Budgeting & Finance


Budgeting and Finance

One of the most important responsibilities a local elected official has is oversight of the agency’s spending. This oversight takes several forms, each of which are summarized below.


Understanding the Basics of County and City Revenues / Entendiendo los Ingresos de los Condados y las Cuidades

Understanding the Basics of County and City Revenues provides a plain language explanation of where revenues to fund California county and city services come from. This resource is available in English and Spanish.


Financial Management for Elected Officials: Questions to Ask / Administración Financiera para Oficiales Electos:

This plain language publication, available in English and Spanish, helps elected officials, the media and the public understand the basics of local agency financial planning and management, including what kinds of questions to ask to assure good practices are being followed.


Budget Creation and Monitoring

Budgets are an agency’s tool for linking near-term goals with the resources available to achieve them,


Financial Reporting and Accounting

Financial reports are an essential oversight tool. There are two basic kinds of financial reports.


Capital Financing & Debt Management

Debt financing is neither a “bad” nor a “good”—it is simply a tool for achieving community goals.


Cash Management and Investments

Sometimes, public agencies have funds on hand that are being held for longer-term needs.


Local Agency Financial Policies & Practices

Financial policies can provide a solid foundation for sound public agency fiscal practices.


Purchasing & Contracting Practices

Purchasing presents a number of ethical and legal hazards for local officials, despite what can be a relatively small impact on overall agency spending.


Looking Ahead: Long-Term Financial Planning
Why Do Fiscal Forecasts?

Forecasting helps the agency think about the factors affecting the agency’s fiscal health (and what can and cannot be done about them).