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Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online – Instructions

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Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online - Instructions: A picture of a user setting budget options in QuickBooks Online Plus.

Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online: Overview

            You can create a budget in QuickBooks Online to estimate future income and expenses. QuickBooks Online Plus lets you create “Profit & Loss” budgets for fiscal years for income and expense accounts. However, you cannot create “Balance Sheet” budgets in QuickBooks Online Plus, like you can in QuickBooks Pro.

How to Check the Fiscal Year Setting in QuickBooks Online

            Before you create a budget in QuickBooks Online, ensure the “Fiscal Year” setting is accurate. You should do this because the budget starts at the fiscal year’s first month. To check the fiscal year setting, click the “Settings” button in the QuickBooks Online toolbar and then click the “Account and settings” link under the “Your Company” heading in the menu to open the “Account and Settings” window. Click the “Advanced” button in the menu at the left side of the window. Then check the “First month of fiscal year” setting in the “Accounting” section to the right. Change this setting and save it, if necessary.

How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online

            To create a budget in QuickBooks Online, click the “Settings” button in the QuickBooks Online toolbar and then click the “Budgeting” link under the “Tools” heading in the menu that appears to open the “Budgets” page. If creating a budget for the first time, click the “Add budget” button that appears in this page to create a new budget in the “New Budget” window that opens.

            In the “New Budget” window, type a name for the budget into the “Name” field. Use the “Fiscal Year” drop-down to choose the fiscal year for the budget. Use the “Interval” drop-down to select the time intervals to show within the budget. To pre-fill the budget with actual data, if available, select the year from which to use the actual data from the “Pre-fill data?” drop-down. To subdivide the budget, select a choice from the “Subdivide by” drop-down.

            If you choose to subdivide your budget, the “Add subdivided budget for” drop-down that then appears lets you select for which customers, classes, or locations to subdivide the budget. It also adds a “View budget for” drop-down at the top of the budget from which you can select from the choices you made in the “Add subdivided budget for” drop-down to show the choice in the budget. When finished, click the “Next” button in the lower-right corner to continue.

Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online - Instructions: A picture of a user setting budget options in QuickBooks Online Plus.

Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online – Instructions: A picture of a user setting budget options in QuickBooks Online Plus.

            To edit the budget’s information, click a line in the budget to edit. Then enter the budget information into the columns within the selected row. To enter the same value into all columns to the right of a column’s field, type a value into the desired field. Then click the “Copy Across” button, which looks like a right-pointing arrow in a blue circle at the right side of the field, to copy it to all fields to the right. To clear all the fields’ information for that row, click the “Clear” button, which looks like an “x” in a blue circle, at the right end of the selected row.

            To save your changes, click the “Save” choice on the drop-down button in the toolbar in the lower-right corner of the window. Alternatively, to save your changes and close the window, click the drop-down arrow on the drop-down button in the toolbar in the lower-right corner of the window and then select the “Save and close” choice. After closing the window, you then return to the “Budgets” page.

How to Add, Edit, Delete, and Copy Budgets in QuickBooks Online

            The list in the “Budgets” page shows all the budgets you have created. To add a new budget in the future when you return to this page, if needed, click the “Add budget” button in the “Budgets” page’s upper-right corner.

            To edit a budget in the list of budgets in the “Budgets” page, click the “Edit” link under its “Action” column. To delete a budget, click the drop-down arrow under its “Action” column and then select the “Delete” command. Then click “Yes” in the confirmation window that appears to finish deleting it.

            To copy a budget, click the drop-down arrow under its “Action” column and then select the “Copy” command to open a copy of the budget within a “Copy Budget” window, where you can edit and save it with a new name, as usual.

How to Run Budget Reports in QuickBooks Online

            To run a “Budgets vs. Actuals” report or “Budget Overview” report for a budget within the list in the “Budgets” page, click the drop-down arrow under the desired budget’s “Action” column and then select either the “Run Budgets vs. Actuals report” or the “Run Budget Overview report” command, as desired.

Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online: Instructions

Instructions on How to Check the Fiscal Year Setting in QuickBooks Online

  1. Before creating a new budget, you may want to ensure the “Fiscal Year” setting is accurate, as the budget starts at the fiscal year’s first month.
  2. To check the fiscal year setting in QuickBooks Online, click the “Settings” button in the QuickBooks Online toolbar and then click the “Account and settings” link under the “Your Company” heading in the menu to open the “Account and Settings” window.
  3. Click the “Advanced” button in the menu at the left side of the window.
  4. Then check the “First month of fiscal year” setting in the “Accounting” section to the right.
  5. Change this setting and save it, if necessary.

Instructions on How to Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online

  1. To create a budget in QuickBooks Online Plus, click the “Settings” button in the QuickBooks Online toolbar and then click the “Budgeting” link under the “Tools” heading in the menu that appears to open the “Budgets” page.
  2. If creating a budget for the first time, click the “Add budget” button that appears in this page to create a new budget in the “New Budget” window that opens.
  3. In the “New Budget” window, type a name for the budget into the “Name” field.
  4. Use the “Fiscal Year” drop-down to choose the fiscal year for the budget.
  5. Use the “Interval” drop-down to select the time intervals to show within the budget.
  6. To pre-fill the budget with actual data, if available, select the year from which to use the actual data from the “Pre-fill data?” drop-down.
  7. To subdivide the budget, select a choice from the “Subdivide by” drop-down.
  8. If you choose to subdivide your budget, the “Add subdivided budget for” drop-down that then appears lets you select for which customers, classes, or locations to subdivide the budget.
  9. It also adds a “View budget for” drop-down at the top of the budget from which you can select from the choices you made in the “Add subdivided budget for” drop-down to show the choice in the budget.
  10. When finished, click the “Next” button in the lower-right corner to continue.
  11. To edit the budget’s information, click a line in the budget to edit.
  12. Then enter the budget information into the columns within the selected row.
  13. To enter the same value into all columns to the right of a column’s field, type a value into the desired field.
  14. Then click the “Copy Across” button, which looks like a right-pointing arrow in a blue circle at the right side of the field, to copy it to all fields to the right.
  15. To clear all the fields’ information for that row, click the “Clear” button, which looks like an “x” in a blue circle, at the right end of the selected row.
  16. To save your changes, click the “Save” choice on the drop-down button in the toolbar in the lower-right corner of the window.
  17. Alternatively, to save your changes and close the window, click the drop-down arrow on the drop-down button in the toolbar in the lower-right corner of the window and then select the “Save and close” choice.
  18. After closing the window, you then return to the “Budgets” page.

Instructions on How to Add, Edit, Delete, and Copy Budgets in QuickBooks Online

  1. The list in the “Budgets” page shows all the budgets you have created.
  2. If you want to add a new budget in the future when you return to this page, if needed, click the “Add budget” button in the “Budgets” page’s upper-right corner.
  3. To edit a budget in the list of budgets in the “Budgets” page, click the “Edit” link under its “Action” column.
  4. To delete a budget, click the drop-down arrow under its “Action” column and then select the “Delete” command.
  5. Then click “Yes” in the confirmation window that appears to finish deleting it.
  6. To copy a budget, click the drop-down arrow under its “Action” column and then select the “Copy” command to open a copy of the budget within a “Copy Budget” window, where you can edit and save it with a new name, as usual.

Instructions on How to Run Budget Reports in QuickBooks Online

  1. To run a “Budgets vs. Actuals” report or “Budget Overview” report for a budget within the list in the “Budgets” page, click the drop-down arrow under the desired budget’s “Action” column and then select either the “Run Budgets vs. Actuals report” or the “Run Budget Overview report” command, as desired.

Create a Budget in QuickBooks Online: Video Lesson

            The following video, titled “Setting Up Budgets,” shows you how to create a budget in QuickBooks Online Plus. This video on how to create a budget in QuickBooks Online is from our complete QuickBooks Online tutorial, titled “Mastering QuickBooks Online Made Easy.”

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