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Level 1

Estimates and Progress Invoicing

Hello - 
Our business is an electrical commercial contracting entity. A lot of our payments are done through title companies and waivers for certain amounts off the the entire contract amount.
Current process is we create an estimate for the entire project, turn it into an invoice for the total amount-  and then do progress invoicing off the estimate when we receive the amounts for each draw from the title companies.  There are two problems, one when we create an invoice from the estimate and do progress invoicing we are doubling in a sense our P & L.  And second if we just leave the estimate, and not turn it into a invoice for the full amount and just do progress invoicing off the estimate - the contracted amount does not show in the P & L. 
Anyone else know how to do progress invoicing and also show the full amount of the estimate/contract in the P & L?
4 Comments 4

Estimates and Progress Invoicing

Hi eciarrachi,


Since estimates are non-posting transactions, they won't show up on your Profit and Loss (P&) report. You might want to create an invoice with a full amount from the estimate and record the customer's partial payment.


QuickBooks Online (QBO) applies the payment in the first line item of the invoice and it will continue to apply to each line until it's been used up.


Here's how you to record a partial payment:


  1. Click on the + New button and choose Receive Payment.
  2. Select the customer's name
  3. Choose the invoice by putting a checkmark.
  4. Enter the partial payment amount in the Payment field.
  5. Click on Save and close once done.

You can also check out this article for more details on how to record invoice payments in QBO.


If you want to learn more "How do I" steps, visit our Help Articles page for reference.


Let me know if you have any other concerns. We're here to help. 

Level 4

Estimates and Progress Invoicing

This is my concern also.  It seems QB, even QB professionals does not understand the concept of signed contracts.  We are a consulting firm and we sign large contracts than do the work over periods of time, sometimes years.  My boss wanted me to do progressive invoicing but after one month into this (and I have not turned all my invoices into estimates yet), I am worried the balance on these estimates is not going to show in the P&L when running on the accrual method for the bank.  I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone on how to handle this.  I hate leaving open invoices in there that always say "overdue" but if that is the only way we can keep track of balances I guess a meeting is necessary and I will be changing back to not using an invoice at all.  I need the answers!!!!  I don't want to turn invoices into estimates and next month unreconciled, wipe out all my work and put everything back in as invoices.  what good is progressive invoicing if the open end of the invoice is not going to show in a report?  insane.

Level 1

Estimates and Progress Invoicing

There is a problem with this suggested method.  If you create one huge invoice, then 'receive payments' in smaller amounts, You did not create the smaller invoices to receive payments for the draw downs.  If you do, you have TO INVOICES for this customer.  That is not the correct method, but I haven't figure out how to fix it in this mess.  I'm researching.  In other software, we create an Estimate.  That Estimate is converted to a Contract, with a Customer Available Balance. We invoice against that available balance.  We can only invoice up to the amount of that available balance.

This 'recommendation' is flawed in many DCAA Compliant ways... violations. 

Why has QB not found a solution to this??? Frustrated.

Level 1

Estimates and Progress Invoicing

I just did an entire TESTCustomer to trail this issue. 

1.  No, Estimates do not show in the PL. QB doesn't recognize 'contracts' with a 'value' element. It is only capable of recognizing an 'invoice,' which creates a/r. Once you get the payment, then it recognizes that.  P/L only recognizes the expenses against the profit, which is the actual payments. DRIVES ME NUTS.

2. Doing 'progress invoicing' against and 'estimate' is not a DCMA/DCAA compliant method.  So, I tried using matching Job name and CLASS name, "TEST200."  It can't handle it, even in 'customer snapshot,' does not show the "Sales Order" or the Purchase Order, or any similar method. Another strike. 


For reference, I've had QB Enterprise since 2008.  This has always been an issue for those of  us doing Government Contracting, and they can't seem to get their sh** together on this.  After 14yrs I'm on the verge of switching to something else.  Too much 'rigging' to get this to work.

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