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How To Create A Business Budget

September 6, 2023
Bill Kimball

This process can be challenging if too many customers are past-due. To compensate for this, many businesses create something called an “allowance for doubtful accounts,” which estimates the amount of accounts receivable that are expected to not be collectible. A budget is a forecast of revenue and expenses over a specified period and is an integral part of running a business efficiently. Corporate budgeting works best when the company keeps it simple, according to CFO Magazine.

budget companies

However, it is important to note that FreshBooks is not capable of handling complex budget planning. Coupa is a simple budget management tool that helps to inform every team member about real-time results and budgets. Adaptive Insights is a comprehensive tool offering cloud-based budgeting and forecasting software combined with reporting and analytics features.

Step 1: Review Your Revenue

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The Lite version is the cheapest option, and costs $15 per month and provides unlimited expense entries, unlimited custom invoices, custom functionality, and much more. So long as the budget dominates business planning, a self-motivated workforce is a fantasy, however many cutting-edge techniques a company embraces.

You can also manage expenses and resources, use a financial dashboard, and manage project budgets. Business units became preoccupied with meeting sales targets rather than satisfying customers. Salespeople eager to try new tactics were thwarted by rules requiring multiple signatures authorizing any change in plan. Used in a responsible way, budgets provide the basis for clear understanding between organizational levels and can help senior executives maintain control over multiple divisions and business units. In the wrong hands, however, budgets can result in “earnings management” or even outright fraud. Such problems are more apt to occur as the pressure to improve performance increases, especially when economic conditions are deteriorating. Few CEOs want to miss their earnings targets and risk ridicule by investors and the media.

Sales Variances Analysis

From there, you can customize a rough budget for your own industry. You give every dollar a “job,” based on what you think is the best use of your business funds, and then go back and compare your plan with reality to see how you did. Select versions are skewed toward larger businesses, while the Lite and Plus versions are geared toward self-employed and small to midsize businesses.

budget companies

Neubrain differs from all the tools above in that it only focuses on analytics. It acts as a connector of all other financial tools such as QL, SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Dynamics GP, Great Plains, ADP, Excel, and more. Robin Fraser is director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table , an international management research consortium (). His book Beyond Budgeting is being published this month by Harvard Business School Press. Jeremy Hope is director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table , an international management research consortium (). No longer able to ignore these realities, companies are breaking free of the budgeting vise.


A business usually uses software to manage its corporate budgeting process. The software shares the company’s budget with all the different departments, divisions and stores. This standardizes the assumptions that each budget holds and allows the high-level managers to view the organization’s overall performance. The business may use a simple spreadsheet to develop and monitor its corporate budgeting.

This is just scratching the surface, and there’s plenty more to consider when creating a budget for a startup. This business startup budget guide from The Balance is a great start. For example, if you order more stock, your cost per unit will be lower, but your overall spend will be higher. Make sure this is factored into your budget and pricing, and that the volume ordered isn’t greater than actual product demand. While every good budget has the same framework, you’ll need to think about the unique budgeting quirks of your industry and business type. If circumstances change , your budget can flex to give you a clear picture of where you stand at all times.

Editorial content from The Blueprint is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. One of the most used features on QuickBooks Online is the invoice tool.

Just choose the correct fiscal year, click on the “Add Budget” button, and start entering budget details. Perhaps you’re working out of your home, but plan on renting or buying a building for your business in the next year or two. One catastrophe can be disastrous for your business, particularly if you operate on limited cash flow. But be sure when you budget your revenue, you enter numbers that are as accurate as possible.

  • A static budget is a type of budget that incorporates anticipated values about inputs and outputs before the period begins.
  • Business units, plants, branches, and other groupings can measure their progress against comparable units within the company through the use of a few key financial measures.
  • Start out by developing a target for your sales revenues, advises SCORE, a non-profit group with 370 chapters that is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses form, grow and succeed.
  • Without a budget, you may not know how your business is performing.
  • It requires examining what happened last month, what happened three months ago and what this month last year looked like — then using that information to make wise financial decisions for the months and years ahead.
  • • Semi-variable costs are fixed costs that can be variable when influenced by volume of business.

While it may seem counterintuitive to include unexpected costs into your budget when they haven’t even occurred yet, you can safely assume that something unexpected will happen. Whether in our personal lives or in business, we need to factor in variable expenses. Master budgets are often used in larger companies to keep all individual managers aligned. Product Reviews Unbiased, expert reviews on the best software and banking products for your business. Accounting Accounting software helps manage payable and receivable accounts, general ledgers, payroll and other accounting activities. Business Checking Accounts BlueVine Business Checking The BlueVine Business Checking account is an innovative small business bank account that could be a great choice for today’s small businesses. Winsmark Business Solutions has a free downloadable cash flow budget worksheet.

Step 5: Put All Your Information Into A Budget Format

If the difference between revenue and expenses (aka “profit margins”) aren’t where you’d like them to be, you need to rethink your cost of goods sold and consider raising prices. Cash flow budgets help to examine past practices to examine what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments.

This gives you a snapshot of your budget that’s easy to find without diving into layers of crowded spreadsheets. A budget calculator can help you see exactly where you stand when it comes to your business budget planning.

So, What Exactly Is A Business Budget?

The website has an assortment of free printable budget worksheets to try. Every successful business needs a budget, and here are some tips on how to make one that works for you.

Xero also allows you to compare any created budget to actual totals, to see how far under or over budget your company is. Don’t be conservative in estimating these costs, You’d rather they be too high, leaving you more money than expected for the month than the opposite.


In this guide, you will learn about the importance of a business budget, the components of a good budget, and the different types of budgets. With the right budgeting plan, you can keep your business out of debt or find ways to reduce the debt it is currently facing. A comprehensive budget can even be used for obtaining business loans from banks or other financial institutions.

See more of her work and learn more about her services at deannadebara.com. Or, if you run a brick-and-mortar retail business, you may only have one source of income from your store sales. Your total number of income sources will depend on your business model. Without a budget, you may not know how your business is performing. For this step, referencing your P&L will help you better understand the seasonal ups and downs of your business, which investments in your business are worth repeating, and what you should avoid in the future.