Introduction to budgets

Budgets are extremely useful for estimating the future financial performance of the business. You can use a budget to set a plan for the future, and compare current results against budget for performance measurement.

You can choose to import a budget from your source accounting system (Xero, QuickBooks Online, MYOB AccountRight Live).

Alternatively, you can import your budget data from Excel (.xlsx or .csv) at any time. This is useful if you use other forecasting tools for creating your budgets, or if you are importing your financial data from Excel, QuickBooks Desktop, or MYOB AccountRight.

Importing your budget data from Excel

From the 'My Companies' screen, hover your mouse over the company file and click 'Settings'.

In 'Step 1 - Update data', click 'Add a budget' under the heading for 'Budgets'. You can then select to import your budget from Excel.

❗ Note: If you already have an existing budget from Xero, QuickBooks, or MYOB, you will need to remove it first before you can add a budget from Excel.

Guidelines for importing

In the following screen, we have several options to assist you to create your budget Excel file.

Under the heading 'Guidelines for importing budget data from Excel', we provide a set of key requirements for your budget Excel import file.

We also recommend downloading an Import Template (.xlsx) to assist you with your import. When downloaded, your full Chart of Accounts will be listed out in column B.

Fill in your budget results for the respective accounts in the month-by-month columns to be ready for import.

❗ Note: You'll need to ensure that the budget is contained in the first worksheet of the spreadsheet for the import to be successful.

Uploading your Excel file

Once you have created your budget Excel file, you can now upload it to Fathom.

To do so, click 'Choose a file to upload' at the top of the screen.

Updating your budget data from Excel

The recommended way to update budget data using Excel is to maintain a single Excel sheet that contains all periods of historical and future data. When you need to add future periods to your budget, simply add new columns to the end of your Excel sheet with the new data, and upload.

This allows you to manage all periods from a single spreadsheet, and can easily make adjustments if required.

Alternatively, you can choose to only upload data for new periods to add on to existing data. Any data for periods not referenced in the upload will not be changed in Fathom.


Your existing chart of accounts contains more than one account with the same name. Please specify an account number in your import spreadsheet to help distinguish between these accounts.

If you have accounts with the same name and attempt to upload a budget that doesn't distinguish between these accounts, the upload will fail with this error.

To resolve this you will need to rename one of the accounts or add account codes in the source accounting system. The addition of an account code allows us to differentiate between the accounts and assign budget values correctly.

Note that after updating the accounts in your source system you will need to update the financials in Fathom from 'Step 1 - Update Data' in the company settings.

You can verify the changes in your company setup under 'Step 3: Chart of Accounts'.

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