What’s an ‘Estimate’ and its use?
When you’d like to send your company proposal / quotation as per your prospects’ requirements, or respond to a bid by mentioning your products, services, rate card and other details, you create an estimate. Estimate is primarily used to manage negotiations with the prospect.
Managing ‘Estimate’ in QuickBooks?
Creating an estimate is a straight forward process in QuickBooks. In QuickBooks, you can add an estimate to an invoice or create an invoice from estimate when the work has been delivered and you are ready to bill your customer (with creation of invoice your prospect has now turned to a customer), check the status of the estimate to keep track of it and also delete the estimate when no longer needed. Learn how by following the step by step instructions:
Create an Estimate
- Select + New from left navigation bar once you login to QuickBooks Online.
- Select Customers, select Estimate.
- Select a Customer. Choose a status on the drop-down under the customer’s name (optional).
- Verify the Estimate Date, then enter the Expiration Date(optional).
- Enter the product/Service, Description, Qty, Rate, Amount, Tax, Message (optional), and Discount (optional).
- Select Save and close by clicking on the dropdown next to “Save and send”. Alternatively press CTRL+ALT+D. Message appears estimate has been saved. You can print or see the preview of it by selecting “Print or Preview” option. If this requires customization, select “Customize” and save. To make this estimate recurring, select “Make Recurring”
Add an estimate to invoice
Estimate format is similar to invoice, but it’s not an actual transaction. Estimate won’t affect the balance of the customer or doesn’t reflect as a sale. When you convert estimate to an invoice and save it, this reflects then as a sale amount and also affect customer’s balance.
Do the following to add an estimate to a new invoice:
- First locate the estimate you created by going to “Sales” and click on “Estimate” blue box” (shown in the screenshot below). Note: Only estimates in Pendingor Accepted status can be created into an invoice.
- Select the checkbox next to “Date” column to select all the estimates you want to create the invoice. If you don’t want to select “all” the estimate, then select respective ‘check box’ next to each estimate.
- In the Action column, select Create Invoice.
- The below window appears, here you can customize the invoice amount which is either a) remaining total of all lines, Or b) 50% of each line Or c) custom amount for each line. (see below screenshot). Select “create invoice”
Invoice window appears. Add all the details in the respective fields. Saveyour invoice by clicking “Save and Send” button.
When you can’t create the invoice from an Estimate?
There could be two reasons for this:
A) You’ve selected a different customer than the one you selected when you originally created the invoice
Find a list of estimates.
Go to Reports.
In the search box, enter Estimates by Customer.
Edit the date range and grouping and select Run Report.
When you locate the estimate in question, see if the customer’s name is the same as the one you were choosing when trying to create an invoice.
If the estimate in question does not show under the correct customer name, select it and change the customer name.
Select Save and close.
If the name on the estimate is correct when attempting to create the invoice continue to the other reasons below.
B) On the estimate, the Status section may not have the appropriate Status selected
- Locate the estimate you previously created.
- On the upper left of the estimate, make sure that the Estimate Status field is set according to your copy setting (Acceptedor Pending).
- If you change the status, select Save]/conditional].
Add an estimate to more than one invoice
Estimates in QuickBooks Online weren’t designed to be added to more than one invoice; however, here is what you can do:
- Go to Sales, then select All Sales.
- Find and select the desired estimate from the Money Bar
- Change the Estimate Status from Closedto Accepted. Under Action, select the drop down menu and choose Update status.
- On the Estimate screen, go to the Status
- Select Acceptedfrom the Status drop-down arrow.
- When you see, The Transaction you are editing is linked to others. Are you sure you want to modify it? select Yes. This will disconnect the link to the invoice this estimate was included on. The invoice will remain intact but the link from the estimate will be gone.
- Select Save and close.
- Add the estimate to a new invoice.
See the status of an estimate
To see the status of your estimate and if it has been applied to an invoice, use the Estimates by Customer report.
- Go to Reports.
- In the search box, enter Estimates by Customer.
- Select your date range and select Run Report. (Note: To further customize the report, select Customise.)
- This report will provide you the name of the customer, number of the estimate, status, and an Invoice No. if it’s been applied.
Delete an estimate
- Go to Sales, then select Customers.
- Select Estimatesfrom the Money Bar.
- In the Open Estimatescolumn, select the estimate(s) to navigate to them.
- Select the Estimateto pull it up on the screen.
- Select Morethen Delete.
- When you see Are you sure you want to delete this estimate? select Yes.