Budget Planning Tips
ISS Accounting & Finance Team
The ISS accounting and finance team compiled these ten budget planning tips to help your school get ready for budget season. We know budget season can be a stressful time for your school’s business office. With getting forecasts and financials in order, budget planning can offer opportunities for future saving and process efficiencies. Here are ten tips to help you during budget planning.
- Review the past year’s budget variances to actuals. Examine the over and under-spends to understand them.
- Budget for larger capital projects that will be necessary, either in the next year or in future years, and plan cash flow appropriately. Ensure that the annual capital budget for smaller projects is generally not larger than the budgeted annual cash flow.
- Use the budget process as an opportunity to identify potential savings such as energy efficiencies, contracts and lease reviews, outsourcing potentials, etc.
- Know when benefits renew, and when contracts are renegotiated so those expenses can be budgeted accurately.
- Match the budget to the enrollment, ensure that salary increases don’t outpace tuition increases,
- Be as accurate as possible, don’t be overly conservative,
- Be transparent, involve school leadership,
- Look not just at the current school year but two years ahead,
- Be clear about how money is being used to further education/student achievement and in support of long-term strategic plans,
- During the year, review the budget variances to actuals monthly so adjustments can be made if needed in order to stay within the budgeted bottom line.