Unless you're part of a financial department, you may have received little or no formal training in how to develop a budget forecast, track expenses or make midyear adjustments. You've been handed a spreadsheet or finance report, and you're expected to know what to do with it.
There's no better time to ask stupid questions than when you are brand new to something and have never done it. It's better to ask and spend time upfront learning than to wait until someone points out your mistakes. Ask your manager or predecessor to review the underlying philosophy, the overarching goals, the format and each line item. Being trained to do things according to their specifications upfront means fewer headaches later.
Here are some tips to help:
Realistic budget goals make a difference. Make a list of areas where you can expect to improve and figure out how to achieve them. If you find significant savings in your business finances, add the extra money to your marketing budget to make it count.
Managing a budget is an important role for a manager, but never lose sight of the most important assets — your people. Spend at least five times as much time developing your team as you do crunching numbers.
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