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Patti W
Level 2


I created a new budget (from previous year actual data) and when I ran the report for Budget vs. Actual, I can't figure out where the "budget" numbers are coming from.  This is the first budget created.  Any help would be appreciated.

QuickBooks Team


Hello there, @Patti W.


It’s nice to have you in the Community today. I’m here to lend a hand in verifying where the budget numbers are coming from.


We need to make sure everything is correct by checking the fiscal year setting within the company file and examining how the budget is being set up in QuickBooks Desktop.


To verify if the fiscal year setting is correct, follow the steps below:
1.    Go to Company at the top menu and select My Company.
2.    Click the Pencil icon and choose Report Information.
3.    Go to the First month in your fiscal year field to see the month and update if necessary.
4.    Hit OK to save the changes.


I've attached screenshots for your reference.


Budget 1.PNG budget 2.PNG budget 3.PNG


Now, determine how the budget is set up. Here’s how:
1.    Go to Company at the top menu and select Planning & Budgeting.
2.    Choose Set Up Budgets. If you’ve set up one before, the most recent budget will be displayed in the Set Up Budgets window.
3.    Click Create New Budget.
4.    Specify the budget year, and then choose between Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.
5.    For the Profit and Loss Budget, specify additional criteria of either Customer: Job or Class, if class tracking is turned on.
6.    Select whether you want to Create a budget from scratch or Create a budget from the previous year’s actual data for Profit and Loss Budget.
7.    Once done, hit Finish.


You may check out this article for more information about budgeting in QuickBooks Desktop: Create a budget or forecast in QuickBooks Desktop.


That’s it. I want to ensure this concern gets taken care of, so please feel free to let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Take care!

Level 15


Run Reports menu > Budgets & Forecasts, there are two reports to look at to understand the data you are using:


Budget Overview = shows the Numbers you entered for that budget.


Now run Budget vs Actuals.

Patti W
Level 2


Thanks for the input but it's not answering my question.  I had no prior budgets established.  When I do create one, then run the Budget vs. Actual report, I don't know where the "budget" numbers are coming from.  All I did was set up a budget and select "create budget from previous year's actual data".

Level 15


This is what you asked: "I can't figure out where the "budget" numbers are coming from"


And that is what I answered. It's the same thing I would do if your file was in front of me. You asked Where the budget values are coming from. You made them when you did this: "All I did was set up a budget and select "create budget from previous year's actual data"."


When you made a budget, you had to assign it to a Fiscal Year.


When you run the Reports I suggested, you have to Pick a Fiscal Year budget, for the reports to use.


That's how you examine what you did. By Fiscal Year.

Town Clerk
Level 1


We have a fiscal year that runs July 1 through June 30.  We have that set up in our Company profile. But when we input a budget, it seems to ignore the fiscal year and create it in the calendar year where the fiscal year starts.  Then our Budget vs. Actual reports do not pull in the proper budget numbers.


We are running desktop version for Mac 2016 - all software updates completed.  Any help would be appreciated.

QuickBooks Team


I'd be happy to help you with that, Town Clerk.


A quick and easy way to fix this is to set up your company preferences and indicate when your Fiscal Year starts. With this, the budgets that you'll input will be reflected on the Fiscal Year, instead of the Calendar Year. The steps below will guide you on how to do this:

  1. Click the QuickBooks menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Choose My Company.
  4. Select the first month of the Fiscal Year.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

If you need further assistance in setting this up, you can always reach out to the Customer Care Team. They have specialized tools and initiate screen sharing to guide you throughout the process. Here's how you can reach them:

  1. Click this link to go to the Official Contact Us page.
  2. Select QuickBooks Mac Desktop.
  3. Choose Using QuickBooks for Mac.
  4. In section 2, Here's how to connect with a QuickBooks expert, click Get Phone Number.

Please know that I'm only a post away if there's anything else I can help you with. I'm always here to provide help and answer any questions that you may have. Wishing you and your business all the best!

Level 15


Mac has known issues for fiscal year budgets.


For my town clerk and governmental entity QB clients, I always recommend they should be using QB Accountant, which was spun off of the Premier "Industry Editions" family years ago. On Mac, you can simulate Windows by running VM Ware or Parallels for ways to install and run the Accountant Edition.

Town Clerk
Level 1


Thank you qbteachmt.  Do you know whether Quickbooks online would handle the fiscal year budgets correctly?  We are a tiny town with very little tech knowledge among staff.  I am worried that the parallel environment might flummox everyone.

Level 15


I don't use, nor do I recommend, QB Online for the Governmental unit.

Level 1


Thank you.  But can I do last fiscal year to compare?   I have never done this before and so confusing what the board wants.


Level 15




Can you do What, about last year?

If you don't know what the board is asking for, you need to ask them for more details.

Level 1


I appreciate your answer. I am working on my first budget 


I am not able to find this step. I use DT Accountants version. I would like to import last years data for 2019 budget.

QuickBooks Team


Hello there, @ktd.


Thanks for joining this thread. I can help you import last year's data for 2019 budget.


The acceptable file type when importing a budget is Intuit Interchange Format (.IIF). Make sure to meet this requirement to add the information in QuickBooks.


Once done, here's how to upload the file:

  1. Log in to your company file as the Admin.
  2. Make sure you are in Single User mode.
  3. Click the File menu.
  4. Choose Utilities.
  5. Select Import.
  6. Click Import IIF.
  7. Locate your .IIF file and highlight it.
  8. Click Open.
  9. Select OK on the pop-up message confirming your data has been imported.


Next, here's how you can create a budget from previous year's data:

  1. Click Company.
  2. Choose Planning & Budgeting.
  3. Select Set up Budgets.
  4. Click Create New Budget.
  5. Select 2019 for the year.
  6. Choose the budget type.
  7. Select the specific criteria.
  8. Choose the Create budget from previous year's actual data radio-button.
  9. Click Finish.

That should do it, ktd. For additional reference, you can check the articles below:

Let me know if there's anything else you need or you have follow up questions. I'm still here to help you more. Have a good one.

Level 2




Sorry if I missed this in the thread. When I create a new budget what will happen to the old budget?I have 2018-19 right now and I need to build one for July 1 to June 1 2019-20. This is our second budget - and I didn't set up the first one.  I don't want to override data. 


Thanks for any assistance! 





Good day, JJessen.

Let me help and provide you with some information regarding creating a budget in QuickBooks Desktop.


Creating a new budget will not override your 2018-2019 data. You will first need to ensure that your fiscal year is set correctly. It's also a good practice to review last fiscal year's financial reports.


To set up the first one:


  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 to Create a New Budget.
  3. Specify the budget year, then choose between Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.
  4. (For Profit and Loss Budget) Specify 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 a budget from scratch: Manually enter amounts for each account that you want to track.
    • Create a 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.

Please be reminded that 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.


For detailed information, you can check out this recommended article: Create a budget or forecast in QuickBooks Desktop.


If you require more information about budgeting in QuickBooks Desktop, don't hesitate to fill me in. I'm here to help.

Level 2


Thanks Rose. You wrote:

Please be reminded that 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.


I'm worried about overriding my present budget. Will I be able to have multiple years? 


Also, speaking of worry: Is there anything like a system restore. In case I really screw something up. Can I go back a day or two and start fresh? 


Thanks for your help! QuickBooks is amazing!



Thanks for choosing QuickBooks as your accounting partner, @JJessen


You can have multiple years to reflect on the budget report. You just need to customize the date range on the report (see the screenshot below). However, you can create one budget per fiscal year from scratch or based on previous year's data. 




To make sure you can protect your company file against accidental data loss, you can always create a backup copy. Here's how: 


  1. Go to the File menu at the top. 
  2. Select Switch to Single-user Mode
  3. Go back to the File menu. 
  4. Choose Back Up Company and select Create Local BackupCreateLocalBackUp.PNG
  5. Click Local Backup in the Create Backup dialog. 
  6. To open the Backup Options dialog, select Options
  7. In the Tell us where to save your backup copies field, click Browse and choose the location in which to save your backup copy.
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  9. Click Finish


For more information, please refer to this article: Create A Backup of Your Company File. If you lose data while setting up your present budget, you can restore your company file using your backup copy. 


This will point you in the right direction, @JJessen


If there's anything else you need, please let me know. I'll gladly help. 

Level 2




I'm looking to run a report to run budget comparisons. Is this possible? How many years can you do. I want to be able to average 2-3 years to see the trend so I can forecast for next year. 



QuickBooks Team


Thanks for the additional informtaion, JJessen.


The option to set the Budget report showing two to three years of trend in one report is unavailable. In the meantime, you can export these reports to Excel and collate it from there. 


Here's how: 

  1. From the Reports menu, select Budgets & Forecasts
  2. Then, choose Budget Overview
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, and click Next to proceed. Then, hit Finish
  4. On the report, change the date (From: 01/01/2014 and To: 01/01/2019). 
  5. Select Year under the Show Columns drop-down arrow. 
  6. To export it to Excel, click Excel and select Create New Worksheet.budget.PNG


You can check out this article that will help you customize reports


I'm just a post away if you need more help. Have a great day!

Level 1


I am trying to set up a budget in quick books online.  My brower I am using is firefox as my quick books seems to work well with that browser.  In the process of creating the budget, my computer stops working and I get a message that a web page is slowing down your brower, what would you like to do? Stop it or wait?  If I click wait it takes about 5-10 minutes before the information populates a single line.  If I stop it my computer freezes and I have to start over. So I switched browser to Google Crome.  Same thing. I've started this budget 6 times now.  Getting frustrated with Quick Books Online.  Ready to switch to another accounting software. 

QuickBooks Team


Hello there, @lynnh.


This must be a challenging experience for you. But I'm here to ensure that you'll be able to set up a budget in QuickBooks Online.


In the meantime, let's perform some troubleshooting steps that can help us isolate this. Let's try logging into your QuickBooks account using a private browser. There are times that the browser is full of frequently accessed page resources, thus causing unusual responses. 


To use a private browser, here's how: 


  • Google Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Mozilla Firefox: Ctrl + Shift + P
  • Internet Explorer: Ctrl + Shift + P
  • Safari: Command + Shift + N

If it works, return to your default browser and perform clear cache to remove temporary internet files on your computer.


If the issue persists, I recommend reaching out to our Customer Care Support. This way, they can investigate this issue further why you can't set up a budget.


To reach them, click Help (question mark icon) at the top right, then hit Contact us


Please keep in touch with us here in the Community should you need any further assistance. We're always here to help.

Level 1


I recently spoke with a quickbooks representative and she told me that only quickbooks plus online does budgeting. This thread seems to contradict that. Does quickbooks desktop premium 2019 do budgeting?

QuickBooks Team


Thanks for taking the time joining us here in the Community, @cmagic99.


Allow me to provide clarifications about the availability of creating budgets in QuickBooks Desktop.


QuickBooks Desktop has the ability to do budgets and forecast for your business. All you have to do is to set the budget properly to have a detailed outline for your company’s revenues, expenses, cash flow, and financial position. 


To set up the budget:

  1. Click on Company.
  2. Select on Planning & Budgeting.
  3. Choose Set Up Budgets.
  4. Select on Create New Budget.
  5. Specify the budget year, then choose between Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.
  6. Specify additional criteria of either Customer:Job or Class (For Profit and Loss Budget).
  7. Select whether you want to create a budget from.
  8. Click on Finish.

create budget.PNG

Once done, a budget transaction can be viewed by running the Budgets and Forecasts report.


For more insights about this process, you may read through these articles:

This information should get you going today.


Please let me know if you have further questions about budgets. I'll be around to help you out. Have a great week ahead!

Level 1


I think "Patty" is telling you that when she does what you said to do, as I have to, the budget numbers for 2020 should be 2019 actuals - and they are NOT. Re-quoting her is condescending.  So, what if the budget numbers are not the previous year actuals?

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