The planning and budgeting features in QuickBooks Desktop Premier and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Solutions editions include options to set up both budgets and forecasts. These tools can provide information that can help you plan and make decisions for your business.
This article defines budget and forecast. It also provides recommended solutions to some common issues and unexpected results you may encounter when working with budget and forecast.
Budget is a quantified, planned course of financial action over a defined time period. A budget attempts to estimate inputs and the costs of inputs, along with associated outputs and revenues from the output period. A budget:
Forecast allows you to make predictions about future revenue and cash flow, as well as assess "what if" scenarios to help you make better decisions for your business. It can be created from scratch or from actual data from the previous fiscal year. In QuickBooks, a forecast is uniquely identified by its fiscal year and can be further identified by Customer:Job or Class
Scenario: When you run a budget report and then apply a filter, the budget data disappears.
The data that QuickBooks utilize to create a report is coming from the data from transactions and budget data does not come from transactions. Therefore, filters do not allow budget data into reports.
A budget report can display actual amounts as well as budget amounts:
Scenario: Budget vs. Actual report by Customer:Job showing incorrect customer and company totals when filtered for a single Customer or Job.
Scenario: Accounts are considered "inactive" if no transactions use them in the date range of the report, whether or not they have been made inactive on the Chart of Accounts.
Some date ranges cause the report to display correctly while others cause it to display incorrectly
Note: Be aware that this behavior is affected by the date range selected.
Scenario: You like to customize the order of accounts that shows on your budget.
The Budget by default pulls the list from the Chart of Accounts. To change the order of Accounts on the Budget, rearrange the order of the accounts in the Chart of Accounts.
Scenario: You are trying to create a budget or forecast using the previous year's data but the numbers that QuickBooks gives you is either blank or incorrect.
When creating a Budget or Forecast using the option Based on previous year's actual data the numbers may not come out as expected, i.e. wrong or blank, depending on the system date of your computer. You can not create a Budget or Forecast until you have reached the first physical day for that year.
QuickBooks will use data from the previous year based on the system date, not the year selected to Budget or Forecast for. If you are setting up a 2014 budget at the end of 2013, QuickBooks will choose the previous year's data (2012).
Change the system date to be the same as the budget year being set up. If the budget year is 2014, change the system date to 1/1/2014. This will allow QuickBooks to correctly pull the previous year's date from 2013.
Change the system date on the computer:
Change the Year back to the correct year by: