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Budget

4 GFOA Best Practices for Your Budget: Communication Tool

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recently released  new criteria that were outlined to help governments implement strategic financial management and planning – a key goal of GFOA. By aligning with these GFOA best practices and creating comprehensive budgets, governments can produce award-winning budgets, while ensuring they account for short-term and long-term financial planning and policy. 

We will break these criteria down in detail, with particular focus on the mandatory components of each. Here are the four criteria you need in your government budget to improve accuracy and build public trust: 

  • Policy Document
  • Financial Plan
  • Operations Guide
  • Communications Tool 

For this blog, we’ll focus on compiling your communication tools. Your communication tool is how you will lay out your budget and make it most easy and effective to share. This has two essential components: a table of contents and budget overview. 

Table of Contents  

What’s it all about?

While painstakingly obvious, the pages in an electronic table of contents (TOC) should link to the corresponding pages within the body. 

How to put it into practice?

  • Include a table of contents that makes it simple to locate information. 
  • The use of whole numbers as page numbers is encouraged. 
  • Make sure page numbers of similar reference points in the TOC are consistent with any referenced page numbers 

Pro Tip – Through Questica Budget’s Budget Book, you can easily make last-minute changes or other updates to your budget book with seamless, on-demand data that makes it easy to refresh your TOC and keep it up to date.  

Budget Overview  

What’s it all about?

Help your readers quickly understand major budgetary items and trends (specifically revenues, expenditures, and capital). This is also where you summarize any significant changes between the proposed to adopted budget.  

How to put it into practice?

  • Provide an overview of significant budgetary items and trends.  
  • The overview should be presented within the budget as a separate section (i.e. Budget in-Brief) or integrated with the transmittal letter. 

Pro Tip –Questica Budget’s report builder can be used to quickly create summary reports that can be linked to the Budget Overview.  

Want to learn more? Download our free playbook “4 Ways the Pandemic Has Force Governments to Rethink Budgeting.”

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