In recent years, many public sector entities made improvements to their budgeting processes. But the question remains: Are they following the most recent “best” practices? The budgeting process evolves over time, and the public sector accounting standards that were strongest a decade ago may not be effective now. Public sector organizations all face pressure to improve performance each year. Cutting costs is particularly crucial, as recent years forced many entities to serve their communities with dwindling budgets. The following five actions will bring local government up to speed in today’s modern budgeting world.
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Five modern practices to improve public sector accounting standards
First, to create accurate budgets, public sector entities need to take advantage of data. All organizations generate millions or even billions of data points every day, and there are virtually no limitations on how they can use this information. To give themselves every advantage, organizations should try to gather the largest amount of data possible in the most efficient and organized manner. Data analytics increases visibility into the entity, including more accurate details on specific costs, spending and performance.
Transparency benefits public sector organizations in numerous ways, according to the Transparency and Accountability Initiative. One example is that constituents want to know how the organization manages its budget and where the money goes. Making an effort to open your data and being transparent also creates public dialogue for the organization and can improve its image. Finally, transparency is beneficial to the internal budgeting process of the organization. The deeper stakeholders see into the entity’s performance, the better they can manage the budget and adjust for the future.
3. Non-financial performance measures
Though often ignored, non-financial issues significantly impact an organization’s performance and budget. Public sector organizations need to set, track and evaluate non-financial performance metrics they believe are relevant to their goals. Designating and observing objective measures enables entities to prioritize their limited budgets accurately. Thus, funding goes where it’s needed most.
4. Efficient workflow
Two problems that plague many budgets for public entities are a lack of organization and set approvals. This is especially true if they rely on a decentralized budgeting system like spreadsheets. Stakeholders need to define specific roles within the budgeting process, ensuring ownership and accountability throughout the cycle. This improves the budgeting process and increases visibility.
5. Strong budgeting tools
Implementing modern budgeting practices relies on the right technology. You need technology that efficiently gathers data, delivers state-of-the-art analytics capabilities, and quickly provides an in-depth look into your organization’s budget and performance. Organizations need more than standard accounting software or spreadsheets to keep up with the latest public sector accounting standards. They need specialized budgeting software which offers greater accessibility, ease of use, and forecasting options. Questica has public sector organizations comprehensive budgeting solutions that have the capabilities and tools entities needed to follow these practices.
Questica makes budgeting easier for the public sector
Questica’s budget management products integrate with more than 25 enterprise resource planning systems, ensuring the platform can access all the information it needs to track and evaluate set metrics and provide custom reports. Questica Budget Operating and Questica Budget Capital ensure public sector entities have a clear view into both their operational and capital expenditures, and enables organizations to look at non-financial measures. Additionally, Questica’s easy-to-use OpenBook provide a clear visual representation of the information contained in these solutions. To learn more about Questica and how our software can personalize methods could help you, visit our and check out one of our whitepapers.