Overseeing the Annual Budget Preparation – What to Look For
05 Jan 2017
POSTED BY: Admin | Comments: 0


It’s the New Year which means the beginning of a new budget cycle is right around the corner for most non-profit organizations.

Overseeing the annual budget preparation is a critical responsibility in financial oversight, but for some Board Directors this process might seem a bit daunting as they may have questions as to what exactly they should be looking for.

It is essential that all Board Directors understand that their role is to oversee the process and to ensure that the annual budget represents the organization’s goals. To help do this, there are a number of fundamental questions that Directors can ask when overseeing the budget planning process; including:

Are the objectives and goals for the year, as identified in the strategic/business plan

       represented in the budget?

Overall, does the budget reflect the strategic plan?

Are there any significant changes planned for programs and services built into the budget?

Have the costs been realistically estimated for each activity/item?

Has the projected income for the year been represented realistically?

What are the key assumptions behind the estimates of revenues (income) and the estimates

      of expenditures (costs) for the coming year?

What is the plan for staffing levels and staff compensation for the coming year?

 Does the projected income compared to the annual costs ensure a small margin of safety?

      That is, how much of a cushion do we have against unanticipated events?


This checklist can also be downloaded below as a resource for your Board to utilize throughout your budget planning process. This is also one of the many downloadable resources provided in the ELEVATE program – SARC’s online leadership program for non-profit Boards of Directors.  For more information on what this online Board development program offers, click here.


Overseeing the Annual Budget Preparation – What to Look For

Downloadable Resource

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