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March 2024 – Volume 28 Issue 1

March 2024 – Volume 28 Issue 1

What is a budget and why is it important to have one?  In simple terms, a budget is a written plan to decide how money will be spent, and a budget helps ensure you do not run out of money.  For school districts, a budget is very important as there is only so much funding received to cover all the expenses from supplies to salaries and beyond, in addition to tracking where all the money is spent.

To help manage a tight budget, the budget figures must be entered into the School Accounting System, so that financial reports can be easily generated to show exactly what remains of the budget.  A budget can be entered into the Budgets option in General Ledger using one of four methods (normal data entry, grid entry, copying a previous year’s budget or actual figures (with or without percentages), or importing); the various methods are covered in detail in the Budgets webinar (click here to request the recording).  Then after the budget is posted, as expenses are paid and cash receipts are entered to record the revenue, financial reports reflect the current budget amounts remaining.  The financial reports that can be generated to view the budget balances include the Revenue Summary Report, Account Inquiry reports, and custom flexible financial reports, such as an Expenditure Report by Function or an Expenditure Report by Object.

There are additional steps that can be taken to have more precise tracking of budget balances from within the School Accounting System.  The additional items include:

  • Entering purchase orders within the School Accounting System to have encumbrances from purchase orders reflected in General Ledger earlier in the Accounts Payable process.  The outstanding purchase order amounts can then be included on the financial reports to view the unencumbered budget balances.
  • Entering requisitions in the School Accounting System (via Web Link) to be able to view outstanding requisition amounts for expenditure accounts.
  • Calculating a payroll purchase order to post encumbrances to the salary and benefit expense accounts for the remaining contract balances and selected payroll batches.  Typically, a payroll purchase order is calculated and updated before printing the financial reports from General Ledger each month.  For more information, refer to the Payroll Purchase Order topic in the Help File, or click here to request the Payroll Purchase Order Webinar recording.

Utilizing the Budgets option in the School Accounting System, and taking the additional steps as noted above, can make the task of monitoring the budget easier and more efficient.