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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.

Want to know how much cash your business may have next week, month, or even three months from now?

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

You can change events 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 the Cash Flow Planner

  1. Open the QuickBooks mobile app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select the Cash flow menu.
  3. Select the Projected Balance section and then Explore Projections.
  4. 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 analyzes the transactions in these accounts and predicts future money in and out events. You can see which accounts are connected in the Linked Accounts section of the Cash Flow Center.

Step 2: Forecast your cash flow

The planner gets info from a few places:

  • Your connected bank and credit card accounts

  • Your QuickBooks Cash account
  • Transactions you've entered into QuickBooks with a due date in the future
  • Events you add manually to the planner

To get the latest forecast:

  1. Select the Cash flow menu.
  2. Select the Projected Balance section and then Explore Projections. You can also go to the Coming up section and select See all.
  3. Select the dates filters to set the forecast range.
  4. Select the All, Money In, and Money Out filters to filter the list.
  5. Drag the bar across the chart to a specific date. This shows you a list of events that may impact your cash flow.


Events all have different labels:

  • Predicted: Money in and money out events QuickBooks predicts based on your financial history. These are marked with a special icon.
  • Invoice, sales receipt, bill, expense, paycheck: Transactions you've entered into QuickBooks.
  • Planned: Money in and money out events 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 change your accounting in QuickBooks. They won't impact your chart of accounts, online banking transactions, or QuickBooks Cash account.

You can edit the expected amount and date of future events to see how specific changes may impact your cash flow. To adjust an event, select it from the list and then select edit.

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. Select Pick an expected date to open a list of your overdue bills and invoices.
  3. Select Expected date and set a date for each transaction you want to add.
  4. When you're ready, select Done.

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

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

Important: Remember, events aren't actual transactions. QuickBooks won't add them to your books.
  1. In the QuickBooks mobile app, select the Cash flow menu.
  2. Select the Projected Balance section and then Explore Projections.
  3. Select (+) or Add event.
  4. Select Money in if the event is income, or Money out if it's an expense.
  5. Give the event a name and enter an amount. Then select Continue.
  6. Select the date when the event will occur.
  7. When you're done, select Save.

To edit or delete an event:

  1. Select and open an event.
  2. Select the Date, Name, or Amount field, or change whether it's money in or out.
  3. When you're done, select Save.

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