount item. To discount all the items on an invoice, you’ll need to add a subtotal item after the last item sold then add a discount item. You can discount the subtotal with a flat rate or a percentage.

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, QuickBooks automatically pulls up the correct custom price for a customer or job each time you create a sale (invoice, sales receipt, sales order or credit memo) for those customers or jobs.

Discount items must be manually added to invoices.

No, a price change only affects new transactions. The prices on existing transactions aren’t changed to keep your books accurate.

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