YNAB for business

I own a small business and I used to use YNAB 4 for my business.  I stopped when the current YNAB was released but recently restarted the budget.  I would love to chat with people and see what working for them and isn't.  Also, does anyone know what the old categories for the business YNAB were?  I didn't see a business option this time around so I just made categories for myself but a new template would be awesome.

21replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I was running a construction company and trying to use YNAB for budgeting.  It worked great for most things, but the thing that I found a bit difficult to account for in that type of business is material cost.  While it is true that I should have been able to sit down at the beginning of each month and figure out what projects were coming up and how much money would be needed in the month, that rarely happened.  I was the only employee and doing it all myself, so I was often flying by the seat of my pants.  I love YNAB  for our personal expenses, but was a bit disappointed for the business.  All of that said, it could have been more the way I was running my business that was disappointing, not the software!  

    Reply Like 1
      • broke ceo
      • one day i will warrant a buffet
      • broke_ceo
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      jjvid I too have a construction business and what I've found is that you need a estimating software that takes u to account the right percentages you should be charging for overhead etc........  Then when you build your estimate for the client you are charging enough to be profitable. In this case you would then use YNAB as a system just to make sure you don't touch your tax money etc.. Profit first is a book by Mike michalowicz that talks about the system where you set money aside so you don't ever touch your taxes etc. .  So there you go use an estimating software, ynab and the profit first  method. 

      Reply Like
    • broke ceo Can you recommend a specific software? My partner is a contractor, new in business, and we've heard really mixed things about using software to project job costs. Actually, mostly negative things. Right now, he adds a "profit and overhead" markup to each bid because he wants to be transparent with clients about his bottom line and so far that seems to fly with his clients. He also puts a markup on materials for procurement, but that's a pretty rough estimate. I plan to sit down on Wednesday to do a YNAB budget for the business and I'm excited to start filling in the financial picture. It's pretty hard with so little data to run off of, but we want to start now so we don't develop a bunch of bad habits that need correcting later on!

      Reply Like
      • broke ceo
      • one day i will warrant a buffet
      • broke_ceo
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid without knowing what industry your in i would recommend estimate rocket. but you can do it manual like your friend is doing it. if you know your Overhead, your cost to do the job, you subtract those from the total sticker price of the job and then you get a gross profit margin, then you pay your taxes etc and whats left over is net profit  which should be minimum 15% percent. I recommend he read lots of books on cashflow etc.. to  make sure he  is doing it right but if he is then he just needs to basically total up his expenses to do the job then have a mark up like 1.4 etc... and then he gets perfect gross margin and perfect net profit everytime .

      Reply Like
  • I use it for my business --- So I have two distinct budgets that I jump between: Personal & Business. And one of the things that's been wicked helpful is recognizing how many things I pay for through my business. Like my health insurance and my car... stuff that I'm sure I did prior to having YNAB but it just wasn't as obvious 

    I've only been around for 3-4 months so I don't know about any of the old categories. I've just worked with the standard ones that they give you and built around them. 

    Reply Like
      • broke ceo
      • one day i will warrant a buffet
      • broke_ceo
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Suzan how does jumping from one budget to the other work? Does it still take into account the same money?? I would see that being complicated if it's the same money because technically your business pays you and if you don't have enough then your business survives but you die or vice versa lol 

      Reply Like
      • Suzan
      • Yes, you can!
      • Slate_Blue_Sidewinder_4
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      broke ceo The two budgets are drawing on two different piles of money - My personal account is my own personal money; My business account is the money that belongs to my business. So when I move money from one budget to the other (like when I'm paying myself), I'm moving money from one pile of money to the other. These do reflect real life - I have two bank accounts: business & personal.

      Looking just a little deeper... when I get paid by a client, it goes directly into my business bank account and gets recorded in my business acct in YNAB. One of the items under my business account is how much I pay me, so I make sure I've allotted enough dollars to that budget item. And then when it's time to pay me (my own internal payday!), I move money from my business account to my personal account, and then also reflect it in my two budgets - I move money from the business budget over to the personal budget. 

      I've been doing this now for about a year and it works well for me.

      Hope this helps. :-)

      Reply Like 2
      • broke ceo
      • one day i will warrant a buffet
      • broke_ceo
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Suzan Thanks it did help, i have done some homework in the meantime on the best way to use ynab with businesses . profit first by mike michalowictz  is a method of knowing how to build your categories in a priortized way within ynab.   here are some resources if you want to look into ways to categorize prioritize  for your business.   to get the full scope you need to read the book which talks about the small details like you business should pay your personal taxes so therefore personal taxes would be a sub category within the hiarchy of categories using the profit first method. 
      https://vimeo.com/193605834
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa3eH30Y7AI
      https://www.profitfirstprofessionals.com/2018/02/08/how-to-use-ynab-with-profit-first-ep-134-with-amber-dugger/

      Reply Like
    • broke ceo Just put it on hold at the local library! I've been doing some reading on Lean Business practices, which while doesn't directly incorporate budgeting has helped me set up significantly more efficient work flows that save money in all types of categories. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries is a personal favorite.

      Reply Like
  • I have been using YNAB for my restaurant over a year now. I have found it easier to not have too many categories. For instance right now I have advertising and sub categories for each vender. When I do a fresh start I will make it much simpler. 

    Reply Like
  • For ease of accounting and taxes...I'd probably make  categories that line up well with how those are broken down. Advertising and Promotion, Cost of Labor, Materials and Supplies, etc. I haven't set up a budget for my business yet, but I'm hoping to make the switch over to that from using Quickbooks come January!

    Reply Like 1
  • I'm using YNAB for my business in conjunction with Quickbooks. As a bookkeeper, I want to see every aspect of my finances and I plan on doing this with my clients too! As far as I know of though, there are not a set group of categories for small business, but I use similar ones to QBO thought not quite as detailed. Love to hear how others are doing this!

    Reply Like
  • I use a separate budget to track a small non-profit, for which I am the Treasurer. I made my own categories for most things and deleted a lot of those that were there to begin with.

    Reply Like
  • I also own a small but growing gardening business in Edinburgh, Scotland and am in my 6th month of using YNAB. I have a personal and a business budget with a single account linked to each & I keep everything super simple, no credit cards, overdrafts or other accounts. Before finding YNAB everything was a big MESS so it was really important for me to simplify everything & YNAB has been a massive help in that respect. 

    I also use Jobber, Xero & Receipt Bank to help manage my business, all linked up to my accountant & all a fantastic help also. 

    Having separate personal & business budgets in YNAB really helps me to stay clear & focused on the money side of things. It's only been six months for me with very positive changes already, helped massively by the YNAB four rules philosophy. Very happy camper & very excited to see what the journey brings going forward! 😊

    Reply Like 1
  • You've gotten some great responses here! I just want to hop in and share those old business categories from YNAB 4:

    • Marketing
      • Printing
      • Online
      • Referral Fees
      • Commissions
    • Services
      • Accounting
      • Legal
      • Contractors
      • Other
    • Office
      • Rent 
      • Telephone/Fax
      • Internet
    • General
      • Meals and Entertainment
      • Office Supplies
    • Travel
      • Automobile
      • Hotels/Lodging
      • Airfare
      • Other
    • Taxes and Licenses
      • Unemployment
      • Payroll
      • Quarterlies

    You can put those in a budget in the new YNAB quickly, if you have YNAB 4, by creating a new business budget in YNAB 4, then migrating that budget to the new YNAB. 😀

    Reply Like 3
    • Jen Thanks so much for these! This was very helpful when setting up my business budget and transferring from my messy spreadsheet. Any suggestions on where to put Owner's Investment and Owner's Draw payments? I'd like to make sure they are clearly distinguished from client revenue, but when I put money into my business as an Owner's Investment and immediately stick it into an Owner's Investment category, I just move money out of it anyway to fund other categories, so I'm not sure if it is really being recorded properly or not. 

      As a side question, I have about $50 of business money that got spent a few months ago but I have no record on it...anybody have any ideas how to record that? 

      Reply Like
    • Hi Green Sound !

      When you say Owner's Investment and Owner's Draw, are these your contributions and withdrawals from the business? Contributions can be categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted and you can use an "Owner's Investment" Payee to keep them separate. If Owner's Draw is your personal withdrawals from the business, I'd add a category for it under Taxes and Licenses (with Payroll).

      As for the $50 in unrecorded funds, do you know what those funds were spent on you just didn't keep the record (ie. receipt), or did you notice the discrepancy when balancing your accounts? It's best if you can track down the source, but you can create a Miscellaneous Fees category if you truly have no idea, but I would try not to use that category too often.

      Reply Like
  • I just joined YNAB last week and am also struggling with my business budget. I own a maid service and my revenue has strict jobs. 10% to Marketing, 20% to Overhead, 20% to my salary, and 50% to Payroll. I set up categories for these things and then sub-categories within them. It looks beautiful, but I can't figure out a quick way to allot every deposit to the main four categories by percentage. Does anyone here know?

    Reply Like
      • zellie
      • zellie
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Rhythm I don't believe you will. Sort of the whole point of YNAB is to think through where every dollar is going. What you CAN do is to set up any recurring payments you need to make or category goals for each month, then when you get money coming in, you can use the quick budget tools. 

      Reply Like
  • I have a small business and need Quick Books Desktop to track multiple inventory locations. I've used QB for 14 years and pretty stuck on it. That being said, I like YNAB for budgeting: no doubt! My question: how can I effectively link and sync the two great tools? Is there a way to upload monthly reports from QB into YNAB in a consistent way or do I need to type every amount twice? Anyone experience and tested this setup?

    Thank you for your help!

    KV

    Reply Like
    • Cyan Case  - I noticed no one has replied to this in 4 months. I've got quite a history in QB and I think at least for some period of comfort, I'm going to need to continue to do my bookkeeping in there. I just posted elsewhere floating the idea of a Quickbooks Online budgeting add-in from YNAB. Not sure if it will go anywhere.

      Reply Like 2
Like3 Follow
  • 3 Likes
  • 8 mths agoLast active
  • 21Replies
  • 4564Views
  • 19 Following