Skip to main content

How to use the Line-Item Database

See more videos and subscribe to the Proposal Kit YouTube channelProposal Kit How-to Videos

This video shows the basics of using the Wizard
s line-item database system to add an automated Cost Summary and Invoice to a document. The Wizard includes a line-item database system that lets you automate anything from quotes, invoices, schedules, financial pages, etc.

Read this related article: How to Write a Business Proposal That Wins

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Write a Proposal that Wins

In this video we're going to show the most basic functionality of the line item database system used for quotes, schedules and other financial pages in the proposal documents that are created. There is a separate manual so if you want to get into the details this Wizard Line Item Database manual is a separate manual from the main Wizard manual. This will go into all the details of the line item quoting system.

So, if you want more details for that and also look at the other videos in the library that we'll be creating that will go into much more detail on all the advanced features. So, for now we will show the basic setup that will work for all Novice and Expert Edition users. So, you start from the main Wizard home screen and we have our style selected.

So whatever style you've purchased and installed that's going to be the visual design style that the documents will be created in. It'll probably be different than what we're illustrating here. That's just the graphics, the colors and so on.

So, you'll always go to Button #2 – Document Projects to start a new document and click Add New Project. And we're at the standard project screen where we'll set up all the things that go into the project and one of those things is this Line Item Quote button. So if you've used the Wizard before you should be familiar with everything else setting up your project.

So you can either pick some documents first, import a sample so on just like before. If you don't pick any documents, if you go straight to the Line Item Quote just click through any messages. It's going to take you to the quote screen and you'll see there are a number of pre–defined databases here you can select from.

So the most basic ones are going to be those basic Product Sales, basic Service Sales and these are all tied to the Cost Summary and Invoice chapters. And they just get more and more complicated as you go down so basic Product and Service Sales. This will actually combine the categories from these two.

Anything with the GST and PST these are just versions of the same one but they have two tax rates instead of one tax rate. You can get a basic four category, so say if you want your products or services in multiple categories each with their own subtotal then you can use this one or if you need an even more complex setup. Say with taxes applied at the line item level and shipping at the line item level versus a global tax and shipping then you can go down and pick this one.

Now Expert Edition users can customize all these databases, you can create your own databases. These are just a starting list to get you started with. So we'll just start with the basic Product Sales.

Now once we select that it will automatically add the chapters that are related to that to database. So in this case it just added the Cost Summary and Invoice chapters to our project. Now in the Novice Edition the import and export won't work to use Excel to load your database with, so you just manually add your line items.

So you see this is the category and what chapters it's related to, there's no line items attached to it. The global data that is going to be say our tax rate so maybe we have a 6 percent tax rate and if you'd picked one of those database definitions that had a GST and PST, two tax rates, you'd have entries for both of those here. Shipping, let's just say we're gonna charge fifty dollars shipping on this proposal.

Discount, if you're discounting anything, we're going to give this person a 20 percent discount. So these are our globals. So now we'll add some line items.

The database definitions can be completely customized in the Expert Edition. So this is a fairly simple database. We have a description, a price and a quantity there's also an amount total which is going to be a calculation of the price and quantity per line item.

Since that is a calculated value you don't get a data entry field here. Now that is an Expert Edition feature where you could override a calculated value if you had to in a special case. Novice Edition we're just doing straight up let the Wizard do the calculations.

So I'll just put in a couple line items. Okay, so we've added three line items, price, quantity and you can see the calculation here. We can move these up and down and change the order if we want.

If you view the globals, some of these globals we hand entered like the tax rate, shipping, discount. Other globals are calculations so you can see the calculation of those three line items and then what the sales tax amount is and the total. Close these screens, another View Global is that just showing the same thing at this level.

Now if you'd had one of those databases that had multiple categories, say the four category one, you'd see all four categories here. We add line items to each individual category. All right, so now you see a little green check mark.

That means we have line items and no errors were detected during its calculations. Every time you make any change to the database whether you're added on the line item you change a global variable you edit a single line item it recalculates the entire quote on the fly and that will tell you if there's any errors in your calculations if you're doing a custom database. Now we can use the Test and Preview.

The Test and Preview is good so we don't have to build the full proposal document every time I want to look and see what the quote looks like. This is just a quick preview. It's only going to build a temporary copy of the pages that are related to the database.

In this case our Cost Summary and Invoice. So I just wait for it to generate these two. Now there'll be a handful of visual elements that are going to be maybe different in the preview here.

Now these are elements of our design theme the stock logo and color scheme. This will be different for you, whatever design theme you're using but you see the Products category all the line items, outputs our subtotals, our global variables here. Now you can customize these table layouts in the Expert Edition, this particular table is output completely by the Wizard so you can do things like alter the layout of the widths of these, we can turn off the table cell borders, we can combine these into a single row for all data versus one row table row per line item.

We can change the alignments of fields. We can turn on and off these headers. Lots of customizations you can make when the Wizard outputs the tables.

You can also custom build your own Word tables and store those in some files in the Wizard in the MyTemplates folder and that way you have full control over what the table layouts look like. So you've got a lot of options in how to customize your final table layouts. We see this also output to the Invoice.

You know, you don't have to output the Invoice. The Invoice is going to be a separate document from the proposal document. We just by default have these initial set of databases set up to go to both the Cost Summary and Invoice at the same time.

Okay, now say we like the preview, let's go and finish setting up the rest of the document so you can see we went into the Line Item Quote button first with no documents selected, now there's two. It's actually selected the Invoice and Cost Summary. Let's go ahead and flesh this out a little bit more.

We'll add the Title Page, Cover Letter, Back Page, Introduction. We'll leave the Cost Summary. Now we have a larger document it's going to create.

We would put in the Company Data and Client Data like normal. You can see this is pre–filled with my information here. Client Data we would just fill these in for whoever we're sending the document to.

I'm just going to leave these blank for now. Let's build the full document. Okay, now it's generated our documents and you can see the Invoice is always created as a separate external document so you don't have to use that if you don't want to.

But if you do need Invoices then this document is kind of ready for you to finish off and send out if you get the proposal. This is our full document, got the Cover Letter, Title Page, our Introduction, Cost Summary and you can see here it's finished. All the design elements, you got that extra border across the side that you didn't see in the preview, the footers, page numbering and so on.

That is the basic use of the line item database system for a quote. Now note that the database system can be used for much more than just a Cost Summary. It's set up right now for over about 60 different financial topics that can all be used with the database from a budget, income projections, a whole bunch of business plan templates, timelines, schedules, and so on.

Anything that you need a line item database for you can create in the database system. All the customization creating custom databases and so on, that's all in the Expert Edition. Novice Edition users can do what you basically see here, select from any of the pre–made databases, any of the samples that are out there that have databases.

Any of those you can use as–is in the Novice Edition. We'll have other videos that show how to use the other databases that are in the package as well. So that is the basic use of the line item quoting system.

Make sure to watch other videos on the more advanced topics, how to use other databases like the samples, the timelines, budgets, all the component databases and so on. There'll be separate videos for all of that.

Proposal KitPublished by Proposal Kit, Inc.