Creating Estimates and Jobs is a major part of your FP system. Active Jobs enable your staff to track time and Expenses, and for you to invoice your client for all your efforts.
Please review this article for a step-by-step process on creating an Estimate and adding a Job. You can also review this article to see all the steps we recommend in order to build the best Estimates in your system: Best Practice for Creating an Estimate.
Create the Estimate
From your main navigation bar, hover over Estimates and choose Add Estimate. In doing so you may see company names pop out from this selection, and if you see the company you're making the Estimate for, you can select it. If you do not see any company names, or don't see the company name you need, just click Add Estimate itself.
You can also choose to Add Estimate directly from a Company page (as shown above), Brief and Project. Just look for the Add new menu.
Please review this article to learn a different workflow, that takes you from a Schedule to an Estimate and Job: Create an Estimate & Job from a Schedule
You will land on the Estimate Add/ Edit Page. Here, you'll want to fill in as much information as you can about this potential work. Required fields are marked with blue. You will need to complete those fields in order to create the Estimate.
- Give the Estimate a name. This will become the Job name should the Estimate become real work. Make the name as clear as you can.
- Choose an Estimate Type. To alter the list of available types in this drop down, make adjustments under Admin > List Maintenance.
- Select a Company, and if you like, a Contact from that Company. If you wish to send this Estimate out from FP directly to the client, the Estimate will need a Contact, and that Contact will need an email address.
- Choose an AE from your staff. For a staff member to appear in this list, they will need the AE permission. Please review this article on marking staff as an AE.
- Choose from your available rate cards. You can pre-set the preferred rate for this client on their Company Details page, so that it pulls automatically.
- Choose from your Estimate Terms. To alter the list of available terms, make adjustments under Admin > List Maintenance.
- Enter a Close Probability. What is the percentage chance of you landing this proposed work?
- Enter a Description of the proposed work.
- Enter a Delivery Date for the proposed work.
- Work Type, Client Lead and Lead Creative are all optional fields to display on your Add Estimate pages. Turn these fields on or off under Admin > System Set Up > System Preferences > tab called Track.
- Enter the Month Close - this can be seen as the month by which the client expects the work to be done, or the month in which the opportunity to bid on this work ends. Consider this a flexible field that you can choose to use or not use as you see fit.
Now you will need to pick the time trackable Service buckets, and Internal or External Expenses that might also be required to get this work done. You will need to select at least one Service from at least one Service Group. Tick boxes beside the appropriate rows as needed.
When you have everything filled in, click Submit.
Please note that you can change what appear as Service Groups and Services on this page. To learn more, please review these articles: Adding Service Groups & Services, Removing Service Groups & Services
You will move into the Services tab. All the Services or Expenses you selected on the previous page will appear. Here, you can enter descriptions of the Service Groups and/ or Services, and begin to enter hours, quantities and costs for your selected Services and Expenses.
For External Expenses, you can choose to enter in the overall cost of the Expense or you can use the built in calculation tool.
This tool allows me to show the expense cost based on the quantity of an item, multiplied by the rate per item. Click Enter Cost when ready.
The Cost will then multiply by the mark-up percentage to give you an Estimate Total for the Expense. These values can be easily edited by clicking the pencil icon.
As you add hours, quantities and costs, these multiply by your rates and mark-ups, and build our your Estimate Total.
As needed, you can adjust values in the Rate or Mark Up Percentage fields and/ or use the Override dollar value field to enter an amount of your choosing. The overall Estimate Total will change accordingly.
Click Save to keep your changes.
Add More Services or Expenses
Should you have forgotten to include a line item when you generated the Estimate, you can easily add it later. Just click the Add Service Groups button, or the "+" icon from the Service Group row.
- Use Add Service Group if you want to add all or some of the items within a Service Group.
- Use the add Service button if you just want to add a selection of specific Services or Expenses to the group you're in.
Select the new item(s) to add to the Estimate.
Enter the correct values for the new row(s) and save your changes when ready.
Create a Revenue Schedule
A recommended practice is to now build out a Revenue Schedule. A Revenue Schedule is where you can note what amounts you would expect the client to pay you, and on what dates. This content feeds into certain FP Reports.
Having this in place now will save you time down the road should you in fact land this work. From the Services tab, click the Auto Revenue Forecast button. You should see a brief pop up message to let you know the Revenue Schedule has been successfully created.
Choose the Revenue Schedule tab.
The system has put all the values from the Estimate into their appropriate group (External Expense, Internal Expense, or Internal Service) and onto the one date it knows - the delivery date of the Estimate. If you are expecting full payment of these amounts on that date, you can leave this as is. However, if you are expecting this amount to be paid over several months, you'll want to break this down.
Click the Add Revenue Schedule Line as many times as needed.
Add dates and divide the amounts across those dates. Refer to the values on the left, and match them to your totals on the right.
Click Submit to save your work. And if it is part of your workflow to have these kinds of details approved, you or another team member can then mark the Revenue Schedule as Approved.
Send Out the Estimate
Most scenarios require that your client or prospect review this Estimate and either seek changes, decline it or approve it as is. The Estimate can be sent out via FP (using the Notify Client button) or printed as a PDF (using the Print button) and sent to your client that way. You can create several printout options depending on your needs. To learn more about creating your own printouts, please review these articles:
Estimates you send via the Notify Client button will automatically change to the Approval Status of "Submitted." If you send out the PDF in another way (such as via email) you can manually mark the Estimate as Submitted on the Basic Info tab.
If you use the FP Portal, note that Estimates in a Submitted status are visible to the Estimate Contact - should that contact be set up as a Portal user and have the proper Portal permission to see the Estimate PDF.
The benefit of making Approval Status changes as part of your routine is that it will enable you to then search your system for Estimates that are in this status, still In Review, Declined etc.
Approve the Estimate
When the client agrees to your proposed pricing, navigate to the Basic Info tab and change the Approval Status to Approved. This will mean that any future changes to the Estimate will be automatically saved, and stored under the Revisions tab. Click Continue.
Create the Job
Estimates that you are ready to convert into live, time trackable work, need to be turned into a Job. To do so, simply click the Add Job button on the top right of the page.
Hitting Add Job will land you on the Job Details page, and the Job Summary tab. You can now easily add Tasks, Links, Notes or Invoices for this work.
As well, the active Job will now show in the Jobs panel on the Dashboard (if you choose to show this tile on your custom Dashboard view), and time can be tracked to it.
To learn how to enter a timesheet/track time to an active (open) Job, please review this article: Tracking Time to A Job.
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