Quotes in Xero

Alexander Kohl About Us, Blog 12 Comments

Xero does not have an inbuilt quote facility.

However, it is possible to quote, and even manage simple projects from the quote stage to final invoicing within Xero.

There are three stages to it:

  1. Preparing the quote template
  2. Creating the quote
  3. Managing the project from quote to final invoice.

Preparing the Quote Template

The inbuilt Xero invoice template shows the payment tear-off. You do not really want to have that in a quote. Also, your probably want a different text at the bottom of the quote to the invoice.

To get started, go to General Settings in Settings.

Quote Settings

Select “Invoice Branding” to see your current invoice setup. Copy the Invoice Branding Layout to prepare your Quote Layout.

Copy an invoice template

There are a few changes that are necessary, but you can of course further refine your layout. It is at this point you might want to use the docx export to customise your layout even more. We’ll just explain the quick way to get started with your quotes.

  1. Rename the Draft Invoice title to “QUOTE”
  2. Untick the “Show payment advice cut-away.
  3. Add your quote text to the Terms & Payment Advice.
  4. When you save the template, call it “Quote”.

Quote Settings

Now you are ready to quote from within Xero.

Creating a Quote within Xero

The process is exactly the same as creating invoices. So select “Add receivable invoice” in the Dashboard and enter all details as you normally would for an invoice.

Here are the differences:

  1. Select “Quote” in the branding drop-down.
  2. Save it as a draft. Do not Approve it!

Quote in Xero

When you now look at the Draft tab, you can see all your quotes and email them to your prospects.

Quote overview

Managing Projects from Quote to Final Invoice

You can use the different stages within Xero to see where a project is at. All the quotes are sitting in Draft. When you get the go ahead, you can “Submit it for approval”. All your jobs in progress then sit in the Awaiting Approval tab.

Work in Progress

Once the job is completed, you can approve it and send the invoice out. It is imp0rtant to remember changing the branding back to your invoice layout at that point. To do that, you just need to click on it to edit it.

Turn the Quote into an Invoice

After editing the branding back to your invoice template, you can email the invoice out.

Email Invoice

It is possible to add notes at any step of this process. So if you have a team where one person looks after the quoting and sales, they could add a note for the production person who picks the job up in “Awaiting Approval”. They can add any changes to the pricing, either in the quote/invoice itself, or as a note to the finance person who will prepare the invoice to be sent out.

Looking forward to hearing about any other ways you use Xero to quote.

12 Responses to Quotes in Xero

  1. Catherine-Xero

    Great set of steps & useful screenshots – thanks for sharing this!

  2. Gayle Buchanan

    nice work fellow xero bookkeeper!

  3. Randall Spice

    whilst all the above info is correct, the real problem is when you save a quote as a draft, Xero issues it an invoice number.
    If you do an invoice next and approve it, Xero issues the same number. When you then convert your draft invoice (quote) to an invoice you will have 2 invoices with the same number. This is horrible for remittances etc etc. The only solution is to change the draft invoice number to the next number in the system, but how do you know what that is?
    Come on Xero, it cant be that difficult to add a quote feature. Any manual modification is prone to human error. Whats the use of an accounting package that cant automate its features?

    • Alexander Kohl

      Hi Randall,
      I am not quite sure how you make that happen. When I go through the process, Xero creates a new invoice number for each Quote and Invoice, no matter how I enter that. If you can explain exactly what you do, I might be able to help.
      Apart from that, the quoting function is not that far off. The first step to it was the recent change from Account Receivable to Sales and from Accounts Payable to Purchases.
      Alexander

      • Fran Holt

        Hi Alexander,

        I am responding on Randall’s behalf. Our problem has occurred this way. We create a draft invoice identified as a quote by applying a quote brand. The draft is created by ‘saving’ and not approving. We found that while this invoice is sitting in the draft file waiting to be approved, Xero has allocated the same invoice number to the next invoice that is generated and immediately approved. Subsequently when we approve the invoice that has been saved as a draft (once the quote has been accepted) Xero allowed us to retain the original invoice number (ie allows us to use an invoice number that has already been approved). Randall and I tested this function yesterday and We end up with two different invoices with the same invoice number on a number of seperate occassions.

  4. Fran Holt

    Alexander,

    Could this be happening because Randall and I are working in Xero at the same time and have something to do with a time delay on the page refreshing function?

    Fran

    • Alexander Kohl

      Hi Fran,
      are you using different user logins or the same one when you both work in Xero?
      With different user logins, it should no happen.
      I am hoping that solves it.
      Alexander

      • Fran Holt

        Thanks Alexander – we should have been using different log ins but I’ll make sure we are when we run another test. I’ll let you know how we get on.

        Cheers,
        Fran

      • Fran Holt

        Hi again Alexander,

        Randall and I were using different logins the other day so that should not have been the problem. However, I’ve been the only one using XERO the past 2 days and have not had the problem again with invoice number double ups. I’ll let you know if the problem occurs again next week when there will be a few of us working in Xero at the same time.
        Fran

  5. Melanie Power

    Great screenshots to show the process!!! I use this process exactly and clients love it – especially being able to email from quote stage – very handy! Great Job Alex!!

    • Alexander Kohl

      Thank you Melanie,
      much appreciated.
      Alexander

  6. Karen Bussing

    Hi Alexander,

    I love this, thank you so much for sharing. Your generosity in helping others in the Xero community is very much appreciated; I have a “Jet Bookkeeping” file where I keep all of your tips and tricks.

    Thanks again.

    Kaz

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