Creating rental estimates in QuickBooks is simple. However, there are a few key aspects to keep in mind as you start writing up estimates for your customer’s future event dates. Here, and in the video above, we discuss our suggested format for creating rental estimates in QuickBooks online. The process is the same on QuickBooks Desktop however the interface of course will be different.

In general, the most important thing to remember when creating rental estimates or invoices is to record as much detail as possible. This not only ensures the customer is well informed as you’ve set the proper expectations with them for their rental experience, but it also helps you and your staff remember all that was discussed in regards to the rental so that everyone can be on the same page.

That said, let’s go through step by step how we suggest going about creating rental estimates. If you have suggestions or like to do things differently, please let us know in the comments below so we can share our knowledge with each other and create better customer experiences in the rental space.

  1. Login to your QuickBooks Online dashboard

  2. Click “Sales” or “Invoices” on the left hand menu and select “All Sales”

  3. Select the “New Transaction” dropdown and click “Estimate”

  4. Enter the customer’s name (if this is a returning customer you should see it populate below the field where you can click and auto-fill the customer name field)

  5. Enter the customer’s email address

  6. Change the “Estimate Date” to the date of the event or the date the customer plans to rent the items

    Note: This is important as it allows you to keep track of what events you have coming up that you have sent estimates for. This works the same for invoices. The invoice date should be the date of the event so you can filter invoices by event date to know what orders you have coming up for any given date or date range.

  7. Enter an “Expiration Date” (this is only if you want this offer to expire on a specific date, otherwise leave blank)

  8. Record the “Ship Date” and “Return Date” in the following format mm/dd/yyyy (the ship date is typically the date of the event or date of rental pick up and the return date is the day you expect to receive the items back in your possession)

  9. Enter the items you are renting along with their respective quantities in the first lines of the estimate

    Skip to step 13 for will call orders

  10. For deliveries, add a group item for the delivery (You’ll need to set this up in your products/services list. Simply create a new “group” item and give it a name of “Delivery.” Then, add/create the following line items to the group item:

    • Delivery Fee (how much you plan to charge for delivery, I recommend having a base fee and then adding to it for deliveries that are further away)

    • Delivery Address (The description field will contain the address for where the items are to be delivered. It is used in many instances of the Adelie Logistics software suite to plot delivery orders for location identification as well as routing and employee planning on our mobile apps for Android and iOS.)

    • Delivery Time Range (The description field will contain the date and time range agreed upon for the delivery between rental company and customer)

    • Pick Up Time Range (The description field will contain the date and time range agreed upon for pick up of the rental items)

    • Customer Contact (The description field will contain the phone number for the person in charge of accepting the rentals upon delivery. This will be used to contact the customer from within the Adelie logistics mobile apps for Android and iOS)

  11. Replace the description fields of the necessary line items with the information agreed upon by you and the customer

  12. For notes to delivery drivers and other employees that will be working on this order, we suggest creating a specific line item called “Notes.” This would be a zero dollar line item that simply has notes written in the description field so that they show up for this invoice in the appropriate areas of our QuickBooks Add-on software to be viewed by your employees. You can also leave notes for an invoice from directly within our mobiles apps once the invoice has been synced with our system

  13. For will call orders, create a zero dollar line items called “Will Call” and replace the description text with the information the customer needs for them to pick up the items on the date they are scheduled and return them on the date they are due back. Check out the video to see the format we recommend.

  14. Once you’ve entered all necessary information for the order and the pricing as well as tax all lines up, click “Save and Send”

  15. Ensure the email address is correct and modify the body of the text to personalize the email.

  16. Click send and your customer will receive the estimate

  17. Use the blue estimates box on the “All Sales” page to keep track of outstanding estimates and follow up with your customers as needed
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