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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Budget Tools: Financial Methods in the Public Sector
  • Date: 06/09/2008
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $58.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-539-3
  • Pages: 152
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Budget Tools: Financial Methods in the Public Sector
Greg G. Chen, CUNY-Baruch College
Dall W. Forsythe, New York University
Lynne A. Weikart, James Madison University
Daniel W. Williams, CUNY-Baruch College

Take a sneak peak inside!

Click on the links below to preview chapters one and four. Order your exam copy today by clicking on the "Request an Exam Copy" link above.
Chapter 1
Chapter 4

Have you found yourself creating your own budgeting exercises for your students? Are you frustrated by books that teach the theory of budgeting but offer students little opportunity to apply new skills and techniques? Then Budget Tools is for you.

Developed in classrooms, Budget Tools brings together scores of exercises that will take students through the process of public budgeting, from organizing data, through analysis and presentation. Using budgets from all levels of government, as well as from nonprofits, the authors have students work with real budgeting data to cover a range of topics and skills, such as historical analysis, forecasting, cost analysis, pension analysis, performance-based budgeting, debt structure and management, cash flow estimates and variance analysis, classifying and categorizing data, as well as memo writing and multi-year planning.

The accompanying CD includes datasets, examples, and spreadsheets to support the exercises in the book. Each exercise comes with solutions available to instructors who adopt the book for their courses. To download solutions to Budget Tools exercises, instructors must visit http://college.cqpress.com/instructors-resources/budgettools/ and register for a new account.

An Excel primer in the book’s final pages provides a quick and handy reference for students as they master basic skills and then move on to more advanced functions. The reference value that this book provides ensures that students will hold on to it long after they leave your classroom.

Formats Available from CQ Press
ISBN: 978-0-87289-539-3 Format: Print Paperback Retail Price: $58.00 Price to Bookstores: $46.40
New to this Edition
Not applicable: This is the first edition of this work.

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Table of Contents

Introduction and the Craft of Budgeting

1. Organizing Budget Data
Understanding the Use of a Chart of Accounts
Thinking about Budget Cuts
Understanding Accounting Codes
Using Spreadsheets to Format Data

2. Preparing the Operating Budget: The Spending Side
Analyzing New Initiatives and Budget Cuts
Thinking about Budget Cuts
Updating the Budget Base
Creating a Payroll Simulation

3. First Steps in Revenue Estimating
Basic Forecasting Concepts and Terms
Forecasting with Holt Exponential Smoothing
Making an XY Plot in an Excel Spreadsheet

4. Preparing the Capital Budget
Life-Cycle Costing
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Financing Capital Projects

5. The Financial Plan and Budget
Decision Making
The Financial Plan
Budget Balance and Budget Decision Making

6. Presenting the Budget
Integrating Budgeting with Performance
Developing a History: Expenditure
Analysis in Current and Constant Dollars
Writing Budget Justifications

7. Implementing the Budget
Creating an Operating Plan
Variance Analysis

8. Multi-Year Plans and Analysis
Multi-Year Budget Planning
Simple Tools for Analyzing
Financial Statements

Appendix A: Chart of Accounts
Appendix B: Further Discussion of Data Organization
Appendix C: Spreadsheeting Basics
Appendix D: Producing Reports
Appendix E: Advanced Spreadsheeting for Budgeting

"Budget Tools is an amazingly practical, easy-to-follow guide to what budget professionals and managers need to do and how to do it. This book will become a standard 'must read' text for those who are learning to effectively shape the allocation of scarce resources in government and nonprofit organizations and make a 'bottom-line' difference." - Jane Beckett-Camarata, Kent State University

"Budget Tools equips the novice or prospective budgeter with functional knowledge of core budgeting components including account codes, personnel costs, and capital budgeting decisions. Readers learn basic techniques of budgeting using Excel spreadsheets and practical illustrations. The text emphasizes the generation of budget data over the process and politics of public budgeting, thereby permitting a prospective budgeter to develop confidence in producing and showcasing a budget prior to subjecting it to the fray of government politics." - Dwight V. Denison, University of Kentucky
Greg G. Chen, CUNY-Baruch College

Greg G. Chen teaches budgeting, accounting, and financial analysis at the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College. Previously, Chen held various positions in the provincial government of British Columbia, Canada, including Manager of Budgeting and Financial Reporting in the Department of the Ministry of Finance and Senior Policy Advisor for the Crown Agencies Secretariat in the Premier’s Office. Chen conducts research in budgeting, public and nonprofit finance, social policies, and management.

Dall W. Forsythe, New York University

Dall W. Forsythe teaches governmental and nonprofit financial management at the Wagner School of Public Service, New York University. Forsythe has extensive management experience in the governmental, private, and nonprofit sectors, including the State of New York, the New York City Board of Education, Lehman Brothers’ public finance department, and the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Among his previous books is Memos to the Governor: An Introduction to State Budgeting.

Lynne A. Weikart, James Madison University

Lynne A. Weikart has taught a public affairs course at Baruch College for more than a decade. Before her academic career, Weikart held several high-level government positions, including Budget Director of the Division of Special Education in New York City’s public schools and Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Luther Gulick Award for an Outstanding Academic. Her current research focuses upon resource allocation in urban areas, as well as the budgeting process and gender issues.

Daniel W. Williams, CUNY-Baruch College

Daniel W. Williams has taught budgeting at Baruch College since 1995. His research includes forecasting and the history of public administration, particularly performance measurement and budgeting. Before his academic career, Williams spent nineteen years with the Virginia Medicaid program, including nine years as the Budget Director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. He is currently the chairman of the budget committee of his local community board.


Instructor's Resources available for adopters!

For adopters: A solutions manual and self-grading spreadsheets for the quantitative problems are available. 


Sample Pages
This book is now available on CourseSmart! Click the link for more information.