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QuickBooks Tip – Creating a Pre-Set Estimate With Standard Items

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A QuickBooks tip for creating a pre-set or memorized Estimate with a standard set of items that will automatically display whenever you create an estimate.

QuickBooks tipsSome contractors, and many other types of businesses as well, frequently prepare an Estimate, Schedule of Values, Proposal, or Quote for different customers that use the exact same items – or groups of items, just with different pricing.   Manually creating this same bid over and over by pulling the items into the form is a repetitive and time-consuming task that can easily be automated in QuickBooks by memorizing it.

Follow these simple steps to create a pre-set estimate with standard items and memorize it in QuickBooks

  1. Pull up a blank estimate form
  2. Build your bid using Items (cost codes) from your Items List
  3. Do NOT add any dollar amounts
  4. Review the basic proposal carefully to make sure that you’ve included all the standard items
  5. Press the CTRL and “M” keys at the same time (this tells QuickBooks that you want to Memorize the transaction on your screen)
  6. QuickBooks may present you with a message window that states:  When you memorize this estimate, QuickBooks removes the customer:job so that the estimate can be recalled for any customer. Click the OK button.
  7. Next, a Memorize Transaction window will appear.  Use the Name field to hold a description for this quote (Site Work, etc.), select the radio button next to Do Not Remind Me and click the OK button.  You can also close the Create Estimate window.

You’ve now created a pre-set Estimate containing standard items that your company uses for bidding.

Using or recalling the memorized Estimate

The next time that you need to create a bid, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Estimates icon from the Home Page OR from the Customers menu choose Estimates OR From the Lists menu -> choose Memorized Transactions OR press the CTRL and the “T” keys at the same time
  2. Click on the transaction name -> and click the Enter Transaction button
  3. Select the Customer:Job, review, add any additional/special items for this project, enter pricing, print, and save.

NOTE: Make sure that you always carefully review the information on the form before you print it to make sure that all of the required items, specific to this job have been included.  You can add or remove items from the base group that you initially memorized.

I hope that you have found this article to be helpful, if so please take a moment to leave a comment.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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