The most important step of the budget process follows adoption: monitoring revenues and expenditures for the budget year. A few basic practices will help you adequately monitor the income and expenditures of your city.
First, devise a monthly report in order to give elected officials and department heads a current picture of the city’s finances.
Second, during the course of the fiscal year, prepare a quarterly or mid-year budget review. This will help with the third most important aspect of the monitoring process: budget amendments. Even the best budget will miss a line item or several line items. The law allows for amendments to the budget in order to bring actual expenditures in line with the budget. The budget ordinance may be amended “in the same manner as any other ordinance may be amended.” T.C.A. § 6-56-208. A public hearing is not required for a budget amendment.
It is impossible to overemphasize the need for budget monitoring. Without it, the budget process is incomplete and may place the city in a tenuous financial position.