Law Department Budgets - Budget Estimate Updates

For the budget estimate update, if the total exceeds the total submitted at the last estimate, first check whether any unfilled positions or job vacancies can offset overages in other object codes.  Next, look for unallocated amounts or “to be determined.”  Reduce the rows with the largest unallocated amounts first.  If the total remains greater than the last budget estimate, review the average run rate by object code. Where the run rate going forward exceeds the average year to date, amounts can be reduced towards or at the average rate.

For any object codes where the change does not equal zero calculate the percentage of the total the variance accounts for and the source.  Make a note in the notes column for that object code. This will form your executive summary of budget changes.  With the budget owners, review the draft budgets and collect feedback prior to the budget submission deadline.

Normally for the budget submission you will provide only the totals by object code and not the breakdown by vendor or employee.  Finally, be sure to provide the budget owners with a copy of the final budget estimate submission and the variance executive summary.

For the annual budget submission you will be 80% or more at your goal simply from having reconciled the budget monthly.  You’ll have good understanding of the cadence and makeup of spend.

For those who have purchased a Magical Kit, the department budget videos are now posted in the digital kit.