Setting Up Items for Blank Goods
Question: How should I set up items for blank goods in QuickBooks?
Answer: “Blank goods,” or orders that are then screen printed or embroidered by other vendors, are one of the most complex of orders in our industry. I recommend setting up a blank wearable by its item number and description only—not including color or size. For example, for SanMar's item 5000, I would set up the item to include:
- Item No.: 5000
- Description: Gildan Heavy Cotton 5.3 oz. 100% Cotton T-shirt
- Preferred Vendor: SanMar
Once you have added the item to the sales order, you then can list the colors, sizes and quantities. This method of setting up a separate item for each color and/or size of each “blank good” will cause your list of items to grow quickly. But I have yet to see a distributor approach the QuickBooks Premier limit of 14,500 items.
As an alternative, some distributors set up an item called "T-shirt" with no preferred vendor or description. I find this is too broad a category and requires that you re-enter the description and supplier with each order. The common reason for this method is to be able to track the volume of T-shirt sales, which is understandable, but there are other ways to do that using custom fields.
The objective of your order management and accounting system should be to minimize data re-entry, make the creation of your sales orders as simple as possible, and allow you to track your orders in sufficient detail.
QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise can be modified to better serve ad specialty distributors. Harriet Gatter is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a former accounting professor and a former ad specialty distributor. She advises ad specialty distributors to use QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, often in conjunction with other industry-specific software, to manage the complexities of the ad specialty business, with the results being time saved, errors eliminated and an overall accurate accounting of your business. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email accounting questions you would like considered for the column to email@example.com with the subject line of “Ask the Accountant”