An item is a description that appears on your purchase and sales forms. An amount is associated with the item, and QuickBooks uses the amount to perform calculations on your forms. Things you buy and sell are items. Discounts you apply and services you perform are also items, as are the sales tax you charge and the cost of freight. You'll find all the items listed in the QuickBooks Lists menu.
Customers, vendors, invoices, purchase orders, and accounts are not items. Items are services or products you sell or buy and the charges related to those services or products.
For an example of working with items, look at an invoice form. If you plan to invoice a customer for some construction-related labor, such as installation and repair work, you must first enter descriptions of the labor as items in QuickBooks. These are service items. Each of these items represents a type of service you provide and sell to customers. Other types of items are described in the "Types of Items" section that preceded this section.
To create your invoice, press Ctrl+I and enter the customer information. Click in the column of the invoice below the word Item and then click the drop-down arrow that appears. Click an item from the list, in this case Installation. The item description and rate per hour are filled in automatically. You can modify the descriptions on your invoice forms if necessary. For a service item, enter the number of hours charged to this job in the Amount column; the total amount for the invoice is calculated automatically.
Next, click the line under Installation and click the drop-down arrow that appears. Select Repairs from the list and then enter the appropriate number of hours. If a specific rate does not appear, enter the hourly rate you want to charge for these repairs. Modify the description if necessary.
Continue in this manner until all the items for this invoice have been entered.