Set Up a Budget in QuickBooks

It’s that time of year when business owners start thinking about the end of the year, as well as planning for the next year.  For many small business owners, that includes a budget. QuickBooks includes a budgeting tool that can help you build a budget either from scratch, or based on prior year actual figures.

These instructions work whether your company is set up on a calendar year, or a fiscal year.  The months that display will follow what has been set up as your fiscal year in Company Set Up.

1.      Go to Company→Planning then Budgeting→Set Up Budgets
















2. Click the Create New Budget button to create a new budget.

This opens the Create New Budget dialog box, which you use to create a new budget.












3.      Select the fiscal year period.

Identify the fiscal year you’re budgeting for. To do that, enter the fiscal year in the provided text box. If you’re budgeting for fiscal year 2013, for example, you use those buttons to change the year to 2013.

4.      Select the Profit and Loss radio button or the Balance Sheet radio button, depending on what type of budget you want to create.

If you’re creating a profit and loss budget, click Next. If you’re creating a balance sheet budget, click Finish to complete the budget.

There is a difference in the way you budget each of these. For profit and loss budgets, you budget the amount of income or expense expected for the account for each month. For balance sheet budgets, you budget the ending account balance; that’s the ending account balance expected for each account at month’s end.  For example, you expect your bank account balance to be $10,000 at the end of January, and $15,000 at the end of February.

5.      Specify additional profit and loss budget criteria and click Next.

If you chose to create a profit and loss budget, select the Customer:Job radio button to further extend your budget to include Job details, or select the Class radio button to include classes in your budget. Or simply select the No Additional Criteria radio button.













6.      Choose whether to create the budget from scratch or previous data.

To create a budget from scratch and start with a clean slate, select the Create Budget from Scratch radio button.

To create a budget based on your actual data from last year, select the Create Budget from Previous Year’s Actual Data radio button.














A note for creating a budget from previous year’s actual data: 

Let’s assume you are working on the budget for the upcoming year (2013) in the current year (2012). When you click on “Create budget from previous year’s actual data”, QuickBooks will pull data from 2011 (previous year) since the current year is 2012. 

A work around is to click on the clock on your computer (usually in the lower, right corner of your screen) and change the date and year to the next year (2013 in this example).  After you create your budget set you clock back to the correct year.  (Thanks Michelle Long for the tip!)

 7.      Click Finish when you’re done.

 QuickBooks displays the Set Up Budgets window.



8.      Select the Current Class or Job you are budgeting for (if applicable)

9.      Enter the amount for the monthly budget in the first month column, not the Annual Total column.  This field totals automatically.

10.  If that amount is the same for the entire year, click on Copy Across and that number will be copied to all cells in that row for the year.

11.  Clicking on Adjust Row Amounts gives you the option to adjust rows by dollar amounts or percentages.  You can also just click on any amount and adjust as necessary.










12.  Click on Save when you are finished.

To print the various budget related reports, go to Reports→Budgets & Forecasts.

You can delete any budgets you create, so have fun!