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Create items versus accounts to track revenue

You can add to your chart of accounts by creating a new account or by creating a new item.

Create an account in your chart of accounts if you want to see the account listed on your Statement of Financial Income and Expense or on your Statement of Financial Position. Accounts are broad categories of income and expense (for your Statement of Financial Income and Expense) or net assets and liabilities (for your Statement of Financial Position). For example, a nonprofit organization might have three income accounts, such as Membership Income, Activities Income, and Fundraising Income.

Most businesses want to track more detailed income information than these broad categories. Instead of creating more accounts in your chart of accounts, you can create items to track detailed revenue information. For example, the Membership Income account might have these service items associated with it: Full Member, Associate Member, and Student Member. By using items, you'll also be able to create invoices, pledges, or donations faster and easier because you (and other users in your organization) will select the item from the Items list. If you enter a complete Items list in QuickBooks, volunteers and staff members can fill in membership invoices, pledges, and donations with minimal training and assistance.

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