Budget to Actual report Year to date (Q Mac)

sandmay Member

With quicken for windows I was able to generate a number of comparative budget to actual reports. I am unable to find a way to do that with Quicken for Mac. Has anyone else discovered a way to generate such reports?


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but… this basic report doesn't exist in Quicken Mac. Yet. To me, it's the largest and most stupefying omission in the program. 

    My understanding is that adding new features to the budget area of the program requires that they significantly re-write that portion of the code, and perhaps that's why this seemingly-straighforward feature hasn't been built yet. In any case, in this long-running Idea thread for this functionality, the developers have this marked as "Planned", which means it is not only planned but has a specific time slot on their development schedule. But we users have no idea whether this is coming next month or next year or …


    That said, there are some things you can do to work around this missing functionality.

    First, do you have the actual-versus-budget year-to-date columns visible on your budget screen? If the top left of your budget screen has January, February, etc. starting in the second column, like this…

    … then click that "<<" button to reveal the actual-versus-budget columns:

    If the heading is showing "January to December", click the "v" icon to display a small drop-down menu, and select Budget Year-to-Date Totals:

    None of this is intuitive, so unless you've clicked everything in sight, you may not have discovered it. This seems like a step in the right direction, but the usefulness here is unfortunately limited. First, these columns don't print if you print your detailed budget. (Seems crazy, I know, but that's the way it is.) The other major flaw here is that it always shows year-to-date through today. There is no way to specify you want to see budget versus actual through the end of the prior month or quarter. So as I'm writing this on May 11, the year-to-date will be comparing your budget through May with your actual income and expenses through May 11 — a mismatch which makes the comparison pretty useless.

    The only real way to get an actual versus budget report through the end of a particular month is to export your budget and open it in your spreadsheet of choice (Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets). In a spreadsheet, you can get the YTD report you want by deleting the future months, summing the actual columns, summing the budget columns, creating a difference column, and then copying those cells down through all the rows, and totaling them. (Even totaling the columns its tricky, though, because the budget rows show both main categories and subcategories, and you can't include both in your totals.) If you're comfortable with a spreadsheet, you can get there reasonably quickly. But it's annoying to have to build each month. 

    If you're an advanced spreadsheet user, you can build a spreadsheet with formulas for each month such that so you just have to export the Quicken report and paste it into one sheet, select your month, and see a YTD report in another sheet. I have an Excel file with three sheets: the first is where I paste in the export from Quicken; the second builds 12 columns of YTD actuals and 12 columns of YTD budget values from the first sheet; the third is my YTD report where I enter the month number and it pulls the appropriate actual and budget values from the second sheet. This allows me to generate a YTD budget report in 5 seconds without needing to create or edit any formulas — but building such a spreadsheet requires some proficiency.

    Hopefully the developers will deliver a true budget report in the not-too-distant future. (But, sadly, I've been saying that for several years!)

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • sdackin
    sdackin Member ✭✭
    This has been frustrating ever since I switched from Windows to Mac. Adding to my frustration is a lack of communication regarding a potential resolution. I've been a quicken user for years, but this may force me to look at other alternatives.
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