The Importance of Creating an Operating Budget

By BCB Staff Writer

Creating an operating budget involves several steps. Here is a general outline of the process:


1. Gather financial data:

Start by collecting all the necessary financial information for your organization, such as past income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. This will help you understand your financial position and identify any trends or patterns.

2. Identify revenue sources:

Determine all the potential sources of revenue for your organization. This could include sales of products or services, grants, donations, or any other income streams. Estimate the amount of revenue you expect to generate from each source.

3. Estimate expenses:

Next, create a list of all the expenses your organization will incur during the budget period. Categorize these expenses into different groups, such as salaries and wages, rent, utilities, supplies, marketing, and so on. Estimate the amount you expect to spend on each expense item.

4. Allocate resources:

Allocate resources to each expense category based on your organization’s priorities and goals. Determine the percentage of the total budget that should be allocated to each category. This will help you ensure that you are allocating resources efficiently.

5. Calculate net income:

Calculate the difference between your estimated revenue and expenses. This will give you the net income (or loss) for the budget period. If your expenses exceed your revenue, you may need to adjust your budget by either reducing expenses or increasing revenue.

6. Monitor performance:

Once the budget is in place, regularly monitor your actual financial performance against the budget. Compare your actual revenue and expenses to the estimated values and identify any discrepancies. This will help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your budget if needed.

Remember that creating an operating budget is an iterative process. It may require multiple revisions to accurately reflect your organization’s financial goals and priorities. It is also important to involve all relevant stakeholders in the budgeting process to ensure buy-in and alignment with your organization’s strategic objectives.

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