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Treasurer’s Report, March/April 2023 -   -  

Time to Think About the 2025 VVA Budget

VVA’s annual Budget has been approved, just in time to begin another cycle of planning and preparation for 2025 Budget. Quite a bit of planning, fact checking and rechecking go into the process of generating a budget for an organization with diverse interests and projects.

From a policy perspective, budgets reflect the values of an organization. Reviewing a budget is an easy way to assess what an organization stands for, as well as how it supports its agenda and associated activities. With that in mind, it is important that Cost Center Managers submit budgets with justifications. This year, some CCMs did not submit justifications, which help the Finance Committee make decisions about funding their requests.

A tip of the cap to VVA Director of Finance Anthony Powell and his staff. Their support and assistance with preparing information was invaluable in the budget process. A special thanks to Finance Committee Chair Dottie Barickman and the contributions of the members of her committee.

At times, we needed to dig back into old files for information to formulate the 2024 Budget. This process was time consuming and required a great deal of attention to detail. While some folks might think it is a slam dunk, it requires a lot of patience, planning, ingenuity, and determination.

When I was a committee chair, I used to think the budget process was like the Spanish Inquisition. I can report that this Finance Committee left nothing to chance. Decisions on funding requests were deferred if more information or clarity was needed to satisfy or answer a question.

At the same time, the 2024 Budget was not without its challenges given the quality of Zoom connections, mail in spam files, Covid protocols, weather interruptions, time zones, and working the kinks out of the process. We are fortunate to be working with talented and experienced members who are engaged in this work for Vietnam Veterans of America.

I was there, learning the process from the beginning, courtesy of the Finance Committee. I appreciate their good humor, patience, and dedication to doing the best they can for VVA.

I am looking at ways to streamline the budget process. Working with the Finance Committee, I believe there are areas that can be expedited as the Cost Center Managers prepare budgets. We know that a turn of a verb sometimes does not always give a clear picture of the intent or aim of a funding request.

Last year Anthony Powell, Dottie Barickman, and I held a workshop for VVA staff and the Board of Directors and committee chairs on the budget process and preparation. We received many favorable responses and requests that we repeat this workshop. Realizing that this workshop was a win/win, we plan to schedule more this year.




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