How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online & Desktop?

How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online and Desktop

QuickBooks offers a budgeting feature to help you make a smart business decision. If you create a forecast, you can even predict the cash flow and sales report in the future. If you run a business, it is suggested to set up a budget plan in your QuickBooks account.

If you have no idea about creating a budget in QuickBooks, we will teach you. In this guide, you will learn about setting up the budget, run the budget report, update the budget, and create a job budget. Let’s know more in detail how to create a budget in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.

To create budget proposal in QuickBooks, the guide has the focal points on the following ideas:

Can You Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online?

Most businesses make a budget in QuickBooks so that they can compare the expenses and actual sales. If you use QuickBooks Online Plus and want to create a budget based on the accounting data then you can do that easily.

Once you add a budget to your QuickBooks account, you can even edit, review, and delete the existing budget if required. To know how to create a new budget in QuickBooks Online, check out the following instructions which we have divided into different parts.

Part 1: Creating a Budget in QuickBooks

To get started, you have to log in to QuickBooks. Then, set the financial year, get the budget, create the budget, run a budget report to compare against the actual sales. Let’s get into more detail.

Pick a Month of the Financial Year

Although you can create your budget preferably (at any time), picking up the year-end can be a great time to plan your budget for the upcoming year.

  • Firstly, log in to your QuickBooks Online.
  • Now, click on the “Settings” option.
  • Choose the “Company Settings” option.
  • Go to the “Advanced” tab.
  • Then, review your “First month of the financial year” field in the “Accountings” window.
  • At this point, click on the “Edit” option to change your date.

Now that you have selected the year, the next step is to get your budget data. You can make the base either from the previous year’s amounts or the current financial year.

Get the Budget Data

In case you wish to use the historical data then you should run the Loss and Profit Detail report. This will help you to ensure your transactions and keep your account looking correct.

Although the report displays the transactions (by default) that were created in the whole year. In the following steps, you will learn to customize the report so that you can display the previous year’s amount.

  • Click on the “Reports”.
reports - how to create a budget in quickbooks
  • Now, locate and open the “Profit and Loss Detail Report”.
  • Here, pick the “Last Financial Year” using the “Report period” dropdown.
  • In case you wish to use the current financial year then choose the “This Year-to-date” option.
  • Now, hit the “Run report” button.

You have now selected your financial year and budget data based on your preferences. The next step is to set up the budget.

Make a Budget

In case you don’t want to create a new budget then you can also copy the existing budget. If you are thinking “how do I create a budget report in QuickBooks”, then you can follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to the “Settings” option.
  • Click on the “Budgeting” option.
  • Hit the “Add budget” button.
  • In the field of “Name”, enter the budget name.
  • Now, pick the financial year for your budget using the “Financial Year” dropdown menu.
  • To set your budget as yearly, quarterly, or monthly, click on the “Interval” dropdown menu.
  • Using the “Pre-fill data” dropdown so that the data can be entered automatically from the existing or last year. (This is an optional step).
  • If you prefer to create a budget by class in QuickBooks then you can do it by using the “Subdivide by” dropdown menu.
  • Then, go “Next”.
  • Now, add the budget data to your table.
  • In case you don’t find all the accounts or sub-accounts then you should click on the “Settings” icon located above the “Total” option.
  • Now, click on the “Hide blank rows” box. This way you can see the accounts.
  • Then, hit the “Save and close” button.

This is the whole procedure for how to create a budget in QuickBooks 2018. Now, if you prefer to run the budget report to compare the actual sales, you can do that within your QuickBooks account. Continue reading to know more

Part 2: Run the Budget Reports in QuickBooks

By running a special budget report, you can track your budget goals in QuickBooks. Let’s know how to run these budget reports in the following steps:

  • Click on the “Settings” option.
  • Go to the “Budgeting”.
  • Search for the budget in your list.
  • Now, click on the “Action” dropdown.
  • Then, select the “Run Budgets vs. Actuals report” or “Run Budget Overview report”.

Once you are done following these steps, the Budget Overview report sums up the budgets by account. Along with this, the Budget vs. Actual report sums up the account along with the real account totals. This way you can also know if you are under budget or over budget.

Part 3: Update the Budget

You have learned to create and run the budget report. Now, there can be instances when a user wants to edit a specific detail or copy the existing budget. In some cases, users have to remove the budget in the future. If you ever have to update the details of your budget then here is the step by step guide to edit, copy, and delete the existing budget.

Edit the Budget

  • Click on the “Settings” option.
  • Go to the “Budgeting” option.
  • After finding your budget, click on the “Edit” button.
  • Now, you can edit the details of each account.
  • If you wish to modify the time period then hit the “Gear” button and choose the “Year” or “Quarter” option.
  • Click on the “Save” button.

Copy the Existing Budget

  • Click on the “Settings” option.
  • Go to the “Budgeting” option.
  • After finding your budget, click on the “Copy” button.
  • Enter the name and financial year of your budget in the “Copy Budget” screen.
  • Click on the “Create Budget” button.
  • Then, update your budget amounts.
  • Hit the “Save and Close” button.

Delete the Existing Budget

  • Click on the “Settings” option.
  • Go to the “Budgeting” option.
  • After finding your budget, click on the “Action” button.
  • Then, hit the “Delete” button.

So this is how you can edit, copy, and delete the existing budget on your QuickBooks Online. All you have to go through the settings and you are good to go.

How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Desktop?

As is well known, QuickBooks provides a desktop-based version for the users. If you run QuickBooks Desktop and wish to create a budget then it is super easy to do that.

To create annual budget in QuickBooks Desktop, all you have to do is review the previous year’s data and set up the budget. Let’s know how to create a budget in QuickBooks 2012 in the following discussion.

Part 1: Review the Previous Year’s Data

To review the data of the last year, you need to make sure the fiscal year is correct. Here is how to do that.

  • Click on the “Company” option.
  • Choose the “My Company” button.
  • Click on the “Pencil icon” and select “Report Information”.

Also, ensure that the fiscal year’s first month is set correctly. Now, you can start reviewing the financial reports.

  • Click on the “Reports” option.
  • Now hover your mouse “Company & Financial”.
  • Click on the “Balance Sheet Detail” or “Profit & Loss Detail” based on what you prefer: budget or forecast.
  • Click on the “Last Fiscal Year” using the “Dates” dropdown menu.
  • Hit the “Refresh” button.

Once you are done reviewing the data and other settings of the fiscal year, you can proceed with the budget setup.

Part 2: Set Up the Budget/Forecast

For creating a budget in QuickBooks, you can opt for either budget or forecast depending on what you want to create. Here, we will show you steps for how to create a budget and forecast in QuickBooks Desktop.

Set Up a Budget

Those who want to create a budget from scratch or prefer to use the previous year’s data can use the following instructions:

  • Click on the “Company” menu.
  • Hover your mouse “Planning & Budgeting”.
  • Click on the “Set Up Budgets”.
  • Select “Create New Budget”.
  • Set your fiscal year and select either “Balance Sheet” or “Profit and Loss”.
  • Hit the “Next” button. In case you select “Profit and Loss” then you can also add Jobs and Class tracking.
  • Also, if you are selecting the “Profit and Loss” option then one should choose either “Create budget from the previous year’s actual data” or “Create budget from scratch”.
  • Click the “Finish” button.

These are the steps for creating a budget in QuickBooks Desktop. If you want to predict future expenses, you can go with the forecast in QuickBooks.

Set Up a Forecast

In case you use QuickBooks Accountant, Enterprise, or QuickBooks Desktop Premier then you can create forecasts in order to predict the cash flow in the future. To make this happen, you need to set up a forecast account. Follow these instructions to easily create a forecast account:

  • Click on the “Company” menu.
  • Hover your mouse “Planning & Budgeting”.
  • Click on the “Set Up Forecasts”.
  • Select “Create New Forecast”.
  • Set your fiscal year or add Jobs/Class tracking. (This is optional).
  • You can also choose either “Create forecast from the previous year’s actual data” or “Create forecast from scratch”.
  • Click the “Finish” button.

This is how you can create your budget or forecast In QuickBooks Desktop. In case you wish to review the budget or forecast report then you can click on the Reports menu and click on the Budgets and Forecasts.

How to Create a Job Budget in QuickBooks?

In QuickBooks, you can also set up a job budget by subdividing your budget per project. To do so, you can go through the following discussion.

  • Go to the “Gear icon” located on the top right.
  • Click on the “Budgeting” option located under the “Tools”.
  • Hit the “Add budget” button.
  • In the field of “Name”, enter the budget name.
  • Now, pick the “Fiscal Year” for your budget using the “Fiscal Year” dropdown menu.
  • If you want to create monthly budget in QuickBooks then click on the “Interval” dropdown menu. You can also set your budget as yearly and quarterly.
  • If you prefer to organize your budget by the customer then you can do it by using the “Subdivide by” dropdown menu.
  • Then, go “Next”.
  • Then, hit the “Save and close” button.

Once you are done following these steps, the job budget account will be created based on your preferences.

To Wind Up

Creating a budget in QuickBooks is super easy. Whether you use QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop with different versions, you can set up the budget either from scratch or by reviewing the last year’s data. Remember that the budgets that you create in QuickBooks must be account-based.

If required, you can also edit, delete, or copy the existing budget. Here, we have also talked about how to create a job budget in QuickBooks. By following this guide step by step, you can make your budget or forecast account in order to plan your budget for the upcoming year.
Apart from this, if you want to add account to QuickBooks then you can read about it here. Also, learn how to backup and restore files in QuickBooks in a few simple steps.

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