Inventory could be used albeit a bit clumsy as you may purchase items such as “Hiring” which doesn’t fit comfortably into inventory, but could be recorded as quantity of “1”. The inventory can be grouped by either using codes or the event name - AAA T-shirts, AAA Balloons etc. Once an event is completed you could recycle the inventory Items to another event via a name change or make them “inactive”.
An alternate which is probably more correct accounting would be to store the costs as “Events-in-Progress”
So you would do this:
a) Activate the Special Accounts tab under Customise.
b) Under Settings - Chart of Accounts create a Balance Sheet Asset account called “Events-in-Progress”, tick the Control Account box and select Made up of Special Accounts.
c) Under Special Accounts tab create the Event Account and select the Control Account - Events-in-Progress.
d) All expenses would be allocated to the particular Event Account
e) On the completion of each Sales Invoice you would create a Journal to transfer the costs from the Special Account to the P&L expenses accounts.
A third option would be the use of Tracking Codes, which are assigned while processing the Purchase Invoice. When it comes to the Sales Invoice, produce the P&L report for the particular Tracking Code to get a list of expenses.
Which method needs to be ascertained by you based on the volume of activity per event but:
On creating an inventory item a “Custom Expense Account” can be nominated so when the item is entered onto the Sales Invoice it will be transferred automatically to the correct P&L expense account.
Each inventory item needs to be created separately before the Purchase Invoice can be processed.
Special Accounts Pluses
Only need to create one account per event before Purchase Invoices can be processed.
Total costs spent to date can be easily seen (assuming no progress invoicing) or since last Invoice
Special Accounts Minuses
Have to process a Journal separately from the Sales Invoice to transfer the expenses to the P&L
Tracking Codes Pluses
Items expensed directly to the P&L on processing the Purchase Invoice.
Tracking Codes Minuses
P&L report is distorted with expenses until the Sales Invoice is created.
If in-progress Sales Invoicing is done it could difficult to sort out what has and what hasn’t been invoiced.
To summarise, if each event has only low levels of “Inventory” then this is probably the most efficient but if high levels then Special accounts comes in to its own. Tracking Codes a very distant third.
EDIT: if selecting the Inventory method, then the Inventory on Hand account could be re-named to Events-in-Progress.