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How do I create a budget by job, and run periodic budget v actual reports?

We are contractors, but do not have any special contractor software.  I create a new customer for each new job.  I want to create a budget based upon what I used to bid the job, and run periodic reports to check actual results versus that budget.

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Best answer 12-10-2018

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Established Community Backer ***

Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates are the better tool. It is the "budget baseline for the scope of work" and stands over the lifecycle of the project.

Est vs Actual reporting is more powerful than Budget, because the job reports rely on your use of Items.

Please see my attachments.

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Established Community Backer ***

Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates are the better tool. It is the "budget baseline for the scope of work" and stands over the lifecycle of the project.

Est vs Actual reporting is more powerful than Budget, because the job reports rely on your use of Items.

Please see my attachments.

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Good stuff to know.  How do I get estimate numbers entere...

Good stuff to know.  How do I get estimate numbers entered per job?
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I am running desktop pro plus 2017.  I enter each new job...

I am running desktop pro plus 2017.  I enter each new job as a new customer, and code each expense and income item by that job code.  So I have actual numbers by job, but have no budget numbers.  I have a budget, created when I bid the job.  How and where do I enter the budget numbers so I can create a report to compare actual to budget?  I need a micro answer, not a macro one.
Established Community Backer ***

"I need a micro answer, not a macro one." If you feel you...

"I need a micro answer, not a macro one."

If you feel you need One on One support, you need to find someone to work with you directly. This is a text-based forum of Peer users on the internet, not Live Chat with QB support or training.

I pretty much showed Micro-details.

"I enter each new job as a new customer"

You can do that, when the Project or Job is not for an existing customer; is that what you are describing?

"and code each expense and income item by that job code."

One item can be BOTH an expense and an income, and that is what I showed. Then, you are Job Tracking = assigning that where you list it, this Purchase is specifically for that customer name, and as Billable or not.

This is seen in Help, as you see in my new attachment. Open Help and search on Work With Items; search on Job Cost Tracking; search on Billable.

And in the video tutorials that used to be in the program:


Desktop PC program video tutorials


"So I have actual numbers by job, but have no budget numbers."

Again, in QB, you find a Budget tool and an Estimate function. They are Different. Budget is "company financials as fiscal year" and Estimates are "Job project scope" related.

You also see this in the Sample file. From the No Company Open screen, bottom Right, use the big Button for Sample Files and open "product-based" which is Rock Castle Construction to get a file that has real data for your to use, learn from, and even Input and see what happens, as if this is your own Real data file.

"I have a budget, created when I bid the job.  How and where do I enter the budget numbers so I can create a report to compare actual to budget?"

Again, you can use Estimate, which is Item Based. Or, Budget, which is Account based And Limited to each fiscal year, not the lifecycle of a Project.




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Thank you for your help.

Thank you for your help.
Established Community Backer ***

"How do I get estimate numbers entered per job?" It is up...

"How do I get estimate numbers entered per job?"

It is up to you if you want to use some custom Numbering Scheme in QB. Everything is already linked by the Customer:Job unique Name.

Example: I use custom Invoicing sequentially for the year, such as 2017-1, 2017-2, and QB maintains that for me. For Sales Receipts and Estimates, I let QB just number them sequentially. They are Transactions For That project, not Numbered By project, in other words.

In a different job, I did all Manual renumbering and it took hours out of the month. It drove me crazy and I would never use that system again. There already is a Provision for Account Number, for Jobs. You can use that, to Document something you don't need to use for Transaction Numbers.

Think of Invoice, Sales Receipt, Estimate, PO, etc transaction Numbering as similar to your Check Numbering. They are for easy reference. You are using a Relational database, so Names are already part of everything you will do with those transactions.


Community Explorer **

Re: Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Hi! Thanks for you explanation.  I was looking for the attachments you mention in your post but couldn't find them.  Could you please point me to where they are located?  Thanks Again! 

Moderator

Re: Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Thanks for joining us in this thread, vtkelley.

 

I'm here to help point you to the Help menu mentioned by one of our best Community backers, qbteachmt.

 

You can access the Help menu in a few easy steps. To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT).
  2. Go to Help beside Window.
  3. Choose QuickBooks Desktop Help.
  4. Enter a keyword in the Search bar.

I've attached some screenshots below, so you'll know what I'm referring to.

 

Help1.PNG

 

Help2.PNG

 

As a reference, I'm linking an article that will provide more information: QBDT keyboard shortcuts.

 

From there, results are displayed with the closest match.

 

That should do it. Please let me know if you have further questions. I'll  get them answered for you.

Experienced Member

Re: Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Yes this is true.  However, purchase orders are still committed costs and need to be able to be connected to the estimate so the project costings are current without having to export to excel and then include open purchase orders.

Moderator

Re: Budgets are Fiscal Year based. For projects, Estimates ar...

Hey there, @donnagrail,

 

Thanks for adding to the conversation. Allow me to share some information about linking a purchase order to your estimates.

 

These transactions are non-posting, thus linking them is currently unavailable feature in QuickBooks Desktop. The only way you can complete your task is to export your report to Excel then manually update the data you need from there. 

 

I understand how handy this feature can help your organization. While the preference you're looking for is currently not an option in QuickBooks, rest assured that I'm making it my top priority that your suggestion reaches our developers.

 

That should do it. Please let me know if you have any questions with QuickBooks Desktop. I'll be more than happy to answer them for you. Have a nice day!