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Community Explorer **


I created a new budget (from previous year actual data) and when I ran the report for Budget vs. Actual, I can't figure out where the "budget" numbers are coming from.  This is the first budget created.  Any help would be appreciated.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Budgets

Hello there, @Patti W.


It’s nice to have you in the Community today. I’m here to lend a hand in verifying where the budget numbers are coming from.


We need to make sure everything is correct by checking the fiscal year setting within the company file and examining how the budget is being set up in QuickBooks Desktop.


To verify if the fiscal year setting is correct, follow the steps below:
1.    Go to Company at the top menu and select My Company.
2.    Click the Pencil icon and choose Report Information.
3.    Go to the First month in your fiscal year field to see the month and update if necessary.
4.    Hit OK to save the changes.


I've attached screenshots for your reference.


Budget 1.PNGbudget 2.PNGbudget 3.PNG


Now, determine how the budget is set up. Here’s how:
1.    Go to Company at the top menu and select Planning & Budgeting.
2.    Choose Set Up Budgets. If you’ve set up one before, the most recent budget will be displayed in the Set Up Budgets window.
3.    Click Create New Budget.
4.    Specify the budget year, and then choose between Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.
5.    For the Profit and Loss Budget, specify additional criteria of either Customer: Job or Class, if class tracking is turned on.
6.    Select whether you want to Create a budget from scratch or Create a budget from the previous year’s actual data for Profit and Loss Budget.
7.    Once done, hit Finish.


You may check out this article for more information about budgeting in QuickBooks Desktop: Create a budget or forecast in QuickBooks Desktop.


That’s it. I want to ensure this concern gets taken care of, so please feel free to let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Take care!

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Budgets

Run Reports menu > Budgets & Forecasts, there are two reports to look at to understand the data you are using:


Budget Overview = shows the Numbers you entered for that budget.


Now run Budget vs Actuals.

Community Explorer **

Re: Budgets

Thanks for the input but it's not answering my question.  I had no prior budgets established.  When I do create one, then run the Budget vs. Actual report, I don't know where the "budget" numbers are coming from.  All I did was set up a budget and select "create budget from previous year's actual data".

Established Community Backer ***

Re: You asked about the Budget

This is what you asked: "I can't figure out where the "budget" numbers are coming from"


And that is what I answered. It's the same thing I would do if your file was in front of me. You asked Where the budget values are coming from. You made them when you did this: "All I did was set up a budget and select "create budget from previous year's actual data"."


When you made a budget, you had to assign it to a Fiscal Year.


When you run the Reports I suggested, you have to Pick a Fiscal Year budget, for the reports to use.


That's how you examine what you did. By Fiscal Year.

Established Member

Re: Budgets

We have a fiscal year that runs July 1 through June 30.  We have that set up in our Company profile. But when we input a budget, it seems to ignore the fiscal year and create it in the calendar year where the fiscal year starts.  Then our Budget vs. Actual reports do not pull in the proper budget numbers.


We are running desktop version for Mac 2016 - all software updates completed.  Any help would be appreciated.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Budgets

I'd be happy to help you with that, Town Clerk.


A quick and easy way to fix this is to set up your company preferences and indicate when your Fiscal Year starts. With this, the budgets that you'll input will be reflected on the Fiscal Year, instead of the Calendar Year. The steps below will guide you on how to do this:

  1. Click the QuickBooks menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Choose My Company.
  4. Select the first month of the Fiscal Year.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

If you need further assistance in setting this up, you can always reach out to the Customer Care Team. They have specialized tools and initiate screen sharing to guide you throughout the process. Here's how you can reach them:

  1. Click this link to go to the Official Contact Us page.
  2. Select QuickBooks Mac Desktop.
  3. Choose Using QuickBooks for Mac.
  4. In section 2, Here's how to connect with a QuickBooks expert, click Get Phone Number.

Please know that I'm only a post away if there's anything else I can help you with. I'm always here to provide help and answer any questions that you may have. Wishing you and your business all the best!

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Budgets

Mac has known issues for fiscal year budgets.


For my town clerk and governmental entity QB clients, I always recommend they should be using QB Accountant, which was spun off of the Premier "Industry Editions" family years ago. On Mac, you can simulate Windows by running VM Ware or Parallels for ways to install and run the Accountant Edition.

Established Member

Re: Budgets

Thank you qbteachmt.  Do you know whether Quickbooks online would handle the fiscal year budgets correctly?  We are a tiny town with very little tech knowledge among staff.  I am worried that the parallel environment might flummox everyone.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Budgets

I don't use, nor do I recommend, QB Online for the Governmental unit.

Active Member

Re: Budgets

Thank you.  But can I do last fiscal year to compare?   I have never done this before and so confusing what the board wants.


Established Community Backer ***

Re: Budgets



Can you do What, about last year?

If you don't know what the board is asking for, you need to ask them for more details.

Experienced Member

Re: Budgets

I appreciate your answer. I am working on my first budget 


I am not able to find this step. I use DT Accountants version. I would like to import last years data for 2019 budget.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Budgets

Hello there, @ktd.


Thanks for joining this thread. I can help you import last year's data for 2019 budget.


The acceptable file type when importing a budget is Intuit Interchange Format (.IIF). Make sure to meet this requirement to add the information in QuickBooks.


Once done, here's how to upload the file:

  1. Log in to your company file as the Admin.
  2. Make sure you are in Single User mode.
  3. Click the File menu.
  4. Choose Utilities.
  5. Select Import.
  6. Click Import IIF.
  7. Locate your .IIF file and highlight it.
  8. Click Open.
  9. Select OK on the pop-up message confirming your data has been imported.


Next, here's how you can create a budget from previous year's data:

  1. Click Company.
  2. Choose Planning & Budgeting.
  3. Select Set up Budgets.
  4. Click Create New Budget.
  5. Select 2019 for the year.
  6. Choose the budget type.
  7. Select the specific criteria.
  8. Choose the Create budget from previous year's actual data radio-button.
  9. Click Finish.

That should do it, ktd. For additional reference, you can check the articles below:

Let me know if there's anything else you need or you have follow up questions. I'm still here to help you more. Have a good one.