cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
QuickBooksHelp
Intuit

Create a budget or forecast in QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to use your data to create budgets and forecasts.

QuickBooks Desktop has budgeting and forecasting tools to help you plan and make smart business decisions.

Step 1: Review last year's data

Before you can set up a budget or forecast, make sure your fiscal year is set correctly.

  1. Go to the Company menu and select My Company.
  2. Select the pencil icon and then Report Information.
  3. Make sure the first month of your fiscal year is correct.

Then,  review last fiscal year's financial reports.

  1. Go to the Reports menu and hover over Company & Financial.
  2. Select Profit & Loss Detail or Balance Sheet Detail depending on what you want to forecast or budget for.
  3. From the Dates dropdown, select Last Fiscal Year.
  4. Select Refresh.
  5. (Optional) You can memorize this report for later use.

Step 2: Set up a budget or forecast

Now you have reports you can use to make a budget or a forecast.

Create a budget

You can create next year's budget from scratch, or use last year's Profit and Loss data to start one.

  1. Go to the Company menu and hover over Planning & Budgeting. Then select Set Up Budgets.
  2. Select Create New Budget.
  3. Set the fiscal year for the budget, then choose either Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet. Then select Next. If you select Profit and Loss, you can add additional criteria, such as Jobs or Class tracking.
  4. If you select Profit and Loss, select either Create budget from scratch or Create budget from the previous year's actual data.
  5. Select Finish.
Tip: If you rename an account you use to create a budget, it unlinks it from the budget. You'll need to recreate the budget using the new account name.

Create a forecast

If you use QuickBooks Desktop Premier, Accountant, or Enterprise, you can also create forecasts to predict future revenue and cash flow. You can create a financial forecast from scratch, or from last year's data.

  1. Go to the Company menu and hover over Planning & Budgeting. Then select Set Up Forecast.
  2. Select Create New Forecast.
  3. Set the fiscal year for the forecast. You can also specify additional criteria, such as Jobs or Class tracking, but this is optional.
  4. Select either Create forecast from scratch or Create forecast from the previous year's actual data.
  5. Select Finish.

Step 2: Review your budgets and forecasts

Go to the Reports menu and select Budgets and Forecasts.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Sign in for the best experience
Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of QuickBooks users.
Sign In / Sign Up

Need to get in touch?

Contact us