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Create or change group items

Why use group items?

If you often enter the same group of items when you record a sale or purchase, you can set up the items as a group item. Instead of entering each item individually when you fill out a form, you enter the name of the group item. QuickBooks then fills in the details for the items in the group.

More reasons to use group items:

  • More detailed reports: Group items enable you to track the items that you sell in greater detail. For example, a construction firm that remodels houses could set up a group item that lists the significant components of a remodeling job: lumber, carpentry hours, markup, and so on. Sales reports for the company would then show income broken down by each component instead of a single lump sum for all remodeling jobs.

  • Less detail for customers: If you need to track a lot of detail about your items but you also want to give your customers simple, uncluttered invoices, you can use group items to do both. You can set up a group item so that the printed version of an invoice reduces a group item to a single line item and one amount. Yet when you view the invoice on your screen, you see a separate line entry and amount for each item in the group.

  • Fast data entry: Group items also give you a way to enter a great amount of line item detail quickly. On a sales or purchase form, all you do is enter the name of the group item—QuickBooks fills in all the details about the items in the group.

Note: If you create a group item, you cannot change it to another type. If you need to do this, delete the group item, and then create a new item using the correct type.

For sales tax groups, see Create sales tax group item instead.

To create a group item

  1. Go to the Lists menu and click Item List. Shortcut

  2. Click Item at the bottom of the list and click New.

  3. Click the Type drop-down arrow and then click Group.

  4. In the Group Name/Number field, enter a name or number for the group item.

  5. (Optional) If unit of measure is available, assign a unit of measure.

    To do this task

    1. In the Unit of Measure section, click the drop-down arrow and then do one of the following:

      • Click an existing unit of measure (Single U/M Per Item mode) or an existing unit of measure set (Multiple U/M Per Item mode).

        Base unit

        The first unit defined in a unit of measure set and is usually the smallest unit of measure used for an item when purchasing it, tracking it in inventory, and selling it. In QuickBooks, the base units of items are used to count inventory, generate most inventory reports, and perform quantity-related calculations.

        Important: When you create an inventory item, the cost, sales price, and on hand quantity you enter are all for the base unit.

        Related unit

        A unit defined by the number of base units it contains. For example, if the base unit is foot, a related unit might be yard, which is defined as containing three feet.

        Related units make it possible to show quantities of the same item in different measurements in different places in QuickBooks. For example, you might purchase an item called Cable in spools, count that item in inventory by the foot, and sell it by the yard. By creating a unit of measure set with a base unit of foot and related units of spool (containing 500 feet) and yard, you can enter a quantity of spools on a purchase order, show the item in feet on inventory reports, and enter a quantity of yards on an invoice.

        Unit of measure set

        Consists of a base unit and any number of related units.

        When you create a unit of measure set, you can also specify which unit of measure should appear by default when adding an item to a purchase form, a sales form, and a shipping pick list. You also give the set a name, such as "Length by the foot."

        Once you've created a unit of measure set and assigned it to an item, you can easily convert to other units of measure within the set when you add the item to a transaction. Continuing with the previous example, if you add the Cable item to an invoice with a quantity of 10 yards, you could then convert that quantity to 30 feet or 0.06 spools.

        Note: Unit of measure sets are available only when Multiple U/M Per Item is selected as the unit of measure mode.


      • Click and then complete the wizard to assign a new unit of measure.

        Note: If you see the Enable button instead of a drop-down arrow, click Enable and then complete the wizard to turn unit of measure on and assign a unit to this item.

  6. Enter a Description of the group item.

    This description appears on sales forms.

  7. (Optional) If you want your customers to see a list of the individual items and their amounts on your printed forms, select the Print items in group checkbox.

    Subitems of an item in a group will not appear on printed forms.

    Leave the checkbox unselected if you don't want the details of the group to appear on your printed forms. (You'll still see the details when you view the form onscreen.)

  8. In the Item column, select the items that you want to include in this group.

    You can include a maximum of 20 items in a group.

  9. In the Qty column, enter the quantity that you want QuickBooks to enter for each individual item when you use the group item on a form.

    If you do not enter quantities, QuickBooks assumes that the quantity of each item is 1. You can always change the quantities when you enter a sale or purchase.

  10. (Optional) Click Custom Fields to fill in all custom fields that apply to this item.

    How to create custom fields

  11. Record the item.

To remove an item from a group

  1. Go to the Lists menu and click Item List.

  2. Double-click the group item.

  3. Click the item within the group you want to delete, and then click Ctrl-Del.

See also

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