An estimate looks and acts just like an invoice with a couple of significant exceptions.
- Estimates don’t affect inventory.
- Estimates don’t have any financial impact. You can’t push them to QuickBooks.
- You can’t take payments toward estimates.
So, what is the purpose of an estimate? Typically, they are used in a retail environment where customers want a quote on items they are considering. And yes, you can include labor, too. Think of estimates as extremely simplified proposals. Once a customer approves an estimate, it can easily be converted into a standalone invoice.
- Estimates button – this is a toggle between all of the accounting form types. Click Estimates to toggle the list to Invoices or Credit memos, for example.
- Sort button – choose a sort method to redisplay the estimate list in a different order
- Aging – based on the age of the estimate
- Creating Date – based on the date the estimated was created
- Customer Name – sort alphabetically by customer name
- Date Due – this is not really used since estimates don’t have a balance due (it is a carryover from invoices)
- Ref Number – sorts by the estimate’s number
- Sales Staff – sorts by the name of the salesperson listed on the estimate
- SO Billing Status – this is another status that isn’t used on estimates (it is a carryover from invoices)
- Status – this is another status that isn’t used on estimates (it is a carryover from invoices)
- Options – opens the options menu where you can filter the list
- New Estimate – creates and opens a new, blank estimate
- Wild Card Search – enter a text string to search estimates addresses, phone numbers, email, etc.
The list of Estimates shows invoices based on the search and filter options selected in the header. Details include:
- Estimate Number – the unique serial number of the estimate
- Customer Name – the name of the customer the estimate was created for
- Date – the date listed on the estimate
- Total – the total value of the estimate
- Archived – checked means the estimate is archived, and cleared means the estimate is active
Note: Clicking on any estimate in the list opens it for your viewing and editing pleasure.
The Options button is used to modify the list of estimates, making it easier to find the estimate you are looking for.
- Creation Date Start – set a date to display estimates that were made on or after a specific day
- Creation Date End – display estimates created on or before a specific day
- Sales Rep – show estimates that are attributed to a specific salesperson
- Sales Rep 2 – display estimates that have a specific user listed in the #2 sales position
- To Be Emailed
- Show Only – displays estimates that are marked to be emailed
- Don’t Show – only show estimates that are not marked to be emailed
- Show All – show every estimate regardless of the email status
- To Be Printed
- Show Only – displays estimates that are marked to be printed
- Don’t Show – only show estimates that are not marked to be printed
- Show All – show every estimate regardless of the to be printed status
- Has Bulk Send Error
- Show Only – displays estimates that were not printed or emailed due to bulk send error
- Don’t Show – show estimates that were sent or printed successfully
- Show All – show every estimate regardless of their submission status
There is a script that runs periodically to adjust commissions on estimates. However, if this script were to run constantly, it would slow iPoint down to a crawl. For example, suppose you changed an estimate after the commission had just run behind the scenes. The commission calculations won’t be accurate until that script runs again. In that case, you can click the Recalculate Commissions button to force the script to run immediately, updating commissions on the displayed estimates.
This might get kinda technical, so bear with us. To speed up iPoint, we store some information in a database so that it doesn’t have to be calculated every time you load it. In the case of estimates, once the invoice has been created, quantities are entered, and tax calculated, typically it doesn’t change anymore, so we store those totals in a database for future reference. That way we don’t have to take the time to redo the math on every invoice when it opens. Sometimes, however, a change is necessary. And when you go to look at a report, you might get to the report before the update script has finished running. That’s where this button comes in. iPoint will go through all the estimates in the found set (based on the filters you set on the Options tab) and update that stored information so your report will print correctly.
Estimates that have been marked “To Be Emailed” don’t get emailed automatically. (At least not yet.) Once you have filtered your estimates using the settings on the Options tab, you can click this button to have iPoint email the selected estimates. This uses the same process as bulk sending invoices.