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Create budgets in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks6731Updated 2 weeks ago

Learn how to add budgets into QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced.

Many businesses use budgets to help plan their finances. Look back at your assets and liabilities, then create a budget for the coming year, month, or quarter. 

With all your financial data in QuickBooks, you can create both profit and loss or balance sheet budgets you need for your company. This gives you an overview to help compare your actual income and expenses with your budget.

To watch more how-to videos, visit our video section.

Create a budget

To create a new budget, you’ll need to sign in as an admin or as a user with the correct permission to access budgets. Admins can also add custom roles with permissions to access only budgets. Here’s how.

Step 1: Review the fiscal year for your business

Make sure the beginning of your fiscal year is correct in QuickBooks. You can create a budget any time, but it helps if you start at the beginning of the fiscal year.

  1. Go to Settings and select Account and settings.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Accounting section, review the First month of the fiscal year field. If it's incorrect, select Edit ✎.
  4. Select the required month from the dropdown and select Save.

Step 2: Create your budget

To create a budget, you can either use your past financial data or previous budgets in QuickBooks. If this is your first budget, start here. You also have an option to copy a budget after you’ve added your first budget.

You can also create a budget by importing an excel file, or from excel using Spreadsheet Sync.

Note: QuickBooks Online creates the budget accounts list directly from your chart of accounts. If you need more accounts in your budget, add them to your chart of accounts before you create the budget.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ then select Budgeting.
  2. Select Create new

Create Profit and loss budget

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ then select Budgeting.
  2. Select Create new.
  3. Select the Budget type: Profit and loss
  4. Select the fiscal year you're creating the budget for.
  5. Select the Budget format: Consolidated budget or Subdivided budget. 
    • For subdivided budget, select what you want to subdivide by, like location or class.

Create Balance sheet budget

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ then select Budgeting.
  2. Select Create new.
  3. Select Budget type: Balance sheet.
  4. Select the fiscal year you're creating the budget for.
  5. Select how you want to add numbers to your budget: Yearly, Quarterly or Monthly.
  6. Select Next.

Create a custom budget

Customize your budget to suit your business needs.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ then select Budgeting.
  2. Select the existing budget you want to customize.
  3. To customize the budget title, select Edit ✎ next to the automatically generated title. 
  4. If you want to add either past actual or past budget data as a reference, turn the Compare reference data toggle on and select what type of reference data you want to use.
  5. If you want to prefill your budget with the reference data, select the check box next to Accounts to select all the rows, or select individual rows. In Batch actions select Copy reference data
    Tip: To remove the reference data, select the same rows, then select Clear reference data.
  6. Now, enter your budget for each account. You can switch between Yearly/Quarterly/Monthly views in the settings icon on the top right depending on the type of budget you need.
  7. Select Save or Save and close.

Both QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced users have the option to upload their budget from an excel file for accuracy and convenience.

Step 1: Download a budget template

Now that you’ve created your first budget, download a budget in an excel template. QuickBooks uses your chart of accounts and fiscal year months to format the template. You can use the template to create your budget which ensures that your data is accurate.

Note: To format the template, QuickBooks uses account names, and not account numbers from your chart of accounts. So make sure to have unique account names before downloading the sample file.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Budgeting.
  2. Select the Create new   dropdown and select Import budget.
  3. Select the time period you want to download the template for.
  4. Select if you want to create a consolidated (Company level) or sub-divided budget (by class, customer, location or other categories).
  5. Select Next to generate the template.
  6. Select the P&L budget_template.xlsx link to download the template generated as per your selections.
  7. Save the file somewhere you can easily find it. For example, the downloads folder on your computer.

Step 2: Create your budget using the template

  1. Open the budget template in Excel or Google Sheets.
  2. Enter your budget for each account for all months listed.
    Important: Don't add more columns or rows. If you need more accounts to appear, add them to your chart of accounts before you download the template.
  3. When you’re done, save the changes.

Step 3: Upload your template

When you're ready, import your budget back into QuickBooks:

  1. Go to Settings , then select Budgeting.
  2. Select the Create new ▼ dropdown and select Import budget.
  3. Select the fiscal year you want to create the budget for.
  4. If you already have a template, select Skip to skip initial set-up.
  5. Select Upload budget then find and open the file.
  6. Select Next to upload the budget, then select View budget.
  7. To customize the budget title, select Edit ✎ next to the budget title.
  8. Review the cells. Make sure the correct amounts are in each account. If you need to make edits, select a field and make the changes.
  9. Select Save or Save and close to save your budget.

Edit a budget

If you need to edit a budget, make your changes in QuickBooks:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Budgeting.
  2. Find your budget on the list.
  3. In the Options column, select View/Edit.
  4. Edit each account one month at a time.
  5. To change the time period from monthly to quarterly or yearly, switch between Yearly/Quarterly/Monthly views.
  6. Select Save or Save and close.

Delete a budget

If you decide to delete a budget, be careful. You can't recover deleted budgets.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Budgeting.
  2. Find your budget on the list.
  3. In the Options column, select the Options ▼ dropdown, then select Delete.

Run budget reports

You can run special profit and loss budget reports that help you keep track of your budget goals.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Budgeting.
  2. Find your budget on the list.
  3. In the Options column, select the ▼ dropdown, then select Run Budget Overview report or Run Budgets vs. Actuals report.
  4. If you want to export a budget as pdf/excel, export them via reports.

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