THIS IS ONLY AN INTERPRETATION, TWO-THREE SENTENCES AND A QUESTION IS ALL I NEED. TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS
I have selected a local non-profit organization that is located in Central Pennsylvania they have been in business for over 20 years and they provide services in 25 counties in PA. The Family Health Counsel of Central PA (FHCCP) has funding sources coming from State and Federal grants for over 10 programs that are offered throughout the community. The budget process is crucial for any non-profit organization that has to track multiple funding streams within a program. The contract periods could vary from 3 to 5 years, the fiscal years and fiscal quarters may vary, the rules around budget revisions, specific fiscal reports maybe needed and tracking all expenditures all necessary and have to be accurate or it shows incompetence on the organization for not having a strong financial department. Developing a budget process could vary depending on the program and how the money is allowed to be spent down and if you have internal and external budgets to monitor.
I found a great article that gives some basic concepts for the budget process that can be used by any type of organization. The one process that stood out to me that would be essential for this type of organization and is something I know is being used currently is developing a Budget Process. Creating an actual process to explain the tools and resources needed to conduct the budget and the specific guidelines that will be utilized based on the requirements of the contract. Non-Profit organizations do not have one standard budget for each program, and there are multiple budgets that are used to track expenditures. FHCCP has budgets per program, per region, per subcontractor, and then our internal budget for each program and an overall budget that combines all programs and sources. All of those budgets should have a process written so it is clear for the fiscal staff to utilize for monitoring and auditing purposes.
The next process goes hand in hand with creating the actual budget process. Who is involved in the budget? Who are the key stakeholders? What budget lines do different departments dictate? When creating a budget there are multiple budget categories such as; Personnel/Fringe, Services, Travel, Office Supplies, Subcontractors, and Other Costs which could include numerous subcategories. There are specific departments that have budgets and have an idea of what the costs would be on these items. Those key people will need to complete an analysis to determine how much funds will be needed for that fiscal year or over the period of the contract. Most Non-Profit budgets are a 3-5 year period and when applying for the grant you create a budget that will be split between the years so each year would need to reflect the specific budget categories. This important feedback can’t just come from the financial department they need input from these departments to determine the correct allocated amount that should be distributed throughout the term of the budget.
These two budget processes are the beginning steps for a budget developing the process and identifying the key stakeholders who would be helping developing the budget. Thanks Tammy
Foley, E., Non-Profit Accounting Basics, The Budget Process, GWSCPA, July 28, 2010, Link retrieved 5/31/2017: http://www.nonprofitaccountingbasics.org/reporting…
Website: Family Health Counsel of Central PA, Retrieved Link 5/31/2017 http://www.fhccp.org/mission.shtml
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