Organize Budget Data

The Budget In Brief application supports a very flexible folder structure and does not force any particular standard. We have found that our users become very creative in how they organize their budget projects; and their way of doing it from year to year, department to department, or submission to submission. In our samples and tutorials you will find some of the best practices, which are used by the budget community. 

Generally we recommend storing one budget project in its own folder, with all of its files and data, which are requires. This approach allows users to quickly move from one budget cycle to another; by simply making a copy of the old folder for archival purposes, and moving forward with the existing folder to a new budget cycle.  

You will find that naming files, in a meaningful way, can help you in the long run. Please try to avoid using the "Year" in your file name. For instance use “Organization Chart.doc” instead of   “Organization Chart 2009.doc” or “Revenue and Expenditure Summary.docx” instead of “Revenue and Expenditure Summary 2011.docx”. Generic names will save you time in the long run and will open doors to fast budget cycle rollover in the future.

We suggest to use the "Budget-Project-Folder" approach rather than the "Budget-Project-File" approach, because one project usually has many files and many of them will change from year to year.
We suggest:

  • City Budget
    • Fiscal Year 2009
      • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary.doc"
      • "Organization Chart.doc"
    • Fiscal Year 2010
      • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary.doc"
      • "Organization Chart.doc"
    • Fiscal Year 2011
      • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary.doc"
      • "Organization Chart.doc"

Instead of:

  • City Budget
    • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary 2009.doc"
    • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary 2010.doc"
    • "Revenue and Expenditure Summary 2011.doc"
    • "Organization Chart 2009.doc"
    • "Organization Chart 2010.doc"
    • "Organization Chart 2011.doc"

 

Extracting common data elements into their own files is a great idea too! You can reuse them across your projects. Reports and charts for instance, can popup multiple times, even in one document. Be creative! 

You might already have a well-structured approach, but please spare some time and share it with other users on our forums. We would all greatly appreciate that!


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