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Add, edit, and delete items

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

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.

Add items

There are different item types in QuickBooks with each one following a specific guideline. Here's a quick list to help you decide before you start adding your items.

ServiceA service you provide to a customer. You can create services that are charged by the job or by the hour.
Inventory PartA 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 PartA 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 ChargeAn item type used for things like shipping charges, markups, or other line items that appear on your invoices.
SubtotalAn 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.
GroupThis item type can be used to enter a group of items (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.
AssemblyAn assembly (available only in Premier and Enterprise editions) is a product you assemble from parts. It is tracked as an inventory item in QuickBooks.

Here are the item types that calculate. If you want to perform any of these calculations, you must have an item for each calculation that you need.

DiscountA 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.
PaymentIf 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 ItemCreate one of these item types for each sales tax authority for which you collect (available if sales tax is enabled).
Sales Tax GroupThis is for multiple sales taxes that appear on the same invoice (available if sales tax is enabled).
  1. Go to Lists,  then select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. On the Item List window, select Item then New (for Windows). For Mac, select the plus + icon, 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.

Purchase Information and Sales Information

The following additional fields under Purchase information and Sales information appear when you create an Inventory Part, Non-inventory Part, Service, Inventory Assembly, or Other Charge.

CostEnter the cost of the item when you purchased it.
Expense AccountThe account you use 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 you use to track payments for the item.
Preferred VendorChoose the name of the vendor where Inventory is usually purchased.
Sales Price
This field varies depending on item type:
  • Sales Price (Inventory) - Selling price of the product. It could be equal or more than the cost.
  • Rate (Service) - The rate for the service you purchase or charge to your customers. It can be a flat fee or an hourly rate.
  • Price (Non-inventory part) - The price of the part you purchase or 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.
The account you use to track the amount you earn from selling the item.
Tax Code (Windows) Taxable (Mac)Select the Taxable account (Windows) or the Taxable checkbox (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 are likely to convert to cash within one year.
  • Fixed Assets - These are the assets you do not expect to convert to cash during one year of normal operations. These are usually items that are necessary for the operation of your business.
Reorder PointThe number of items before QuickBooks prompts you to reorder the item.
Quantity on HandThe quantity of stock you have on hand.**
Total ValueThe total value of the stock you have on hand.**
As ofThe date to which your reorder point, quantity on hand, and total value applies.**

**For Quantity on Hand and Total Value:

  • If this is a new item that you are adding to your inventory, leave the quantity-on-hand and value at zero.
  • If this is an item you already have in stock, enter the quantity on hand and value as of the last time you measured your inventory. Then, be sure to enter any sales or purchases of the item that occurred between the date you measured your inventory and today. This
  • If this is an item you are converting to an inventory part item from a non-inventory part, service, or other charge item, the date you enter must be a date that is after the date of the last transaction that uses the item.

**For As of date:

  • If you're converting this item from a different type, use the current date for accurate records.
  • If you use your start date or any date in the past, you need to enter all purchases and sales of the item up to the current date so your quantity on hand and value are accurate.

The following fields appear when you are creating 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 respective 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 dropdown to choose the payment method you want to use for when the payment item is used in transactions.
Deposit optionSelect Group with other undeposited funds or Deposit To.

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

QuickBooks for Windows

  1. From the Lists menu, select 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.
    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.

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

  4. To add items, select 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. Select 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 select Close to close the window without making any further changes.
    5. QuickBooks will not save 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 the required information.
    3. Select the Import checkbox 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.

A discount item applies a discount (percentage or amount) to the preceding line on a sales form.

You don’t need a discount item for discounts you give for early payment. You can calculate these once you receive payments from customers.

  1. From the Lists menu, select Items.
  2. Select Plus + icon.
  3. In the Type field, select Discount.
  4. Enter an item name and description.
  5. Enter the discount amount or percentage:
    • If the discount is a percentage, include a % sign.
    • If your discount amounts vary, leave the amount field blank and enter the amount directly on your sales forms.
  6. Enter the account you use to track discounts. You can use an expense or income account.
    Tip:  When an income account tracks discounts on sales, the account is often called a contra-income account.
  7. Select OK.

If you want QuickBooks to include the discount when it calculates tax on a sale, select the Apply discount before sales tax checkbox.

Edit items

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.

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, select 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.
  • 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.

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 is only available in QuickBooks for Windows.

  1. From the Lists menu, select 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.
  • 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."

If you need to change the prices of your items a some point, here's how:

Change prices to a specific amount

  1. Go to Lists, then select Items.
  2. Control-click the item name, then select Change Prices from the shortcut menu.
  3. Enter the new prices in the New Price column.
  4. Select OK.

Change prices based on a percentage

  1. Go to Lists, then select Items.
  2. Control-click the item name, then select Change Prices.
  3. Select Calculate Prices.
  4. In the first column, select the items you want the markup to apply to. If it’s all the items, select Check All.
  5. Enter the markup in the Mark up sales price of checked items by: field. If it's a percentage, be sure to type the percent (%) sign.
  6. Specify whether to calculate the markup based on the current sales price or the unit cost of each item.
  7. Select OK.

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.

  1. From the Lists menu, select 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.
  • Once you merge two items, you can't 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 can't combine more than two items at a time.
  • You can't combine items if both have sub-items. You must first remove the sub-items from the items you want to remove.

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, select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac) .
  2. Double-click the item you want to hide.
  3. In the Edit Item window, select Item is inactive  (for Windows) or Inactive (for Mac) .
  4. Select OK.
  • 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 checkbox on your item list.
  • Once the item is inactive, you can make it active again at any time by unchecking the Item is inactive checkbox. If the checkbox 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.
  1. From the Lists menu, select Item List (for Windows) or Items (for Mac).
  2. Select the item you want to delete.
  3. From the menu bar, select Edit and then Delete 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 the Edit menu and choose Undo Delete.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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