In the first part of this series, we're focusing on how to fill out and submit the budget proposal spreadsheet properly.
Example: Cheese Enjoyment Club
For these examples, we'll be following the SU Cheese Enjoyment Club treasurer as they go about getting their funding for a Fall semester. The Cheese Enjoyment Club strives to provide students with opportunities to get together with like-minded cheese-enjoyers. Their members bring various kinds of cheese to the meetings, where attendees taste and discuss them. They also occasionally bring in cheese experts to speak. Every year, the club sends some of its members to a cheese convention or festival as well as a visit to a dairy or cheese factory.
Step 0: Your Club Account Number and Current Balance
Before we begin the budget, your club treasurer will need a few bits of information and access to some important forms.
Your club treasurer should have access to the Finance tab in Presence. After logging into the admin panel, they can use the menu on the left side of the panel to click through to the Finance page.
On the finance page, they will see a list of all the clubs they can create budgets for.
Take note of the account number. Additionally, you can see the current balance for your club's account, which will also be important later.
Step 1. Planning Club Spending
The first step is to determine what you'll need for the next two semesters. While you'll only be filling out a budget for the upcoming/current semester, having a rough idea of what you'll need for the following semester helps with long-term planning and reduces the workload and stress for the subsequent budget requests.
The Cheese Enjoyment Club has made a list with everything they'll need for the year. Determining the prices of some of these items is really easy. However, others are more difficult, so an estimate will be required.
Step 2. Filling Out the Budget Request Form
Your treasurer should have received an email with the Budget Proposal Form file. If not, they can download a copy here:
Once downloaded, they should open the file and fill out the Budget Sheet worksheet. First, they need to enter the club name, account number, and current balance. Then they should fill in an itemized list of all the expenses for that semester and their estimated costs along with a brief description of what it will be used for. Once the expenses are listed, the sheet will automatically calculate the 20% fundraising requirement. At this point, they should list all planned fundraisers and how much revenue is expected to be earned. If the "20% Raised due to fundraising" cell is green, then the budget is ready. If it is red, figure out how to reduce expenses or plan additional funding sources until it turns green.
Take note of the Final Request total. You'll need it for the next step.
At this point, make sure everyone in your club who needs to approve this has done so. It is especially important that this include your club advisor who will be signing off on all of this after you submit everything.
Additionally, it's a good idea at this point to make sure that your request is in line with the SGA Finance Manual. You can find a copy on the SGA website, or download it here:
Step 3. Filling out the Allocation Request Form
Now that the Budget Proposal Form is filled out, it's time to submit it! To do this, you will need to create an Allocation Request on Presence.
On the Finance page, click on the "CREATE" button in the top right corner and then click on the "Allocation" option.
This opens a form. Upload the completed Budget Request Form. Next, fill it out as follows, with your club's name. When entering the Amount/Allocation Total, make sure it matches the Final Request Total you saved from earlier.
Once all this is correct, click on Submit for Approval. It will be sent to your club advisor for approval, before being sent to the SGA Treasurer and a few other administrators for approval. If everything is in order, the budget will be approved and the money will be allocated.
And that's it! You're done! Hopefully, we were able to make this long and convoluted process slightly less painful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out the Budget & Finance Committee.
Can't See Finance Tab:
If you're not registered as the Treasurer for a club, the Finance tab may not be visible. It's also possible that your club may not have an account number yet. These are both usually quick fixes if you email email@example.com and ask them for help.