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A common business use for Airtable is to track invoices or purchase orders. More often than not, that will also include some level of line item detail. The set-up of this is fairly straightforward, but getting the level of data that you need in each table can be somewhat tricky.

Often, you’ll want to bring the line item detail into the parent table for the purpose of sending that data to a client or vendor. There are multiple ways to tackle this using Airtable and Zapier, but in this video I outline the easiest of these solutions using a Rollup Field with a couple of formulas to display the exact output that I want. Then, I can take that output and use it in some automated process – in this case I send an email with (easy to read) line item detail as soon as a new PO is created in the system.

The big trick to this solution is using a Unique Array Rollup Field and then getting Airtable to treat that array as simple text. We accomplish this by using a CONCATENATE formula. From there, we take the text output and use a SUBSTITUTE formula with “\n” to tell Airtable that we want each line item detail on a new line of text.

Once we have the output displaying as we want it, it’s an easy 2-step automation to send this line item detail out with the creation of a new PO or invoice. How does this help you streamline your business processes?

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