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Create and send estimates in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Online248Updated 2 weeks ago

Learn how to set up estimates in QuickBooks Online.

Create an estimate when you want to give your customer a quote, bid, or proposal for work you plan to do. The form looks similar to an invoice, but has a different purpose - it helps you start discussing details with your customer.

When the work is done and you're ready to invoice your customer, you can convert the estimate to an invoice so you don't have to enter it twice. Here's how to create a brand new estimate, convert it, or attach it to an existing invoice.

Step 1: Create an estimate

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Estimate.
  3. Select a customer from the Customer dropdown.
  4. If the work has already started, select a status from the Pending ▼ dropdown. This is optional.
  5. Set the Estimate date and the Expiration date.
  6. Enter the products and services you plan to sell.
  7. Enter any other info you need.
  8. When you're ready, select Save and close.

Step 2: Update an estimate's status

When your customer accepts the work, or decides they don't want to continue, update the estimate's status. This keeps your accounts accurate and up to date:

  1. Go to Bookkeeping, select Transactions, then select All Sales (Take me there).
  2. Find the estimate.
  3. In the Action column, select the dropdown▼ and then Update status.
  4. Select Accepted or another status. Then select OK.

Tip: Estimates aren't considered transactions on your books until they're accepted.

Step 3: Convert an estimate to an invoice

Convert the estimate to an invoice so you can bill your customer:

  1. Go to Bookkeeping, select Transactions, then select All Sales (Take me there).
  2. Find the estimate.
  3. In the Action column, select Create invoice.
  4. If you have progress invoicing turned on, choose how much you want to invoice: (Skip this step if you don’t use progress invoicing)
    • To create an invoice for the entire estimate amount, select Remaining total of all lines. Then select Create invoice.
    • Or, to create an invoice for only part of the estimate, you can select the option to enter a percentage of each line or the option to enter a custom amount. Then select Create invoice.
  5. Make any changes to the invoice, then select Save and send, or Save and close.

Instead of converting estimates, you can also add them to existing invoices:

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Invoice.
  3. Select the customer from the Customer dropdown. This opens the Add to invoice window.
  4. Find the estimate you want to add to the invoice and select Add.
  5. Select Total of all estimate lines option if you want to create invoice on the entire estimate amount.
  6. Select Copy to invoice.
  7. Complete and save the invoice.

Tip: If you have more than one open estimate for a customer, you can add them all at once. However, your customer may prefer separate invoices for each one.

Review open estimates

  1. Go to Bookkeeping, select Transactions, then select All Sales (Take me there).
  2. Select the Filter ▼ dropdown.
  3. In the Type dropdown, select Estimates.
  4. You can use additional filters as needed and select Apply.

You can also run a report to get more details:

  1. Go to Business overview and select Reports (Take me there).
  2. Look for and open the Estimates by Customer report.
  3. Select your date range and select Run report.

This gives you the customer name, estimate number, status, and invoice no. if it's been converted.

Delete an estimate

If your customer decides they don't want you to do the work, it's better to change the estimate status to "Rejected" rather than delete it. (See Step 2: Update an estimate's status.) This keeps a record of the estimate on your accounts for good bookkeeping.

If you created an estimate by mistake, you can simply delete it:

  1. Go to Bookkeeping, select Transactions, then select All Sales (Take me there).
  2. Find and open the estimate.
  3. Select More.
  4. Select Delete, then Yes to confirm.

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