How To Generate a Budget Report

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A Budget Report shows actual income and expenses for a specific period of time.

By comparing budgeted and actual, a more accurate budgeting system can be developed over time to meet Free Geek's specific needs. The goal is to minimize the gap between budgeted and actual, so net income can be more predictable.

The purpose of the instructions is to assist in creating a simple and uniform report for any specific time period. The report was formatted with the intentions of being easy to understand and print. The process begins using GnuCash. The information obtained in GnuCash is then copied and pasted into a Gnumeric spreadsheet file. In Gnumeric the report will be formatted, and the budget will be completed.

Before you start!

Are any income or expense accounts being changed or re-arranged? If so, do this in the budget spreadsheet and in gnucash before proceeding.

  1. Create any new accounts in gnucash
  2. Rename any accounts that should be renamed
  3. In the spreadsheet, mimic these changes, making sure all line items are in alphabetical order
  4. Recode existing transactions that now belong in the new accounts

Creating a Budget Report in GnuCash

  • Go to Reports > Income & Expense > Budget Report. Select Options on task bar. Select the "Accounts" tab. For "Account Display Depth" choose 6 (this will ensure that the report will indent at every level you wish to show in the budget report, making it easier to organize the final product.
  • Gnucash allows you to choose what accounts and levels you would like show in the budget report to fit your specific needs:
    • To begin press "Clear All." Collapse all accounts and open only those accounts that you would like to be included in the budget report.
      • For example, you want to include the 5 major subaccounts for Sales in your report. First you would open Income. Then you open Sales and the 5 subaccounts should appear. Depending on the amount of detail you want, you can open the accounts as far as the account goes.
      • For general use of the Budget Report you will want to include the totals in the expense parent accounts (after clicking on the triangle located on the left of the "Expense" account, there should be a parent account for each committee) and all parent accounts for income. The income accounts for Sales and Donations should be opened one more level. Sales and Donations are major income generators and need to be broken down into smaller detail to view their major sources.
      • NOTE: Do not forget to include One Time Income and One Time Expenses in the report.
    • Collapse the accounts you don't want to include to make the next step easier. The deselected accounts may include but are not limited to:
      • Assets
      • Equity
      • Imbalance-USD
      • Liabilities
      • Opening Balances
    • Now highlight all accounts by selecting "Select All" on the Options menu. De-select the accounts that you do not want to use in the report by pressing ctrl+select.
    • There are some issues with account selection in Gnucash. To make sure that the correct accounts are selected and included in the report, it is suggested that you select "Apply" on the Options menu once you think you are done. This allows you to make changes and adjustments to the report without closing the Options menu. (???)
    • Once you are satisfied with the report select "OK" on the Options menu.
  • To place Budget Report in a spreadsheet, highlight entire report. Go to "Edit" on the task bar and select "Copy". Paste into a spreadsheet where the report's presentation can be formatted.

Formatting Budget Report

  • Once the Budget Report is pasted into Gnumeric, leave highlighted and change all text to default black and undo word underlining.
  • Un-highlight sheet and resize columns A and B to the far left.
  • Delete all columns containing information of months irrelevant to your specific report.
    • If this report is being generated for Board meeting purposes, usually you will want information for the past quarter, or past three months.
  • Insert a column after each of the "Act" columns. In the first row of each of the new column type "Difference."
    • Note: Make sure you label the column for differences after the last "Act" column.
  • Delete numerical data in "Bgt" and "Act" in rows pertaining to "Income" and "Expenses" and any other rows that you do not want to include in the budget. The totals for income and expenses will be shown later in the report.
  • Insert a row between the last income category and "One Time Income". In the new row, type in column A "Income (w/o one time)".
  • Change "One Time Income" to "Total One Time Income". Insert rows needed under "Total One Time Income" to show specific sources of one time income. The total amount of one time income should still be seen in the "Total One Time Income". Insert two rows above row with "Expenses". Under "Total One Time Income," or the last one time income category, which ever is last, type "TOTAL INCOME".
  • Insert a row above "One Time Expenses" and name it "Expenses (w/o one time)". Change "One Time Expenses" to "Total One Time Expenses". Add rows under "Total One Time Expenses" to break down and show specific one time expenses. After the last one time expense type in column A "TOTAL EXPENSES". 2 rows down type in column A "TOTAL NET INCOME". Another 2 rows down insert "NET INCOME (w/o one time)".

Calculations in Budget Report

All formulas can be used for actual and budgeted.

  • Income (w/o one time) = sum of income (DO NOT include one time income)
    • Note: If you include totals for each subaccount and you include the total of the subaccounts in the parent account, make sure that you only include either the subtotals or the total in the parent account only once. This may require you to break up your sum equation into blocks. For example, instead of writing the formula for Income (w/o one tome) as sum(E4:E26) you would write E4+sum(E9:E19)+sum(E24:E26).
  • TOTAL INCOME = Income (w/o one time) + Total One Time Income
  • Expenses (w/o one time) = sum of expenses (DO NOT include one time expenses)
    • Note: If you include totals for each subaccount and you include the total of the subaccounts in the parent account, make sure that you only include either the subtotals or the total in the parent account only once. This may require you to break up your sum equation into blocks. For example, instead of writing the formula for Income (w/o one tome) as sum(E4:E26) you would write E4+sum(E9:E19)+sum(E24:E26).
  • TOTAL EXPENSES = Expenses (w/o one time) + Total One Time Expenses
  • TOTAL NET INCOME = TOTAL INCOME + TOTAL EXPENSES
  • NET INCOME (w/o one time) = TOTAL INCOME + Total One Time Expense - Total One Time Income
  • Difference = Budgeted - Actual
    • If the difference is positive, then the budget was over by that amount.
    • If the difference is negative, then the budget was under by that amount.

Formatting Appearance of Report

The purpose of this step is to make the Budget Report easy to read for range of people that may need to interpret it. If the report is being generated for personal purposes, this step can be skipped.

It is important to highlight or make noticeable the more important information. This can be done by using a combination of bold and italicized data, and color highlighting. Adjust columns so all numerical data can be read.

Printing the Budget Report

For printing instructions go to Budget Procedures and scroll down to the "Printing Spreadsheets for Board Review."


[[Image:File:Example.jpgFile:Example.jpg]]