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Creating a Budget

You can set up a budget in QuickBooks that can be used to track your company's financial progress throughout the year and to draw comparisons between actual and budgeted performance. The easiest way to begin budget creation is to use a year-end income statement from your company's previous year. You can use the numbers on the financial statement to get started with your budget and then fine-tune the budget after all the prior year's numbers have been entered. QuickBooks has created a wizard to walk you through the process of setting up your budget.

Create a Budget

Select Planning & Budgeting from the Company menu; then select Set Up Budgets from the side menu that appears.

Enter the year (calendar year or fiscal year, depending on your company's year-end) for which this budget will apply.

Indicate whether this budget is to be based on profit and loss or balance sheet (for this example, we will use profit and loss).

Click Next.

If you want your budget organized by customer and job or by class, indicate that here. For this example, we will not organize the budget by these criteria. (Note: Class is not an option on this screen if your company does not use class tracking.)

Click Next.

Select whether you want to create your budget from scratch or from prior year financial statement numbers. For this example, we will create the budget from scratch.

Click Finish.

In the white areas, fill in the monthly amounts for your budget. QuickBooks automatically summarizes your monthly amounts in the annual total column (the first column).

Did You Know?

Budget setup is easy after the first year. If you've used QuickBooks in the past, your prior year's financial information is already saved in your file. Instead of creating your budget from scratch, you can use the prior year's financial statement numbers as your starting point and save yourself the time of looking up and entering this information.


Save time by entering an amount in the first month; then click the Copy Across button to insert that amount in every other month for the year.

Automatically increment a budgeted amount by clicking the Adjust Row Amounts button.

Did You Know?

If the Set Up Budgets window appears, click Create New Budget to open the window shown here. If this is the first time you have created a budget, the Create New Budget window opens automatically.


In the window that appears, indicate the percent or dollar amount by which you want the budgeted amount to increase each month. If you enter a negative amount, the budgeted amount decreases each month.

Click OK.

When you have finished entering all the budgeted information, click Save to save your budget.

Click OK to close the budget window.


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