Hey there, school finance wizards! 🧙‍♂️ As we gear up for the bustling season ahead, it's time to ensure our budgets are in top shape and fully compliant with financial regulations. A little proactive work now can save a ton of stress later. Let’s dive into a fun, step-by-step guide to get your budget ready and avoid last-minute scrambles!

General Budget Limit (GBL) – Balance Like a Pro

First things first, let’s tackle the General Budget Limit (GBL). Think of it as setting the foundation for your financial house. Update those cells using last year’s expenses and projections as your trusty guide. It’s like taking a financial selfie—capturing your budget at its best! Make sure your Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Fund is equal to the GBL calculated on page 7 of 8. Balance those scales to perfection, and you’re off to a great start!

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) – Precision Matters

Next up, we have the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) compliance. This one’s all about precision. Ensure that the total for all disability classifications and IEP-required pupil transportation costs are spot-on. It’s like making sure every ingredient in your budget recipe is measured just right.

Classroom Site Fund (CSF) – Keep It in Check

Now, let’s move on to the Classroom Site Fund (CSF). This step is all about updating the cells to reflect the CSF limit. Think of it as tuning your financial instruments to play in perfect harmony. Use previous expenses and projections to verify that Fund 010 matches the CSF Budget Limit. Follow the instructions on this page to keep your allocations accurate and compliant.

Unrestricted Capital Budget Limit – Stay on Target

For the Unrestricted Capital Budget, it’s all about hitting the bullseye. Update the cells using last year’s data and verify that the Unrestricted Capital Outlay (UCO) Fund matches the budget limit calculated on page 8 of 8. Picture yourself as a financial archer, aiming for perfect alignment. Also, ensure Object Code 673x details align perfectly with the total UCO Fund. Bullseye!

Object Codes Detail Verification – Get the Numbers Right

Let’s dive into the object codes! Ensure the totals for selected object codes (lines 2-11) match the reported totals above. Lines 13-15 must equal line 12 to avoid any warnings. Imagine you’re solving a financial puzzle where every piece must fit perfectly. This step applies to Unrestricted Capital Outlay, Bond Building, New School Facilities, and Adjacent Ways funds. Get those numbers right and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done!

Federal and State Projects – Allocate Wisely,

Now it’s time to show off your budget allocation skills. Update budgets for Federal and State Projects based on GME allocations and projections. This includes the Instructional Improvement Fund and other expenditures. Think of it as distributing the right amount of financial magic to each project. Make sure all budgets are at or above projected amounts to prevent any negative balances.

Revenue and Tuition Verification – Keep It Accurate

Verify the Revenue Control Limit (RCL) using the BSA-55 Report and check District Additional Assistance (DAA). Confirm tuition revenue per the BUDG25 Report and adjust the budget balance carryforward accordingly. Picture yourself as a financial detective, uncovering all the right numbers. Adjust for any ADM/Transportation Audit findings, and you’re all set!

Fund 610 Expenditures – Stay Current

Update prior year’s Fund 610 expenditures. For budget adoption, use actual expenditures to date plus estimated amounts through the fiscal year-end. Think of it as keeping your financial diary up to date. Don’t forget to update the prior year’s interest earned in Fund 610. Staying current is key to a smooth budget journey!

Data Entry and BSA-55 Page – Data Accuracy

Update the data entry page using last year’s BSA-55 Report and projected student counts. It’s like updating your financial playlist with the latest hits. Ensure the BSA-55 page reflects this updated data for an accurate financial outlook. Keep your data fresh and in tune!

Compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) – Follow the Rules

Make sure you’re using the prescribed budget format developed by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and the Auditor General. Think of it as following a trusted recipe for budget success. This format, available in Microsoft Excel, ensures all required information is included in your annual budgets.

Posting Requirements – Transparency is Key

Post a link on your website to the ADE website where the proposed budget and summary can be viewed. Transparency is like opening the windows to let the light in! Send this link to the School Finance Budget Team via email, and include a screenshot of your website for audit purposes.

Publishing and Hearing Notifications – Keep Everyone Informed

Publish or post the proposed budget or summary, along with a notice of the public hearing and board meeting, at least 10 days before the meeting. Think of it as sending out party invitations for your budget bash. Follow the specific guidelines for newspaper publishing or mailing notices, and comply with truth in taxation requirements if applicable.

Budget Adoption – Seal the Deal

Adopt your budget no later than July 15 and submit it electronically to the Superintendent of Public Instruction by July 18. Seal the deal like a financial superstar! Post a link to the adopted budget on your district’s website and email the link to the School Finance Budget Team.

By completing these essential budget verifications and updates now, you’ll be well-prepared for the busy season, compliant with all statutory requirements, and ready to manage resources effectively. This proactive approach will contribute to smoother and more efficient operations throughout the year.

Let’s get these updates done and set ourselves up for a successful and stress-free busy season! 🎉