Easy estimatesGone are the days when a contractor could pull a pencil from behind his ear, scratch out an estimate on the back of an envelope, and rest assured that the customer understood that the real price would be three times the quoted amount. Nowadays, customers actually expect an estimate to bear some resemblance to reality.

Enter QuickBooks Easy Estimate, a solution to be released this spring for small contractors who need an easy way to create professional proposals and estimates. Users enter the details of the job, and Easy Estimate calculates the estimate and merges the information into one of several industry-specific templates for easy formatting and printing - and once the job is done, the program allows the estimate to be turned into an invoice. It also lets users re-use previous estimates as templates for new jobs.

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