Better Budgeting

Managing budgets more effectively

In the UK promotion often brings budget responsibility. We train our staff carefully in the technical aspects of their jobs, then throw budget responsibility at them and leave them to muddle through.

This highly practical and pragmatic one-day workshop gives budget holders the tools and knowledge they need to manage their budgets effectively.

It starts at the beginning, looking at how budgets are allocated to managers; then goes through the process of planning how to meet objectives within budget, and what to do if the budget is cut. Finally, it explores the monthly budget report and the common request for an end of year forecast.

A case study is used to help contextualise learning and the theory and practice of budgeting.

For whom
The course is for all those who wish to improve their budget management skills. It is suitable for representatives from all sectors, education, public, charity, commercial and corporate.

It is for those who have budget responsibility and are looking for formal training in the subject. It is for those people who expect to take on soon, or who have recently taken on budget responsibility, possibly through career change or promotion.

The workshop is also suitable for those whose role includes helping and supporting others with budget responsibilities, especially those looking for ideas and approaches to make the explanation of budgeting and financial control easier.

Aims and objectives
This is a highly practical workshop. It aims to help participants understand how to manage their budgets better.

Specifically, it provides participants with a process that ensures their budget provides the resources they need in order to deliver their targets, goals, objectives and outcomes. It builds a toolbox of techniques that dovetail together to help participants get more out of their budgets. By attending this workshop, they will be better able to read the monthly budget report and take appropriate action in the light of what it is telling them. Finally, they will be more able to calculate where they expect to be against budget by the end of the financial year.

The course divides into 5 related sections.

  1. The budget allocation process
    This section looks at how the organisation allocates budgets to the budget holder
  • how budgets get allocated to budget holders
  • justifying your budget allocation
  • negotiating for more budget
  1. Deciding how to spend your budget
    Here we are looking at how the budget holder plans to spend the budget they have been allocated
  • linking your budget to your objectives
  • case study: calculating the budget
  • profiling or phasing the budget
  1. A toolbox to manage your budget
    In this section we examine some of the techniques for getting better value out of the budget, and what we can do if the budget is cut
  • prioritising tasks
  • cost/benefit analysis
  • quality & cost
  • getting value for money
  • processes and objectives
  • staff costs
  • transaction management
  • managing additional tasks with no additional budget
  • pricing our services
  • dealing with a budget cut
  1. The monthly report
    There will be a budget report every month. What is it telling us, and what do we do with it?
  • the layout of the monthly report
  • checking for accuracy
  • what records should I keep?
  • variance analysis
  • linking objectives and budget spend
  • budget cut off dates
  1. The end of year outturn
    Part way through the year Finance will ask where we expect to be against budget by the year end
  • what is the end of year outturn?
  • calculating the end of year outturn
  • monitoring what might go wrong