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Budget vs Actual Reports in QuickBooks

    Budget vs Actual Reports in QuickBooks

    A budget vs actual reports helps businesses in comparing their forecasted revenue, expedite, Budget vs Actual Reports in QuickBooks and profits with the actual numbers for a given financial period. You can create this report at the end of each financial cycle during the entire year to optimize your business strategy for maximum profits.

    In this post, you’ll learn how to create a Budget vs Actual Report in QuickBooks.

    Budget vs Actual Report in QuickBooks Desktop


    If you’re not used to QuickBooks desktop or online or don’t understand accounting concepts, then you can reach out to our bookkeeping and technical experts via live chat or call.

    Steps to Create a Profit and Loss Budget vs Actual Report in QuickBooks Desktop

    1. Go to the Reports menu.
    2. Click on the Reports Center.
    3. Select Budgets & Forecasts.
    4. Choose Budget vs Actual for the report you want to run.
    5. You can choose to see Profit & Loss by Class if you select that option. Click on Next.
    6. Choose the Layout for the report and click on Next.
    7. Click on Finish.

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    You should have a complete report based on your financial data and the preferences you set when creating the report. It doesn’t take that long for the software to actually generate your report because QuickBooks desktop is quite good at processing data at lightning fast speed.

    Budget vs Actual Report in QuickBooks Online

    A profit & loss budget vs actual report is quite easy to create in QuickBooks online. To create such a report, follow the steps provided below:

    1. Log into QuickBooks online.
    2. Go to the Reports menu.
    3. In the search bar, type Budget vs. Actuals.
    4. Choose Customize.
    5. Set the transaction date by choosing Custom.
    6. Input a Date range for the report.
    7. Click on Run Report.

    We always advise that users should check the preferences and settings at least once before running the report. As you’re going to be drawing important insights from this report, Budget vs Actual Reports in QuickBooks it’s very important to select the data that you actually need for a given time period. If you include redundant data, you may get misleading insights.

    Understanding the Main Terms Related to Budget and Forecasting in QuickBooks Desktop

    Let’s now get to know a little about these terms that we’ve already seen the steps to get to. It’s important to have a firm understanding of forecasting before you can begin to analyze your data properly. That’s why we’ve provided this little guide towards the end of the post to help you to understand the process better.

    What is Budgeting in QuickBooks Desktop?

    Budgeting is an essential accounting and financial operation in which a business decides how it’s going to spend its money and what kind of revenue it’ll generate at the end of the year. QuickBooks Desktop has a plethora of tools that can help your organization with setting budgets and then evaluating them by contrasting with actual numbers.

    Need Experts Help:

    Use QuickBooks Budgets and Forecast Reports to Track Company Growth

    In the company menu, you can find the option to create a budget under Planning & Budgeting > Set up Budgets. You can go through the provided fields and enter all the required details. You’ve the option to create a budget from scratch or create a budget from the previous year’s numbers. QuickBooks will automaitcally estimate the budget amount in the latter case.

    What is Forecasting in QuickBooks Desktop?

    Forecasting is a useful way to facilitate a corporation in making essential expenditure and target modifications throughout the year as the market changes. If a huge client reduces or increases their number of customers with your organization, for instance, this will have a significant influence on management and liquidity.

    Likewise utilize many forecasts, possibly three: one that represents a positive perspective, one that expresses a gloomy view, and one that shows the most likely outcome. This helps you to prepare for development while still being able to react in the event that some opportunities do not materialize or occur at a slower rate than anticipated.

    What is a Budget vs Actual Report in QuickBooks Desktop?

    Budget to actual performance measures, also known as projected financial evaluation, compares your business’s projected monetary operations for a certain timeframe (budget) with the final profitability for that timeframe (actual). The cash flow discrepancy between the budget and actual figures can be measured as a % or as a net income gap.

    Budget vs Actual Reports in QuickBooks

    The overall variance between budget and actual provides a rapid snapshot of your firm’s earnings, but the full benefit of a budget vs. actual assessment is found in the specifics. Budget vs. actual analyses should indeed be itemized to a relevant level of detail, permitting your organization to obtain understanding into the nuances of each aspect of its economic standing.


    You’ve learned both the steps to create a budget vs actual report and a firm understanding of budgeting and forecasting. With this information, we hope that you can get the insights that you require from your financial data so that you can formulate better strategies for your business.


    If you’re still having difficulties in creating a budget vs actual report in QuickBooks, then reach out to our experts via live chat or call.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Types of Reports Can I Build to Ascertain my Profitability and Contrast my Actual Revenue with the Forecasted one?

    Ans: You’ve plenty of options when it comes to QuickBooks. There are tons of reports that help you in gaining a deeper understanding of your revenue streams and contrast them with the forecasts that you set at the start of the financial period.

    In QuickBooks, the most important of these is the Budget vs Actual reports, which takes the forecasted numbers for a given period of time and contrasts them with the actual numbers that your business generated. The gap between the two can help you to identify what went wrong. The profit and loss statement can further help you in gaining an insight into your various income streams and expenses so that you can curtail costs and maximize your revenue. Further, a balance sheet can be used to ensure that your books are valid and accurate. We also recommend that you reconcile your books at the end of each financial period so that you can find and rectify any inaccuracies.

    What is a Profit and Loss Report in QuickBooks?

    Ans: The profit and loss or income statement gives you the core performance insight. It tells you how revenue and expenditures have impacted your profits. This report can help you in identifying any redundant costs that may be eating into your revenue, leading to monetary loss.

    In QuickBooks, you don’t simply get a table with your data. You can use various graphs to represent this data so that you can get a three sixty degree look at your business’s performance. You can use this report with the other ones to formulate future business strategies.

    Is QuickBooks a Good Software for Creating Forecasts or Budgets?

    Ans: Yes, it is. In fact, QuickBooks desktop and online have built in features to help you with creating forecasts and later analyzing them against your actual business performance. You can use the option to create a forecast using last year’s data, enabling QuickBooks to automatically calculate the type of results you’re going to see in the future based on past results.

    Or you can choose to create a budget from scratch. We recommend that if you’re using QuickBooks for the first time, then you should create a budget from scratch, but if you’ve past year’s accounting data available within QuickBooks, then you should go with forecast on the basis of last year’s data.

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