Budget Procedures

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These instructions have been designed to assist in the continual budget process. The following instructions have been made with the assumption that the end user has basic knowledge of GnuCash and Gnumeric or other spreadsheet software.

Check Current Information

Check to make sure current income and expense transactions are in the correct accounts and accounts are up to date as much as possible.

  • Before beginning the actual budget process, make sure the books are reconciled for each month, cash box is reconciled, bills are paid, and any other steps that need to be taken to close the books each month. If these steps can not be completed, try to get as much information in the books as feasible. The actuals will be used to predict future income and expenses so make sure they are as accurate as possible in order to create more precise projections.
  • This step should also include checking to see if some expenses deserve their own account. For example, if there is an account that has continuous and significant expenses that may need to be separated into a new account.
  • Also keep a look out for one time expenses and income. While looking through the transactions, check to see if there is any noticeable or large transactions that are not continuously repeated. For example, a large expense to replace all the doors may be considered a one time expense. But the cost of continuously maintaining the doors would be considered a regular expense.

Expense Budget

Collect estimated expense budgets for five quarters, or 15 months, for each committee.

  • This includes specific estimations for future projects.
  • It is preferable that budgeted information is on a monthly basis. If estimations are not monthly then just multiply or divide to get the correct estimation on a monthly basis.
  • To give committee members a better idea of where current expenses are heading, show them monthly expenses for the committee for at least the last quarter. Although, it is suggested to show them monthly data for the past year. This will give them a realistic picture of what expenses were incurred and what the money was actually spent on.

Income Budget

Collect estimated income budgets for five quarters, or 15 months, for each income account.

  • Because income is not split up into simple committees like expenses, you need to speak with the person overseeing the source of income.
  • Budget should include specific estimations for future projects.
  • It is preferable that budgeted information is on a monthly basis. If estimations are not monthly then just multiply or divide to get the correct estimation on a monthly basis.
  • To give the individual a better idea of where income is headed, show them monthly income for the account in question for at least the last quarter. Although, it is preferable to show them monthly data for the past year. The individual may also have information explaining certain fluctuations in income sources that may not be a part of the general growth pattern. It is important to note these types of past transactions as abnormal so they will not cause over- or under-estimations of income.
  • Some information will have to be based on a best guess. One suggestion is to look at past data and try to pick up on any growth and/or seasonal patterns to help predict income. If you want to get really analytical and technical you can find growth or decline patterns in a particular income category by:
    • (Period 2 Income Source - Period 1 Income Source) / Period 1 Income Source

Inputting Budget Into GnuCash

  • Open GnuCash and go to File > New > New Budget. Now select Options located on the task bar. Here you can choose the time period you wish to budget for and the type of time period (weeks, months, or years). Generally you will choose monthly time periods and the budget should include up to 15 months (5 quarters).
  • The budget report is only concerned with Income and Expenses. Ignore all other line items. Open up Expense and Income line items as many line items as you would like to place in the budget. It is probably more useful to input as much detailed information as possible. This will allow the board to view all projected income and expenses down to the smallest detail if they have any specific questions.
  • Now the budget can be entered into GnuCash:
    • Click the cell under the correct time period and in the correct line item and input the corresponding budgeted amount.
    • If the budget is broken down into different time periods than the budget sheet in GnuCash, then divide or multiply to come to the correct amount for that time period.

Generating Reports

Once the budget is in GnuCash, you can start generating reports needed for the quarterly board meetings. The following links provide instructions to generate a Budget Comparison Report and other budgets in spreadsheet form.

How To Generate a Budget Report

How to Generate Net Income and Expense Budgets in a Spreadsheet

Printing Spreadsheets For Board Review

Because of printing difficulties in Gnumeric, spreadsheets must be, for now, saved in a different format.

  • Save the spreadsheet the you want to print in an excel format.
    • Specifically save as "MS Excel (tm) 97/2000/XP"
  • Close the Gnumeric spreadsheet and open the new spreadsheet just saved in excel format.
  • Go to File > Print Preview.
  • Choose Format Page on task bar.
  • Click the "Page" tab.
    • Change orientation to Landscape.
    • Set Left and Right margins to .4" and set Top and Bottom margins to .2"
  • Select the "Header" tab.
    • Select "Edit"
    • Header should be in the center area.
    • Go the Header menu where it says "Customized."
    • Choose the header that displays the name on the sheet.
    • Click OK
  • Click the "Footer" tab
    • Select "Edit"
    • Footer should be in the center area.
    • Go the the Footer menu where it says "Customized."
    • Choose the footer that displays the page number.
    • Click OK
  • Select the "Sheet" tab.
    • Go to "Scaling Mode" located at the bottom of the box.
    • Select "Fit print range(s) on number of pages."
    • Leave number of pages at 1.
  • At the bottom of the box click OK.
  • Make sure print preview looks similar to...
  • Repeat process for each sheet in the workbook.
  • Press ctrl+p
    • Choose "Single" printing station and print.

See Also

Budget Timeline