How to Work with an Existing Budget in QuickBooks 2011

Creating a budget in QuickBooks can give the business owner or manager a way to more easily and more quantifiably manage the people working for the business. A budget can often identify problems or opportunities early. To edit an existing budget in QuickBooks, follow these steps:

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

    QuickBooks displays the Set Up Budgets window, which you use to record the amount that you expect for each revenue and expense for each month during the year in which you're budgeting.

  2. Select a budget or create a new one.

    Select the budget you want to work with from the Budget box at the top of the window. To create a new budget (you can have as many budgets as you want), click the Create New Budget button.

  3. (Optional) Choose a Customer.

    You typically budget by account. However, if you want to budget in finer detail by also estimating amounts for customers, jobs, or classes, you can use the Current Customer:Job drop-down list to identify specific customers from which you expect revenue or for whom you expend costs.

  4. Record the budgeted amounts for each month of the fiscal year.

    Type the amounts you want to budget for each account in the appropriate month columns. Again, remember that revenue and expense accounts are budgeted as the amount expected for the month. Asset, liability, and owner's equity amounts are budgeted as the ending account balance expected for the month.

    To copy the budgeted amount for one month into the text boxes for the succeeding months, click the Copy Across button.

  5. (Optional) Adjust row amounts.

    If you find that the yearly total for an account isn't what you want it to be, you can go back and change the amounts for each month so that they add up to the correct total. Or, you can click the Adjust Row Amounts button. Clicking this button displays the Adjust Row Amounts dialog box. Use the Start At drop-down list to select which month you want to start with (either the first month or the currently selected month), and then choose whether you want to increase or decrease the amounts budgeted, and by how much (enter either a dollar amount or a percentage).

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  6. Repeat as necessary.

    Repeat Steps 3 through 5 for each of the accounts for which you want to record budgeted amounts.

Yes, this is a lot of work. Just so you know, in large companies with hundreds of employees, two or three people spend their entire year working with the budgeted data.

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