cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
QuickBooksHelp
Intuit

Create and send estimates in QuickBooks Online

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 instead of charging your customer, you’re giving them information on your proposal and their costs. Then, 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.

QuickBooks estimates and invoices are improving! Your workflow for estimates and invoices will look different depending on whether you have the old or the new version of estimates and invoices.

Learn more about the new estimates and invoices.

To see which version of estimates and invoices you have: 

  1. Select + New
  2. Select Invoice or Estimate
  3. At the top left of the form, if you see “New” by the form title, then you’re currently using the new version.

Now that you understand which version of estimates and invoices you have, here’s how to create a new estimate and convert it to an 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 optional 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.

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 the Sales menu.
  2. Select the All Sales tab.
  3. Find the estimate.
  4. In the Action column, select the dropdown▼ and then Update status.
  5. Select Accepted or another status. Then select OK.

Tip:  Estimates are non-posting transactions. They won’t affect your books until you convert the estimate to an invoice.

Step 3: Convert an estimate to an invoice

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

  1. Go to the Sales menu.
  2. Select the All Sales tab.
  3. Find the estimate.
  4. In the Action column, select Create invoice.
  5. If you have progress invoicing turned on, choose how much you want to invoice: (Skip this step you don’t use progress invoicing)
    • To create an invoice on 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.
  6. Make any changes to the invoice, then select Save and send, or Save and close.

Add an estimate to an existing invoice

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. In the Add to Invoice window, select Add on each estimate you want to add to the invoice.
  5. If you have progress invoicing turned on, choose how much you want to invoice: (Skip this step you don’t have progress invoicing)
    1. To create an invoice on the entire estimate amount, select Remaining total of all lines. Then select Copy to invoice.
    2. 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 Copy to invoice.
  6. Make any updates or edits to the invoice. Then select Save.

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.

Step 4: Review open estimates

  1. Go to the Sales menu.
  2. Select the All Sales tab.
  3. Select the Filter ▼ dropdown.
  4. In the Type dropdown, select Estimates.
  5. Select Apply.

You can also run a report to get more details:

  1. Go to the Reports menu.
  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, the estimate number, the status, and the invoice number, if it's been converted.

Delete an estimate

If a client decides they don't want you to do work anymore, it's better to close the estimate rather than delete it. This keeps the record on your accounts for good bookkeeping. But if you created an estimate by mistake, then you can simply delete it:

  1. Go to the Sales menu.
  2. Select the All Sales tab.
  3. Find and open the estimate.
  4. Select More.
  5. Select Delete.

Step 1: Create an estimate

As you’re creating an estimate, you can customize it to display only what you want your customer to see. Here’s how to create and customize a new estimate:

  1. Select + New. Then select Estimate.
  2. Select + Add customer. Then select a customer from the ▼ dropdown. Or, to add a new customer, select +Add new, enter the customer info, and select Save and close.
  3. Select + Add Product or Service. Then, select the ▼ dropdown in the Product or service field and add the products or services to the estimate. Or, to add a new product or service, select + Add new, enter the info for your product or service and select Save.  
  4. If you saved a rate for your product or service, it will automatically display in the Amount column. Add or adjust the quantity or amount as needed. 
  5. If you have a QuickBooks Payments subscription, select + Request a deposit and enter an amount. This adds an electronic deposit payment link directly on the estimate email. Learn more about what happens with deposits on estimates. 
  6. The default status of a new estimate is “pending”. If you need to edit the status, select the Pending ▼ dropdown and choose a different status. 
  7. To customize the estimate, select Estimate settings and select the ▼ dropdown by each section to expand the details. Then, choose what info displays on your form by turning the switches on or off in each section. Note: As you make changes, a preview displays on the form.
  8. When you're ready, select Save.
  9. To email the estimate to your customer, select Email. Then edit the email message, if necessary, and select Send estimate.

Step 2: Update the status of an estimate

When you email your customer an estimate and they accept or decline the estimate directly from the email, QuickBooks will automatically update the status of the estimate for you. 

Or, here’s how to manually update the status of the estimate:

  1. Go to the Sales or Invoicing menu.
  2. Select the Estimates tab.
  3. Find the estimate.
  4. In the Action column, select the dropdown▼ and then Update status.
  5. Select Accepted or another status. Then select OK.

Tip: Estimates are non-posting transactions. They won’t affect your books until you convert the estimate to an invoice.

Step 3: Convert an estimate to an invoice

If you have QuickBooks Payments and you request a deposit on your estimate, the estimate will automatically convert to an invoice when your customer pays the deposit.

Or here’s how to manually convert the estimate  to an invoice so you can bill your customer:

  1.  Go to the Sales or Invoicing menu.
  2.  Select the Estimates tab.
  3.  Find the estimate.
  4.  In the Action column, select Convert to an invoice.
  5.  Make any necessary edits to the invoice.
  6.  If you need to customize any invoice fields, select ⚙ Manage and select the dropdown▼ on the section you need to customize. Then turn the switches on or off to change what displays on the invoice. Note: As you make changes, a preview displays on the form.
  7.  When you're ready, select Save to save the invoice, or select Email to send the invoice to your customer.

Step 4: Review open estimates

  1. Go to the Sales menu.
  2. Select the Estimates tab.
  3. Find your estimate. Tip: You can sort how estimates are displayed by selecting the date, number, customer, amount, or status column headers.

You can also run a report to get more details:

  1. Go to the Reports menu.
  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, the estimate number, the status, and the invoice number 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 “declined” rather than delete it. This keeps a record of the estimate on your accounts for good bookkeeping.

But if you created an estimate by mistake, then you can simply delete it:

  1. Go to the Sales menu.
  2. Select the Estimates tab.
  3. Find and select the estimate.
  4. Select More actions.
  5. Select Delete and then select Yes to confirm.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post

Need to get in touch?

Contact us
Sign in for the best experience
Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of QuickBooks users.
Sign In / Sign Up