Budget Planning and Control

Assignment 2: Budget Planning and Control

ACC 556 – Financial Accounting for Managers

Strayer University

Assignment 2: Budget Planning and Control

Introduction

The company that I chose for the basis of this paper and for which I am currently employed is Catholic Charities (The Division of Child and Family Services). The Child and Family Services division of Catholic Charities is a national leader in behavioral health, child welfare, special education, early childhood, and family development services. The division employs over 850 staff and operates a wide array of state-of-the-art programs throughout Maryland. The mission of Catholic Charites is to “Cherish the Divine within All”. Known for creativity, innovation, excellence, and our nationally-recognized Family-Provider Partnership, the programs of C&FS focus on building and unifying families and helping families and individuals of all ages to achieve healthier lives.

More specifically, the program in which I work for is a Home- Based Residential Treatment Facility and is located in Timonium, MD and formerly known as Villa Maria – which provides comprehensive therapeutic services to children whose behavioral and emotional needs have not responded to interventions and services provided at home or in the community. A comprehensive plan for therapeutic services is developed based on a thorough assessment of each child and in partnership with the family. My program is called the Mercy Unit, in which I currently serve as a Senior Residential Treatment Counselor.

Budgeting Essentials/ Necessities

Catholic Charities in congruence with many other organizations that offer support services for families and their children, especially in the capacity in which the Mercy Unit, in particular does it must maintain and plan for effective budgeting in order to allocate how many children and families that we can serve and how much we need to obtain in terms of grants, contributions, and donors from the state, as well as outside donors. According to The Daily Record of Baltimore, MD, Kevin Keegan, who now serves as a member of the Catholic Charities executive leadership team, since 2010, helped implement “B’more for Healthy Babies,” the successful infant mortality public education campaign developed in conjunction with the Baltimore City Department of Health, and expanded the reach of the organization through collaborations around grade-level reading, summer activities for students, and community schools. Keegan also grew the budget by $5 million, a 25 percent increase, to expand services for Baltimore City children and families.

Another compelling reason that this company should prepare and manage a budget is for future planning towards respite children, hiring more staff, as well as meeting state regulations as it relates to keeping beds full in order to continue to serve the children and their families that are in need of such services.

Positive and Negative Outcomes

If Catholic Charities, like many other non-profit social services organizations properly performs effective budgeting then the state and federal government will continue to provide sufficient funding in order for the organization to serve more children and their families, and also too so that these children are not disconnected from their families and dumped back into the system. Some negative outcomes of not properly performing effective budgeting are not being able to serve the community at large as well as consolidating different Catholic Charities work sites which brings on job cuts and moving children from their milieus that they have been used to being in. All of which Catholic Charities have experienced due to insufficient budgeting and funding.

Catholic Charities has grappled since 2008 with the aftershocks of a poor economy, shrinking public dollars, and flat private source funding. The charity has operated under about a $13.3 million budget just in the fiscal years that ended Dec. 31 of 2010 and 2011, with about 42 percent of its income derived originally from federal funding sources. Its current year budget is roughly $13.5 million (Lind. T., 2012).

Sample Budget

Below is a high level budget plan that includes revenues, expenses, and surpluses that is often used in the Catholic Charities Arena in order to allocate funds in order to allow the organization to continue to serve children and their families. This budget was proposed by my boss as well as the Executive Director for the division of Child and Family Services that I am currently employed. The most appropriate budgeting phases for the company are the sum of its total revenues which includes its earned income, and additional revenues from state and local governments, as well as grants, and contributions from outside foundations and corporations which are its largest contributors.

Methods to Manage Budget

In order for my division to properly manage its budget over time in preparation for the fact that budgets are ever changing, one recommendation would be to allow each level of employment to sit in on budget meetings in order for employees to be aware of the company’s budget in order for everyone to be aware of up and coming cuts and consolidations within the organization so that program directors can properly screen children and their families. This would ensure that the appropriate children and families are being served, so that there would not be an issue of filling beds in fear of falling below budget. The second recommendation would be to invite outside contributors as well as local and state governments to more Catholic Charities events in order for them to see the work that they do in the hopes that they will increase their contributions in order to make future plans to increase revenues and broaden the services that they provide to children and their families once the children are discharged from the residential care facilities, which will in turn generate more funds to serve more families in the future.

Financial Challenges

Catholic Charities USA agencies receive significant assistance from state and federal government sources. The relationship between the three entities has been the subject of recent controversy. (Financial Crisis Clear to Catholic Charities USA Agencies. 2010) If there was a major loss of grants and assistance from state and federal government sources then this organization would not be where it is today. However, in the event that the government significantly decreased their assistance then Catholic Charities would have to pull away from these government agencies that fund them and seek alternative funding.

Conclusion

All in all, effective budgeting and control is essential to the livelihood of organizations, especially for non-profit organizations such as Catholic Charities who gains most of its funds from the government. Although this organization has ultimately faced significant budget cuts in the past the organization still thrives on serving children and families and is a leading social services beacon.

REFERENCES

Daily Record, S. (n.d). Baltimore’s Kevin Keegan to lead Catholic Charities’ Child and Family Services. Daily Record, The (Baltimore, MD),

Lind, T. (2012). Catholic Charities serves more people as funds shrivel. Journal Of Business (10756124), 27(7), B4.

Financial Crisis Clear to Catholic Charities USA Agencies. (2010). America, 202(1), 6-7.