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Intuit
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Create a budget or forecast in QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop has forecasting and budgeting tools that can help you plan and make decisions for your business.

Before you set up a budget or forecast, make sure your fiscal year is set correctly. It's also a good practice to review last fiscal year's financial reports.

To make sure the fiscal year setting is correct:

  1. Go to Company > My Company.
  2. To check the fiscal year setting, select the pencil icon, then Report Information.
  3. Make sure the first month in your fiscal year is correct.

To review last fiscal year's data:

  1. Go to Reports > Company & Financial > Profit and Loss Detail or Balance Sheet Detail (depending on how you want your forecast or budget set up).
  2. From the Dates drop-down, choose Last Fiscal Year.
  3. (Optional) You can memorize this report for later use.

Set up a budget

Plan your business's way forward with QuickBooks Desktop. You can create one budget per fiscal year from scratch, or based on previous year's data.

  1. Go to Company > Planning & Budgeting > Set Up Budgets.Note: If you've set up one before, the most recent budget will be displayed in the Set Up Budgets window.
  2. Choose Create New Budget.
  3. Specify the budget year, then choose between Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.
  4. (For Profit and Loss Budget) Specify an additional criteria of either Customer:Job or Class (if class tracking is on).
  5. (For Profit and Loss Budget) Select whether you want to:
    • Create budget from scratch: Manually enter amounts for each account that you want to track.
    • Create budget from the previous year's actual data: Let QuickBooks Desktop automatically enter the monthly totals from last year for each account in the budget.
  6. Select Finish.

Reminder: When you rename an account used for a budget, the account will no longer be associated with it and you need to recreate the budget using the new account name.

You can access all your budget reports by going to Reports > Budgets and Forecasts.

Set up a forecast

Make informed predictions about your business's future revenue and cash flow. With QuickBooks Desktop Premier, Accountant, or Enterprise, you can create a financial forecast from scratch, or from actual data from the previous fiscal year.

  1. Go to Company > Planning & Budgeting > Set Up Forecast.Note: If you've set up one before, the most recent forecast will be displayed in the Set Up Forecast window.
  2. Choose Create New Forecast.
  3. In the Create New Forecast window, specify the fiscal year for the new forecast.
  4. You can specify additional criteria of either Customer:Job or Class (if class tracking is on).
  5. Select whether you want to:
    • Create forecast from scratch: Manually enter amounts for each account that you want to track.
    • Create forecast from the previous year's actual data: Let QuickBooks Desktop automatically enter the monthly totals from last year for each account in the forecast.
  6. Select Finish.

You can access all your forecast reports by going to Reports > Budgets and Forecasts.

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