Budget Summary Report with variable time frames? (Q Mac)

I would like to print a January thru March (Actuals vs Budget) Summary report. It appears the only options are YTD and Annual. Any suggestions?

Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    The absence of a useable budget-versus actual report is unfortunately one of the major lapses in the current Quicken Mac software. It's even worse than you describe, because doing a budget-versus actual today, May 3, would show actual through May 3 versus budget through the end of May — a useless comparison for anyone. The actual-versus budget is technically accurate only 12 days a year, on the last day of each month, and only if you've entered all those transactions from the month as of that date! Oh, and although you can view the budget versus actual YTD on the screen, you can't print it; when you print the budget, it shows actual, budget and difference for each of the 12 months of the year, with no YTD or year-end totals. Ugh!

    You can see the Idea thread for this feature here; I recommend you take a second to click on the link and add your vote in favor of this functionality. (In the yellow box under the first post, click on the little dark gray arrow under the vote counter; when your vote is registers, the arrow turns light gray.) Votes do help to influence the developers' priorities, even when it seems like there's glacial progress on some items on the wishlist. 

    That said, the solution at this time (such as it is) is to export the budget as a CSV file and open it in a spreadsheet. There, you can delete the months you don't need, create a column to sum the actual months YTD, create a column to sum the budget months YTD, create a column to calculate the difference YTD, and create totals of each column at the bottom. Whether you use Excel or Numbers or Google sheets, this can be done relatively quickly to get the results anyone using the Quicken budget would logically want to see.

    If you're particularly facile with spreadsheets, you can build a workbook with formulas to sum and display YTD values for any month so you don't have to build the formulas each month. In the version I created, I have three sheets: in the first, I simply copy and paste the exported CSV file from Quicken. In the second sheet, I have all the formulas for summing YTD values for actual and YTD values for budget for each row, for all 12 months month. In the third sheet, I enter the number of the ending month I want in one cell, and it pulls in the values for that month from the second sheet, creating a nice, simple YTD report through the month I specify. (This requires using the INDIRECT or VLOOKUP functions, depending how you build it.)

    My hope is that this long-awaited functionality gets added to Quicken Mac before too much longer. Apparently the budget portion of the Quicken Mac code is quite complex, so adding a number of user-requested features to the budget requires significant code re-writing — but adding a way to do a YTD report through a user-specified month can hopefully be done without the needed overhaul of the budget section of the program. On the flip side, the developers may have grouped all the budget feature requests together to tackle at one time in a major re-write of the budget portion of the program, and that may explain why this basic need for a usable report has not yet been addressed; if they know they're re-writing the budget code, they likely don't want to create the report if it will need to be re-done in the new budget code. Quicken never comments on what is coming or planned, so only time will tell. Sigh. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    The absence of a useable budget-versus actual report is unfortunately one of the major lapses in the current Quicken Mac software. It's even worse than you describe, because doing a budget-versus actual today, May 3, would show actual through May 3 versus budget through the end of May — a useless comparison for anyone. The actual-versus budget is technically accurate only 12 days a year, on the last day of each month, and only if you've entered all those transactions from the month as of that date! Oh, and although you can view the budget versus actual YTD on the screen, you can't print it; when you print the budget, it shows actual, budget and difference for each of the 12 months of the year, with no YTD or year-end totals. Ugh!

    You can see the Idea thread for this feature here; I recommend you take a second to click on the link and add your vote in favor of this functionality. (In the yellow box under the first post, click on the little dark gray arrow under the vote counter; when your vote is registers, the arrow turns light gray.) Votes do help to influence the developers' priorities, even when it seems like there's glacial progress on some items on the wishlist. 

    That said, the solution at this time (such as it is) is to export the budget as a CSV file and open it in a spreadsheet. There, you can delete the months you don't need, create a column to sum the actual months YTD, create a column to sum the budget months YTD, create a column to calculate the difference YTD, and create totals of each column at the bottom. Whether you use Excel or Numbers or Google sheets, this can be done relatively quickly to get the results anyone using the Quicken budget would logically want to see.

    If you're particularly facile with spreadsheets, you can build a workbook with formulas to sum and display YTD values for any month so you don't have to build the formulas each month. In the version I created, I have three sheets: in the first, I simply copy and paste the exported CSV file from Quicken. In the second sheet, I have all the formulas for summing YTD values for actual and YTD values for budget for each row, for all 12 months month. In the third sheet, I enter the number of the ending month I want in one cell, and it pulls in the values for that month from the second sheet, creating a nice, simple YTD report through the month I specify. (This requires using the INDIRECT or VLOOKUP functions, depending how you build it.)

    My hope is that this long-awaited functionality gets added to Quicken Mac before too much longer. Apparently the budget portion of the Quicken Mac code is quite complex, so adding a number of user-requested features to the budget requires significant code re-writing — but adding a way to do a YTD report through a user-specified month can hopefully be done without the needed overhaul of the budget section of the program. On the flip side, the developers may have grouped all the budget feature requests together to tackle at one time in a major re-write of the budget portion of the program, and that may explain why this basic need for a usable report has not yet been addressed; if they know they're re-writing the budget code, they likely don't want to create the report if it will need to be re-done in the new budget code. Quicken never comments on what is coming or planned, so only time will tell. Sigh. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Tony Lazetti
    Tony Lazetti Member
    You are so right on. Thank you for confirming what I suspected. Thank you