How to Set Up QuickBooks for a Used Car Dealership

Setting up QuickBooks to sync with your company function is an important step. Many times, people focus on their Chart of Accounts, however, the item list is the major part of proper accounting. A well thought out chart of accounts is useless if your item list is woefully lacking the same amount of thoughtfulness.

I am using for example how to set up an item list for a used car dealership.

  1. Work with your accountant to set up a chart of accounts, or you can select Automotive Sales or Repairs as the industry when setting up a new company file.
  2. Open your item list and create an inventory item for the cars you are selling.

  3. Use the last four digits of the VIN.
  4. Create a non-inventory or other charge item for your cost. Make sure these are mapped to the COGS accounts you’ve set up.

  5. Create a Customer:Job. You can name it by car or make a general customer named _Auto Sales. Each car you buy would go under the customer as a job. You would use the name or VIN as the job name.
  6. When you purchase a vehicle, use a PO. Enter the vendor then enter inventory item (make sure the VIN you created matches the car you are buying). Enter purchase price. Save and close. Then Receive the item into inventory.

    1. You can do the same process using the write a check feature in QuickBooks or entering a credit card charge. Make sure you place the VIN on the item tab.
  7. When you sell a car. Go to the job under the customer you created and create the invoice. Make sure you use the same item!
  8. Add your fees to the invoice. (DMV, Environmental Fees, etc…)
  9. Your Finished!


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