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Add line items to an estimate

In the Item column, enter the names of the items you want to include on the estimate. As you enter each item, QuickBooks fills in the item's description and cost.

To do this task

  1. Open an existing estimate.

    Open the estimate.


    Create a new estimate.

  2. Click in the Item column.

  3. Enter an item name.

    If you are entering a new item

    1. Enter a name for the item in the Item field and press Tab.

    2. When you are told that the Item isn't in your records, select Set Up.

    3. Choose one of the item types listed, and fill in the information QuickBooks requests for the new item.

    When you set up new items, think about how much detail you'd like to see on your reports. For example, if you only need to track general labor costs, then you only need one item to represent labor. On the other hand, if you need to track costs for specific types of labor, you need to set up an item for each type.

    If you don't know which type of item to use

    • Service items to represent specific kinds of work or services, performed by your company or a subcontractor. Examples: labor hours, consulting hours.

    • Inventory part items to represent goods you purchase, track as inventory, and then resell.

    • Non-inventory part items to represent materials you buy but don't keep on hand as inventory. These can be either materials you buy to finish a specific job, or materials you charge to overhead (for example, office supplies).

    • Other charge items to represent miscellaneous charges that are not labor, services, parts, or materials. Examples include set up fees, delivery charges.

  4. (Optional) If necessary, change the information that QuickBooks fills in about the item.

    If necessary, change the item description or cost for this estimate (your changes will apply to this estimate only).

    More detail

    QuickBooks automatically fills in the item's description and its cost. If the item is an inventory part, QuickBooks enters your cost—not your sales price—in the Cost column. The same is true for non-inventory parts, services, and other charges provided that you set them up with a separate cost and sales price.

    Exception: If you have set the Markup column so that it does not appear on your screen, QuickBooks enters the sales price instead of your cost.

  5. Enter the quantity in the Qty column.

  6. Change the markup percentage or amount.

  7. Continue entering items line by line until you have all you need.

As with sales forms, you can enter subtotals and discounts in the line item area (you can't enter payment items, however).

See also

  • Tips for organizing your line items

    A general rule of thumb is to use the same line items you would use on your invoices (remember, you can create an invoice directly from an estimate).

    An estimate can be as simple as a single line item that quotes a flat amount for the entire job, or it can more detailed, listing separate line items for the different phases of a job or for the different parts and services you intend to sell. The number of line items you use to break down a particular task or service depends on how much information you need to track in your reports.

    For example, if it is important for you to know how well you estimate the cost of each type of work that goes into a job, then don't use a single line item to represent all the work. You'll need, instead, a separate line item for each specialized task the job requires. Later on, you'll be able to create reports that compare your estimated costs and revenues with your actual costs and revenues for each type of work.

    If you need a lot of detail for reporting, but you don't want your customer to see all the detail on the printed estimate, then use group items. A group item lets you summarize a list of individual line items when you print the estimate.

  • Enter a subtotal

    1. Enter all the items that make up the subtotal.

    2. Immediately after the last item, enter a subtotal item.

    QuickBooks automatically calculates and enters the subtotal. The subtotal amount is the sum of the line items that precede the subtotal item. If another subtotal item appears above the subtotal item QuickBooks doesn't include the items from the previous subtotal when it calculates the new subtotal. If there are no line items between two subtotal items, the second subtotal item totals all of the preceding subtotals.

    Enter a Subtotal Item to create a subtotal for each phase of the job. This helps you organize the estimate by job phase, and makes it easier to use the estimate as a basis for invoicing your customer if you prefer to send out a separate invoice when you complete each phase.

  • Enter a discount

    1. Enter the item (or items) to which the discount applies.

    2. Immediately after the last item, enter a subtotal item.

    3. Immediately after the subtotal item, enter a discount item.

      QuickBooks automatically calculates and enters the discount by using the amount or percentage you specified when you set up the discount item.

    4. (Optional) If you want to use a different amount or percentage for this estimate, enter the new amount or percentage in the Cost column.

      Note: If you customized the estimate form so that the Markup column doesn't appear, the discount amount or percentage appears in the Rate column instead.

  • Print the markup information on an estimate

  • Enter units of measure

  • Mark up items on an estimate

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