Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online & Desktop

Managing finances is a critical aspect of any business, and create a budget in QuickBooks is a powerful tool to gain control over your expenses and revenue. QuickBooks, both Online and Desktop versions, offer intuitive features to help you set up and maintain budgets for your business. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of create a budget in QuickBooks, regardless of whether you’re using the Online or Desktop version.

Understanding the Importance of Budgeting

Before we delve into the specifics of create a budget in QuickBooks, let’s understand why budgeting is essential for your business.

Budgets as a Financial Roadmap

Imagine running a business without a clear financial roadmap. It’s like driving in the dark without headlights – you might eventually reach your destination, but you’ll encounter several obstacles along the way. A budget serves as your guiding light, providing a well-defined plan for allocating resources and achieving your financial goals.

Expense Control and Resource Allocation

Budgets enable you to monitor your expenses closely and identify areas where you can cut costs or reallocate resources. This level of financial visibility empowers you to make informed decisions that can lead to significant savings and better financial stability.

Revenue and Profit Projections

With a well-structured budget, you can project your revenue and estimate profits realistically. Understanding your potential income allows you to make strategic business decisions and set achievable targets.

Part 1 – Create a Budget in QuickBooks

Step 1 – Select a Financial Year

  • Log in to QuickBooks Online.
  • Click on “Settings” and choose “Company Settings.”
  • Navigate to the “Advanced” tab and review the “First month of the financial year” field in the “Accountings” section.
  • Click on “Edit” to adjust the date as per your preference.

Step 2 – Get the Budget Data

  • To use historical data for your budget, run the “Profit and Loss Detail Report.”
  • Customize the report to display the previous year’s amounts if required.
  • This report will help ensure accurate transactions in your accounts.

Step 3 – Create a Budget

  • Go to “Settings” and select “Budgeting.”
  • Click “Add budget” and enter the budget name and financial year.
  • Choose the budget interval (yearly, quarterly, or monthly).
  • Optionally, pre-fill data from the existing or last year.
  • Create a budget by class if necessary.
  • Add budget data to your table and save.

Part 2 – Run Budget Reports in QuickBooks

Step 1 – Budget Overview Report

  • Click on “Settings” and go to “Budgeting.”
  • Locate your budget in the list.
  • Click on the “Action” dropdown and select “Run Budget Overview report.”
  • The Budget Overview report sums up budgets by account.

Step 2 – Budget vs. Actual Report

  • Follow the same steps as above but select “Run Budgets vs. Actuals report.”
  • The Budget vs. Actual report compares budgeted amounts to actual account totals, highlighting any variances.

Part 3 – Update the Budget

Step 1 – Edit the Budget

  • Click on “Settings” and go to “Budgeting.”
  • Find your budget and click “Edit.”
  • Make changes to individual account details.
  • Modify the time period by selecting “Year” or “Quarter” from the “Gear” button dropdown.
  • Save your changes.

Step 2 – Copy the Existing Budget

  • Click on “Settings” and select “Budgeting.”
  • Locate your budget and click “Copy.”
  • Enter the new budget’s name and financial year in the “Copy Budget” screen.
  • Create the budget and update the amounts as needed.
  • Save and close.

Step 3 – Delete the Existing Budget

  • Click on “Settings” and go to “Budgeting.”
  • Find your budget and click on “Action.”
  • Select “Delete” to remove the budget.

How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Desktop: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you want to set up an annual budget or create forecasts for future cash flow predictions, QuickBooks Desktop makes the process straightforward. Here’s the step-by-step process of how to create a budget in Quickbooks 2018 – 

Part 1: Review the Previous Year’s Data

Step 1 – Ensure Correct Fiscal Year:

  • Click on the “Company” menu and choose “My Company.”
  • Select the “Pencil icon” and click on “Report Information.”
  • Verify that the fiscal year’s first month is set correctly.

Step 2 – Review Financial Reports

  • Go to the “Reports” menu and hover over “Company & Financial.”
  • Click on either “Balance Sheet Detail” or “Profit & Loss Detail,” depending on your preference for budget or forecast.
  • Select “Last Fiscal Year” using the “Dates” dropdown menu.
  • Hit the “Refresh” button to review the data and fiscal year settings.

Part 2: Set Up the Budget/Forecast

Step 1 – Create a Budget:

  • Click on the “Company” menu.
  • Hover your mouse over “Planning & Budgeting.”
  • Select “Set Up Budgets.”
  • Choose “Create a New Budget.”
  • Set your fiscal year and select “Balance Sheet” or “Profit and Loss.”
  • Click “Next.” If you chose “Profit and Loss,” you can also add Jobs and Class tracking.
  • Select either “create a budget in QuickBooks from the previous year’s actual data” or “Create budget from scratch.”
  • Click the “Finish” button to complete the budget setup.

Step 2 – Create a Forecast

  • If you use QuickBooks Accountant, Enterprise, or QuickBooks Desktop Premier, you can create forecasts to predict future cash flow.
  • Follow the same steps as for Create a Budget in QuickBooks but select “Set Up Forecasts” instead.
  • Choose “Create New Forecast” and set your fiscal year.
  • You can add Jobs/Class tracking if needed.
  • Select either “Create forecast from the previous year’s actual data” or “Create forecast from scratch.”
  • Click the “Finish” button to set up the forecast account.

How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks for Job: A Simple Guide

In QuickBooks, you have the option to set up a job budget, allowing you to allocate budgets for individual projects or jobs. This feature enables better tracking and management of expenses specific to each project

Here is the step-by-step Guide: Creating a Job Budget

  • Click on the “Gear icon” located in the top right corner of the QuickBooks interface.
  • Under the “Tools” section, select “Budgeting.”
  • Click the “Add budget” button to create a new budget.
  • In the “Name” field, enter a descriptive name for your budget.
  • Select the appropriate “Fiscal Year” for your budget from the dropdown menu.
  • Decide whether you want to create a monthly, yearly, or quarterly budget in QuickBooks.
  • Use the “Interval” dropdown menu to make your selection.
  • If you want to allocate budgets per customer (project), use the “Subdivide by” dropdown menu to enable this option.
  • Click “Next” to move on to the next stage of budget creation.
  • Once you’ve set all the relevant preferences, hit the “Save and close” button.

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Budgeting is a crucial aspect of financial management, and QuickBooks, whether Online or Desktop, provides user-friendly tools to help you create and maintain budgets effectively. By following the step-by-step guides above, you can set up budgets tailored to your business needs, gaining better control over your finances and paving the way to achieving your financial goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I modify the budget once it’s created in QuickBooks?

Yes, you can always go back and modify the budget in both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop if there are changes to your financial projections or goals.

Is it necessary to Create a Budget in QuickBooks for my small business?

Absolutely! Creating a budget, regardless of your business’s size, provides invaluable insights into your finances, helps with decision-making, and keeps your financial health on track.

Can I create multiple budgets in QuickBooks?

Yes, both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop allow you to create multiple budgets for different fiscal periods or scenarios.

Will QuickBooks automatically update my budget with actual financial data?

While QuickBooks doesn’t automatically update your budget with actual data, you can use the software’s reporting features to compare your budgeted amounts with real-time financial performance.

How frequently should I review and adjust my budget?

It’s a good practice to review your budget regularly, ideally on a monthly or quarterly basis. This allows you to make timely adjustments based on changing business conditions.

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