Summary of Chapter 12: Budgeting and Financial Management
*Excerpt from Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide
, copyright Congressional Management Foundation.
- use your strategic plan as a blueprint
for making budget choices. Make financial
decisions and allocate resources with your
strategic goals in mind.
- follow the seven-step approach to
updating your budget:
- note any changes to your strategic plan.
- brainstorm to identify what resources it will
take to accomplish priorities.
- analyze how you actually spent last year’s
- note any rule changes affecting the budget.
- identify expenses that are flexible or long-term
- review and justify major allocations in your
- create a new month-by-month budget.
- succumb to common budgeting
pitfalls by: spending on non-priorities;
overspending; spending taxpayer’s money
in a way that invites media scrutiny.
- overlook the importance of
developing an accounting system
to track what you actually spend. The
House Learning Center and Senate Office
of Education and Training offer classes to
help staff develop this system.
- fail to write down established
budget policies and procedures.
Your office policy manual should address
spending authority, reimbursements,
out-of-pocket expenditures and record