Budgets and financial rules

From Our Toolkit

Budgeting and financial procedures should set the tone and extent of the organisations activity for the coming year.

Setting a budget

It is essential for your group to set a budget before you start work. You will need to consider where any income will be coming from and what you will be spending money on. You can break these down into categories to make it easier to record and keep a check on.

  • The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ budgeting guidance outlines the budgeting process, who should be involved, how it links to business planning and signposts other useful information.
  • The Resource Centre has developed two simple Microsoft Excel budget spreadsheets which can be used and adapted by anyone.
  • The West Yorkshire Community Accounting Service has detailed budgeting advice in the Planning & Costing section of their Good Practice Guides

Writing financial rules

It is good practice for every group to have a set of financial rules which define the parameters of the group’s financial activity and responsibilities. West Yorkshire Community Accounting Service has produced a financial procedures template in the Financial Process & Practice section of their Good Practice Guides which can be customised to suit your situation.

For charities

It is essential for a trustee body to have a good knowledge and understanding of the charity and its finances so that, as far as possible, the continued viability of the charity and its charitable activities can be assured. NCVO guidance on Writing Your Financial Policies & Procedures refers to the requirements expected by the Charity Commission.

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