Do you create estimates, bids, quotes, or proposals for prospective customers before you start a job? You can create your estimates in QuickBooks, email them to customers, and then convert them into invoices after you complete the work. Here’s how you do it.
Navigate to the Estimates
From the home screen, click on the + Menu and beneath the column heading “Customers” select Estimate.
Enter Estimate Details
Enter the prospective customer’s name into the Choose a customer box. Either choose a customer name from the list of drop-down menu options available, or if this isn’t a customer you’ve entered into QuickBooks yet, click + Add new at the top of the drop-down menu.
Once you’ve entered your prospective customer’s name, click + Details.
In the Details window, enter your prospective customer’s contact info. Be sure to add their email address so you can send them the estimate. When you’ve finished, click Save in the bottom right corner.
Now enter the name of the products and services you plan to provide for this prospect. If this is a new product or service that you haven't entered into QuickBooks, click + Add new at the top of the drop-down menu options available.
Enter information about the product or service you plan to provide for this prospect and designate an income account for this product. Select an account name in the textbox marked Income Account - remember, this account isn't a bank account - it's a bookkeeping account that goes up every time you sell this product. Click Save and Close when you’re finished.
Enter the Quantity, Rate and Amount for the product or service you plan to provide.
When you've got everything you need in your estimate click Save and Send to email the estimate to your prospective customer.
Custom Form Style Estimates
If you refer to estimates as bids, quotes, or proposals, you can change the word on the form your customers see. To do this from the Home Screen, go to the gear menu and beneath the Settings column choose Custom Form Styles.
On the Custom Form Styles main page, click New Style in the upper right
Select Estimate as the style you want to customize.
Then choose from the styles available.
Go to the Header section, and replace “Estimate” with whatever you want customers to see on your custom form style, for example the word “Bid.” Click Save when you’re finished.
Give your custom form style a name and Save.
Now, when you create an estimate you can choose Bid as a custom form style.
Update Estimate Status
When a customer says “Yes” to one of your estimates you’ll need to update the estimate status. To do this, first you need to find the estimate. From the Home Screen, click on Transactions in the left bar and select Sales from the sub-menu options.
On the sales screen, click on Estimates in the QuickBooks moneybar. Select the estimate you wish to accept from the list below and click on Pending in the Status column to open the estimate for customization.
Click on the Pending button in the top right and change the estimate status to Accepted.
In the Accepted by box, enter the name of the person who accepted the estimate. Next, enter the date your customer accepted the estimate in the Accepted date box.
Once you’ve finished click Save and Close in the bottom right.
Convert an Estimate into an Invoice
When you finish your work for this customer, you can convert the estimate into an invoice from your list of estimates simply by clicking Start invoice on the estimates page.
Or if you started an invoice directly, QuickBooks will find any estimates you have open for this customer and let you add them to the invoice. To convert an estimate into an invoice this way, from the Home Screen, click on the + Menu and under “Customers” and choose Invoice.
On the invoice screen, choose the name of the customer you started the invoice for.
In the far right column, click Add to add the estimate balance to the invoice.