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Budget Overview Report in QuickBooks Online

Budget Overview Report in QuickBooks Online
Budget Overview Report in QuickBooks Online
Written by
Paul W Carlson, CPA
Published on
Dec 13, 2023

Paul W. Carlson, CPA:

Hi, this is Paul Carlson, CPA of Law Firm Velocity.

In this video we're going to quickly run through how to run a budget overview report from QuickBooks Online and talk about a couple weaknesses within that report.


The budget overview report is a report of the current budget that's been posted into QuickBooks Online. To run the report, the quickest way is to do Reports, My Custom Reports, and then for all of our clients that we go ahead and memorize the budget overview report here so you can get to it quickly. If it's not already memorized, you can go fishing and it is under All Reports, Business Overview, Budget Overview, and it will bring up the report.


From here you can print, you can export it to Excel, and then you can change the dates and you can even pick a different budget from up here. From here, this is a simple enough report that works for simpler firms, for firms that need more sophisticated financial modeling, there's two big shortcomings to this presentation.


One is it will never include actual values. If January and February financials have been issued, most firms want to know what will my annual revenue be if we replace budgeted with actual amounts for January and February, and then what was my net income going to be if we replace January forecast with actual and February forecast with actual. Now really what this does is it gives you a rolling forecast that gets more accurate as you go through the year as you replace forecasted amounts with actuals.


The other big shortcoming with this is QuickBooks Online does not model the balance sheet and it does not model cash. Even as a silly example, we have a firm making 1.2 million in net income for the year that perhaps on the balance sheet that the owner wants a million-dollar draw from the company, and the owner also wants to pay off half a million dollars worth of debt, that both of those payments do not go through the income statement. And without that cashflow model, it's difficult to see that shortcoming.


We like a dedicated financial modeling application that does the rolling presentation. In this example, we've replaced actual numbers for January and then forecast for the rest of the year. And then the forecast for the year is a combination of the actual value's plus forecast for the rest of the year. And the tool also gives us a full cash forecast. In this model, the partner wants a 300,000 draw in December, and it doesn't look like we have the cash to fund that, at least we can get a forewarning of the cash shortage several months in advance.


And with that, that's a quick overview of the QuickBooks Online budget overview report. Thanks. Bye bye.