Provide summary information, including an overview of significant budgetary issues, trends, and resource choices.. Present information in a separate section (e.g., executive summary) or integrated within the budget message or transmittal letter
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1. The Budget as a Communications Device
2. Provide summary information, including an overview of significant budgetary issues, trends, and resource choices. Present information in a separate section (e.g., executive summary) or integrated within the budget message or transmittal letter – or as a separate budget-in-brief.
3. Citizens Budget Guide or Budget-in-Brief
4. Explain the effect, if any, of other planning processes. Strategic plans
Long-range financial plans
Capital improvement plans
8. Describe the process for preparing, reviewing, and adopting the budget. Describe the budget amendment process. Describe the budget process (narrative)
Provide a budget calendar
Describe how the budget is amended after adoption (including the level of budgetary control)
15. Use charts and graphs to highlight financial and statistical information. Charts and graphs can enhance narrative in the budget
They may require narrative explanation to ensure that the correct message is conveyed
Keep in mind that changing styles and scales can reduce the effectiveness of graphs and there is such a thing as too much clip art – particularly if different styles are mixed
18. Provide narrative, tables, schedules or matrices to show the relationship between functional units, major funds, and nonmajor funds in the aggregate.
21. Include a table of contents. Provide a comprehensive table of contents
Number all pages or otherwise identify them
Page references should agree – this may be a challenge with electronic documents
24. Include a glossary for any terminology (including abbreviations and acronyms) that is not readily understandable to a reasonably informed lay reader. Define financial and non-financial terms
Use non-financial language
Define acronyms and abbreviations – e.g., TRIM, CIP, GASB, OPEB, FDOT, ADA, FTE, and FY
27. Provide statistical and supplemental data that describe the organization, its community, and population. It should also furnish other pertinent background information related to the services provided.
33. Produce the document and format it in such a way as to enhance its understanding by the average reader. It should be attractive, consistent, and oriented to the reader’s needs. Use consistent page formatting
Provide appropriate level of detail
Text, tables, and graphs need to be legible
Numbers should be consistent and accurate