Create a budget

A budget is an estimate or plan of income and expenses for a set period of time that can be compared to actual figures from the Profit & Loss Statement.

Manager includes a simple budgeting capability under the Reports tab. Click on Profit and Loss Statement (Actual vs Budget):

Then click New Report to start the process:

New budgets can also be started by cloning existing budgets:

Fill in the form:

  • Title can be anything that will help identify the budget when it is viewed in a list. This title will also appear on the completed report.
  • From is the first day of the budget period. By default, the current date will appear. Edit as necessary.
  • To is the final day of the budget period. By default, the current date will also appear in this field. Edit as necessary.
  • Accounting method lets you choose whether the budget is on the accrual or cash basis.
  • Division allows you to create a budget for a division. This field does not appear unless you have defined at least one division.
  • Account fields offer all accounts from the Profit and Loss Statement side of your chart of accounts. (Budgets cannot be created for Balance Sheet accounts, because those are perpetual.)
  • Amount is the expected income or expense during the budget period for the individual account.

    Enter income as positive numbers, expenses as negative numbers.

  • Click Add line to add more accounts. Only those accounts with expected income or expenses need to be included in the budget.
  • Footer provides space for notes or comments about the budget.
  • Exclude zero balances allows you to eliminate accounts with no budgets or that have not yet accumulated income or expenses.
  • Round decimals reduces displayed figures to the nearest whole unit of your base currency.

Click Create to store the budget. You can create as many budgets for as many different time periods as you want. A budget from one time period can be cloned as a starting point for building a budget for another time period.

The business, Northwind, creates a budget for the month of May 2021. Although it uses divisions, this budget is for the entire company:

Northwind can view the budget to see a comparison between actual and budgeted figures for the defined time period. After excluding zero balances and rounding decimals, the report looks like this:

When creating a budget, only accounts already in your chart of accounts can be included. So build your chart of accounts first, then create your budget, which will appear in the same basic format.

Accounts will be included in the Profit & Loss Statement (Actual vs. Budget) if you enter a budget figure or there is an actual income or expense transaction during the budget period. Only if both are true will Percentage figures be calculated.

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