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Budget & Cash Flow Template

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Budget & Cash Flow Template

Budget & Cash Flow Template

Regularly monitoring your organizational budget and cash flow is like taking your vitamins and eating your greens: essential to long-term health but not fun for everyone. Our guess, though, is that the more you do it the more you will enjoy it – even look forward to it – and the information and skills you gain will undoubtedly strengthen your nonprofit.

Most organizations start the budgeting process with their current chart of accounts, list of programs and financial reports. From there you can design a customized budget format. We recommend building your budget with three key elements in place:

  1. Budget on an accrual basis, meaning your budget reflects all money earned (whether received or not) and all money spent or promised in your fiscal year
  2. Budget by program, meaning your budget has rows for natural revenue and expenses (organized by the nature of the activity, i.e. supplies) and columns for functional revenue and expenses (organized by the function – or program area – of the activity)
  3. Budget by quarter, meaning you allocate your annual budget across your four fiscal quarters to capture the seasonality of your business

Use the attached budget and cash flow template as a guide for customizing your organization-wide budget, program budgets, monthly or quarterly budgets, and for tracking your cash flow (a necessary companion to accrual budgeting). Lastly, use the variance tab to compare your actual performance with your expected performance. Pay particular attention to variances greater than 10% as those may be early warnings of veering away from your projected bottom line.

With these financial roadmaps in place you’ll be sure to add structure and strategy to your financial leadership capabilities, which translates to greater progress toward your organizational vision and more positive outcomes in the communities you serve.

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