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Budget Creation and Monitoring

Budgets are an agency’s tool for linking near-term goals with the resources available to achieve them, while keeping in mind long-term goals and resources and how the agency’s annual budget fits into its capital plan.

Budgeting typically involves:

  • Establishing goals and priorities for the agency;
  • Allocating resources according to those goals and priorities; and
  • Comparing actual expenses and revenues to those estimated in the current budgeted expenses, making adjustments during the course of the budget year as necessary.

As important of a function as budgeting is, decision-makers may find that their options are limited in determining how the agency’s monies are actually spent. The limitations may result from legal restrictions on how funds may be used, matching funds issues (that will result in loss of revenues if the agency does not spend a certain amount), and state mandates.

For more information, including questions to ask about the agency’s budget, see information at right.

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