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QuickBooks Tip – 5 Reasons To Use QuickBooks Group Items – Part 2

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QuickBooks provides you with a powerful, and time saving tool within your items list, which is often under utilized and often misunderstood — the QuickBooks Group Item.

5 Reasons To Use QuickBooks Group Items:

  1. Creating and using Group Items is useful for quickly entering a group of individual items that you have already set up as single items in your Item List.
  2. Group Items are versatile – you can choose to print – or – not to print the items within the group, meaning you can track more detail than your customer needs to see.
  3. Group Items ensure that you don’t “leave something out” – which means lost dollars on your part.
  4. Group Items speed up the creation of Estimates and Invoices – imagine being able to pull in 19 items with a single click of a mouse.
  5. Group Items allow you to bridge the difference in units of measure used to buy and sell products or materials.

“Back in the day”, as my son-in-law would say, before QuickBooks had a Unit of Measure option – I think it was introduced with QuickBooks 2007 – we had to rely on QuickBooks group items to perform Unit of Measure calculations.

Using Group Items to bridge differences in units of measure used to buy and sell materials.

Suppose you are an Electrician and buy wire in spools of 1,000 feet, but when you invoice your customers you do so by the foot.  By using group items we could effectively bridge this difference by following the steps below.

1.  Verify that Inventory & Purchase Orders are active, by choosing Edit, Preferences, Purchases & Vendors, Company Preferences

2.  Add a Sub-Account to your main Inventory Asset Account on your Chart of Accounts called Wire


3.  Create an Inventory Part item for a foot of wire, called “Feet of Wire” and assign it to the “Wire” Account from your Chart of Accounts

inventory part for wire

4.  Create a Group Item called “Spool of Wire”

5.  Add the “Feet of Wire” Inventory Item with quantity of 1000

group item for wire


How we used these items once they were created:

When you buy the wire, use the “Spool of Wire” Group Item on your Purchase Orders, your checks, or bills and QuickBooks will add 1000 feet of wire to Inventory.

When you sell the wire, use the “Feet of Wire” Inventory Part Item on your Estimates, Sales Orders, or Invoices and QuickBooks will remove those amounts of wire from Inventory.

Would you believe that even though QuickBooks now comes with a Unit of Measure ability, there are still some people that prefer this method?

How many of you remember this method of creating a Unit of Measure using Group Items?


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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert

I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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