Budget Monitoring Essentials
This online course introduces the key skills you need to prepare and analyze project budget monitoring and forecast reports, including donor financial reports.
This course is suitable for anyone in the not-for-profit sector with responsibility for:
- implementing and managing project, program or organization-wide budgets
- reporting to donors and other stakeholders on project performance
- reviewing implementing partners’ project performance.
Previous experience and knowledge of the budgeting process is useful for this course. We recommend attending Humentum’s Budgeting Essentials eWorkshop first if you are new to budgeting.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Outline the Plan-Do-Review process in project financial management
- Design and prepare a budget monitoring report to compare a project budget with actual performance
- Calculate variance and grant utilization percentages to assess project progress compared to plan
- Analyze the cause of budget variances using a 3-criteria model
- Create a Variance Analysis Table to identify significant variances and follow-up actions
- Create a project budget forecast report based on latest activity plans and information
- Feel confident to use budget monitoring reports in project and grant management.
Also see the Weekly Agenda for the topics covered.
Our training puts the learner at the center, using practical and fun learning activities, and easy-to-use materials. We share tools and techniques that can be immediately used in your work.
An eWorkshop is the online equivalent of being in a training room and learning together as a group, but stretched out over a few weeks. The learning resources include interactive lessons, readings, videos, individual and team tasks, and a practical course assignment.
There are no ‘real time’ sessions so you can study at a time that suits you, within the set module weeks. The course requires a time commitment of around five to seven hours every week.
Introductions and overview
- Using the site and where to get help
- Financial reporting and monitoring in context
- Introducing the Chart of Accounts
- Budget monitoring – your experience so far
- Practical assignment: Introducing the case study
Budget monitoring reports
- Budget monitoring reports: layout and content
- Where the figures come from
- Donor accountability
- Practical assignment: Building the report
Budget management: Analysis tools and techniques
- What causes variances to the plan?
- Analyzing the budget monitoring report
- How to spot fraud and abuse of budgets
- The Variance Analysis Table
- Practical assignment: Variance analysis
Budget management: Action planning and forecasting
- Taking action on variations to the plan
- The art of budget forecasting
- Reviewing the budget forecast report
- Donor reports and budget variations
- Practical assignment: Budget forecast and actions
Making links and action planning
- Practical assignment: Peer review
- Review and key messages
- Bonus materials
- Action planning