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Create or Edit your QuickBooks Budget in Excel

UPDATED 11/06/2016 with this video:

The purpose of this article is to walk you though the process of creating an initial budget in QuickBooks, exporting it to IIF, then editing it in Excel, and lastly importing it back into QuickBooks.    Also it is important to point out this whole process as decribed here only works in the WINDOWS versions of QuickBooks: Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise.

Why do this if I can just create the entire budget in QuickBooks?
Well, most avid excel users feel that working the budget within Excel is much faster because of their ability to use formulas to project increases or decreases in the income and expense accounts.

So, therefore here are the steps

  1. First you need to CREATE the Budget inside QuickBooks by going into the Company Menu and then Planning & Budgeting: Set Up Budgets
  2. Secondly, follow the standard process to select the year and type of budget.
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.20.28 AM
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.20.39 AM
  3. Then Export the budget as an IIF File, clicking on File, Unitizes Export, List to IIF Files…
    list to iif
  4. You need to choose only, Budget as the check marked option to avoid confusion on the Excel file
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.25.30 AM
  5. The next part is a bit tricky, you must open Excel and then open the file in excel directly by going into the File, Open File option or Drag-and-drop the file into the excel spreadsheet, it will look like this:
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.31.29 AM
  6. Then replace all the Zeroes with the desired amount, please keep in mind that income accounts need to be in negative (since they are credits) and expense accounts in positive, after you are done just save the file… do not do “Save As”, simple just save.
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.36.55 AM
  7. Last step is to import the IIF file back into QuickBooks, by going into File, Utilities, Import, List from IIF…   Then go back to the Set Up Budgets windows to see your imported budget.
    Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.37.41 AM

If you enjoyed this tutorial, I have another article related to importing transactions from excel into QuickBooks, that you may like.

Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia

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8 Responses

  1. When you’re manipulating the IIF data in Excel, can you link the IIF cells to supporting data in other sheets in the workbook? For example, let’s say your step 6 was the only sheet in the workbook. Can we add sheet 2, populate all the customers that make up our “Accounting and Services Income” figure, and then link the total back to sheet 1, row 4?

  2. Can you use this same concept if you have multiple Classes with budgets? It might be better to export the existing budget and modify in excel and then import? We have multiple programs and grants….probably 20 different classes of budgeting. What would you advise?

  3. I am able to do this BUT – I want to do this with the Forecast rather than the Budget. The Utilities download doesn’t specify that as an option. is there just a way to change to the !HDR code from “BUD” to something else?

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