Operating vs. capital budget
A budget is a quantitative plan or statement that gives the details of projected expenditures during a certain period (Rabin, 2003). A typical budget contains details such as costs, expenses, revenues, sales volumes, and cash flows. An operating budget is a detailed statement of estimated revenues and expenses during a specific accounting period based on projected revenues from sales (Rabin, 2003). It is a short-term financial plan and therefore excludes long-term costs. On the other hand, a capital budget is a financial plan that is created to raise money for large expenses such as infrastructure, machinery, and land acquisition over long periods (Rabin, 2003).
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Federal budget process
The federal budget process comprises four stages: Executive preparation, Legislative consideration, budget execution, and audit and evaluation (Keith & Schick, 2001). Executive preparation involves the creation of a budget by the President’s Office of Management and Budget based on the President’s agenda (Keith & Schick, 2001). After this, the budget is presented to Congress where it is reviewed. Congress also passes budget resolutions.
Budget execution involves the delivery of funds to governmental agencies that either follows the instructions of Congress on how to spend the money or create their spending plans. The final stage is the audit and evaluation. It is done by governmental agencies and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (Keith & Schick, 2001). Congress is also involved in the process. The main aim of audit and evaluation is to determine whether government money was spent in a way that was by the directions of Congress (Keith & Schick, 2001).
Keith, R., & Schick, A. (2001). Introduction to the Federal Budget Process. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.
Rabin, J. (2003). Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy. New York, NY: CRC Press.