Last week we examined custom fields for Names lists. Customers, Vendors, and Employees.
While the custom fields did not appear all that useful in the Customer/Vendor/Employee file, they became much more powerful in custom reports and templates.
It is possible to create custom fields for items as well. Like the name lists, the power of custom fields for items becomes more evident once they are used other places in the program.
Start with the Edit Item window.
Select the Custom Fields button and the Custom Fields window opens. In the example above, the window adds “for Labor” onto the window title because Labor is the name of the item being edited.
Regardless, custom fields set up in any one item will be available for all items.
From the Custom Fields window, click on Define Fields. The Set up Custom Fields for Items is displayed.
In the Rock Castle Construction sample file shown above, the custom fields Color and Material already exist. There would be room for three more. You can create a total of five custom fields for items.
Using the example of a trucking company, let’s see how item custom fields can be used. Once created, they become available for templates, like invoices, just like custom fields for names.
Note the arrow near the top of the screenshot. Custom fields for items become available as columns on a custom template like an invoice. The circled area shows a number of custom fields setup for our fictional trucking company.
A completed invoice using this template would look like this:
The trucking company’s five custom fields for items are circled. BOL, Bill of Lading number, is the left most circled column.
Then we have weight ticket, payroll number, delivery date, and driver pay. The sample trucking company is using the invoice data to pay the drivers on a commission basis.
The computations are done on the invoice. These columns are simply left unchecked in the Data Customization Layout specs so they do not print.
Custom fields become searchable. As an example, a transaction using the custom field could be searched in QuickBooks using the Bill of Lading number.
Custom reports can be created to show all trucking loads hauled by a certain driver, in order of weight ticket number, in order of bill of lading number, and so forth.
Since this company is using custom fields to track driver commissions, a custom report could be created to show all a certain driver’s transactions for one certain pay period. This report could be used to create the paychecks and to give to the driver to detail how their commission was computed.
Hector Garcia, CPA
Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor