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How to Bring Budget Reporting Together with Strategic Planning

Apr 06, 2016

The release of the White House’s 2017 budget proposal has everyone talking about government finances. This year, it’s not just about the bottom line.

As federal agencies develop their annual budgets, an added emphasis has been placed on each line item to contain precise figures, in addition to ROI narratives that explain the purpose behind funding these projects. While this is not a new request, there is an increased importance of narratives matching line items moving forward, as budget scrutiny ratchets up even further in an election year. 

How can this be done better? It’s actually easier than it sounds – the goal must be to merge automated budget reporting with strategic planning initiatives. Manual budget operations should be a thing of the past and yet, many agencies continue to use spreadsheets. This inefficient model often times leads to undocumented differences between funding and results.

Oversights from manual budget reporting variances are no longer acceptable in the technologically savvy world we live in, especially when valuable tax dollars and government programs are at stake.

Transitioning from a manual to an automated budget reporting system is a sure way to maximize on spending investments, as well as strategic initiatives. We live in a world where information is readily available to consume with the click of a button. From constituents to members of Congress, people need to know not only how much is being spent, but the context behind the plan.

In the 2017 budget proposal, the White House requested a $4.15 trillion tax and spending increase. On paper, the plan hikes federal spending by 5 percent, but these funds will potentially support invaluable strategies and programs that are utilized everyday, from cybersecurity to public education. When all action items are considered a high priority, it is imperative that the budget accurately reflects this.

Automated budget reporting serves as the yellow brick road to meeting strategic planning goals.

Narrative that explains the purpose behind government spending plans can be just as important as the budget itself. It’s time for the federal government to retire outdated formulation methods to ensure that budget reporting and strategic planning are integrated seamlessly.

In order for government agencies to meet key planning objectives, all budget items must be taken into account. Agencies will reap the benefits from adopting an automated budget reporting system.

Today, quality and quantity are equally important; by housing budget reporting and strategic planning under one roof, agencies will maximize program funding for years to come. 

To learn how KeyLogic’s budget capabilities can automate your agency’s budget process, please click here.

 Written by: Scott Thesing



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