Were very enthusiastic, City Manager Jonathan Evans said. We stayed the course, we had a goal in mind and we accomplished that goal.

The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award was presented to the city last week by the Government Finance Officers Association for putting together a budget that reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting, according to a release.

Its a prestigious award, said John Fishbein, senior program manager at GFOA. Wed like to see more governments involved in the program. Its a good tool and it helps stakeholders to better understand the budget.

The guidelines for the award are determined by how well the budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. There are 27 criteria governing bodies are reviewed on, Fishbein said, and more than 600 reviewers. The reviewers make comments that are intended to help cities with their budget process.

The big thing is weve created our budget document to be a tool to communicate with the public on our goals and objectives, Evans said. Its a testament to the hard work of staff, elected officials and board members who helped along the way. It really is a collaborative effort.

Haines City was one 1,550 participants to receive the award for budgets beginning in 2015. The Illinois-based GFOA is a professional organization that provides training programs, publications and products intended to improve the performance of government officials who deal in finance.

Evans will be leaving Haines City to become an assistant county administrator in Sarasota County in late July, but would like to see the city continue to work to get the recognition. It is the first time that Haines City has received the award.

Your lending institutions and financial markets look at your budget documents, Evans said. That goes into account when youre trying to refinance debt or apply for a loan. I think the financial situation here is better than in recent years and this validates our commitment to transparency.

Mike Ferguson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 863-401-6981. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.

Most companies will wait until the second half of the fiscal year to improve budgeting, planning and forecasting. However, the beginning of the fiscal year is the perfect time to start getting ready for a new planning process and system.

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the Planning, Forecasting and Budgeting (London, UK - 19th-20th of October, 2016) conference to their offering.

This two-day course starts with the assumption that you already have a business strategy and outlines some techniques for creating business plans that are aligned with this strategy. It provides techniques for checking that the plans - and hence the strategy - are financially viable.

Moving on to forecasting, the programme describes seven techniques that between them improve the accuracy of any forecast you have to make. This leads in to budgeting, which should convert the business plan and the short-term forecasts into a financial statement of expected revenues and costs.

Many organisations are dissatisfied with the budget as a mechanism of planning and control. For them the budget absorbs a great deal of management effort and provides questionable value in return. This course explores several ways of improving the budget - from getting rid of it altogether to adopting a range of less radical modifications.

Course objectives

Participants attending this programme will learn how to:

- Translate strategy into results

- Generate a business plan that drives organisational activity

- Increase the accuracy of forecasting

- Ensure realistic forecasting

- Allocate appropriate resources

- Set budgets that are quicker to create, encourage the right behaviours and add value

- Identify and manage key risks

- Avoid the weaknesses of conventional approaches to budgeting

Above all, this programme will show you how strategy, business planning, forecasting and budgeting should fit together and support one another - and how to make this happen in your own organisation.

Delivery style

Participants will learn by active participation during the programme through teaching sessions, the use of practical exercises and group discussions.

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4nlzr7/planning

1.1 200 OK Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2016 01:47:07 GMT Server: Apache Transfer-Encoding: chunked Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Budgeting time - The Saratoga Sun