The subtotal item in QuickBooks can be useful if you want to provide a summary of the price of items you are selling in an order form. Unfortunately, if you try to get tricky with multiple levels of subtotals you may find that this feature doesn’t work the way you might expect. Today we’ll talk a bit about subtotals and how you can get around some limitations.
To start, we will create a subtotal item in the item list.
Unfortunately, if we go to the next “level” of subtotals, things don’t work the way some people would expect. What if we nest the subtotals, so that we can have a higher level of subtotals? Consider the following:
We would expect the next level to work also. “4” + “5” should equal subtotal “6” – but it doesn’t add up. Note that the last subtotal (#6) includes all of the subtotals above it – “1” + “2” + “3” + “4”. That isn’t what most people would expect.
Here is a simple workaround that might be helpful – although it isn’t as simple as we might hope. Use group items for your first level of subtotals.
Let’s create a standard “template” group item. There are a lot of ways that you can set this up depending on your business. In my example, I’m going to create two templates, one for “computers” and one for “construction” (I have an odd business here, sorry about that).
For the “computer” template, I’ll add just one item. Note that it is very important to check the print items box.
I only need one item in the group. However, if you have a “typical” set of components, go ahead and add them. I’m also going to create a “Construction” group item, and it will also have just one component.
Add one of these groups to the order. Note that it works like a subtotal, showing you the item and the subtotal for the group.
Now, right click on the detail line of the group item and select insert line. You can insert lines into the group item, and you can change the “template” item to be an item that you want. Here is the first “subtotal” group based on my example earlier.
This isn’t a perfect solution, but it can help. It only provides you with a second level of subtotals, but for most businesses this is enough. If you start getting too many levels the order will be very difficult to comprehend.
Let me know what you think! Have you found other workarounds?
About the Author (Author Profile)
Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Using Subtotals in QuickBooks Orders | QBPros, Inc. | December 10, 2012