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Introduction to Importing and Exporting Budgets

This help topic covers how to set up and manage budgets in Total Office Manager. We also cover exporting, importing, and working with budgets in Microsoft Excel. Total Office Manager makes budgeting easy with its powerful budget feature.


A budget is basically an income statement for some future period. A budget can be thought of as a hopeful income statement. Use budgets to predict what your financial performance will be during some future date range. Budgets are a very important part of running any business successfully.

Creating a budget is just a matter of filling in each account with a number that represents your prediction of what will happen between some future dates. For example, you may enter $100,000.00 in a sales account (from your chart of accounts ). Total Office Manager also allows you to base your budget on the past performance of your company. For example, you can select a prior year and let Total Office Manager fill in all of the numbers. You can then edit those numbers to reflect what you think is going to happen in the future.

Form Access

From the main menu, click Company | Budget List.  The Budget List will open and display any budgets that you may have created.

Step-By-Step – Create New Budget

  1. To create a new budget, from the Budget List click Budget | New Budget.  The “Create New Budget” form will appear.
  2. In the Budget Name field, enter a name for your new budget. An example may be “20xx Budget”.
  3. Enter a date in the Year Built For. This is how the software knows what business year this budget represents.
  4. You may also select a department to build the budget for. This allows you to create a budget for each department. This and many other values can be changed later.
  5. Specify the year for this budget to build from. An example may be 20xx. This means Total Office Manager will use your 20xx numbers to create a budget. You can then change the various numbers as needed.
  6. Select a department to build the budget from. This setting will copy the income statement information for the year you selected for the department you selected. This is optional.
  7. Click the Create button.  The new budget will appear shortly.
  8. Make changes to the various cells as you might in a spreadsheet program.
  9. Click Save when complete.

Step-By-Step – Edit Existing Budget

  1. Open the Budget List as described in Form Access above.
  2. To edit an existing budget, select a budget, click Budget > right-click and select Edit Budget.
  3. Make changes to the various cells as you might in a spreadsheet program.
  4. Click Save when complete.
  5. You may also select a budget, right-click > Edit Properties.

Field & Button Definitions (Create New Budget Form)

The following explains the meaning of each filed in the Create New Budget form. This form is displayed when you first create a new budget or when you select Properties.

  • Budget Name – Enter a name to describe the budget such as “20xx Budget”. Names must be unique.
  • Specify Year to Build From – The year for the new budget to build from.  An example may be 20xx.  This means Total Office Manager will use your 20xx numbers to create a budget.  You can then change the various numbers as needed.  This is usually better than starting with a blank budget.
  • Year Built For – The year the budget represents. Budgets are created for a full year. The feature will divide the budget into twelve months. Each month can be modified. You can only have one budget per year. If you need to, inactivate the budget, and create a new one for that year.
  • Department – Optional. The department that this budget represents.
  • Create – Creates the budget.
  • Cancel – Closes the form without creating a budget.

Field Definitions & Menu Commands (Budget Spreadsheet)


The following explains the meaning of each column name seen in the actual budget.  NOTE: The commands from the “Budget” menu are identical to those found by clicking the Menu button, or by right-clicking in the list itself to access the pop-up menu.  Use whatever method of access is most convenient for you.

  • Account – This is the account associated with the budget item. This comes from your Chart of Accounts. An example might be “Rent”.
  • Type – The type of account such as Fixed Assets, Bank, Equity, Other Current Asset, Other Current Liability, Other Current Asset, Fixed Asset, etc.
  • Annual Total – The total of that account for the entire year.
  • Amount by Month – The amount for that account for each month.
  • Budget | Save – Saves the changes you may have made.
  • Budget | Adjustments – Opens the Budget Adjustment Calculator.
  • Budget | Adjust Month Amounts – With your cursor placed in a field of any row, this option will divide out the Annual Amount evenly into each month.
  • Budget | Clear Budget – Clears the entire worksheet (all cells). Be careful with this one!
  • Budget | Clear Line – Clears the highlighted line.
  • Budget | Clear Selection – Clears the highlighted selection.
  • Budget – Edit Account – Allows you to open the COA to view and or edit.
  • Budget | Export List – Provides export capabilities of the displayed information.
  • Help – Takes you to this page.


The Filter menu option allows you to filter out the list by account type. It also allows you to hide accounts with zero amounts.


This menu option offers a simple budget report. It was designed for proofing the budget quickly. You will generally use the budget report (see Related Topics below) or select a budget when examining your income statement.

Importing and Exporting

You can create new budgets by importing from Excel. The best way to do this is by first exporting an existing budget.

Keep the file’s headers, then add two more headers in the blank columns to the right of them: Year Built For and Budget Name.

Edit or fill in the information for each row, save and close the file, then import the data back into Total Office Manager.

Working with MS Excel

Create an Excel Worksheet with the columns shown in the following table. You may export a budget and modify it as needed. When finished, import your new budget.

Export Field Name Description
Account # The Number field on the COA
Account* The Name field on the COA
Year The Year Built For field
Annual Total The total of all months combined.
January The total for January
February  The total for February
March  The total for March
April  The total for April
May  The total for May
June  The total for June
July  The total for July
August  The total for August
September  The total for September
October  The total for October
November  The total for November
December  The total for December
Inactive* True or False
Fixed/Var.* None, Variable, or Fixed
*This field is exported but not used or needed when importing.

Export and Import Tips

  • The import process will ignore rows that do not have a value in the “Account #” field (for your chart of accounts). This allows you to include sub-totals and other formatting that makes managing your budget easier. For example, you could sub-total your income, cost of goods sold, and expenses. You could add gross profit and net profit, making your Excel file look like an income statement. When imported, rows with an empty “Account #” field will be ignored. Just make sure you do not enter anything into the “Account #” field.
  • You can import multiple budgets from one Excel file by including a different value for “Year Built For” and “Budget Name”. Entering a different year or name will create multiple budgets. For example, you can create budgets for more than one year or for the company and multiple departments, then import them together.


  • You can only have one active budget for any year (this is the Year Built For field). This is true whether the budget is for the entire company or a department. If you need to, inactivate the budget, and create a new one for that year; otherwise, the amounts for each budget could be combined.
  • When examining your company’s income statement, you have the option of including a budget to compare with.

Related Content

Budget Adjustments Calculator

Financials – Budget Report