Budget Critique Under Gfoa Guidlines

2 February 2017

While all the variables cannot be known, it was revelatory to see the City of Campbell try to forecast these changes within a rational rubric, providing preparation for several likely scenarios. Second the budget must serve as a comprehensive and competent financial plan explaining “the basis of budgeting for all funds, whether cash, modified accrual, or some other statutory basis” (“Distinguished Budget Presentation,” p. 4). The budget document does a comprehensive job of detailing each of the cities funds.Furthermore the fund discussion details each funds history, legislative conditions, fund usage and provides a comparative analysis summary that examines past, present and future anticipated fund conditions and opportunities. While the fund discussions are comprehensive, an obvious missing component is the accounting method utilized within each fund type.

While this information is ultimately provided later in the section, it feels disconnected as it expounds on what accounting conditions determine each fund type’s accounting.To be more useful to the general reader, each fund discussion could have simply declared its accounting type rather than placing it an overly technical end note. Third the budget must serve as a communication device that “includes a table of contents that makes it easier to locate information in the document” (“Distinguished Budget Presentation,” p. 5). Here is the fundamental paradox of this, and perhaps all budget documents. The table of contents spans ten-pages and lists over 261 separate sections of an over 500 page budget document.Any examination of this budget must conclude an obvious fact; very few readers will ever read and understand the totality of the budget document.

Budget Critique Under Gfoa Guidlines Essay Example

While individual readers may only be concerned with a few various sections, the entire rational cause and effect nexus of financial decision making will remain elusive to all but the most dedicated reader. The budget document should be “produced and formatted in such a way as to enhance its understanding by the average reader. It should be attractive, consistent, and orientated to the reader’s needs” (“Distinguished Budget Presentation,” p. 14).The City of Campbell’s budget excels in this category, providing easy to read charts and taking the time to summarize complex financials in graphic form. These charts and graphs provide greater accessibility and clarity to the budget narrative by complementing expository information and summarizing the financial calculus of specific budget trends and categories. A testament to their usability and value is that a casual reader could most likely view the charts, tables and graphs in each section in lieu of reading, and still have a working knowledge of various critical budget elements.

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