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Use the Cash Flow planner to predict future income and expenses

Learn how to use the Cash Flow planner in QuickBooks Online to forecast your cash flow.

The Cash Flow planner is an interactive tool that forecasts your cash flow, the money going in and out of your business. It looks at your financial history to predict future money in and money out transactions. You can also add and adjust future transactions to see how certain changes affect your cash flow.

You can change transactions in the planner without affecting or changing your books. This helps you make informed decisions about when to save, spend, borrow, and transfer money.

Step 1: Set up your Planner

  1. Go to the Cash Flow menu.
  2. Follow the onscreen steps to set up the planner.

If you already connected your external bank accounts for online banking, you're ready to go. QuickBooks automatically analyses the transactions in these accounts and predicts future money in and out transactions. You can see which accounts are connected in the Linked Accounts section of the Cash Flow menu.

Step 2: Forecast your cash flow

The planner gets info from a few places:

  • Your connected bank and credit card accounts
  • Transactions you've entered into QuickBooks with a due date in the future
  • Transactions you add manually to the planner

To get the latest forecast:

  1. Go to the Cash Flow menu.
  2. Select the dates filters to set the forecast range.
  3. Select the Money in/out, and Cash balance filters to filter the list.
  4. Drag the bar across the chart to a specific date. This shows you a list of transactions that may impact your cash flow.





Transactions all have different labels:

  • Predicted: Money in and money out transactions QuickBooks predicts based on your financial history. These are marked with a special icon.
  • Invoice, sales receipt, bill, expense, payroll payment: Transactions you've entered into QuickBooks.
  • Planned: Money in and money out transactions you manually add to the planner, which aren't included in your regular accounting.

Fine-tune forecasts

Important: The Cash Flow planner is a planning tool. Adjustments you make in the planner won't affect your accounting in QuickBooks. They won't impact your chart of accounts or online banking transactions.

You can edit the expected amount and date of future transactions to see how specific changes may impact your cash flow. To adjust a transaction, select it from the list, make your change, then select Update.

QuickBooks doesn't include overdue invoices and bills in forecasts since they're incomplete. If you want to include them:

  1. Go to the top of the Cash Flow planner list.
  2. Next to Overdue Transactions select Update to open a list of your overdue bills and invoices.
  3. Select a new expected date and select Update for each transaction you want to add.
  4. When you're ready, select Done.

Step 3: Add transactions for possible money in or money out

You can manually add transactions for potential income and expenses. For example, if you have a big sale coming up, add it as a transaction so it's part of the forecast.

Important: Remember, transactions entered aren't actually posting to your QB account. QuickBooks won't add them to your books.

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