element of financial data activity rests in the act of budgeting.
Budgeting is the process of allocating finite resources to the prioritized
needs of an organization. In most cases, for a governmental entity,
the budget represents the legal authority to spend money. Adoption
of a budget in the public sector implies that a set of decisions has
been made by the governing board and administrators that culminates
in matching a government's resources with the entity's needs. As such,
the budget is a product of the planning process.
budget also provides an important tool for the control and evaluation
of sources and the uses of resources. Using the accounting system
to enact the will of the governing body, administrators are able
to execute and control activities that have been authorized by the
budget and to evaluate financial performance on the basis of comparisons
between budgeted and actual operations. Thus, the budget is implicitly
linked to financial accountability and relates directly to the financial
reporting objectives established by the GASB.
The planning and control functions inherent to
any organization, including schools, underscore the importance of
sound budgeting practices for the following reasons:
The link between financial planning and budget
preparation gives the budget document a unique role in governmental
organizations. Budgets in the public arena are often considered the
definitive policy document because an adopted budget represents the
financial plan used by a government to achieve its goals and objectives.
When a unit of government legally adopts a financial plan, the budget
has secured the approval of the majority of the governing board and
- The type, quantity, and quality of goods and
services provided by governments often are not subject to the
market forces of supply and demand. Thus, enacting and adhering
to the budget establishes restrictions in the absence of a competitive
- These goods and services provided by governments
are generally considered critical to the public interest and welfare.
- The scope and diversity of operations in an
organization make comprehensive financial planning essential for
- The financial planning process is critical
to the expression of citizen preferences and is the avenue for
reaching consensus among citizens, members of the governing board,
and staff on the future direction of the governmental unit's operations.
- public choices about which goods and services
the unit of government will or will not provide,
- the prioritization of activities in which the
unit of government will be involved,
- the relative influence of various participants
and interest groups in the budget development process, and
- the governmental unit's plan for acquiring
and using its resources.
In an educational environment, budgeting is an
invaluable tool for both planning and evaluation. Budgeting provides
a vehicle for translating educational goals and programs into financial
resource plans-that is, developing an instructional plan to meet
student performance goals should be directly linked to determining
budgetary allocations. The link between instructional goals and
financial planning is critical to effective budgeting and enhances
the evaluation of budgetary and educational accountability.
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Performance evaluation allows citizens and taxpayers
to hold policymakers and administrators in governmental organizations
accountable for their actions. Because accountability to citizens
often is stated explicitly in state laws and state constitutions,
it is a cornerstone of budgeting and financial reporting. GASB recognizes
the importance of accountability with the following objectives in
GASB Concepts Statement 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting,
Meeting these objectives requires budget preparation
that is based on several concepts recognizing accountability. Accountability
is often established by incorporating these objectives into legal
mandates that require state and local public sector budgets to
- Financial reporting should provide information
to determine whether current-year revenues were sufficient to
pay for current-year services.
- Financial reporting should demonstrate whether
resources were obtained and used in accordance with the entity's
legally adopted budget. It should also demonstrate compliance
with other finance-related legal or contractual requirements.
- Financial reporting should provide information
to assist users in assessing the service efforts, costs, and accomplishments
of the governmental entity.
Although some form of a balanced budget requirement
is generally necessary to ensure long-term fiscal health in any organization,
variations such as the use of fund balance reserves to pay for current
services may be appropriate over a short period. Generally, however,
all departures from this fundamental objective must be in accordance
with applicable state and local laws and policies.
- be balanced so that current revenues are sufficient
to pay for current services;
- be prepared in accordance with all applicable
federal, state, and local laws; and
- provide a basis for the evaluation of a government's
service efforts, costs, and accomplishments.
Given the importance of demonstrating compliance with the approved
budget, the financial reporting system must control the use of financial
resources and ensure that budgetary appropriations and allocations
are not exceeded. To demonstrate compliance, accounting systems
are usually operated on the same basis of accounting used to prepare
the approved budget. Thus, the actual financial information captured
by the accounting system is in a form comparable to the approved
budget. Through budgetary integration, the financial accounting
system becomes the primary tool to prove financial accountability.
Finally, the budget is evaluated for its effectiveness
in attaining the organization's stated goals and objectives. Evaluation
typically involves an examination of how funds were expended, the
outcomes that resulted from the expenditure of funds, and the degree
to which these outcomes achieved the stated objectives. This phase
is fundamental in developing the subsequent year's budgetary allocations.
In effect, budget preparation not only is an annual exercise to
determine the allocation of funds, but also is part of a continuous
cycle of planning and evaluation to achieve the stated goals and
objectives of the organization.
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Over the past 30 years, governmental entities
in the United States have used a variety of budget approaches and
formats. The development of more advanced budget philosophies reflects
growth in both the scope and the complexity of governmental operations
and the simultaneous need for systems that are capable of translating
the variety of policy decisions into financial plans. For more information
on budgetary approaches, The National Advisory Council on State
and Local Budgeting provides additional guidelines. Various budgeting
models continue to be commonly used and fall predominantly into
categories of (1) line-item, or "traditional," budgeting; (2) performance
budgeting; (3) program and planning ("programming") budgeting (PPB);
(4) zero-based budgeting (ZBB); and (5) site-based budgeting. In
addition, many governments use a variety of hybridized versions
to address the specific needs of the organization. Although these
approaches are considered distinct in terms of the underlying preparation
process, actual formats of the prepared budgets may be quite similar;
for example, the format of a site-based budget may be quite similar
to the format of a line-item budget. Each of the five basic approaches
has relative advantages and limitations.
Line-item budgeting is still the most widely used approach in many
organizations, including schools, because of its simplicity and
its control orientation. It is referred to as the "historical" approach
because administrators and chief executives often base their expenditure
requests on historical expenditure and revenue data. One important
aspect of line-item budgeting is that it offers flexibility in the
amount of control established over the use of resources, depending
on the level of expenditure detail (e.g., fund, function, object)
incorporated into the document.
The line-item budget approach has several advantages
that account for its wide use. It offers simplicity and ease of
preparation. It is a familiar approach to those involved in the
budget development process. This method budgets by organizational
unit and object and is consistent with the lines of authority and
responsibility in organizational units. As a result, this approach
enhances organizational control and allows the accumulation of expenditure
data at each functional level. Finally, line-item budgeting allows
the accumulation of expenditure data by organizational unit for
use in trend or historical analysis.
Although this approach offers substantial advantages,
critics have identified several shortcomings that may make it inappropriate
for certain organizational environments. The most severe criticism
is that it presents little useful information to decisionmakers
on the functions and activities of organizational units. Since this
budget presents proposed expenditure amounts only by category, the
justifications for such expenditures are not explicit and are often
unintuitive. In addition, it may invite micro-management by administrators
and governing boards as they attempt to manage operations with little
or no performance information. However, to overcome its limitations,
the line-item budget can be augmented with supplemental program
and performance information.
A different focus is seen in performance budgeting models. In a
strict performance budgeting environment, budgeted expenditures
are based on a standard cost of inputs multiplied by the number
of units of an activity to be provided in that time period. The
total budget for an organization is the sum of all the standard
unit costs multiplied by the units expected to be provided. Although
this strict approach may be useful for certain types of operations,
many organizations require a more flexible performance approach.
For example, expenditures may be based simply on the activities
or levels of service to be provided and a comparison of budgeted
and historical expenditure levels.
The performance approach is generally considered
superior to the line-item approach because it provides more useful
information for legislative consideration and for evaluation by
administrators. Further, performance budgeting includes narrative
descriptions of each program or activity-that is, it organizes the
budget into quantitative estimates of costs and accomplishments
and focuses on measuring and evaluating outcomes. Finally, the performance
approach eases legislative budget revisions because program activities
and levels of service may be budgeted on the basis of standard cost
However, performance budgeting has limitations
owing to the lack of reliable standard cost information inherent
in governmental organizations. Further, the performance approach
does not necessarily evaluate the appropriateness of program activities
in relation to reaching an organization's goals or the quality of
services or outputs produced. Consequently, the performance approach
has become most useful for activities that are routine in nature
and discretely measurable (such as vehicle maintenance and accounts
payable processing)-activities that make up only a relatively modest
part of the total educational enterprise. But in sum, performance
budgeting may offer considerable enhancement to the line-item budget
when appropriately applied.
Program and Planning (Programming) Budgeting
Program budgeting refers to a variety of different budgeting systems
that base expenditures primarily on programs of work and secondarily
on objects. It is considered a transitional form between traditional
line-item and performance approaches, and it may be called modified
program budgeting. In contrast to other approaches, a full program
budget bases expenditures solely on programs of work regardless
of objects or organizational units. As these two variations attest,
program budgeting is flexible enough to be applied in a variety
of ways, depending on organizational needs and administrative capabilities.
Program budgeting differs from approaches previously
discussed because it is much less control- and evaluation-oriented.
Budget requests and reports are summarized in terms of a few broad
programs rather than in the great detail of line-item expenditures
or organizational units. PPB systems place a great deal of emphasis
on identifying the fundamental objectives of a governmental entity
and on relating all program expenditures to these activities. This
conceptual framework includes the practices of explicitly projecting
long-term costs of programs and the evaluation of different program
alternatives that may be used to reach long-term goals and objectives.
The focus on long-range planning is the major advantage of this
approach, and advocates believe that organizations are more likely
to reach their stated goals and objectives if this approach is used.
However, several limitations exist in the actual
implementation of this approach, including changes in long-term
goals, lack of consensus regarding the fundamental objectives of
the organization, lack of adequate program and cost data, and the
difficulty of administering programs that involve several organizational
units. Yet despite its limitations, program budgeting is often used
as a planning device while budget allocations continue to be made
in terms of objects and organizational unitsa process that has
been adopted in many schools throughout the nation. As with performance
budgeting, PPB information may be used to supplement and support
traditional budgets in order to increase their informational value.
The basic tenet of zero-based budgeting (ZBB) is that program activities
and services must be justified annually during the budget development
process. The budget is prepared by dividing all of a government's
operations into decision units at relatively low levels of the organization.
Individual decision units are then aggregated into decision packages
on the basis of program activities, program goals, organizational
units, and so forth. Costs of goods or services are attached to
each decision package on the basis of the level of production or
service to be provided to produce defined outputs or outcomes. Decision
units are then ranked by their importance in reaching organizational
goals and objectives. Therefore, when the proposed budget is presented,
it contains a series of budget decisions that are tied to the attainment
of the entity's goals and objectives.
The central thrust of ZBB is the elimination
of outdated efforts and expenditures and the concentration of resources
where they are most effective. This is achieved through an annual
review of all program activities and expenditures, which results
in improved information for allocation decisions. However, proper
development requires a great deal of staff time, planning, and paperwork.
Experience with the implementation of this approach
indicates that a comprehensive review of ZBB decision packages for
some program activities may be necessary only periodically. Additionally,
a minimum level of service for certain programs may be legislated
regardless of the results of the review process. As a result, ZBB
has had only modest application in schools, although the review
of program activities makes ZBB particularly useful when overall
spending must be reduced.
Site-based budgeting is widely considered the most practical for
budgeting within the school district environment, by providing greater
control and reporting of school-level data. This budgetary approach
(which may be used in combination with any of the four discussed
above) emphasizes the decentralization of budgetary decisionmaking.
Site-based budgeting places local managers and other staff at the
center of the budget preparation process, making them responsible
for both the preparation and the maintenance of the budget.
Site-based budgeting is popular in many school
settings. Within a school system, site-based budgeting generally
involves granting increased budgetary authority to the school. Resources
are allocated to the site, with budget authority for programs and
services granted to the school's principal and staff. Campuses are
normally allocated a certain level of resources that they have the
authority to allocate to educational and support services. These
budgetary allocations are meant to cover those areas over which
campus decisionmakers have control. For example, schools that have
authority over staffing decisions may be allocated funds for staff
costs using the site-based budgeting approach. In contrast, school
districts that make staffing decisions centrally may not allocate
funds to the individual school site for staff costs.
The main advantage of site-based budgeting is
that those who best understand the needs of a particular organization
are empowered to make resource allocation decisions. This decentralization
of budgetary authority may also increase local accountability. Another
potential advantage of site-based budgeting is the increased level
of participation of the public and staff in budget development.
Many site-based budgeting systems create committees composed of
staff and community members to determine budgetary allocations.
These committees give members a voice from the inception of the
budget process, rather than merely when the budget is presented
for public review and approval.
Although site-based budgeting may provide substantial
benefits, it also has limitations. First, organizations with limited
resources may not be capable of granting a meaningful level of site-based
budgetary authority. Even if an organization does have discretionary
resources, it may be difficult to determine the areas of the budget
for which local decisionmakers should be held accountable. Finally,
site-based budgeting may be burdensome to some local managers, may
increase conflict between staff or departments, or may limit the
organization's ability to ensure quality and sufficiency in the
services it provides. These problems can be avoided somewhat through
the careful design of site-based budgeting guidelines and through
training for new budget stakeholders.
Consistent with the evaluation objective, government budgeting is
becoming increasingly outcome-focused. Fiscal austerity, coupled
with intense competition for governmental resources, has precipitated
an effort to ensure more effective use of resources at all levels
of government. Outcome-focused budgeting is the practice of linking
the allocation of resources to the production of outcomes. The objective
is to allocate government's resources to those service providers
or programs that use them most effectively.
Outcome-focused budgeting is closely linked to
the planning process in governments. For a government entity to
focus on outcomes, goals and objectives must be identified and tied
to budget allocations for the achievement of those objectives. This
premise argues that mission-driven (synonymous with outcome-focused)
governments are superior to those that are rule-driven because they
are more efficient, are more effective in producing desired results,
are more innovative, are more flexible, and have higher employee
morale (Osborne and Gaebler 1993). In the context of increased governmental
scrutiny of governmental costs, including schools, this model may
receive more emphasis in the future.
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The development of annual budgets is part of
a continuing planning process. The advent of site-based decisionmaking
in some states has increased the integration of planning and budgeting
at the school level; however, state laws generally allow considerable
district autonomy in budget preparation. The organizational structure
of a district, including the size and complexity of its administration
and the degree of centralization, will affect the budgetary approach,
the budget development process, and the final budget document. Beyond
the requirements for federal and state programs, the budget preparation
process and related responsibilities will largely be determined
by the local school board and superintendent.
The following chapter contains information related
to the significant aspects, phases, and outputs of the school district
budgeting process. Although it is not meant to establish standards
or requirements for districts, the chapter may be useful in the
development of sound budgeting procedures. Given the diversity of
budgetary and financial reporting found in the individual states,
the process described here may be customized to conform to particular
local and state requirements. Additionally, the following discussion
is typical of districts that use a site-based budgeting approach.
Roles and Responsibilities
The local school board and the superintendent should establish a
meticulous budget preparation process and guidelines. Thus, the
delegation of budget responsibilities among administrators (districtwide)
and schools (site-based) should be deliberately designed to require
consensus at the highest levels of management. Because individuals
may serve in a variety of roles in the budget development process,
the division of duties may differ among districts. It is important,
however, to clearly define the staff assignments and parameters
if the budget development process is to operate efficiently. With
the advent of site-based decisionmaking, individuals lacking previous
budget experience need clear direction in order to provide effective
Preparation of Budget
Budget preparation guidelines typically are prepared by the
assistant superintendent for business and finance or by an employee
with similar responsibilities, such as a chief business official
or a budget administrator, with direction from the school board,
the superintendent, and other district and school administrators.
A presentation with subsequent board approval of the budget process,
guidelines, and calendar may be legally required or may be a locally
imposed procedure. However, as a minimum the guidelines should contain
the following elements:
Many of these elements may be combined into
a budgetary overview included in the budgeting guidelines. In addition
to these elements, the preparation guidelines may also contain the
- A budget transmittal letter from the superintendent,
which provides the overall context for budget development at the
- A budget overview, which explains the budgeting
philosophy and approach, outlines the budget development process,
and refers to major assumptions and changes in the budgetary process
from the previous year
- Fiscal limitations to be observed, such as
maintenance of service levels, specific percentage increases or
decreases in resource allocations, and personnel hiring guidance
- A budget calendar of critical dates for budget
completion, submission, and review
- Instructions concerning expenditure items to
be budgeted at the school level and the detail required for submission
- A copy of standard budget preparation worksheets,
submission forms, and diskettes
- A list of the account codes necessary for preparing
Preparation of the Budget Calendar
- Guidelines for estimating standard school resource
allocations, which are determined by the budgetary approach used
by the district and the availability of resources
- Guidelines for estimating the costs of specific
expenditure categories, such as salaries and benefits, supplies,
or fixed charges
- Instructions for submitting school budgets
to the district office, including the number of copies, due dates,
and personnel to contact for assistance
The budget calendar provides critical dates for the preparation, submission
and review of school budgets. It is prepared during the planning process
by the district budget office. A variety of simple techniques may
be used to build the calendar, beginning with the previous year's
calendar and modifying it for the current year. Problems that occurred
in the prior year's budget cycle should be identified for changes
to the current year's calendar. Additionally, changes in the budget
development process should be incorporated into the current year's
calendar. If the process has been substantially altered, creating
an entirely new calendar may be necessary. The following steps may
be used to prepare a new budget calendar:
- Determine the necessary level of detail. If
several calendars are used with varying levels of detail, they
should be summarized in a master calendar to ensure that all activities
and dates are consistent and compatible.
- Identify all activities that must be included
in the calendar and arrange them chronologically.
- Assign completion dates to each activity. Although
some districts may assign only completion dates, others may also
assign suggested or mandatory start dates for certain activities
to ensure their timely completion.
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Financial forecasting is the practice of projecting
the quantitative impact of trends and changes in an operating environment
on future operations. Therefore, it is an integral part of all ongoing
planning efforts. Financial forecasting is important for several
Although financial forecasting should be a
continuing process, it is most important as a component of budget
development. Forecasts of projected enrollments, property tax base
and revenues, costs associated with salary adjustments, and so on,
are important elements in setting baseline budgetary guidelines and
creating the basis for the assumptions used to prepare budgets. Additionally,
forecasting provides fiscal impact analysis that may be integrated
into the budget development process. Thus, current budgetary decisions
may be evaluated for their long-term results.
- Forecasting facilitates planning efforts by
quantifying the future costs/benefits of strategic decisions.
Thus, budgetary priorities may be evaluated on the basis of their
- Forecasting clarifies trends, needs, and issues
that must be addressed and evaluated in the preparation of budgets.
For example, enrollment forecasting may reveal growing student
populations and focus attention on the need for increased resource
allocations for staff, facilities, or both.
- Forecasting enhances decisionmaking at all
levels of administration. Forecasts provide valuable insight into
future issues, which allows administrators to be proactive. It
creates the framework for anticipatory management.
used before forecasts are prepared, several action steps may increase
the reliability of the forecasts:
A variety of financial and related forecasts
are necessary to the preparation of a comprehensive budget. These
include, but are not limited to,
- Clarify the intended purpose of the forecast.
The prospective audience may require a certain set of data
and related assumptions.
- Match the time frame with the purpose
of the forecast. Time frames for forecasts will vary according
to the purpose (i.e., type) of forecast being prepared.
- Ensure the accuracy of basic data.
Original source data should be used rather than extrapolated
or summarized versions. Sources should be documented and verified
if questions concerning data validity arise.
- Specify the underlying assumptions.
Assumptions should be explicit in the forecasts with proper
documentation based on actual data.
- Be consistent in calculations. Spreadsheet
programs are recommended for preparing forecasts to ensure the
accuracy and consistency of calculations.
- Examine data critically. A scan
of the data may reveal anomalies or errors that may adversely
affect forecasts. Further, a comparison of initial values and
forecasted values should be completed to ensure the reasonableness
of forecasted values.
- Recognize that forecasting requires insight
and intuition. Some variables or forecasting assumptions
will always be a best guess. However, experience provides a basis
for this type of estimation (Miller and McClure).
- student enrollment projections,
- revenue and expenditure projections,
- cash flow projections,
- assessed property value projections, and
- debt service cost projections.
The cash forecast is critical to ensuring
that a fiscal crisis, such as failure to meet financial obligations,
will not result from a cash shortage. An accurate forecast indicates
potential cash shortages and thereby provides an opportunity for preemptive
corrective actions. It also benefits the investment program by allowing
the extension of maturities of investments. Longer investment maturities
typically result in higher interest earnings. Projections of operating
cash needs should be developed for the fiscal year on a monthly or
biweekly basis, depending on the payroll cycle, and should consider
the timing of federal and state aid payments, local property tax levies
and collections, lunchroom sales, sales taxes, and interest earnings
and disbursements. This type of cash flow analysis will reveal the
short-term borrowing necessary to address anticipated shortages. The
associated cost of short-term borrowing should be included as a budgeted
expenditure in the fiscal period in which the interest is scheduled
Cash forecasting is also
necessary for activities or programs that extend to multiple operating
periods, such as major facilities construction and acquisition.
Capital projects are typically financed from proceeds of bonds,
loans, certificates of participation, or other long-term debt instruments.
Cash projections for the period of activity should incorporate funding
proceeds and related capital expenditures based on contractual arrangements
with regard for the timing of cash flows.
Fund Balance Forecasts
Fund balance forecasting for governmental funds results from the
budget development process. Periodic monitoring of balances is provided
through budgetary integration with the accounting system and is
necessary to ensure compliance with statutory and contractual fund
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The following steps are basic to the planning
process for both annual and multiyear construction and grant programs.
- Review the stated goals and objectives to determine
that they are the basis for the entity's activities and operations.
Although normally developed during the strategic planning process,
the goals and objectives should be periodically reviewed for appropriateness.
- Conduct formal or informal needs assessments
or both. Most strategic plans include one or more needs assessments.
The criteria used are normally developed locally; however, some
granting agencies may require the use of certain criteria. A methodology
that provides objective measurement of the needs of the unit under
review is necessary and should include financial and other forecasts
in order to properly identify those needs.
- Design programs to attain the goals and objectives
on the basis of the results of the needs assessment(s). The assessment
process should identify and prioritize needs. From the results
of this process, program plans should be developed that meet the
organization's needs. Program planning should use an integrated
approach to prevent the duplication of efforts, ensure the efficient
use of resources, and ensure that all identified needs are addressed.
- Prepare program budgets to support the implementation
plans. With a program plan in place, a budget can be developed.
The traditional budgetary approach has been to appropriate only
those monies necessary for the costs of the program or project
in its first fiscal year. At year-end, the appropriation expires
and monies must be reallocated for each subsequent year of the
program or project. This approach is unnecessarily complex and
may distract administrative and board focus from important budgetary
issues. To avoid these problems, the development of multiyear
program budgets, whether for capital or special programs, is recommended
if state and local statutes permit multiyear budgeting.
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The development of multiyear construction budgets
has two fundamental stages. The first stage involves extensive planning
to identify facilities needs. This may be accomplished through the
process outlined in the previous chapter on financial forecasting
and planning. A committee may be created specifically for capital
planning or as part of a strategic planning effort. Identification
of capital needs may also come from maintenance staff or from a
contracted evaluation. The evaluations should identify the costs
for a particular program, and from these inputs, a determination
can be made regarding whether to pursue a construction project.
Once this decision is made, the second stage involving budget development
can begin. This process does not necessarily need to be incorporated
into the annual budget process.
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Following the decision to initiate a capital
acquisition program, funding mechanisms should be explored. This
often involves some form of bonded indebtedness; however, building
programs may be funded with accumulated operating funds. Alternatively,
capital leases and installment payments may be used. In situations
in which bond financing is used, the bond initiative must be reviewed
and approved by the governing board before it is placed on the ballot.
The size of the bond initiative for a particular program may be
determined by estimates of aggregate costs generated during the
planning process and may not include detailed project budgets until
funding has been secured. However, depending on the local political
environment, bond initiatives may require detailed cost estimates
that specifically identify the projects to be funded from the proceeds
before the bond issue can be placed on the ballot.
Financial advisers and bond attorneys may be
consulted on the size, applicable tax regulations, marketing, and
selling of bond issues. Other considerations include tax rate limitations
or debt ceilings that may affect the amount of bonded debt that
can be undertaken.
When funding has been secured, detailed project
budgets should be developed. Individual budgets covering the life
of each project are necessary for the proper monitoring of the related
activity. Although cost estimates developed during the planning
process may be used to determine the size of the bond initiative,
actual project budgets must contain more detailed information. Architects,
contractors, and staff should be involved in budget preparation,
and it will be necessary to identify factors such as shifts in student
populations, additional facility or site requirements, and so on,
which may cause significant differences between the actual project
budget and the cost estimates developed during the planning process.
Construction project budgets using a multiyear format should be
reviewed periodically by administrators with regular reports provided
to the board on the progress of each project. Bond attorneys and
financial advisers also need to be informed periodically of the
progress of projects using debt funds.
In summary, the budgeting process is an integral
part of the sound financial management of any organization. Adequately
planning and managing the entity's resources play important roles
as the movement for greater accountability expands in importance.
Sound budgeting techniques, such as site-based budgeting, are being
emphasized as school district administrators and funding agencies
require a heightened level of justification for annual expenditures
and decentralized decisionmaking. Site-based budgeting gains its
popularity among administrators for its unique ability to effectively
target funding because campus management largely makes the resource
allocation decisions. However, regardless of which budgeting technique
is adopted, some benefits of preparing and managing a budget remain
the same: greater control and accountability over financial resources
as well as the demonstration that administrators are actively planning
for future needs.
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