Essentials of Budgeting Course

Introduction

Welcome to this online training course - Essentials of Budgeting.

As a manager in higher education with over twenty years' experience, most of which included direct responsibility for departmental budgets, I have found the materials and exercises in this module to be invaluable. If only I'd been able to access them two decades ago!

Essentials of Budgeting takes around 4-5 hours to complete, and should enable you to discuss your current and future budgets with finance managers with greater confidence. You will feel stronger influence over the decisions you will need to take in the years ahead.

The Leadership Foundation has developed this training course in partnership with Jisc, and we do hope in future to be able to develop more online learning on this and other topics.

Dr Paul Gentle
Director of Programmes
Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

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Module 1: Introduction to budgets
This module introduces Essentials of Budgeting, an online training course for university managers. It helps you to understand what budgets are and how they can be useful, both to you as a manager and to your University colleagues.
Module 2: What is a budget and why have one?
This module looks at what a budget is (and is not) and the various reasons why organisations have budgets. It also examines some of the problems inherent in the budget process caused by potential conflicts in the objectives of the system.
Module 3: How to produce a budget
This module looks at what you need to prepare a Budget and the process to do so. It will help you to consider the evidence available internally within your department and externally in the marketplace and to document the assumptions which underlie your Budget so it can form part of the overall plan for the University for the coming year.
Module 4: Using a budget
This module looks at how Budgets are used to help manage activities. It uses a numerical example showing actual results compared to budget to help illustrate the importance of understanding the causes of variances. It is not simple, but variance analysis is one of the most useful tools for financial management. It is worth working through the example slowly and carefully. You may find it helpful to make notes and check calculations as you go.
Module 5: Your budget
This module looks at three key principles and two areas for you to consider. It is designed to encourage you to consider your approach to your Budget and your Management Reports. As a result you will gain a better understanding of how effective use of the budget system can help you make better management decisions more effectively and efficiently.
Module 6: Review of key points
This module looks at some of the key points raised in the earlier modules and summarises the main issues involved. It includes a methodology for reviewing your budget and is designed to help you put the concepts covered into practice to improve the financial efficiency and effectiveness of your University.