QuickBooks Online

Can I use QuickBooks Online Advanced for Effective Budgeting and Forecasting?

Team members creating a budget in QuickBooks Online Advanced

Budgeting and forecasting are crucial aspects of running a successful business. However, traditional budgeting methods can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and lack the flexibility needed to adapt to changing business conditions. This is where QuickBooks Online Advanced steps in. From creating budgets and tracking actual performance to analyzing variances and generating insightful reports, QuickBooks Online Advanced offers many useful tools to optimize your budgeting and forecasting processes.

In this blog, let’s explore the key functionalities of QuickBooks Online Advanced that empower businesses to achieve effective budgeting and forecasting.

Lets you easily create a budget

QuickBooks Online Advanced provides businesses with a user-friendly interface for creating budgets. You can set up budgets for various categories, such as income, expenses, and departments. Also, you can enter historical data, and QuickBooks will automatically analyze and generate budget suggestions based on past trends. This feature simplifies the budget creation process and saves time for businesses.

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To create a budget in QuickBooks Online Advanced, click on Budgets from the left sidebar. Click on Create a budget, and you’ll be prompted to choose how to want to set up your budget as well as the period covered. You can also select the budget format, whether it’s consolidated or subdivided. If you choose the consolidated format, all budgeted amounts will be grouped together for each category. If you choose the subdivided format, you can further break down the budgeted amounts into subcategories, such as by department or location.

Setting up budget preferences in QuickBooks Online Advanced

Click Next to continue. You can edit the budget name, as well as compare reference data. When you toggle on the Compare reference data option while creating a budget in QuickBooks Online Advanced, it allows you to compare the budgeted amounts against reference data from a different time period.

Sample expense budget in QuickBooks (Source: QuickBooks)

Next, enter the budgeted amounts for each category. You can manually input the budgeted amounts or utilize QuickBooks’ automatic suggestions based on historical data.

QuickBooks Online Advanced analyzes past financial transactions and trends, providing budget suggestions to simplify the process. The program offers customization options to refine the budgeting process further. You can choose to divide budgets by month, quarter, or year, depending on your reporting needs.

Once the budget amounts are inputted and all necessary settings are adjusted, click the green Save button.

Compare actual performance against budgeted numbers

With QuickBooks Online Advanced, you can easily see the budgeted amounts you entered for each month or period. QuickBooks automatically populates the actuals based on your recorded financial transactions, allowing for a direct comparison between the budgeted amounts and the real-time financial data. 

Additional columns such as “Variance” and “% Variance” provide a clear picture of the difference between the actuals and budgeted amounts in both numerical and percentage terms. This comparison enables you to analyze the variances and percentage variances, helping you identify areas of success or concern in your financial performance. By understanding how your business is tracking against its budgeted goals, you can take appropriate actions and optimize your financial strategies for better results.

Improves Collaboration and Accessibility 

QuickBooks Online Advanced enables collaborative budgeting by allowing multiple users to work on budget creation and management simultaneously. This collaborative environment promotes teamwork and coordination among different stakeholders involved in the budgeting process. 

Users with appropriate access permissions can access the budgeting feature and contribute to budget creation and updates. Also, you can make changes to the budget in real time, and your updates are instantly visible to other team members. This eliminates the need for manual data synchronization and ensures that everyone has access to the latest budget information.

Use Spreadsheet Sync

You can import budget information from a spreadsheet into QuickBooks and make changes to the budget using familiar spreadsheet software. Any modifications made in the spreadsheet can then be synced back to QuickBooks. This functionality provides flexibility and ease of use for managing budgets. 

All you need to do is to create or format a spreadsheet that contains the budget data you want to import into QuickBooks. You can use popular spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for this purpose. Make sure the spreadsheet follows the required format and includes the necessary columns and data. To access Spreadsheet Sync, click on Create in spreadsheet on the Budget page, and follow the on-screen prompts to use Spreadsheet Sync.

New Spreadsheet Sync feature in QuickBooks Online Advanced

Bottom Line

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a powerful accounting software that can be effectively used for budgeting and forecasting purposes. Its user-friendly interface, accurate forecasting capabilities, real-time tracking, and collaborative features make it a valuable tool for businesses seeking to streamline their financial management processes. 

Have Questions? Need Help?

If you have any questions about the features of QuickBooks Online, you can give us a call at 866-949-7267 and one of our experts can walk you through the details. 

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