How To Create An Estimate In QuickBooks Pro
As a small business owner, you are always looking for new business leads. One of the best parts about QuickBooks Pro is being able to easily send professional estimates to potential clients.
We’ve broken the process down into 13 easy-to-follow steps.
Create An Estimate
It’s a good idea to customize your estimate templates before you start sending them to clients. If you need help doing this, you can use the same process outlined in our post: How to Customize Invoice Templates In QuickBooks Pro.
Once the template is to your liking, start creating an estimate by going to Customer>Create Estimates.
Step 1: Select A Customer
Begin by selecting the customer you want to send an estimate to from the drop-down menu. If you can’t find the customer, you can click “<Add New>” to create a new customer.
Step 2: Choose A Template
Select the estimate template you’d like to use from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Verify The Information
Take a look at the date, estimate number, and customer name/address to make sure all of the information is correct.
Step 4: Select Payment Terms
Next, select the proper payment terms. You can choose between:
- 1% 10 Net 30
- 2% 10 net 30
- Due on Receipt
- Net 15
- Net 30
- Net 60
Step 5: Add Items
Choose which items to include in your invoice using the drop-down menu. If needed, you can click <Add New> to create a new item. Repeat this step as many times as needed in order to include all of your customer’s items.
Step 6: Adjust Item Quantity
Once you’ve added your items, be sure to adjust the item quantity as QuickBooks automatically leaves this field blank.
Step 7: Choose Between Taxable & Non-Taxable
Choose whether this estimate is taxable or non-taxable.
Step 8: Assign Sales Tax
If required, select the proper sales tax for your estimate. QuickBooks will use the sales tax percentage you select to automatically calculate the sales tax total and will add it directly to your customer’s overall total.
If you need help determining which sales tax rate to charge your customer, take a look at our complete Small Business Sales Tax Guide.
Step 9: Write A Customer Message
While this field is technically optional, we highly recommend adding a custom message to customers.
QuickBooks makes it easy. You can select one of five preset customer messages using the drop-down menu, or you can click “<Add New>” to write your own.
Step 10: Add A Memo (Optional)
Include a memo if desired.
Step 11: Include A Customer Tax Code (Optional)
If applicable, select a customer tax code using the drop-down menu.
Step 12: Attach Files (Optional)
You can attach files (like contracts, photos, or terms and conditions) to estimates. Simply click the “Attach File” button on the top of the screen (it looks like a paperclip).
From there, you can browse and select or drag-and-drop a file from your computer or Outlook. You can also use the scanner feature to upload files.
Step 13: Send Estimate
Now you’re finally ready to send your estimate! You can send estimates via email or traditional mail.
If you’re sending estimates by email, go to the Email button at the top of the screen. Choose “Estimate” to send a single estimate or “Batch” to send multiple estimates to a customer.
Be sure to customize your email messages before clicking “Send.” Customers will receive emailed estimates as PDFs.
If you’re sending estimates by mail, go to the top of the screen and choose “Print.” You can also print envelopes with a pre-filled return address if desired.
Now all you need to do is mail your estimate and cross your fingers!
In the future, you can use the “Create Copy” button to duplicate this estimate and send it to another customer. You can also easily convert invoices to estimates when the time comes. Speaking of invoices, stay tuned for the next installment of our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 series.
If you have any troubleshooting issues, check out the QuickBooks Community or call QuickBooks directly. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series to learn how to create invoices, customize invoice templates, add sales tax, handle merchant fees, and more.
Overwhelmed by QuickBooks Pro? Maybe it’s time to switch to QuickBooks Online. QBO is easy to use, cloud-based, and affordable. Best of all, you can easily import your QuickBooks Desktop data into QuickBooks Online. Check out our full review on QuickBooks Online for more details.
Outgrown QuickBooks Pro? Switch to QuickBooks Premier. It’s the same QuickBooks Desktop software you love but with more users and advanced, industry-specific features, which we cover in our QuickBooks Premier review.