can YNAB really be used for business?

Hi all!
I use YNAB for our personal family account. I have a separate bank account and credit card for my business. I was wondering whether YNAB is also good for businesses. My main point is that my business is leveraged-  that means I am not doing a "zero" budget which is what YNAB is all about. Can YNAB as a program still work, and if so- how will it be better then other programs out there, specifically for businesses? Thanks ! :-)

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    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 3 mths ago
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    My personal opinion is that it's not a good application to handle business accounting. For small businesses I think quickbooks is still king in that regard.

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  • We’ve used YNAB for our service-based small business* for a decade. Works excellently. We’d be lost without it. We handle all budgeting needs, including payroll, through YNAB. We do not, however, use YNAB for accounting. Investments, payroll, payments, and inventory control are handled by other software packages.  *For context, we have 9 employees and gross $250k- $300k/year. 

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      • Gray Tiger
      • Gray_Tiger.12
      • 4 wk ago
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      Sky Blue Tugboat 

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  • I think that it depends on your business. I use YNAB to ensure that funds are being properly spent monthly and that funds are put aside each month  for annual transactions, which is the bulk of my business. I don’t truly zero-budget since instead of budgeting into the future, any “carry-over” funds are placed in a “cushion” category.  Works for my business. I do agree that QuickBooks is the best for Accounting; I used it for years; however, I found it to be more than what I actually need for my small business. I spent more time managing the software than my money. Use the tool that works best for you. One size does not fit all. 

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  • Hi, Dan! As you're considering whether YNAB would work for you and your small business, I wanted to share some resources that might be helpful:

    Keep in mind that YNAB is a budgeting tool and not an accounting tool. You're likely to decide to use a suite of tools depending on the size of your business and how you run it.

    Personally, for my small business and the nonprofits I lead, we use YNAB for zero-based budgeting, but we use Quickbooks for accounting/invoicing/etc. 

    Wishing you the best!

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  • I am using it...separate from personal. But I am a freelancer so it isn't that complicated. Only bummer is you can't attach receipts so I set up Zoho yesterday to track expenses and send invoices for free. I arranged my categories to match across the two systems.

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  • I do use YNAB for my budgeting purposes for my (very) small business. It helps me to keep track of what I have upcoming that I need to pay so I can determine where to put my dollars when they come in (which can be inconsistent).
    I also use a tracking spreadsheet for accounting purposes which I submit to my accountant for taxes. I don't use all of the same categories in YNAB that I have listed in my tracking sheet, which is part of why I maintain both. My accountant doesn't need to know some of the minutia that I keep up with in YNAB, especially when I'm trying to figure out how much is going where in specific categories.

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  • I appreciate this topic. I like hearing how other businesses set up their budgeting processes. 

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  • I'm a long time personal user.  In July, I started using YNAB for my business to get better at planning/saving for future capital expenditures and also planning for future hires.  I've always hated the limited information I have when making those decisions.

    We use separate accounting and payroll services.

    I've had a couple of issues come up with tracking accounts that are posted in other threads.  Also, I've noticed that my tracking accounts seem to take a long time to load and search despite the fact that the number of open transactions in any account is less than 80.

    I'll keep you posted with results.

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