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Using Estimates

Some businesses utilize estimates to give customers an idea of what a product or job will cost them. When the customer makes a purchase decision, all of the information for the purchase is already available.

With QuickBooks, it's just as easy to create an estimate as it is to create an invoice or sales receipt. Best of all, when the customer gives you the green light, you can quickly and easily convert an estimate to an invoice for billing purposes.

This part of the chapter explains how to create an estimate and how to turn an estimate into an invoice.

To create an estimate

  1. Choose Customers > Create Estimates (Figure 2). The Create Estimates window appears (Figure 26).

    Figure 26 The Create Estimates window for a product or job estimate.

  2. Choose a customer from the Customer:Job drop-down list. The Name/Address field should fill in automatically with information for that customer.
  3. If desired, choose a class from the Class drop-down list.
  4. Enter information or change the entries in the following fields if necessary:
    • Name/Address is the customer's billing name and address.
    • Date is the estimate date. By default, the current date is automatically entered, but you can change the date if you need to.
    • Estimate No. is the estimate number. This field is automatically incremented by one from the previous estimate.
  5. Choose the name of an item to be included in the estimate from the Item drop-down list (Figure 27). The Description, Cost, Amount, Markup, and Total fields fill in automatically (Figure 28), but you can change any of them except Amount if desired. Enter a quantity in the Qty field for the line to update the amount (Figure 29).

    Figure 27 Choose an item to include in the estimate from the Item drop-down list.


    Figure 28 Details for the item appear in the estimate line.


    Figure 29 When you enter a quantity, QuickBooks updates the line total.

  6. Repeat step 5 for each item you want to include on the estimate.
  7. If the customer is required to pay sales tax, turn on the Customer is Taxable check box and choose the correct tax item or tax group from the Tax drop-down list. QuickBooks calculates the sales tax and total (Figure 30).

    Figure 30 When you choose a tax item, QuickBooks calculates sales tax and an estimate total.

  8. If desired, choose a message from the Customer Message drop-down list.
  9. If desired, enter a note in the Memo field. Notes do not print on estimates.
  10. To save the estimate and create another new one, click Next. Or To save the estimate without creating another new one, click OK. QuickBooks makes an entry sound and saves the estimate.

To create an invoice based on an estimate

  1. Choose Customers > Create Estimates ( Figure 2 ) to display the Create Estimates window ( Figure 26 ).
  2. Click the Previous button to scroll through existing estimates until you see the one you want to turn into an invoice ( Figure 31 ).

    Figure 31 A completed estimate can be modified or used as the basis of an invoice.

  3. Click the Create Invoice button.
  4. A dialog like the one in Figure 32 appears. Click OK.

    Figure 32 When you click the Create Invoice button, QuickBooks tells you that it has copied all information to an invoice form.

  5. Make changes as necessary to information in the Create Invoices window that appears ( Figure 33 ).

    Figure 33 An invoice based on the estimate in Figure 31.

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