How to Create an Operating Budget
What is a Budget?
A budget is an estimate of income and expenses for a set period of time in the future. You can create a budget for your entire organization or individually for each of your projects/programs. Budgets are meant to be revised and re-evaluated periodically as needed.
Why are Budgets Important?
Budgeting is important because it helps you maintain control over your finances. An annual organizational budget will allow you to visualize your finances for the year and help you assess what you can afford, serving as guidance to keep you out of debt. Budgets will also help you make strategic business decisions when it comes to programming. If you want to try a new program that year, your budget will help you project whether you can make a profit, break even, or will lose money on that project. As a non-profit, these projections could also help you determine your fundraising goals for the year.
Pentacle has provided a general Operational Budget Template meant for artists of budget sizes under $1Million. This template is ideal for artistic entities that have never created a budget before and those who are in need of a revamp. It’s important to remember that a budget works best when used alongside other financial statements such as an income statement and a cash flow statement.
Use the Pentacle Template to Get Started
How to Use this Template:
- Fill in your company name in cell A1.
- Fill in your Budget year in cell A2.
- Fill in the programs that you will be creating budgets for across the columns in row 2. You can add as many additional columns as you’d like. (Note: Be careful not to disrupt the formulas in column E and column K.)
- The categories listed across the top are called Classes.
- Fill in your projections for each line item of each class.
- Ideally you want your Total Net Income number in cell K65 to be a positive number! A negative number will indicate a loss and you will need to depend on additional funding and/or your cash reserve to make up for the loss.
- Additional Tips:
- If you have QuickBooks, you can enter your budget into QB and easily generate a Budget vs. Actual Report to track how well you are following your budget throughout the year.
Related Blog Posts
Preparing for Tax DayAn interview with Davalois Fearon In preparation for Tax Day, we talked with Davalois Fearon about her experience working with Pentacle, and how it has helped her with her taxes and gain overall financial health, especially through Fiscal...
Planning A Fundraising EventEvent fundraising can be a great way to raise funds There are a number of ways to fundraise money for an organization or cause. One of the most collaborative ways to fundraise is by hosting an event. There are many steps to consider when...
Understanding A Cash Flow Statement What is a Cash Flow Statement? A Cash Flow Statement is a financial statement that tracks the movement of a company’s cash over a selected period of time. This is an all-inclusive statement because it includes the inflow and outflow...
Understanding a Balance SheetWhat is a Balance Sheet? A Balance Sheet is a financial statement that summarizes the company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. The Balance Sheet is an essential tool used by organizational leaders, Board of...
How to create your own bookkeeping system for arts businessesManaging your organization’s finances can tend to be overwhelming. Who gave us funds for what? Who is getting paid for their services? How do I show a final report to stay compliant with the grant I...
What is an Independent Contractor?What types of professions work as Independent Contractors? In the professional services world, we know that lawyers, doctors, accountants, and others often provide their services to the general public as independent contractors....
Pentacle’s nextSteps is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Pentacle receives private support for nextSteps from the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the New York Community Trust.