|If you’re a fiscal novice, learn a little about budgets.
||The American Library Association's Library Budget Presentation website covers preparing and presenting your library's budget.
|Pick a software tool to help you with creating your budget.
- If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can start with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Techsoup offers steep discounts to libraries on accounting software from Sage, Intuit and others.
- For more information, read A Few Good Accounting Packages on the Techsoup website.
|Decide what expenses you’ll include in your budget projections.
- If you have a recent technology budget, it helps to look there first, but if that’s all you do, it’s easy to perpetuate the oversights you made last year and the year before. You can also look at sample budgets for small, medium, and large libraries on WebJunction's website and examples from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
- Another budgeting model that might help you think specifically about your technology spending is called Total cost of ownership.
- As we mentioned earlier, ask other libraries and other city government departments if you can see their technology budget. They may have included items that you forgot.
|Think about e-rate.
Always look at the suggestions of the e-rate administrators (USAC) if you plan to apply for e-rate discounts in the near future. If you don’t follow their advice, you may receive an unpleasant visit from Mr. Auditor.