Managing the Budget
Once approved, adopted and prepared it should be closely managed.
Set and maintain a minimum cash balance.
Formulate general policies and procedures needed to achieve objectives.
Keep an accurate log of financial transactions (income and expenses); maintain in
your organization record book. (Check and balance records periodically).
Set up internal control designed for safeguards and accurate accounting data; this
Control cost—allow only approved expenditures.
Assess budget at a given point of time during the budgeted period.
A SAMPLE BUDGET (express in financial terms
Total Expense $767
After the budget period has elapsed, determine the outcome of each expense and
revenue. Judge and review actual cost in order to establish priorities for the next bud-
Preparing a budget each year is viewed by many students as a necessary evil, often
because the art of budgeting is a foreign topic. The budget is a plan of action, ex-
pressed in monetary terms. The budget should be a reflection of the organization’s
goals and objectives rather than being the device which determines goals. A properly
conceived budget should also provide a tool to monitor financial activities throughout
As with a plan or guideline, the budget model you adopt should serve your particular
needs and operating style. It should be an easy tool to implement and information re-
garding activities financial status should be easily retrieved. In fact, you should decide
exactly what type of information you will want before deciding on a model.
For the budget to serve as an evaluative tool, anyone with the responsibility to spend
money for an activity should know how and why the particular activity affects the total
HOWTO PREPARE YOUR BUDGET
Look at last year’s budget and, if possible, any records of the events and programs
budgeted. This is the most accurate information that can be found, and from this
you can determine the programming priorities and the actual results of the pro-
gramming. Information such as attendance, actual expenses, and how close last
year’s estimates were can be very helpful in planning your budget.
Using last year’s budgeted total figure as a rough guideline, help your group deter-
mine the goals of the organization for the coming year. The group needs to decide
on what kinds of events and activities the budget is to cover. Do not forget the op-
Now that you have specific ideas of what the group has decided to do, you must
get accurate estimates of all costs.
HINTS in Projecting Cost for a Large Event:
a. Start with major cost, such as the artist, musician or speaker you are bring-
b. Consider the artist fee, advertising (newspaper, flyer, poster, radio, etc.) ticket
printing, labor costs, security, hall rental, sound rental, food or other hospital-
ity, hotel, airfare costs, etc.
c. If the event is free, the total expenses would be requested allocation for that
d. If the expenses are to be offset by income, a realistic income projection must
be made. To do this, estimate size and make-up of audience (student, fac-
ulty/staff and general public). Establish a ticket price for each category and
arrive at projected income. (A general rule of thumb has been that student
prices must be a least $1 less than faculty/staff). When estimating income,
be realistic. Ask as many people as possible to get a feeling about howmuch
desire there is for an event. Subtract project income from project expense to
arrive at allocation for an event.
Once you have arrived at a per event expense, income and allocation figure, you
can figure the totals fro your group.
The figures are only part of a budget. In order to apply for funding, you must pres-
ent a written justification. You will be asked to defend the budget, so be prepared
with supporting evidence. In order to be accountable, you must show that there
have been inputs into the process. Be prepared to defend budget orally, in addi-
tion to the written justification.
Give a copy of the budget to the president and the advisor of your group.
Involve your organization members in the maintenance and monitoring of the budget
throughout the year. If students are involved in monitoring expenditures throughout
the year, they will be more likely to understand and support budget decisions.