By Christine P. Lent
Early in my career, I was the CFO of a start-up organization and I would prepare our annual budget in my office with some input from the CEO. I would then summarily hand out the budget to the various department heads and wonder why we had variances each month to the budget!
I had not gathered any input from the management team and wasn’t even sure we had shared goals or vision of how to fulfill our mission. Without building consensus and buy-in from the management team, we had a difficult task ahead of us to meet the plan I had put together for the year. A collaborative budget process helps to ensure the viability of the annual plan. It is also a team building exercise. Your staff should attend budget meetings with data, program goals, and assumptions for next year. If assumptions are properly vetted, and everyone is working towards common goals for your strategic plan and mission, you have a greater probability of success. [Read more…]