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Best Practices for Budget Managers: Home

Considerations and helpful resources for accountability in lean times.


Act before there is a problem.
Bring order before there is disorder.

—Lao Tzu

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10 Things to Consider

1. The most critical element of fund projections is the quality of the estimates made by knowledgeable managers in crafting them.

2. One way to manage departmental expenses is by keeping records of invoices that occur annually and brainstorming at the start of the fiscal year about costs that can be anticipated based upon the previous fiscal year. 

3. If you have historic data, go back 3-5 years and look for trends.

4. Establish a culture of accountability. Does your budget address reality and issues facing your department, or are you trying to ignore them?

5. Especially now, it's wise to plan for budgets with 5-15% less than in previous years.

6. What hidden costs are associated with programs or projects?  Can you pinpoint them and account for them in a budget?

7. Consider multiyear consequences of budget decisions made in your unit.  Can you defend those consequences?

8. Monitor budget workbooks each Friday and establish corrective action plans.

9. Is your budget appropriately tied to the ASC Strategic Plan?

10. Cost containment and cost reduction should be balanced with improving departmental quality when reviewing managers' performance.



McCain Library

Liz Bagley
McCain 103
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