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An estimate or a quote is a document that describes specific goods or services that you provide and their cost. By default, Zoho Invoice calls it estimates, but you can customize it to call it as quote or proposal or by any other suitable name.

Before creating an estimate you need to

  • Configure the taxes you collect.
  • Create custom templates if you want to customize the look and feel of your estimates.
  • Select the appropriate default template.
To create an estimate
  1. Go to the Estimates tab.
  2. Click on the 'New Estimate' button on the right sidebar of the page (see image below).
    Select new estimate
  3. Enter values for the following fields

    New estimate
    Template The estimate template that you have set as default appears here. Click on the drop-down icon to select a different template.
    Select Customer

    Click on the drop-down icon in the 'Customer' field and select the customer to whom you want to send this estimate from the list.

    If the customer is not available in the list click on 'New Customer' below the 'Customer' field. A 'New Customer' window pops up. Enter the details here and click on 'Save and Select' button to populate the customer name on the estimate form.

    Estimate# The value of this field is based on estimate numbering scheme you have set under estimate preferences. If you have chosen to auto-generate the estimate number, you cannot edit this field and a string generated based on the values of the 'Estimate Prefix' and 'Next Number appears here. But, if you have disabled auto-generation then this field is left blank and you need to enter an estimate number here. This field is mandatory.
    Reference Number If you wish to enter a reference number for your estimate, you can mention it in this field.
    Estimate Date By default, today's date will appear in this field. To enter estimates that have a date in past or in the future, click on this field and select the appropriate date from the calendar that pops up.
    Expiry Date Expiry date for an estimate can be mentioned in this field. Often having an expiry date in an estimate has promted customers to act quickly.

    Item grid
    You need to enter the list of items that are a part of the estimate in the line item grid shown in the image below. By default, Zoho Invoice provides you three lines in the line item grid. You can add or remove a line. There must be at least one item to complete an estimate.

    To remove an item, hover your mouse over the item and click on the delete icon that is displayed at the end of the line.

    To add an item enter values for the fields below-

    Select selling items
    Item

    Select the item from this drop-down list you want to add to the estimate. If the desired item is not present, click on 'Add' in the list to create an item. This pops up a 'Quick Add' screen for an item as shown in the image below. Just enter the details for the item and click on 'Save and Select' for the item to appear in the drop-down list.

    If you want to add more than three items to the estimate, click on the 'Add another line' link.

    Description

    If the item you have selected already has a description to it, it will get populated in this space. If you wish to edit the description of the item for the particular estimate, you can do so right here.

    Qty Enter the quantity of the item if required. The default value is one.
    Rate The rate (price) of the item you have set when you created or modified the item appears here. Change this if required.
    Discount

    Enter the percentage discount on this item you give to your customers.

    Note: This field will be shown only if you opted to use discount under 'Estimate preferences'.

    Tax By default, this is the 'Tax' you selected when the item was added or modified. Click on the drop-down to select a different tax.
    Amount This is the actual cost of the item, inclusive of all taxes and discounts, that the customer has to pay for.

    Customer Notes
    The default message for 'Customer Notes' set under 'Estimate Preferences' will be shown here. You can edit this to customize it for this estimate.

    Terms and Conditions
    This is the default 'Terms and Conditions' set under 'Estimate Preferences'. You can edit this to customize it for this estimate.

  4. Click on the 'Save' button to save the estimate. If the estimate is saved successfully, the 'Estimate Details Page' opens to display the message below on top of the page.

    New estimate successfully added

Recording a foreign currency estimate is similar to recording an estimate in your base or local currency.

Before you record a foreign currency estimate, ensure that

  1. The currency in which you want to record the estimate exists. Go to the currency list page to check this. Add the currency, if it doesn't exist.
  2. Assign this currency to the customer for whom you want to raise the estimate. Click here for more on this.

Extra fields on a foreign currency estimate

Exchange Rate
While creating the estimate, if the customer you selected has a different currency associated to him, then the system will promt you to enter the exchange rate for the currency selected. Enter a suitable exchange rate here, as Zoho Invoice does not auto-populate the exchange rates yet.
Exchange rate

The exchange rate is recorded as the number of base currency units that equal one customer (foreign) currency unit.

Say for example, your base currency is the US dollar (USD), the foreign currency is Euro (EUR) and the exchange rate is 1.28. In Zoho Invoice this is recorded as 1 EUR (one unit of foreign currency) = 1.28 units of USD (your base currency).

The exchange rate entered here will be the default exchange rate when you convert the estimate to an invoice. You can change the exchange rate on the invoice if required.

Recalculate item rates
If you have changed the exchange rate after adding a few line items or selected a new customer with a different currency after adding the line items, system will promt a message as shown in the image below. Once you click on 'OK', Zoho Invoice will automatically change the rate to reflect the modified exchange rate.

Re-calculate item rates

To view the list of estimates go to the 'Estimates' tab.

All estimates

Navigation
If you have more than 25 estimates in the list a navigation bar as shown in the image below will appear. You can choose to view 25, 50, 100 or 200 estimates at a time. By default, you can view 25 estimates in a page.

Estimate navigation

Filtered and Sort Views

Filtered View
All estimates filters

By default, Zoho Invoice lists all the estimates. The list of filters are shown on the top right corner of the 'Estimate List'. Once you click the drop down box, you will see several filters based on the status of the estimate. Click the desired status and Zoho Invoice will list all the invoices with the selected filter.

For example, if you want to view all draft estimates click on the draft link.

Sort View
List estimates sort by To sort the list of estimates, you can select the specific column header name. For example if you want to sort the estimates as per customers, you can click once on the 'Customer Name'.

Bulk Actions
Under special circumstances you may need to perform an action on multiple records. For estimates, you can print, delete or mark as sent multiple estimates at once.

Mark as Sent
Select mark as sent To mark multiple estimates as sent, select the desired estimates and click on the 'Mark as Sent' button. For marking all estimates as sent at once, select the header checkbox and click on the 'Mark as Sent' button.
Print
Select mark as sent To print multiple estimates, select the desired estimates and click on the 'Print' button.
Delete
Select bulk delete You can also delete multiple estimates all at once.
Estimate List Page - Sidebar

The side bar of the 'Estimate list' page is designed to provide some useful links to speed up adding and finding data. You can see on the sidebar links to import and export estimates, view the data in Zoho Sheet.
Estimate List Side Bar

Use the search box on the sidebar of the 'Estimate List' page to locate an estimate. Depending on what you know about an estimate, you can perform a simple or an advanced search.

Simple Search
If you know any word or number that might have been a part of estimate number, reference#, customer name or the estimate total just enter it in the search box on the sidebar and click 'enter'.

Estimate simple search

Advanced Search
Make use of Advanced search, if you require narrower search results or lack the information that is required to perform a simple search. Click on the 'advanced search' link as shown in the image above. A detailed search option will open up as shown in the image below.
Estimate advanced search

Enter the value of following fields to add them to the search criteria. The more fields you enter the narrower your search becomes.

  • Estimate#
  • Reference#
  • Customer Name
  • Estimate Date Range - By selecting the "Estimate Date Range" you can view a list of all estimates created between a particular period of time. For example if you want to view all the invoices created between 23rd of August 2010 and 27th August 2010 you must select the date range as 08-23-2010 and 08-27-2010.
  • Status - Click on this drop-down icon to select the status of the estimate(s) you are trying to locate.

Click on the 'more fields' link and you can see that the search form expands to accept more more information to narrow the search criteria further.

The additional fields you get to see are

  • Item Name
  • Item Description
  • Estimate total range
  • Notes

Click on the 'Search' button after you have entered the criteria to view the search results.

  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Go to the estimate that you want to view.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the particular estimate and select 'details'.
    Select estimate details Estimate details

    Adding Comments
    To add comments for an estimate just click on the 'Add Comments' link shown in the above image. The comments added here will be for your internal use and will not appear on the estimate.

    Estimate comments and history

    Enter comments in the text area and click on the 'Save' button.

Estimate details page - sidebar
Estimate Detail - Sidebar
Estimate Detail Sidebar

The sidebar provides useful information about the estimate and links for performing actions on that estimate. Apart from 'clone' the rest of actions are available from the estimate list page itself.

All estimate status
Draft When you create an estimate, it will be in draft status. A draft status indicates that estimate can undergo further modifications.
Sent

A 'Sent' status for an estimate indicates that you have sent the estimate to your customer at least once by clicking on the 'Send' link or you have marked the status as 'Sent' by clicking on 'Mark as sent' link.

Invoiced When an estimate is converted to an invoice, it is said to be in the invoiced status. Once an estimate is invoiced, you cannot change the status of the estimate.
Accepted If the estimate sent by you to your client is approved, then you can mark your estimate as accepted. An accepted estimate can be converted to an invoice.
Declined If the estimate was rejected by your client, you can mark it as declined. If however, you were asked to rework on the estimate, you can do so and send it by email again and change the status to accepted, once your customer approves it.
Expired When an estimate sent to your client is awaiting approval, it is in the 'Sent' status. If the estimate crosses the expiry date then system automatically gives it the 'Expired' status. Expired Estimates can still be converted to an invoice. An expired estimate can still be converted to an invoice.
  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab
  2. Go to the estimate that you want to edit.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the particular estimate and select 'edit' as shown in the image below.
    Select edit estimate
  4. This opens the 'Edit Estimate' page.
  5. Make changes as required and click on the 'Save' button.
  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Click on the cog wheel of the particular estimate you want to invoice.
  3. Click on the 'convert to invoice' link as shown in the image below.
    Select convert to invoice
  4. This opens the 'New Invoice' page with the following details populated from the estimate
    • Customer
    • line item details.
  5. You can edit the details that have been populated from the estimate.
  6. The invoice date will be the current date.
  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Go to the estimate you want to send.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the particular estimate you wish to email to your customer and select 'email estimate' link shown in the image below.
    Select send estimate
  4. Clicking on the 'email estimate' link opens the 'Send estimate' window. See image below.
    Send estimate

    Change the e-mail message if required.

    'To' address is the e-mail address of the contact person you have specified for the customer. If no contact e-mail address was provided, this field will be left blank and you need to specify an e-mail address.

    Attachments'
    You can attach an associated document like sales order, a project document, etc. to an estimate. To do this, click on the 'Attach a file' link below the e-mail message box and browse your local folders to select the document you want to attach. The document size should not exceed 10 MB.

You can clone or duplicate an existing estimate to create a new estimate if most of the data is the same.

To clone a new estimate.

  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Go to the estimate you want to clone or duplicate.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the estimate and select 'details' link. This opens the 'Estimate Details' page.
  4. Click on the 'clone' link on the sidebar.
    Select clone estimate
  5. This will open a 'New estimate' page. All the fields from the original estimate will be completed for you in the new estimate. You can make the changes as required and click on the save button.
  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Go to the estimate you want print.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the estimate and select the 'print' link shown in the below image -
    Select print estimate
  4. This will generate a PDF file that you can print.
  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Select the estimates you would like to print as shown in the image below.
    Select estimate
  3. Click on the 'print' link shown in the below image -
    Select print
  4. This will generate a single PDF file that you can print.

Please note, you can print upto 25 estimates at any given point.

  1. Go to the 'Estimates' tab.
  2. Go to the estimate you want to delete.
  3. Click on the cog wheel of the estimate and select the 'delete' link of the estimate as shown in the image below
    Select delete item
  4. Click on the delete link.
  5. A message box as shown below will appear asking for your confirmation.
    Delete estimate message
  6. Click on the Ok button if you are sure you want to delete the record.

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