Resource Types


Avoiding Pitfalls in Budget Management

Excerpt from Budgets and Financial Management in Higher Education by Margaret J. Barr and George S. McClellan



  • - Is it accurate or overestimated?
  • - What assumptions underlie the revenue figures?
  • - Has the assumption been made that the good times will continue?

Chronic Issues

  • - Does the submitted budget address long-term and chronic issues?
  • - Have you established reserve funds for equipment, repair and renovation, or contingencies?
  • - Is there another office or agency that can help you address a chronic problem?

Beyond the Fiscal Year

  • - Is there a time-limited grant or contract, and if so what plans are in place for the end of the contract?
  • - What are the multiyear consequences of the budget decisions made by the unit? Are they defensible?
  • - What are the hidden costs for each program or project, and are they accounted for in the budget plan?

Beyond the Unit

  • - What are the implications of the budget decisions beyond the unit budget?
  • - Have you consulted with those affected?

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