Quoting has been a standard feature of desktop accounting software for years, and is also a feature of most cloud accounting systems aimed at SMEs, such as MYOB Essentials.
But one of the shortcomings of Xero has been that it didn't include a mechanism for providing customers or potential customers with a quote or estimate for the supply of goods or services. For several years, the recommended workaround has been to use a draft invoice instead.
That's changed with the latest release of Xero.
While many responses were positive, other users pointed to shortcomings such as a failure to give customers preset discounts (Xero has acknowledged that this is a bug), the exclusion of quotes from budget forecast reports, and the inability to convert draft invoices to quotes (a function that is on Xero's to-do list).
In addition, some users requested mechanisms for handling deposits received when quotes are accepted, or turning prepayments received against quotes into a series of invoices as the work is performed.
Xero's Sales dashboard (illustrated above) provides a summary of quotes in progress, including draft, sent, accepted and expired quotes.