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I am using Quickbooks to handle invoicing, purchasing, sales, etc. and so, to facilitate all these processes, I have an 'Items' list; I know, pretty standard stuff, right? Well, here's my problem, what I've been told I can do about it, and my woes trying to figure it out.

The Problem: Many of my items, while still serving the same needs of my customers, have changed item numbers, manufacturers, price, etc. In other cases, my default item is the latest and greatest, but some customers still need the old items. The best way to describe my situation is through an example...

The following is a pretty typical order around here: 2 x 2D Barcode Scanners, 6 x 10' Scanner Cable - Serial, 4 x 16' Scanner Cable - USB, 2 x 40' USB Extension Cable.

Now, for the above order, depending on which customer it is (and in turn, what kind and how new of an installation they have) the 2D Barcode Scanners will be 1 of 3 types. As a result, there are 3 different items in my QB that start with 2D Barcode Scanner and then some ending tag that distinguishes each from the others. My Scanner Cables come in one of two types, depending on the Scanner-side connector, so there are two entries for both the -Serial and -USB cables. Finally, on the 40' Extension Cable, it could have one of several part numbers and manufacturers depending on which batch it came in (I order these through a discount service, so the specifics change based on which price is lowest at the time of my order).

The result of all this mess is that my 'Items' list in QB is stupidly long and fairly repetitive, both of which make it less than simple to navigate. A friend of mine (an accountant, so probably not the most experienced when it comes to using QB for inventory-related tasks) suggested that there was a way to have some sort of master item that then held the different specifics within it so that, instead of having 3 different items for my 2D Scanners, I could have one entry that would then let me specify which type to use in each instance. The same idea applies to my other woes, and I'd like to get it to where my 'Items' list only displays a sort of 'what is it' list that I then use to specify which one.

In the system I'm trying to effect, the above order would be entered by: Clicking on 2D Barcode Scanner (the only one in my streamlined 'Items' list), then selecting which type, etc.

My ultimate question is: Is there a way to accomplish this? If so, how? If not, what can you suggest that would get me close?

Thanks in advance.

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