Chadmin Can help You simplify the budgeting process.
We can also help make budgeting more inspirational to the rest of the charity.
STRICT BUDGET CONTROL HELPS WITH THE PREVENTION OF FRAUD AND MISTAKES AS ANY UNEXPECTED/UNUSUAL ITEMS ARE NOTICEABLE.
The vision of your charity should be driving your budget. It is all to easy for the budget to become separate to the Objectives of your charity.
Setting a budget
As a small charity it can be difficult to get in to the routine of budgeting for the next year. Often within small charities it is just a case of let's see 'what happens'. This unfortunately does not create an effective or proactive charity.
It is much easier than most people think to be good at budgeting. The important thing to realize is its not about the money. The key to budgeting is working out what your charity wants to achieve in the next year, 3 years or 5 years. Once you know what you are going to do then you can work out how much it will cost and subsequently you then know how much income you need to raise.
(It's not quite that simple) however, by approaching setting a budget from the angle of this is what we need and want to achieve your budget will always complement your goals and aims of the charity. Frustration from not have ping the budget to match your goals is easily avoided using this method.
Keeping to a budget
The size of your charity will probably dictate how closely you watch your expenditure and income levels against budgeted. Large charities who have full time accountants will probably look every week or at least monthly. Where as a small charity may only look at income and expenditure vs. budgeted once a year. Most charities will know when their levels of expenditure or income will be highest so for small charities instead of checking every week you may want to just check at crucial times of year. Having said that even for the smallest charity we would always suggest at least quarterly budget to actual reviews.
DON'T BLOW YOUR BUDGET UP!
Creating a budget can at times make you want to forget the budget and just wing it. Whilst this may work for a few months very quickly the charity will begin to dissipate in to thin air. The budget provides direction and confidence that the work can be achieved and the charity has a future.
FINDING IT HARD TO RELATE YOUR BUDGET TO THE WORK YOU DO?
A way of keeping budgets in touch with reality is to analyze certain budget items in depth.
Going as in depth as reviewing the actual physical receipts for the last year in a specific expenditure category can bring up some surprising issues. Obviously you would not want to do this for every expenditure category every year,but maybe one a year just to help keep the Budget in touch with reality.
KEY TIPS TO SUCCESSFUL BUDGETING
If budgets become more of a balancing act the main focus is then on the budget instead of the essential work of the charity. Including every one in the budgeting process can make the whole organisation enthusiastic about the direction of your charity.
Create Budgets that push your charity forward always bearing in mind your goals and principles. One useful tip is to read out the Charities Purposes or Objectives from your governing document before you start looking at budgets.
Budgets can become over complicated after a while and don't always reflect the charities goals and vision sometimes a good spring clean can do a world of good. Simplifying budgets is not always the answer, But it can be a good place to start. Simplifying a budget makes it easier for every one to understand.
DON'T BLOW YOUR BUDGET!
Try to stick to your spending plan otherwise you end up eating in to reserves. If there is unexpected work or an emergency situation that you couldn't plan for try fundraising for that specific item so that your income then matches your expenditure.