Estimating Basics

Estimating is one of the most powerful features of Acrual. It uses a drag and drop approach which greatly reduces the time needed for estimating. Drag and drop simply means you click on a material, module or labour item, and drag it into your estimate.

Check out this video which shows the process of estimating a small kitchenette to get you started.

Firstly, we will explain the various parts of the estimating section. If you haven't already, open the estimating section by clicking the Estimating link in the main menu. You should have already Created a Quote, if not, follow that walk-through and then come back. You may be prompted to select an Active Quote in the top right corner. If so, click the Active Quote drop down and select the quote you wish to estimate.

You should now be presented with a fresh estimate. The layout of the estimating section works as follows

  • Top Banner - This contains the quotes name and number. It also contains the current Cost, Charge and Charge Inc Tax. These will automatically update as you estimate
  • Left Pane - The left pane, Quote Contents, displays the current items of the quote. This is represented by a tree/hierarchy structure. The starting item is the name of the quote e.g. Rumble Apartments
  • Centre Pane - This shows a Breakdown of the contents of the currently selected item in the Quote Contents tree
  • Right Pane - This is your Library of Modules, Labour and Materials. You can have as many as these as you need. They can be added to your quotes by dragging and dropping them.
  • Bottom Banner - This shows the margins as a percentage for the currently selected item in the Quote Contents. Margins work from the top down. This means that all items in a quote will automatically have the same margin as their parent. You can edit the margins by clicking on a percentage.

If you are starting a new quote, your Quote Contents will be empty, as well as the Breakdown pane. Your library may also be empty if you are starting a new account. This is alright as you can easily add library items, this will be demonstrated soon.

The Quote Contents pane follows this structure

This structure allows you to lay out your estimates in an easy to read and understand way. It allows you to break up the estimate by area or type so that you can easily create multiples of one item, e.g. You are estimating kitchens for an apartment block that has 100 apartments, there are 5 different types of kitchen, that means 20 of each type. Acrual lets you easily do this for example

When clicking on an item in the Quote Contents pane, the Breakdown pane will show its contents in detail like below

This pane shows you details such as Quantity, Unit Cost and Cost. You can modify the Quantity easily by clicking the number and typing in a new value.

Finally, the library pane has three tabs, Modules, Labour and Materials. These items are consistent in all estimates, i.e. if you create items in one estimate, it will also be in the library for all future estimates. The library pane is shown below

Next, take a look at How to Estimate.