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How to Set Up Budgets in QuickBooks vs. BillQuick

If you have been following my posts on here, then you have seen that I’ve already shown you how to set up budgets in QuickBooks.

I want to be clear though. There are really two ways for how to set up budgets in QuickBooks. The way I showed you is how you do it for engineers, architects, and any professional service business where you need to track your costs and revenues by item. QuickBooks has a traditional budget feature as well. I am going to be honest with you. I have never liked it. I always went to Excel for this kind of budgeting and for all forecasting. Now I want to show you how to create a budget in BillQuick. I want you to see the difference.

In my last post on A Better Way to Manage Projects, I showed you how to set up a project in BillQuick. Now we’re going to do the next step, which is to set up the budget in BillQuick. One thing that stands out right away when you set out to create a budget in BillQuick vs how to set up budgets in QuickBooks is that the budget stands by itself. In other words, you can create a budget template which can be used over and over again on lots of different projects. The first thing you are asked to do when you create a new budget in BillQuick is to create an ID and write a description. These should tell you in future use cases what you need to know in order to determine if this is the right budget for the project you are about to assign it to. You can also create a new budget based on an existing one:

BQ New Budget

Next you’re off and running. Let’s see what it looks like inside:

Budget in BQ

Notice you can set up your budget based both on service and expense codes from the same place. The billing rate and cost rate both come up because I set them up when I set up the employee (myself) in BillQuick. This is very different from what you've seen in terms of how to set up budgets in QuickBooks. In QuickBooks, using the estimate like I showed you, everything has to go through an item. You can't have service and expense codes in the same budget.

From here it’s pretty simple. Just add in the people who will be doing the work and the tasks they will perform, then set the # of hours for each task. Once you have everything you think it will take to get the job done, you have your budget.

Now having seen how to set up budgets in QuickBooks vs. BillQuick, you can get a sense about which way will work better for you, although I honestly think BillQuick makes much more sense once you become concerned with project management and having the ability to compare budget vs actual costs and revenues.