Before the start of each financial year, the PCC should discuss and agree a budget. Prayer, vision and prioritising are prerequisites for preparing PCC budgets. It is important that budgets are owned by PCCs and not merely imposed by the treasurer. The budget, once approved, becomes a policy document which provides a framework for mission and ministry within which the Treasurer operates.
Therefore during October/November, the Treasurer should draft a budget for the following year based on the likely outturn for the current year, amended to take account of any changes in circumstances or parish plans. To this end, the Treasurer should discuss the draft budget with the Incumbent and members of the Standing Committee before presenting it to the full PCC. If, having made best estimates of income and expenditure, a deficit is calculated, this should be resolved by reducing expenditure or increasing income, unless the parish considers that it has sufficient reserves to be applied to meeting the deficit.
Once adopted, the budget should be used to monitor expenditure and income as the year progresses. At least once a quarter, the Treasurer should draw up a financial statement comparing expenditure and income for the year to date with the figures for the same period in the previous year and an appropriate allocation of the approved budget. Expenditure and income may not be even throughout the year. The pattern during the previous year or two will form useful guidelines. Any unexpected deviations should be reported to the Standing Committee or Finance Committee of the PCC so that it can consider what corrective action, if any, should be taken.