QB Tip: Use Groups to hide Items on Invoices & Estimates

If you use Estimates in QuickBooks then progess bill on an Invoice, you may not want your customers to see the line items on either document. The solution is to use Groups.

A Group is a container that holds Items. A new group is created from the same menu an Item is, Lists -> New Item, except change the Item type in the drop-down menu to Group. You can put something generic in the “Group Name” and “Description” fields, such as “Contract Billing”.

Toward the bottom of the New Item dialog box, you can setup some common items. The neat thing about Groups is that items can be later added on the fly when you are creating the Estimate without having to permanently modify the Group.

When creating the Estimate, you select the Group as the Item. All of the Group’s Items will show on the screen version of the Estimate, but when printed or print-previewed, it only shows the one Group Item. You can add other items in between the top “header” and bottom “footer” group placeholders that you’ll see by clicking on the row and then right-clicking then select “Insert Line” (or Ctrl+Insert if you like keyboard shortcuts like me).

Where it all ties together is when you create a progress invoice, on screen again you’ll see all the individual items, but when printed (or print previewed), only the Group item is displayed, not all the individual items.

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