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Chaos to Order with QuickBooks

Folders on a keyboardGroup items allow for fast entry of a collection of individual items already on your item list. Alternatively, you can create and build Inventory Assembly items (you must have QuickBooks Premier Editions or QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions). Once created, any version of QuickBooks can be used to view, sell and report on existing assembly items.

When you build an Assembly Item, an assembled unit is automatically added to quantity on hand and its component parts (inventory or other Assembly Items) are automatically deducted from quantity on hand.

By using Assembly Items, you always know how many assembled and component items you actually have in stock. You can also specify a price for an Assembly Item that's different than the sum of the component items. (Group items have a sales price that is simply the sum of the sales prices of the items in the group.) You can even set reminders for future builds! At build time, QuickBooks will notify you if you don't have enough component items in stock to build the specified number of assembly items.

The following table compares group and assembly items:

Group Item

Inventory Assembly Item

Can include any item type except other groups.

Can contain any of the following item types: service, inventory part, inventory assembly, non-inventory part, other charge. Notice that you can include other inventory assemblies (sub-assemblies) within an inventory assembly.

Allows you to select (or not) to print the individual items contained in the group on sales forms.

Prints only the assembly name, not component part names, on sales forms.

No reports available specifically for groups.

Appears after inventory part items on standard inventory reports. Pending Builds report lists assembly builds in the pending state.

Quantity on hand of each item included in the group is adjusted in inventory at the time of sale.

Quantity on hand of component items is adjusted in inventory when the assembly is built.

Sales tax is calculated by individual items included in the sales tax group item.

One sales tax code applies to the entire assembly, even if component item sales tax codes differ.

Cannot be included in another group item (nested) or in an inventory assembly item.

Can be included (nested) in other inventory assembly items and included in group items.

For groups of inventory parts, QuickBooks tracks inventory of items in the group, not the group itself.

QuickBooks tracks assembly items in inventory.

Price of a group item is the sum of the items in the group (although you can include an item in the group for a discount or additional charge to adjust the simple sum calculation).

Price of an assembly item can be anything you specify.

Can include taxable and nontaxable items.

The entire assembly must be designated as taxable or nontaxable.

The initial setup of an item will enhance or hinder accurate financial reporting of sales, purchases and the gross profit margin. To correctly report income and expenses when using an item on a form, the appropriate item type, sales and purchase information must be entered into the item.

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