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Create Estimates in QuickBooks

Create Estimates in QuickBooks

Only accrual-based accounting uses estimates and invoices. An estimate is comparable to a work proposal that you offer to a potential client, who can then accept, decline, or accept with conditions.

When you first create an estimate and send it, it is still in the pending state because nothing has been done. It becomes accepted when the customer accepts it; you must mark it as accepted at this time; however, it will be marked as accepted automatically when you generate an invoice from it.

When you create the invoice from the estimate in QuickBooks Online, you cannot invoice the customer for an amount greater than the total of the estimate. You cannot get paid against an estimate when a client pays you after you provide an estimate for them.

Either you must issue an invoice and then receive payment against that invoice, or you have to accept a payment as a credit on the client’s account. Estimates are a place to start if you ever want to work for someone.

They aren’t recorded anywhere in your financial records, and they aren’t shown on your financial reports until an invoice is generated from them.

How to access Estimates Module in QuickBooks

Do you prepare quotes, proposals, quotes, bids, or estimates for potential clients before you begin a job? QuickBooks allows you to create estimates, email them to clients, and then turn them into invoices once the work is finished. Here’s how to go about it.

1.  Access the Estimates page

From the home screen, select Estimate from the Plus Menu by clicking in the “Customers” column.

2.  Type in the estimate details

Enter the name of the potential customer in the Choose a customer box. If you haven’t added this customer to QuickBooks yet, click the + Add new button at the top of the drop-down menu and either select the customer’s name from the list of drop-down menu options available.

  • After entering the name of your potential customer, click + Details.
  • Enter the contact information for your potential customer in the Details window. To send them the estimate, make sure to include their email address. Click the Save button in the bottom right corner when you are finished.
  • Enter the names of the goods and services you intend to offer next. If you haven’t yet added this new product or service to QuickBooks, click + Add new at the top of the drop-down menu.
  • Provide details about the good or service you intend to offer and designate an income account for it.
  • The product or service’s quantity, rate, and price should be entered.
  • Click Save and Send to email your potential customer the estimate once you have included everything you need to.

3. Prices for custom forms

You can change the wording on the form that your customers see if you refer to estimates as bids, quotes, or proposals. Go to the gear menu from the Home Screen, then select Custom Form Styles from the Setting column.

  • Click New Style in the upper right corner of the main page for Custom Form Styles. Choose Estimate as the style that needs customization.
  • then select a style from the options on the left. Enter whatever you want customers to see in place of “Estimate” in the Header section.
  • Now, you have the option to select Bid as a custom form style when you create an estimate.

4. Update Estimate Status

You must update the estimate status after receiving a “Yes” response from a client. To start, you must locate the estimate. Select the All Sales tab by clicking the Invoicing link in the left menu on the Home Screen.

  • In the QuickBooks moneybar on the sales screen, select Estimates. From the list below, choose the estimate you want to accept, and then click Pending in the Status column to customize it.
  • To change the estimate’s status from Pending to Accepted, click the button in the top right corner.
  • When done, click Save and Close in the bottom right corner.

5. Transform an Estimate into an Invoice

Make sure your account is properly set up before converting an estimate into an invoice. Select Account and Settings by clicking the gear menu. Make sure the option to “Copy estimates to invoices” is turned on under the Automation section by selecting “Advanced” from the left navigation bar. To modify your settings if it isn’t, just click anywhere on the Automation section or the pencil icon.

  • By selecting Start invoice on the estimates page, you can turn the estimate into an invoice once you’ve completed your work for this client.
  • QuickBooks will locate any open estimates you have for this customer if you started an invoice directly and allow you to add them to the invoice. From the Home Screen, select the + Menu, then click “Customers” > “Invoice” to convert an estimate in this manner.
  • Select the customer’s name from the list of customers on the invoice screen. To add the estimated balance to the invoice, click Add in the column on the far right.

How to turn on Estimates Module in QuickBooks

A quote, bid, or proposal can be made using an estimate. An order for goods or an invoice may be created from the estimate later. The steps to producing an estimate are as follows.

Turn on estimates in QuickBooks Desktop: 

You must activate the Estimates feature before you can create an estimate.

  • Log in as Admin to the QuickBooks company file.
  • Pick Preferences from the QuickBooks Edit menu.
  • Select Jobs Estimates from the left pane, then click the Company Preferences tab.
  • When asked “Do you create estimates?” choose Yes.
  • Choose OK.

Create an estimate: 

  • Choose Estimates / Create Estimates from the Customers menu or the Home screen of QuickBooks.
  • Choose a customer or customer job from the drop-down menu for the customer: Job. You can choose Add New if the customer or job is not yet on the list.
  • Fill out the pertinent details at the top of the form, such as the Date and the Estimate Number.
  • Choose the item(s) that you plan to do or include in a sale in the detail area.

Note: The description and amount are automatically filled in when you choose or add an item based on the information you entered for the description and unit cost when the item was set up. When creating estimates, you can remove or change this.

  • You must create a discount item if you want to request a discount:
    • Select Item List from the QuickBooks Lists menu.
    • Select New by performing a right-click anywhere.
    • Choose Discount from the Type drop-down menu in the New Item window.
    • Enter a short description and an item name or number.
    • Enter the discount amount or percentage in the Amount or% field. If your discounts come in different amounts, you might want to omit the Amount or% field and just enter the total on your sales forms.
    • Select the income account you want to use to track the discounts you give to customers from the Account drop-down menu.
    • Choose the correct Tax Code for the item, then click OK.
  • Choosing Save Close.

How to create an Estimate/Quotation/Proposal/Bid document in QuickBooks

What is an estimate? How is it used?

You make an estimate when you want to send a proposal or quotation from your business that is tailored to the needs of your potential customers or when you want to reply to a bid with information about your goods, services, rate card, and other specifics. Deal-making with the prospect is primarily handled by the estimate.

Create an Estimate:

  • After logging into QuickBooks Online, choose + New from the left navigation bar.
  • Choose Customers, then choose Estimate.
  • Choose a client. Select a status from the drop-down menu next to the client’s name (optional).
  • Enter the Expiration Date after confirming the Estimate Date (optional).
  • Enter the product or service, along with its description, quantity, rate, amount, tax, optional message, and discount (optional).
  • By clicking the dropdown arrow next to “Save and send,” you can choose Save and close. Press CTRL+ALT+D instead. It appears that the message has been saved. By choosing the “Print or Preview” option, you can print it or view a preview of it. Select “Customize” and save if you need to customize this. Select “Make Recurring” to make this estimate recurring.

Create a Quotation:

When you want to provide your client with a quote, bid, or proposal for work you intend to do, create a quote. Although it resembles an invoice, the form serves a different function—it facilitates opening a dialogue with your client about specifics.

You can turn the quote into an invoice when the work is finished and you’re prepared to send the customer an invoice, saving you from having to enter the information twice. Here’s how to make a brand-new quote, convert an existing one, or add one to an invoice already in existence.

Step 1: Make a quotation

  • Choose + New.
  • Choose Quote.
  • From the Customer dropdown, choose a client.
  • If the work has already begun, choose a status from the Pending dropdown. (Optional)
  • Decide on the Quote and Expiration dates.
  • Describe the goods and services you intend to sell.
  • any additional information that you require, in the space provided.
  • Select Save and close once you’re ready.

Step 2: Update the status of a quote.

Update the quote’s status whenever your customer accepts the work or decides not to proceed. This maintains the accuracy and timeliness of your accounts:

  • Select Transactions under Bookkeeping, then All Sales.
  • Get the quotation.
  • Update status should be chosen from the dropdown in the Action column.
  • Choose Accepted or a different status. Select OK next.
  • Select Reports under Business Overview
  • The Quotes by Customer report should be located and opened.
  • Run the report after choosing your date range.

Review open quotes: 

  • Navigate to Bookkeeping, choose Transactions, and then pick All Sales.
  • Pick Quotes from the Type dropdown.
  • Apply after selecting any additional filters you feel are necessary.
  • Run a report to get more information.

Create a Proposal:

In QuickBooks Online, you can draft a proposal by producing an estimate. I’ll demonstrate how.

  • Select the Plus icon.
  • Pick Estimate from the Costumers menu.
  • The customer’s name, the product or service, and the date may be entered as necessary.
  • Then click Save and Exit.

How to access Template layout designer in QuickBooks

Steps to access Template layout designer in QuickBooks

  • Open the estimates form, then select New Template or Edit Current Template from the drop-down menu.
  • Change the Estimates to Order under the Company Name in the Header menu.
  • Mark Print and Screen as checked.
  • Then select the necessary field by tapping Field.
  • To add a new box to the form, click Text, Text Box as well.
  • Select Save As after clicking File.

You can customize your forms with the help of the QuickBooks tool Layout Designer to give them a polished and unique look for your company. To change the appearance of your invoices, sales receipts, estimates, credit memos, statements, and purchase orders, use Layout Designer.

  • Open Layout Designer:
    Select an existing template by clicking New Template or Edit Current Template at the top of each form.
  • Select the information that appears on the template:
    The Fields window allows you to select the data that appears on the template when you customize it. 
  • Prepare the template:
    Change the fonts, add a logo, and/or add text boxes, borders, lines, or a background image. You have a lot of options.

How to customize any Template in QuickBooks

You can make unique form templates in QuickBooks Desktop. You can alter the appearance and content of these templates.

How to customize form templates? 

  • Choose the form type you want to edit.
  • Choose the Formatting tab from the form, then choose Manage Templates.
  • Choose a template to preview, then click Copy to make a new template or OK to edit the existing template.
  • Use the window for basic customization to:
    • Add your logo: If you want your company’s logo to appear on your form, check the Use logo box. Choose the Select Logo option to choose the new logo you want to use.
    • Change the font and colour: This section allows you to change the font and colour of the labels, data, and company name that appear in the form.
    • Change company & transaction details: From this menu, choose the contacts you want to show up on the invoice. By choosing Update Information, you can also modify any of this data.
  • To add or remove the items from the header, columns, or footer, choose Additional Customization. Next, choose Layout Designer to move or resize form elements.
  • Select OK when you’re finished.
  • To view your form, select Print Preview. Pick Close if everything appears to be in order.
  • Choose OK.

How to customize Estimate Template in QuickBooks

Steps to customize Estimate Template in QuickBooks:

  • Custom Form Styles can be found by clicking the Gear icon.
  • Import Style can be found in the New Style drop-down menu.
  • Select Estimate under Select a form type.
  • Click the Browse button to upload your own file after downloading a sample estimate for reference.
  • To upload your file, click Next.


  1. How do I change a template for an invoice in QuickBooks Online?

    By clicking the organization name, selecting Settings, and then clicking Invoice settings, you can edit an invoice template. Locate the template you want to edit, click Options, choose Edit, and then save your modifications.

  2. How do I change the font in a QuickBooks template?

    Select the desired text within the template window. O Use the options under Text in the Formatting Palette to alter the font. a template for export. Select File > Export from the Layout Designer menu. You can export the template in the following file types: layout designer (which can be used with another QuickBooks company file),.tiff, or.pdf.

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