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Level 1

Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

We are an Auto Body Repair shop in Florida and are required by Florida law to have a lot of information on our Estimates and Invoices. The Florida Department of Ag which regulates us has a sample invoice/estimate available in Word. However QBO does not accept it. 

Without having to try to learn Excel proficiently or QBO, is anyone out there using QBO in this field that can offer any suggestions? 

The standard templates do not allow enough modifications whatsoever! I have called the helpdesk and searched all over. I am at a loss! 

Please help! 

Sample Motor Vehicle Repair Shop Estimate attached. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Glad to see you here, ZCCR.

Welcome to the Online Community. I’m here to ensure you’ll be able to create estimate/invoice that meets your state’s requirements.

At this time, the option to add more details when customizing sales forms templates is unavailable.  You may want to consider using a third application to add a splash of personality to your business forms.

You can either visit the QuickBooks App Store or just go inside your QBO account and select Apps on the left panel. To narrow down your search, browse the applications by category or just enter a keyword in the search field.

At Intuit, we strive to improve the program in order to provide a better experience while using it. Sending your ideas is one way of improving the product, so I suggest you let our engineers know you'd like the option to directly add more details in the Custom Style feature.

Here's how:


  1. Click on the Gear icon.
  2. Choose Feedback.
  3. Enter your request/product suggestion and click on Next.
  4. Click on Skip and send message.
  5. Select Feedback as the Category.

I've added a link that will visually guide you on how to customize invoices and other transaction forms.


Drop me a line if you have more questions about the product. I'll be happy to assist you further. Have a great rest of your day.

Level 15

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice


QB is accounting, the estimate is work flow, typically shops like yours use the approved estimate, you print it in bulk usually a 2 or 3 part carbonless form and use it in the shop.


When the job is done, you transfer totals to QB to track your accounting, total labor, parts, epa fees, etc etc

Level 10

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

I don't think a "splash of personality" is what this Auto Body Repair Shop is looking for.

Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

We are trying to eliminate double work. If we can just send our invoices out thru QBO they can be paid for by our customers online as well. And we won't have to do double data entry. 

We are a high end restoration shop so we do not make 100s of invoices or estimates weekly or even monthly. Just want one simple invoice/estimate in one place. Trying to Keep it simple. 

Thank you for your input :)

Not applicable

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Any luck? I’m looking to do the same and wondering if we can important an image and place it somewhere? If so we could make an image of the “I do not request a written estimate” checklist requirement to the form using the 12pt arial point. I’m surprised QB hasn’t attempted to accommodate a little further since this is a state requirement and becomes a legal issue when not compliant. I could see some attorney trying to hold QB liable. Ha! Never know these days!

Level 2

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Our shop went through this whole ordeal 10 years ago with QB Desktop. Busted some serious butt and using the QB doc tool from within QB desktop was able to create a clean, simple to use, fully integrated Invoice/Estimate in QB Desktop. Funny thing, a couple of years past and renewal of our DMV repair cert came up and as usual the State of Florida wanted a copy of our Invoice to be scrutinized by the DMVR. This is an important function. The Invoice is a legally binding document. On the renewal we submitted the previously approved invoice. Some state gov employee balked at the form and rejected it. I called in to ask why since it had been previously approved and in use for 2 years. As any government employee who does not give a flying rats rear end about the tax payer and business that actually pays their salary via our taxes, told us about the discrepancies and remarked "What are you using to create this invoice?" We told the individual we were using Quickbooks Pro Desktop. The dumbfounded state employee stated "That it is impossible to create a form in QB that would / could have all of the required information," and proceeded to tell us that we needed to buy an approved invoice form from a list of approved vendors. Hogwash! Had to go back and forth several times but he finally approved our invoice and it passed two more 2 year inspections. 


So, fast forward to today. Our company, which is small and is always trying to be more productive and cut down on administrative functions and time have chosen to migrate away from QB Pro Desktop and go to QB online for the added features of online integration that it offers. The initial parts of the migration have been going well for the last 24hrs. The sticking point is the invoice and estimates. After speaking with a QB online rep about the matter we have come to the conclusion that the QB Desktop file system that uses a ".des" file format / ext is not directly compatible or transferable to QB online. QB online does offer the ability to import .docx (MSword) segments into it. This is nice. Really kind of a bummer that QB does not offer a method or conversion tool to convert .des to .docx. The suggestion of using a paid for App for say $50 dollars a month to add on to QB online is counter intuitive to what I see is the whole target audience of QB online, small biz. Read, we are SMALL. We don't have the resources to buy this type of thing. No, I do not want to write on a carbon pad and have to manually input the information into QB. The Dept of AG, MVRP website has a hillariously childish pathetic MS Word 97 example doc of the required information on their site. The state should be embarrassed by leaving this up and shamed into getting with the program and hiring or getting someone on their staff for which we pay taxes for them to exist, to provide an up to date example. Shame on QB for not addressing this issue over the years as this thread shows just a few people /shop's experiences with this phenomena / biz opportunity. Last time I checked, there are a lot of motor vehicle repair facilities throughout the country and I am also sure all of the states have these requirements for invoices. For our shop, I will take it upon myself to once again hammer this out. It will probably take me some time but in the long run be well worth it. Anyone else who finds this thread in the future, I will post up my end product to hopefully help out. Rant off. 

Level 2

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Fail. What is the point of paying for QB online if you are having to pay for a pad of carbon paper invoice and manually enter it? That is, if you are not a monster mega dealership with a huge staff to do so?

Level 15

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice



Our company, which is small and is always trying to be more productive and cut down on administrative functions and time have chosen to migrate away from QB Pro Desktop and go to QB online for the added features of online integration that it offers.


If you have a shop. and do not have folks doing service work out in the wild where they would have to log in to QB, what do you need "online integration" for?  Desktop does banking downloads, scheduled invoicing, etc


QBO cost is (plus version with inventory) 350% more than desktop pro per year, and for the three year support cycle of desktop, $200 vs. $2,160 (and in July as I understand it intuit will raise the subscription price again).


And QBO is much more limited in functions than desktop, of course you may not use all the functions in pro too.


I'm not trying to be argumentative, just curious as to your reasoning for choosing QBO.

Level 2

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice


Have QB online fully functional with assisted payroll. The sum total is this:

Yes, QB Desktop is overall, a much more powerful tool outright. It would be nice if the fully custom invoice/estimate/forms could be reproduced / converted from the ".des" proprietary format into something modern and open ended such as MSWord or Adobe PDF. 

QB Desktop DOES NOT  recognize "Paypal," as a true "bank," allowing one to take advantage of the direct feed. You have to use a third party tool such as PDF2QBO to import the data from Paypal into QB Desktop. As stated before, we use Paypal for merchant processing and as a parts account. Having to use PDF2QBO is time consuming compared to using QB online. 

QB online is cloud based and it is reasonable that one should only have a certain allowance on the cloud per account thus limiting the features. Totally reasonable.

Final solution:

Called QB Desktop, explained the situation, gave them my new online subscription company number and they were happy to process a refund for the QB Desktop 2019. 

Will still be using the "unlicensed," QB Desktop 2019 as a "scratch pad," to record and use the feature rich Invoice/Estimate template with all of the data required by the state. Will use QB online that is limited but functional for taking final payment. So, essentially, instead of buying the carbon paper invoice pads we will continue to use QB Desktop. We have 1300 unique customers in our company file. By Florida Law we have to maintain one year of invoices. We have 13 years.  

For those folks in Florida with a auto repair shop I have attached a copy of our invoice template we use that has been approved / recognized by the State of Florida. Hope the file can help others use QB Desktop. Edit 1, I attempted to upload the .des template file and got the message directly from QB NOT allowing me to attach one of their files to this forum. Anybody interested, email me, I will send you the file.

Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

I would be ever so greatful for a copy your estimate and invoice templates. Shop management software is way too expensive and we are so fast on quickbooks switching to anything else would slow us down. We made are own when we had pro. Going online and I have been spending hours reading on how to with little luck. Thank you in advance. [email address removed]
Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

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Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

I'm interested in this too, located in Ocala, small shop as well... 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Hello there, mtw1969.


Thanks for letting us know your interest in expanding the customization option for estimate and invoice templates in QuickBook Online (QBO).


As discussed by my colleague Rasa-LilaM, the said option is not yet available. You can look for a third party application that can help add your preferred details on the template. 


Here's how you can get there: QuickBooks App Store.


For now, I encourage you to visit our QuickBooks Blog were we share recent happenings and future developments and the latest news about QuickBooks.


If you have other questions or concerns, just let me know. I'm here to help you some more. Have a great day ahead!


Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

I'm in the same boat, if someone has it it would be great if QBO would leave the email posted so we can all learn together.

Level 1

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Hi, Efilechemy,

I run a repair shop in Florida and have used Invomax shop management since it was a dos version.  They are tripleing the monthly rate.  I would also be so grateful if you would share your invoice for QB Destop.  My info is Robbin at Stashus . net

One would think that as large of a company that QB is, they would have this in place.  Hopefully one day, they will have an automotive invoice. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Auto Body Repair Shop Estimate Invoice

Aside from utilizing the third party application, you might want to create your template in Word, RobbinK1.

Estimates and invoice templates created in Word can be imported in QuickBooks. Below are the steps to do this:


  1. Go to the company file that you want to import the template into.
  2. Click List at the to, choose Templates.
  3. From the Templates drop-down list, choose Import.
  4. Select the template you want to import then select Open.
  5. Name the imported template. You can keep the original name or change it.
  6. Hit OK. You will now see the imported template on the template list.   


Take a look at this article to learn more about this process: Use and customize form templates.


Don't hesitate to drop by again if there's anything else you need. 

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