So why enter each item? Well the advantage of entering each item in your bookkeeping system is so that if in the future you need to search for a transaction, you know you will be able to find it because you entered every single purchase. For example; you are a real estate investor and you know you bought some shrubs from Home Depot less than a year ago for a house but don’t remember exactly when. You now have some trees that have died and since Home Depot gives a one year warranty you need to find when you bought them to pull that particular receipt. You can do a search for landscape expenses in Quickbooks and get a listing of all the landscape purchases you made to find the transaction you are looking for. If you had done summary entries instead, you might have to look thru several months of receipts before you found the receipt you needed. So the main advantage is being able to search for transactions. Another reason may be because you know that you want to sell your business down the road and want to be able to show the transactions to a perspective buyer, in which case they may want to see the particular transactions you do for the business and not summary entries. Bottom line is you need to consider your future needs as to whether you should go ahead and enter each transaction or just summary entries.
Next, what kind of reports do I need to run?