We are currently in unprecedented times. Many government finance departments are rethinking their budgeting plans for 2020, 2021 and beyond. Departments are shrinking, both in personnel and sources of income. For some governments, grants are replacing those sources of income, making it essential for budgeting professionals to know how to incorporate these new grants into their budgeting process in order to maximize funds for the benefit of their respective communities.
Both budgeting and grants management are processes that can be complex, challenging and time consuming. Budgeting often involves working with multiple stakeholders, and frequently requires clear communication between finance teams and other departments. Similarly, grants management means sorting through a great deal of administrative and programmatic requirements, which can mean a great burden on already-lean staff.
Many governments still use spreadsheets for budgeting and grants management or try to modify their other systems to handle these huge undertakings, making it hard for collaboration and compliance–especially when staff are working from different locations.
So how can your department or agency stop wasting time, money and resources? The key is to align resources accordingly to connect both your budgeting AND grants management processes. Here are two ways to get started.
Consider the Full Lifecycle
Regardless if it’s your budgeting or grants management process, the two are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, those who are immersed in these worlds know full well that the processes are not one and done endeavors. For budgeting, the full lifecycle encompasses determining budget priorities for one or more years, receiving and reviewing budget requests from departments, engaging citizens for their feedback, and submitting the budget to Council or a legislative authority for approval.
For grants management, it’s up to grantees to navigate six stages from identifying funding opportunities; applying; the award phase, project management and grants administration; reporting on outcomes; and closing out. Not to mention, there’s (at the very least) an annual audit to make sure agencies or departments are staying compliant.
Needless to say, budgeting and grants management requires planning and solutions that consider the short and long-term. They must be approached with end-to-end methodologies and solutions that capture the full lifecycle.
Centralize Your Processes
Anyone who’s ever been in budgeting, grants management, or both knows the all-too familiar scenario of managing disparate spreadsheets, trying to understand data from different systems, and the difficulties of trying to keep track of it all.
But with the age of cloud technology, it’s much easier to centralize your financial data all in one system. What if you could track your budgets and grant funding from the same location? Cloud-based solutions are making that possible with powerful functionality to minimize the administrative burden of budget planning, monitoring and reporting on grants funding and cost allocation, so you can easily track where every dollar is going and spend down your grants with the utmost efficiency. At the same time, the latest cloud tools come with built in compliance, so you reduce risk and simplify the process for everyone involved, whether they sit on your finance team or grants management team, or straddle both.
Why Digital Transformation is Still Relevant During This Time
We understand that governments face more pressure and uncertainty than ever before while trying to reprioritize spending and reallocate budget funds to emergency measures, as well as navigate all of the grant funding being released during this period. That’s why Questica and eCivis are here to support in any way we can.
Driving the digital transformation of the public sector, Questica and eCivis provide complementary solutions that help organizations improve their processes for better outcomes. eCivis simplifies and even redefines grants management with an innovative SaaS-based system and cost recovery services that help maximize grant revenue. Questica transforms the budgeting process with solutions that enable teams to collaborate remotely on budgets that allocate funds efficiently and helps government leaders pivot quickly in response to new issues.
Together, Questica and eCivis can help government departments and agencies find and incorporate grants successfully into their budgeting process. Rather than worrying about budget adjustments, calculating operation and salary costs, and the minute details that go into grants management, you can focus on the priorities that matter most in your communities right now.
For more information on how to get started with Questica, contact one of our budgeting experts for a demo.
For more information regarding eCivis, reach out to one of our grants management experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.