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Budgeting 101 for Nonprofits

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Budgeting 101 for Nonprofits outlines budgeting best practices for nonprofit organizations.

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Budgeting 101 for Nonprofits

  1. 1. Budgeting 101 for Nonprofits Kevin Derrivan Senior Consultant
  2. 2. About Us • For more than a decade, Accounting Management Solutions, (AMS) has provided accounting support and financial management leadership at the consulting CFO, controller and accounting manager level to dynamic companies throughout the Northeast. 2
  3. 3. Agenda • The basics of budgeting. • Why budgets are important for control purposes. • Various types of budgets. • When each type of budget is used. • How to prepare and address some of the important parts of a budget. • What are their limitations? 3
  4. 4. What is a Budget?• Budgets are summaries of short-term operational activities of a organization.• For example, a organization may prepare a cash budget to predict cash inflows and outflows.• Budgets are quantitative representations. 4
  5. 5. Budgeting vs. Forecasting: There is adifference• A forecast is a prediction.• There are many hypotheticals before a forecast looks like a budget.• A forecast can only predict. 5
  6. 6. Budgets are . . .• …. a strategic organizational plan.• …. based on facts, events in progress and actions planned.• …. a collaborative effort by finance and the departments affected by obtaining input before preparation.• …. managed by department heads to make the required steps to achieve the budget.• …. necessary for planning and for controlling. 6
  7. 7. Various Types of Budgets• Two Major Types • Operating Budgets • Capital or Investment Budgets 7
  8. 8. Characteristics of a Budget• Stated in monetary units however, could contain non-monetary items such as units produced, sold, no. of items processed etc.• Usually, short-term (one year) but could be extrapolated from or to the longer term.• Senior management must be involved in the process and must approve it.• Most important – budgets must be compared to actual and the variances must be investigated. 8
  9. 9. Critical to Forecast & Create a Plan• Management should review Budget on a monthly basis• The Board should receive a copy on a monthly basis• Managers should meet with finance on a monthly basis to discuss the financials and any unbudgeted expenditures. 9
  10. 10. The Budget Process: Best Practices 10
  11. 11. Know Your Goals and Objectives• Planning and Goal Setting must be completed before the budgeting process begins• Lack of proper planning/goal setting may lead to poor budgeting• If people do not know their goals they may not know how to start or may repeat current mode of operations• May miss substantial changes - may budget too little or too much, causing a lot of rework and frustration 11
  12. 12. Get Upper Management Support toCreate “Buy-In” If they don’t care - no one else will. They need to: • Lead approval of Organization Goals and Operations Plan • Be involved/leaders in the budget process • Support the process by MANAGING their staff to the timelines and product completeness and accuracy • Approve all budgets prepared by those they supervise 12
  13. 13. De-centralize the Budget Process • Every manager who has a responsibility for a budget should be involved in the process • Understanding the rationale for their budget enables them to “own” it and act as stewards of their department expenses; since they understand the costs of running their program, they also become better fundraisers • The finance department can help coordinate the budgeting process but should not be putting together program budgets; they are not the individuals responsible for the budget Holds everyone accountable for day to day 13 activities!
  14. 14. Involve Staff at Other Levels Get their buy-in and delegate projects for them to plan and budget; the more they are involved, the more they will work to help the organization succeed • Example: Budget for a Special Event – the Event Planner reports to the Director of Fundraising; while the Director of Fundraising is the manager involved in the budget process, the Event Planner also needs to be part of the budget process • Example: A Day Care Center has 4 breakfasts a year for the mother’s of the toddler group; the Assistant Toddler Teachers are in charge of this; get them involved in how much the breakfasts will cost and how much they need to spend 14
  15. 15. Create Strong Tools & Training What can we do to involve others in the budgeting process? 15
  16. 16. Create Strong Tools & Training• Host a Budget Training• Create a Budget “toolkit” (typically your finance team would create this; starts with providing key assumptions and likely trends affecting the business environment during the budget’s timeframe) • Provide Written Instructions & Timelines with Dates/Deliverables • Budget Template (fill in the blanks) – managers fill in blanks and the template automatically calculates and assigns overhead and related costs 16
  17. 17. Create Strong Tools & TrainingCreate a Budget “toolkit” (continued) • Historical Info (Ops and Projects) and Year-to-date Info. - adjust for any changes in the new budget (Incremental Budgeting) Examples – COLA or inflation increases • Some Research – For new programs or events, get estimates and provide Narratives (Zero Based Budgeting - start from scratch) • Include any projects/costs for which you have received restricted funds or grants 17
  18. 18. Create Strong Tools & TrainingCreate a Budget “toolkit” (continued) • Aligning the look and feel of your budget template to your chart of accounts and the format of your financial statements gets everyone on the page • Some accounting software packages allow the importing of budgets directly from Excel, so you may want to consider using a worksheet in the template that allows each budget to be automatically entered 18
  19. 19. Budget TemplateSee example budget template in Excel:• Has instruction page• Fill in the blank format based on color codes• Some info filled in for them• Data entry creates final budgets (linked worksheets) and import into accounting system• Budget and GL should be in format that allows easy reporting for UFR and audit 19
  20. 20. Budget Template Very Specific and easy to understand 20
  21. 21. Budget Template Automatically filled in from worksheets Historical Data 21
  22. 22. Budget Template – Staff “Fill-in” Simply Fill In the Blue shaded area The Purple Areas automatically get created 22
  23. 23. Budget Template – Import Page Formatted to automatically upload into your accounting system 23
  24. 24. Budget Template – Final BudgetSummary by Program 24
  25. 25. Budget Template – Work backward from final approval deadlineDate Date Staff DeliverableIssued Completed10/4/2004 10/18/2004 Manager Budget draft in budget template needs to be reviewed and completed by budget managers.10/18/2004 11/1/2004 Supervisors Review the budgets submitted by Managers and review for reasonableness and completeness.11/1/2004 11/15/2004 Finance Finance does internal review and meets with supervisors and budget managers for final sign off.11/15/2005 11/22/2004 Executive Executive Director receives organization budget summary. Director11/22/2004 11/29/2004 All Final review meetings are held with budget manager, supervisor, finance and executive director.11/29/2004 12/6/2004 Executive Budget presentation is completed and forwarded to the Board Director and for review. Finance 25
  26. 26. Review the Template• Historical Info Provided• Summary Page• Salary, Benefits, Ops Page• Place for Narrative information• Projects• Import Page into Accounting System 26
  27. 27. Revenue-Generating Staff• Work closely with your development office to assist with revenue piece if you are a grants- based organization• Work closely with your finance department if you are a membership organization• Weigh potential revenue sources by %’s (likelihood of receiving X)• Goal is to work with all staff throughout the org. to look at external markets, including sources of funding at the local, regional, and national economy 27
  28. 28. Budget ComponentsBesides the basic operating revenue and expense, what are the different components of your budget? • Capital Expenditures/Fixed Assets/Construction in Progress (CIP) • Surplus • Cash Flow Projection • Temporarily/permanently restricted revenue 28
  29. 29. Budget Capital ExpendituresWhy budget for these items (capital expenses) if they do not hit my income statement?They will: • Increase your budgeted depreciation expense • Increase your overall expenses • Thereby increasing needed operating revenue • Increase your cash flow/cash outlays needed 29
  30. 30. Why Budget a Surplus?• Ensuring that your organization can sustain itself during an unexpected change or difficult period• Work with management to project a surplus; identify other revenue sources 30
  31. 31. Project Cash Flow• Prepare a cash flow projection with your budget• Monitor and adjust monthly• Review with management and the board 31
  32. 32. Budget Temporary & Permanently-Restricted RevenueWhy budget for these revenue sources if they do not hit my Unrestricted Column on my Statement of Activities?They will:• Affect your final organization surplus/deficit result• Provide revenue goals and results for fundraising for future years 32
  33. 33. Manage Your Operating Budget &Your Audited Financial Statements• Don’t forget to budget for non-cash expenses (depreciation expenses, vacation expenses, deferred salary or benefits, etc.)• Vacation accruals can turn a $10,000 surplus on an operating budget into a deficit – don’t be surprised at year end• Understand the difference between the cash basis and accrual basis of accounting; communicate this to management 33
  34. 34. On-going Activity• The budget process is not a once-a-year activity• Management should be meeting with the managers once a month to review the actual vs. budgeted performance and plan (project) for the rest of the year• Some organizations even re-budget mid-year if there are substantial operational changes 34
  35. 35. Policies & Processes• Once all draft budgets have been analyzed, modified, balanced, etc. prepare an overall budget document and presentation• This includes who presents, when they present, and what format they present the organization’s budget to the board of directors for approval• The presentation should include the goals and objectives for the upcoming year• A summary of the total income and expenses contained in the budget• Have an Organizational Chart/Staffing Plan available for review 35
  36. 36. Policies & Processes• Have an summary of income by individual sources• A summary of expenses by broad categories such as salaries and wages, consultants and contract services, supplies, facilities, materials• Overall budget summary should have comparative data from the prior year and current year (with projections); include a column indicating total change either by % or $ amount• Depending on the organization, the finance/executive committee should review and approve the budget before the full Board• Provide guidelines on how changes to the budget are made an approved, how expenditures that exceed budgeted amounts are approved, etc. 36
  37. 37. Other Supplemental Data Budgeted Expense 2010 1% 1% 1% 2% 6% 3% 7% 43% 7% 8% 9% 12% Salaries Payroll Taxes and benefits Office expense Consultants Professional fees Rent and building expense Depreciation and amortization Program supplies and expenses Training and travel Interest Insurance Real estate taxes 37
  38. 38. Policies & Processes: Flex Budgets• If the organization reaches financial goals during the year, it can do more; build a flex budget into the budget process• Flex budgets provide a financial management and motivation tool• Gives the board comfort in knowing that the organization won’t risk financial operations to reach stretch goals 38
  39. 39. Other Policies & Processes• Work Plans – Every Department/Program should have one at the beginning of each fiscal year; mirror organizational budget plan• Federal or State Grants – Any carryover funds, if allowed, should be monitored; any budget modifications should be requested in writing (any budget changes from a prior fiscal year will affect this) 39
  40. 40. Contact InformationKevin Derrivan Senior Consultant Accounting Management Solutions, Inc. kderrivan@amsolutions.net 781-419-9266 www.amsolutions.net 40