Your Guide to Using QuickBooks Estimates

Harnessing the Full Potential of QuickBooks Estimates

When any business—including your own—starts using QuickBooks software for their financial services, they can immediately benefit from many of the QuickBooks features. One such feature is the ability to create, edit, and share estimates. With QuickBooks, these estimates benefit your business and your customers.

To properly take advantage of QuickBooks and this feature, you need to understand why estimates are beneficial and how to complete them on the platform. In this article, we walk you through both so you’re fully prepared to successfully create, share, and convert QuickBooks estimates.

3 Benefits of Using QuickBooks Estimates?

Accurate estimates go beyond simply giving you and a client an idea of how much a project will cost. This benefits businesses that sell more than just products, but services as well. Industries such as construction, design, beauty services, and events rely on these estimates—and their many benefits—to produce bottom-line profits on their projects.

Quickbooks estimates have many benefits, including:

1. Estimates Help You Plan Accordingly

When you create an estimate, you can select and see how many products and or services will be required to complete a project. This allows you to plan accordingly for every individual project you undertake.

You can order the proper materials and supplies in advance, as well as ensure you have the right number of staff to complete the project. You’ll be able to forecast your profit from the job and easily adjust particulars if necessary.

2. Estimates Help Your Customers

Many customers want an idea of how much a project will cost them before they commit to a deal. With the estimates feature, you can offer a very accurate price estimate with a cost breakdown showing where their money will go.

Offering estimates helps your business appear more professional and more appealing to customers, especially compared to other vendors that don’t offer that same service.

3. Estimates Help You Stay on Track

With an estimate, you can easily track the actual costs—and quickly see where they differentiate from the original estimate. If you encounter discrepancies, simply adjust your estimate and immediately dialogue with the customer.

An estimate also acts as a budget, helping you stay within the financial barriers you should to earn the highest profit possible on each project.

How Do You Create a New Estimate in QuickBooks Online?

Creating estimates in QuickBooks is relatively simple. This ten-step process takes only minutes to complete after registering and paying for an account:

  1. Sign in as an administrator—you won’t be able to create an estimate otherwise.
  2. When you arrive at your QuickBooks dashboard, click “Edit” and then “Preferences.”
  3. Click “Job Preferences” and then “Company Preferences.”
  4. You will find a box with settings regarding your QuickBooks preferences. Within that box, you will see the question: “Do you create estimates?” Check the “Yes” box underneath.
  5. Return to your QuickBooks dashboard.
  6. From the dashboard, click “Estimates.”
  7. Find the existing customer or create a new customer by clicking “Add New.”
  8. Start a new estimate by adding an estimate number and a date.
  9. Customize the factors listed, such as the number of products you will sell, hours your employees will work (if you use billable hours), services you will render, and markup percentage necessary to turn a profit.
  10. Once completed, you’ll see the total and broken-down price estimates for the project, including your profit. Simply save and close, then you’ll have access to the completed estimate for that project anytime you need it.

You can create as many estimates as you need, and QuickBooks will store them for you. When you finish an estimate and want to clear it from your list, you can either delete it or convert the estimate into an actual invoice.

Can I Revise an Estimate?

Yes, and it’s simple to do. To revise an estimate, you can easily click “Edit” on the existing estimate, change what you need, and then simply save again to update it.

However, if you prefer to have two separate records (the old estimate and a newer updated version) you can click “Edit” and then “Duplicate” so you have both versions.

The reality of how businesses work is that projects, costs, and plans constantly change. You may need to revise your estimates or add to the project’s costs and services along the way.

How Do You Convert an Estimate to an Actual Invoice?

Looking at the page with all your estimates, on the far right side, any approved estimates will have an option to “Convert to Invoice.” Simply click that, preview the invoice, and make any necessary changes before sending it to the customer and requesting payment.

QuickBooks allows you to send estimates to your clients—and you can hide certain categories, like markups, so they will only be seen from your view. They can decline or approve these estimates. If they decline an estimate, you can explain the costs or adjust the figures to better fit their budget. Then, simply resend it (or an updated version) to them.

When they approve an estimate, you can easily convert it into an actual invoice for that customer.

Use Fourlane to Master QuickBooks Rapidly

Navigating QuickBooks and its many convenient features may seem daunting. Fourlane however, has the tools, training videos, and consultants available to guide you through it all so you can efficiently become a QuickBooks expert.

When you want extra help navigating the nuances of QuickBooks and its features, reach out to Fourlane. See for yourself how our consulting services can help you and make the entire process easier from the moment you create an account.

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