Accounting, Bookkeeping, and QuickBooks Tips for Small Businesses

How To Create A Budget in Quickbooks 2010

Create Small Business Budget With QuickBooksLast week we discussed the importance of a budget and the process to take when creating a budget. I know a lot of you out there use QuickBooks for your bookkeeping. This week I will teach you how to make a budget in QuickBooks 2010. It’s important to note that you need either QuickBooks Pro or above to be able to create a budget in QuickBooks. You can not enter a budget in QuickBooks Simple Start.

Follow these simple steps and you will have a QuickBooks budget.

  1. Open your QuickBooks company file.
  2. Click on the Company menu, select Planning & Budgeting from the drop-down menu, and then click on Set Up Budgets.
      If you have already created a budget in QuickBooks, your most recent budget will appear in the next window. To create a new budget, click the Create New Budget button in the top right corner of your budget window.
  3. The Create a New Budget window will appear. First, you need to select a fiscal year for your new budget. Then, you can choose whether you would like to create a Profit and Loss (i.e. Income and Expense) or a Balance Sheet Budget. Make your selection and then click Next.
  4. When creating a Profit and Loss Budget, the Additional Profit and Loss Budget Criteria window allows you to use Customer:Job or Class criteria in your budget (assuming, your company has the class tracking turned on). Make your choices, then click Next.
  5. The Choose How You Want to Create a Budget window allows you to either Create a budget from scratch or Create a budget from your previous year’s actual data. Make your selection and then click Finish.
      Create a Budget From Scratch – Lets you manually enter amounts for each account you are interested in tracking.
      Create a Budget From Previous Year’s Actual Data – This option will automatically enter monthly totals from last year for each of the accounts listed in your budget.
  6. Your Budget will appear in the next window. This window allows you to enter your monthly budget amounts for each account. QuickBooks will automatically calculate your annual budget amount for each account. When finished, click Save.

  • The Copy Across button will copy an amount entered in Jan across the rest of the months. Saving you the hassle of entering the same amount 12 times!
  • The Adjust Row Amounts button is a neat feature. It allows you to start at the 1st month or start at your currently selected month. Then you can adjust (increase or decrease) the monthly amounts in this row (for this account) by a dollar amount or by a percentage.
  • Beware of the Clear button. It clears your entire budget!

Congratulations, you have entered a budget in QuickBooks and are ready to track your financial progress for the year.

Related Budget Blog Entries:
Simple Steps to Creating Your Own Small Business Budget


Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


  1. Zack Montey Zack Montey
    February 8    

    i was just surfing along and came upon your blog. just wanted to say great job and this post truly helped me.

  2. Sam Kiberu Sam Kiberu
    April 16    

    How do I enter actuals in the budget?

    • April 16    

      Hi Sam,

      QuickBooks has reports you can use to compare your budget vs actual numbers. Go to the “Reports” menu, select “Budgets & Forecasts”, and then you can run the “Budget vs. Actual” report or QuickBooks also offers a Budget vs Actual graph too. I hope this helps!

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