Question on Category

I am using W XP and Q 2010. I am the treasurer of a small social organization but do not have a financial background. Occasionally we run events that bring us income to finance some of our charitable activities. One of the things we do at these events is sell soda and water. The previous treasurer set up 2 categories, one an Expense category named Soda & Water and the second an Income category named Soda & Water. The purchase costs for the water and soda is posted to the Expense category and and sales receipts are posted to the Income category. I would like to be able to produce a report showing what the net from soda and water was. The only way I can do this is to manually combine the 2 figures together. Are 2 categories necessary? Can I not just have a single category and any purchases will be posted in the spend column while any sales will be posted in the receive column? Can the category be neither classified as an expense or income? Having a single category will give me a report showing the net for the category and if more detail is needed then I can have the report show the related transactions. I have used only one category, Soda & Water, as an example but there are several more categories that are giving me the same question.
Thanks for any and all help.
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Like you I'm a treasurer for a small non-profit volunteer organization ... use Win xp and Quicken 2010. You may be able to build something with a spread sheet program but we find Quicken works fine for us. We use a checking account as our primary ledger, all expenses are paid for by check using an appropriate expense category, all income is listed as deposits also using an appropriate income category. I then use the Quicken cash flow program for reports to our board. The cash flow program is a very handy tool, you can target it for whatever time period you need.
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You could do it with one category but two gives more flexibility. I would rather see you put tags in for each event and allocate the inventory sold with the income received. A large inventory purchase would hide a growing loss if you just lump everything together. You need to be able to report how much you made on each event and you may need a way to capture other costs of business. I knew a company in Ohio that started tracking income and expenses at the product line level. It discovered it was losing money on every unit of it's primary product and was only showing profits on the items they produced if they had slack demand for the primary. A very big awakening.
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From a pure accounting/tax perspective you need to keep the income and expenses separate by using separate categories.
For management reporting purposes try using Tags to further identify the events. Then run a P&L by Tag to see the details by Event.
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