Auditing the budget process in a municipality

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Budgeting in municipalities

More than half the municipalities in South Africa is probably not financially sustainable.  Liquidity ratios are below minimum standards and cash coverage ratios are less than 30 days.  This training explores the role that the budgeting plays in the effort for municipal management to manage the sustainability of municipalities.

Incremental budgeting is often used, without any substance or understanding of the cost drivers in the process.  This training will provide auditors with the knowledge to provide assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the risk and controls within the budget process.

Who should attend?

This course is intended for audit committee members and internal auditors at local government.

Course objectives

You will be able to:

  • Explain the various approaches to budgeting within their organisation
  • Ensure the strategic objectives of their organisation are achieved.
  • Contribute to the efficient allocation of resources at municipalities
  • Ensure that municipal funds are used effectively and efficiently.

Course Content

  1. The term ‘budgeting’ is defined within the context of a municipality.
  2. The aim of budgeting is explained in the context of improving service delivery within a municipality.
  3. The importance of the budget is described in terms of the efficient allocation of resources within a municipality.
  4. The relationships between the components of a budgeting and service delivery system are identified within a municipality.
  5. Key stages within the budgeting process are recognised and discussed in a municipal context.
  6. A range of budget formats is discussed in terms of their advantages and disadvantages for a municipality.
  7. The various formats of budgets are compared to each other.
  8. The existing practices within a municipality are identified with respect to budget formats and a reason given for why a particular format might have been chosen.
  9. Different approaches to preparing an annual budget are compared and evaluated in the municipal context and conclusion drawn as to the most effective approach.
  10. The impact of human aspects in budgetary control processes is recognised in the municipal context and explained with examples.
  11. The integrated development plan, sector plans and municipal budget are explained in terms of their relationship to each other in a budget.
  12. A schedule for integrated development planning and municipal budget processes is developed that ensures the integration of these processes.
  13. The role of measurable performance objectives is demonstrated for integrating IDP, budgeting, performance management and performance auditing.
  14. A budget for an IDP is estimated based on cost information.
  15. Different approaches are identified for preparing a municipal budget.
  16. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach to preparing municipal budgets are critically discussed within the context of a municipality.
  17. The current approach to budgeting at a municipality are evaluated in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.
  18. A choice of the most suitable approach to budgeting is identified given the legislative requirements.

Principles of Public Expenditure Management covered include:

  • Allocative Efficiency, Fiscal Discipline, Operational Efficiency
  • The components of the budgeting system including the processes of Planning, Budgeting, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • The Key Stages in the budgeting process including Policy Prioritisation, Applying Fiscal Discipline, Financial Planning, Drawing up the budget document, Implementing the budget, Financial Management.The Relevant Legislation includes:
  • The 1996 Constitution (Act 108 of 1996), The Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000). The Municipal Finance Management Act (Act 56 of 2003)Budget Formats including Line Items budgets, Programme Budgets, Performance Budgets
  • Other Budgeting Terms including Strategic outcomes, Outputs, Activities, Inputs, Measurable Performance Objectives
  • Approaches to Budgeting including Incremental Budgeting, Zero based budgeting, Programme Budgeting and Performance Budgeting.

An attendance certificate is issued after completion of the training.

Course Features

  • Lectures 12
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 30 days
  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 0
  • Certificate No
  • Assessments Yes
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