Thank you for reaching out on this and hope you have had a nice weekend!
I found this article from our community that explains in detail for the difference of Deposit and Receive Payment on invoices.
How to Record Bank Deposits in QuickBooks Online
Please take a look, and let us know if you have any questions.
A deposit is taken before you create an invoice. The invoice is the final sale.
You can create a liability account called customer deposits, and a service item named cust dep which has that liability account linked to it. Use that item on a sales receipt to record receiving the deposit. The will put it in undeposited funds, and then you make the deposit to the bank account.
When you invoice you list what you are selling and as the last item use the cust dep item, set the qty to negative one, and enter the amount of the deposit. The customer pays the balance due on the invoice.
Hopefully I am understanding correctly that the deposit is made in advance of any invoices being issued. Therefore there is no need to have this as field on the invoice template. :-). However the only time that I can advise a customer of the amount they owe us on an quote (as you do not have orders) is if I create an invoice?
Most of our transactions are sales orders with customers paying us on a periodic basis (when goods are delivered). I have a feeling (but hopefully, I am wrong) that it is essential that we have a 3rd party add on to meet our needs. That is fine (I have been looking at the links) but want to ensure that I am understanding correctly and there are no other workarounds :-).
Thanks again.. I know I am keeping you busy
Yes, that is correct. You need to create an invoice that will serve as your customer’s basis of how much they owe you.
On the other hand, you don't need a third-party application. I can share some feature within QuickBooks to help you track your estimates. You can use progress invoicing in QBO. This lets you split up into many invoices as you need. Then, create a retainer as what our All Star @Rustler recommended above.
Please leave a comment if there's anything else I can do to help you more on this.