Sales invoice item vs description

I’m just wondering what the intended purpose is behind the ‘Item’ and ‘Description’ fields for sales invoices. I’ll explain…

I started out defining invoice items, by entering the main item name in the ‘Name’ (Item) field and treating the ‘Description’ as a place to optionally put additional details about some items—so I left the description blank in most of my sales invoice items. But now, as I add items to my invoices, I see that the blank description field is automatically populated with the item name, forcing me to manually delete it when I don’t want a description.

This has led me to question whether I’ve misunderstood the intended purpose of each field. @lubos: Were you picturing the ‘Description’ as the main customer-identifiable product name, with the item name more of an internal code?

That’s how it used to work but then after feedback from userbase, Item name became something that is printed on the invoice too. Therefore it’s pointless to repeat the same information in both columns (it made sense before). I fixed this in the latest version (15.3.71)

Thanks Lubos. After some thought, I’ve ended up switching to using the description on my invoices, rather than the name, because it gives me the flexibility to edit the item, which I sometimes do. (I’ve removed the item name from my invoice template.)

I’d be interested to hear what other people do, if anyone happens to stumble across this thread and wants to share.

It causes a lot of problem to me, because I have to write the product name myself to description field. As u click on the “sales of inventory item” in summary , it shows the sales split by customer and product (Description) . In there description act as product . So @Lubos if you have disabled the description field autofill then kindly put Item Name/product Name Field in above mentioned report/form . Or please enable description so that I may use that split for further use . thanks

Do you realise you can add your own descriptions to products under Settings > Sales Invoice Items? The autofill only kicked in previously if you left the Description field blank.

@Kal . You are right . Hoever by doing that sale does not hit inventory , inventory of the product remain unchanged even after sales .

Ah okay. I don’t deal with inventory, so I wasn’t aware. Hopefully Lubos can sort it out for you.

In my setup, the Inventory Item form has three text fields to define the item: “Item code”, “Item name” and “Item description”. When I (batch) created my inventory items I used the “Item name” field for my SKU numbers and left the “Item code” field empty. However when I created my first Sales Invoice, the “Item name” (SKU) did not show on the invoice. I had to edit the Inventory Item and copy the SKU number to the “Item code” field in order for the SKU number to appear on the invoice. I have 120 inventory items, so I will have to try update them with batch create process. Once my SKU numbers are in the “Item code” field, I don’t see a need for the “Item name” field.

You cannot change or update existing inventory items with Batch Create. You must use Batch Update. The reason is that updating existing items requires the hexadecimal key, which does not yet exist when they are being created. See

Item names are used by the program for different purposes than item codes. They appear in different places, such as on some reports. Without them, some of those uses will be unmet, and key parts of displays will be blank. The field you can do without is the Description field, because items names will be used as descriptions if there are no descriptions. See

Thanks, Tut. Shortly after I posted that, I realised I needed to use Batch Update to achieve what I wanted, so it’s all good now.

If the Item names field is used elsewhere, I’ll keep it. Thanks.

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