The Budget screen allows you to create budgets and evaluate the amounts spent or received against your budget.
Creating a New Budget
Before creating a budget, you will need to set up your budget categories by clicking on the Categories tab at the top of the Accounting screen. Once your categories are set up, return to the Budget screen and click on "Create a New Budget." ChurchTrac Online will then prompt you to select the budget start date. Next, select the categories to include in your budget from the drop down menu. You can add each category individually or click "Add ALL" to add all of the categories from the Category screen. Income categories will be listed under the "Income Categories" section and expense categories will be listed under the "Expense Categories" section. These designations can be edited on the Categories screen.
You will then need to select the "Include Subcategories," "Include in Totals," "Budget Amount," and "Period" options for each category.
- Include Subcategories - Choose "Yes" if you want the Budget reports to show the amount spent or received for this budget category to include the amounts assigned to subcategories. For example, you may want to include the Maintenance sub categories "Grounds" and "Building Maintenance" to be added together into "Maintenance" Parent category total. Otherwise choose "No" if you want Budget reports to only show the amount spent or received within the Parent category itself, not including any subcategories.
- Include in Totals - When set to "Yes," the budget item will be added into the overall Income Total or Expense Total. When set to "No," the category's values will not be added into these totals. You will typically want this set to "Yes" for your Parent or main categories so they will be included in the budget totals. For subcategories, however, you would want to set this value to "No" for any subcategories whose value is already included in the Parent category (as indicated on the "Include Subcategories" option). If the sub category is NOT already included in the Parent category total, then you will want to set this value to "Yes." In the above example, the Maintenance Parent category is marked as "Yes" to include in the Total, but the Maintenance sub categories are marked "No" to avoid being double counted in the overall budget totals.
- Budget Amount - Enter the budget amount as a positive number for both income and expense categories, rounded to the nearest dollar.
- Time Period - Select the time period for your budget. When you select "Yearly," you will want to enter the 12 month total budget amount for the category. When selecting the Monthly option, enter the monthly budget in the Budget Amount field (we'll automatically calculate the yearly amount). If you choose the Date Range option, enter the amount of the total category budget for the entire date range. For example, if you choose a Feb 1 through Apr 30 date range; enter the total budget amount for this category during this period. You would use this option for budget categories that don't need to spend money every month of the year or for seasonal ministries, like VBS or youth camp.
Evaluating Budget vs. Actual
Once you have selected the budget you want to view/evaluate from the list in the display box, select the time period for which you want to evaluate the budget vs. actual amounts by selecting a date from the drop down list. The time period will begin at the established start date of the budget and end at the date indicated by your selection. The default time period is set to end at the end of the current month.
The Income and Expense Category bar graphs will reflect the year-to-date amounts and year-to-date budget for the time period selected on the slider. Each time you adjust the time period slider, these amounts will change to reflect the new time period.
For each Income category the Category Name is displayed, along with the year-to-date amount received for that category. On the right side of the display are the Year-to-Date Budget Amount and the Total Yearly Budget Amount. The red highlight indicates that the particular category is under budget for the date determined.
Similarly, next to each Expense category the Category Name, the year-to-date amount spent for that category, the Year-to-Date Budget Amount, and the Total Annual Budget Amount are listed. The red highlight indicating the same as above.
ChurchTrac Online offers a variety of budget reports. Select your report option and click "Generate Budget Report."
Note: The data in the reports will reflect the time period set on the "Display Budget Values Through" dropdown at the top of the screen.