People often create a budget based on last year’s actual data. When you try to use QuickBooks to set up a new budget you may discover some unexpected results when QuickBooks does not pull the data expected. This article will explain the problem and provide a quick trick or workaround to solve the problem.
Let’s assume you are working on the budget for the upcoming year (2013) during the current year (2012). To create a new budget in QuickBooks, click on Company > Planning & Budgeting > Set up Budgets > Create New Budget and enter the appropriate information for the budget and eventually you see this screen:
Often people select ‘Create budget from previous year’s actual data’ to create the budget for next year (2013). They assume QuickBooks will pull amounts from 2012 as the previous year’s actual data (since the budget is for 2013). This is where there are unexpected results.
If you are creating the budget in the current year (2012), QuickBooks pulls the previous year’s (2011) data (as indicated). However, most people really want it to pull current year (2012) data. Thus the problem. There is no option to pull current year data.
When talking with an Intuit product development team, one of my requests was an option to pull the current year data. Maybe sometime in the future this option will be available. You can request it too — in QuickBooks > Help > Send Feedback Online > Product Suggestions.
The Quick Trick or Workaround
Remember we want QuickBooks to pull the current year (2012) to create the budget. Click on the clock on your computer (usually in the lower, right corner of your screen) > Change Date and change the year to next year (2013). Now, when you select Create the budget using the previous year’s actual data it QuickBooks will pull the current year (2012) since you changed the computer date to next year (2013). After you create the budget, change the computer date back to the current year.
NOTE: You will only get data up to the current period so the remaining months of the current year will be blank.
P.S. In anticipation of questions — if you want to import budget data, you need to create an iif file. Here’s a support article with more information on iif files. You can use 3rd party tools to help import data too. Check out www.q2q.us or Big Red Consulting or others.