Can ayone advise on setting up budgets

I am aware that Manager will eventually have budgeting functionality implemented, but I have been waiting two years for this to be implemented and its really becoming vital to be able to budget both the business and personal finances.

What can other people recommend that I can use until such a time as when budgeting has been implemented to Manager as I can no longer afford to wait - I need something now. Just to be clear, I will be using Manager for the accounting, I just need some program to handle budgeting.

I use Liibre Office Calc for this sort of thing - That said, it would work in MS-Excel too.
Basically, from Manager, I exported my basic reports (P&L and BS) in order to get the desired layouts and things are then presented the same way as the reports in Manger, which is convenient and easy on the eye.

After that, I guess it depends upon how you want to look at things - ie a full year on it’s own, or have it month by month, or quarter by quarter, but either way, it’s just a case of creating the desired columns.
After that, I then use the same template to create a cumulative presentation of the data
After that, I then use that data to create a Cash-flow forecast.
It is perhaps worth noting that that when creating the cumulative and cash-flow forecasts, to link them to the data in the basic P&L. That way, if you want to do any future editing and updating, the vast bulk of the editing you need to do is in the P&L, and the others will update themselves automatically as a result.

There is of course no reason why you could not approach it from the cash-flow forecast end of things and then have your P&L and BS update automatically as a result - entirely a matter of personal preference.

I would be happy to share some templates if that would help

Thank you very much for such a quick response.

I assume that you mean, you copy what you see on the screen and paste into excel/calc. I have just tried that and I can see that what will be the simplest is to create the profit and Loss template in excel and all I would need to do is update the figures in excel.

I am mainly looking for annual budgeting (for the business) and monthly for personal.

What is a cumulative presentation of the data?

I think that I need this, but my main objective is to calculate at the beginning of the year (i.e. now as my new tax year starts) all expected costs and set a limit on the costs both on monthly and annual basis to ensure that I am not spending more than I should be - for example advertising costs can spiral very quickly out of control if you are not watching.

This would be the way that makes sense - link the cumulative and cash flow to the P&L and then make changes in the P&L area.

That would be great as I think my biggest problem with setting up budgets is that I don’t really know what reports would make it useful such as this cumulative forecast that you mention. I think that I need to track cash flow, set a limit on expenditure for accounts like advertising and allocate what I know that I will need to spend on things like broadband costs and also have something that alerts me when I am spending the money too quickly like on advertising.

What I have discovered comparing this years accounts to last years accounts is that I am able to see if I have reduced my expenses compared to last year, increased my income compared to last year but while that information is very useful - its bit late to do anything about it if I have overspent, or run out of money or something.

I just export to TSV then open it in Calc from there

Basically, this gives a calculated running Year To Date position from the static monthly data

Always a good idea to keep a close eye on where the money is coming from and going to - as you say, things can get out of hand if you don’t. That said, I do find that Manager’s summary/home page is a nice capable presentation of the state of affairs at any given time provided that you set the date ranges to suit your desired purpose and presentation.

Prior year or period comparisons are of course useful and interesting. That said, if you work in a business that is for example growing very quickly, the value of prior comparisons in some contexts are of limited value IMHO.


All @xero50’s points are good. The most comprehensive accounting tool can only give you information. The analysis and exploitation still takes your own brain power.

@Tut’s first law of management:

It doesn’t matter what management information you look at or how sophisticated it is. What matters is that you actually look frequently, understand what it is telling you, and take action to correct deficiencies relative to your plan and benefit from situations better than expected.

1 Like

Didn’t even notice the export button at the bottom of the screen. I will remember that.

Yes I think the cash flow analysis is becoming more and more urgent. I have to keep track of where the money is going, or will be going!

As my business is currently undergoing an extensive year on anlaysis of income and expensditure compared to previous years, the information is actually quite useful to see how much I am saving by using different supppliers etc.

I think its clear that I need to look at the data more frequently and correct deficiencies earlier

Probably not as sophisticated as above as the below is only P&L focused but you could set up other Manager Businesses called Business Budget 2017 /18 and Personal Budget 2017/18 and then via Journals create a budget for each month in each.

Note that the Journal doesn’t balance - that red figure represents profit for the month.

Now you can create exactly matching P&L reports in both the actual and budget businesses for performance comparisons. The reports can have columns for both cumulative to date as well as individual months.


Thank you very much @xero50 and @Brucanna

I am very pleased that both of you answered as you have both helpded me a lot. I am going to take the data structure and flow process that Xerox provided and use the Journal Entries/P&L Method that Brucanna suggested.

What I like about using Journal Entries in Manager is that it allows me to view the data in a lot more visually friendly format than Excel does. Because I am also used to looking at the Summary Page and periodically the Profit and Loss Statement over the year, it actually makes it far easier to view the budget plan and pick up any deficiencies more easily.

I still would like the developer to implement budgeting as the problem with using Journal Entries is that the budget is not real time - one has to update it, but I can see how the budgeting will work in Manager as the profilt and loss statement broken down into months with the selected expenses does show a nice snapshot of your cash flow and what your expected income will be at the end of the year!

And I won’t forget @Tut’s first law of management!

Thank you all of you - this will really help me in the next 12 months.

Good luck @dalacor - I hope that it all works out for you

Meanwhile, I like to use the built-in reports in Manager, and this thread has set me to wondering how other people use the reports section. The two core reports I find myself using most often are the P&L and Cash Summary.
My report templates look like this:-

and this:

I was wondering if anyone would care to comment, or to add their own ideas

I use the Profit and Loss for End of year reviewing and as of today budgeting!

I use VAT Calculation Worksheet to Calculate the quarterly VAT Return

I use Inventory Quantity Movement to give me some idea of what is selling like cupcakes and what I barely shift

I use Inventory Profit Margin to review how much profit I make on each product and adjust accordingly.

I use Tracking Exception Report to pick up if I have forgotten to put the tracking code in for a product

I tried to use the Cash Summary, but its useless as inventory purchases and sales are my biggest cash movement and the Cash Summary only does balance sheet. I don’t see the point of the cash summary.

The Cash Summary lists both BS & P&L accounts under Inflows & Outflows headings, you aren’t confusing it with the Capital Summary Report.

No I am definitely using the Cash Summary, However you are correct in that bank charges is a P&L account.

However, everything else seems to be on the balance sheet. I don’t see inventory costs, inventory sales, telephone, broadband costs etc.

Ok, my correction - the Cash Summary lists both BS & P&L accounts where there has been a cash transaction.

Inventory Costs & Inventory Sales are not cash transactions
Inventory Costs is a transfer of values from Inventory-on-hand to the P&L, no cash.
Inventory Sales arise from Sales Invoices, sales on credit so no cash.
Telephone etc arise from Purchase Invoices, purchases on credit so no cash.

The cash for the above are handled via Inventory-on-hand, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.

Oh I see - I mainly use Purchase Invoices - thats why I am not seeing any of the transactions. Duh. Yes your points make sense.