Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
Okay, you’ve learned about the different funds, you set your calendar, you researched your revenues and expenditures, you compiled them into a meaningful document, you met your deadlines, and the governing body adopted the budget. Whew! Now you can sit back and relax until next spring, right? Sorry, try again. The last phase of budgeting is execution. Although you might like to try out a guillotine on someone, we’re talking about putting the plan into action.
Budget execution requires overseeing revenue collections, purchases, cash management, and proper accounting and auditing. What are some of the rules you need to follow here? Again we look to the Tennessee Code Annotated for guidance. Chapter 56 of Title 6 offers us the most guidance. There we find the Municipal Budget Law of 1982 and the Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983.
The general provisions of this chapter include items such as the requirement of audits, where the municipality can legally invest idle money (bonds, notes, and treasury bills; non-convertible debt securities; U.S. guaranteed obligations; certificates of deposit; money market funds; and the local government investment pool to name a few); how soon you must deposit the money you’ve collected (within three working days); and the short and sweet statement that “All expenditures of money made by a municipality must be made for a lawful municipal purpose.” T.C.A. § 6-56-112.