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How to Prepare a New Budget in QuickBooks 2011

Budgeting within QuickBooks provides business owners and managers with powerful tools for better managing a firm's operation. A budget can give the business owner, manager, or other QuickBooks user a way to more easily and more quantifiably manage the people working for the business. A budget can often identify problems or opportunities early and truly gives the owner or manager a way to plan out the year's operation, think about what's most important, and quantify what the firm should achieve over the year.

To create a new budget in QuickBooks, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Company→Planning and Budgeting→Set Up Budgets.

    QuickBooks displays the Create New Budget window, which is used to record the amount that you expect for each revenue and expense account for each month during the year you're budgeting.

  2. Click the Create New Budget button to create a new budget.

    This opens the Create New Budget dialog box.

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  3. Select the fiscal year period.

    Identify the fiscal year you're budgeting for. To do that, enter the fiscal year in the provided text box.

  4. Select the Profit and Loss radio button or the Balance Sheet radio button, depending on what type of budget you want to create.

    If you're creating a profit and loss budget, click Next. If you're creating a balance sheet budget, click Finish to complete the budget.

    Note that you use a different approach for profit and loss budgets and balance sheet budgets. For profit and loss budgets, you budget the amount of revenue or expense expected for the account for the month. For balance sheet budgets, you budget the ending account balance — that's the ending account balance expected for the asset, liability, or owner's equity account at month's end.

  5. Specify additional profit and loss budget criteria and click Next.

    If you chose to create a profit and loss budget, select the Customer:Job radio button to further extend your budget to include Job details, or select the Class radio button to include classes in your budget. Or simply select the No Additional Criteria radio button.

    Note: In order to budget by class, you must first turn on class tracking.

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  6. Choose whether to create the budget from scratch or from previous data.

    To create a budget from scratch and start with a clean slate, select the Create Budget from Scratch radio button.

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    To create a budget based on your actual data from last year, select the Create Budget from Previous Year's Actual Data radio button. Click Finish when you're done. QuickBooks displays the Set Up Budgets window.

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