Application: Evaluating Budget Documents

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An organization’s operational budget is no more than next year’s action plan in financial terms. It should list major goals and objectives for the upcoming year, as outlined in an organization’s strategic plan. The budget must identify which programs or services best achieve those goals and estimate all expenses necessary to deliver them. Budget documents should also include expectations for revenue. Despite the necessary elements involved in all operational budgets, these documents can vary in quality from organization to organization. Each year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awards government organizations for the quality of their budget documents, using criteria established in its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Program.

In this Assignment, you evaluate a budget document using the above criteria. Review the criteria for the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Program in the Learning Resources for this week. Then, select a public organization and a specific budget document from the organization.

The Assignment:

Write a 6- to 8-page double-spaced paper (not including the cover and reference pages) in which you do the following:

  • Briefly describe the organization and the budget document you selected.
  • Identify the specific type of budget document you selected.
  • Evaluate the budget document using GFOA criteria.
  • Explain whether or not the budget document serves the constituents and other stakeholders of the organization.
  • Use from the library at least two scholarly sources that were published within the past five years to support your paper. Be sure to follow APA guidelines when citing your sources.

Readings

  • Mikesell, J. L. (2014). Fiscal administration: Analysis and applications for the public sector (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.
    • Chapter 3, “Federal Budget Structures and Institutions” (pp. 90–143)
    • Chapter 4, “State and Local Budgets” (pp. 152–173)
    • Chapter 5, “Budget Methods and Practices” (pp. 178–218)
    • Chapter 6, “Budget Classifications, Systems, and Reform: Trying to Make Better Choices” (pp. 240–292)
  • Government Finance Officers Association. (2014). Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Program (Budget Awards Program). Retrieved fromhttp://www.gfoa.co/sites/default/files/BudgetDetailedCriteriaLocationGuideFY2015.pdf

Optional Resources

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