Product Lines are used to associate a Tax Code to a Category to speed item entry. Product Lines are also used to group Categories together for reporting purposes.
Example: A clothing store sells shoes to both women and children.
A separate Category exists for each: Women's Apparel - Shoes - (Type of Shoe), and Children's Apparel - Shoes - (Type of Shoe). Running a Category Report will show sales in each Category separately.
By creating a Shoe Product Line and associating each with this Product Line, a Sales by Product Line report can be run that show sales of ALL shoes across all Categories.
While every Category must have a Product Line associated with it for Tax purposes, using Product Lines to group Categories together for reporting purposes is optional.
Some states have tax laws that make grouping Categories into Product Lines problematic. For instance the State of Minnesota has no tax on clothing, but it does tax Belts. In such a case there are two options.
1.Change the Tax Code as necessary when items are entered. For example, if most Belts are Taxable and only a few are Non-Taxable, assign Belts to a Product Line that is taxed. When entering non-Taxable Belts change the Tax Code field to Non-Taxable. This method may be best if you are not relying on Product Lines for reporting purposes.
2.Create two Product Lines, one Taxable, and one non-Taxable. For example, a Taxable Belt Product Line and a Non-Taxable Belt Product Line. This will also require creating two Belt Categories - Belt (Taxable) and Belt (Non-Taxable). This method may be best if you are relying on Product Lines for reporting purposes.