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How do I create a budget?
How do I create a budget?

Describes how to design a budget in accounting.

Updated over a week ago

You will need the Full Write Accounting permission to perform this action.

You can easily create and manage your annual budgets within the system for income and expense accounts. To get started, go to Accounting > Budgets from the left hand menu and click on the "Add New" button at the top. If you need to edit an existing budget, click on the name in the table.

A pop up will appear with the following fields:


Required. This is the year you are budgeting. Years go from January to December.


A name for the budget. If not provided, the name will default to Budget [Year]. For example, if you selected 2021 in the year dropdown, the name will default to Budget 2021.


An optional description for this budget. You can enter any notes you want to store here.


If Yes, budget will appear in reports. Otherwise, it will be in draft mode. This will default to No so you can plan the budget without it appearing in any reports. Once finished, remember to publish it!

Once you are done filling out the required fields, click on the Save button to create the budget. You'll then be taken to a screen where you can start entering the budget details.

Designing a budget

You can get to the main budget screen by creating a budget as shown in the previous section, or clicking on the name of an existing budget from the main listing under Accounting > Budgets from the left hand menu.

This screen contains all your income and expense accounts along the left side (collapsible) as well as totals and months along the top. Click on an arrow in the left most column to collapse that item. Collapsed items will show total budget so you can still have those amounts for reference if needed.

When you first get to this screen, all the text boxes will be uneditable. This is because the Fund dropdown at the top is set to "All Funds" and so the text boxes show budget amounts across all funds. To edit the budget for a single fund, choose it from that dropdown.

Once you do, you'll notice all textboxes will be editable except for totals that have a value. This is because these are special text boxes. If you enter a value here, the system will evenly distribute the amount to all months for the year. Since this overwrites any values that are already in the month columns, it is locked to prevent accidental data loss. Click on the lock icon next to it, to unlock and allow edits.

Note: Any totals that don't have a value will be unlocked by default.

Once you make an edit to a total textbox, it will lock again. If you need to keep all total text boxes unlocked at all times (because you want the budget to be even for each month), you can unlock them all and keep them unlocked by clicking on the Options button in the upper right of the table and checking the "Keep totals unlocked" option.

Important: amounts entered are saved immediately once your cursor leaves the textbox. This is why there is no Save button on this screen. As a tip, you can hit Tab on your keyboard to move from cell to cell.

To edit all funds for a specific account, click on the account in the left hand side. A pop up will appear where you can set budgets for all funds in the account. This table behaves the same as the larger table and has all the same options.

The Options button in the upper right lets you:

  • Show monthly breakdown - if unchecked, only the year total text boxes will be shown.

  • Hide unused accounts - if checked, only accounts that have a budget entered will appear.

  • Keep totals unlocked - will unlock all total text boxes and keep them unlocked.


The Actions menu in the upper right contains some reports you can run to export the budget.


This report shows high level details of the budget such as total amount by account category and fund. Here is a sample of this report:

Budget Details

This report generates a PDF of exactly what is shown in the budget table on this screen. This means if you have any portion collapsed (i.e. hidden), it will be hidden on the report as well. Same if you hide the monthly break down. Here is a sample without the monthly breakdown:

Export CSV

This will export a CSV of the entire budget including all accounts and funds. This report will always return all data even if not shown in the budget (i.e. monthly breakdown will always be returned as well as all funds even if you are filtering for a single fund).

Once you have you budget published, these numbers can be viewed alongside your income and expense actuals by running the Budget to Actual report under Accounting > Reports in the left hand menu.

Note that you can create multiple budgets for the same year. If there is more than one published budget for a given year, the amounts will be combined when viewing the Budget to Actual report.

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