Checklist for Budgets and Planning

Budget & Planning – Important checklist


1)   Are responsibilities for budget preparation, adoption, execution, and reporting each assigned to different staff members?


1)   Do personnel responsible for budget preparation:
a)   Have an awareness of budgets and budgetary procedures required by law?
b)   Prepare budgets for all significant activities regardless of whether mandated by law?
c)   Prepare a budget calendar to provide orderly  submission and to obtain approval of the  budget?
d)   Develop and prepare initial budget submissions by major departments and activity centers?
e)   Obtain review of departmental budgets by the finance or budget officer, make corrections of oversights by departments, and integrate budgets with agency executive’s goals and objectives?
f)    Prepare the budget in sufficient detail to provide a meaningful tool with which to monitor subsequent performance (as established by the Strategic Plan)?
g)   Budget inter-fund and inter-depart­mental transfers, if appropriate?
2)   Do personnel responsible for budget adoption:
a)   Hold budget hearings to obtain citizen input, if appropriate?
b)   Submit the budget through the proper executive channels to the applicable legislative body for approval?
c)   Clearly communicate to operating departments the effects of legislative budget modification mandates (increases or decreases)?
d)   Coincident with adoption of the budget, make sure action is taken by the legislature, as appropriate, to:
(1)  Adopt legislation to implement the raising of budgeted revenues?
(2)  Initiate expenditure appropriations?
e)   Record in the accounting system estimated revenues and appropriations, for later comparison to actual amounts realized or incurred as appropriate?
f)    Record in the accounting system budgets approved by grantors in connection with grant activity?
g)   Publish finalized budgets, when required by law?
3)   Do the personnel responsible for budget execution:
a)   Formally adopt and communicate procedures establishing authority and responsibility for transfers between budget categories?
b)   Use an allotment system to control the flow of expenditures or commitments?
c)   Obtain approval from the accounting department as to the availability of funds, before issuing a purchase order or making an expenditure commitment?
d)   Process and obtain approval of requests for supplemental appropriations for budget changes as required by law?
e)   Establish controls to ensure knowledge of outstanding commitments when liabilities and expenditures are recorded on an encumbrance or obligation basis?
4)   Do personnel responsible for budget reporting:
a)   Compare actual expenditures to budget with reasonable frequency (monthly) and on a timely basis?
b)   Discuss budget reports with departmental personnel, obtaining explanations for significant variations from budget?
c)   Provide timely notification, to both the executive and the legislative branches, of expenditures in excess of appropriations or budget?
d)   Publish comparisons of actual results of operations against the budget?