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​​​​​​​​6.4.6 Budgeting​​​

All locations are required to establish a realistic annual budget. A budget is a systematic approach to finance that estimates and monitors revenues and expenditures, helps foster stewardship growth, and includes contingencies to address unforeseen events. In short, the budget is the financial plan of action for the location. It is a guide for making many of the routine decisions relating to the ordinary and necessary expenditures of operating a location based on actual revenues. Budgets should be balanced, although circumstances may arise for locations to adjust budgets during the fiscal year to reflect actual results. If the location anticipates a budget deficit, the person in charge at a parish must consult with the F​inancial Services Group; the person in charge at a school -- after conferring with the pastor if applicable​ -- must consult with the Department of C​atholic Schools​.

The pastor, after consultation with the Parish Finance Council and the pastor's staff, is responsible for establishing and enforcing the annual parish budget and anticipating any contingencies. The principal of a parish school works with the pastor while the principal of an archdiocesan school works with the Department of Catholic Schools in developing the annual budget and managing the finances of the school within the limits of the approved budget.

To prepare a budget, open an ACES account; refer to the ADLA Budget Application for Parishes​​ for further guidance; then, log in to the worksheets for budgets (login and password required).  These links provide the necessary tools for budget preparation.

​The Parish Finance Council monitors parish expenditures and consults with the pastor/administrator in addressing potential or developing budget deficits. The pastor/administrator, in turn, works with the regional bishop or regional episcopal vi​​​car to address the modifications or other actions that should be taken to resolve budget imbalances. Parishes should budget for expe​nses related to stipends, service fees, and cle​rgy ​who serve as supply priests​.​​

For parish schools, expenses over the budget must be approved by the pastor/administrator and the Departmen​t of Catholic Schools ​before the obligation may be incurred. Additional teacher compensation must be included in the budget. For example, teachers may be paid for substituting and a total budget includes amounts for substitute pay (whether teachers are outside substitutes or employees)​. An estimated amount for over​time should also be included in the budget.

Tuition, registration, summer school, and other fees that are received at any time for the next school year are called "prepaid fees." These prepayments are not funds available for the current school year operating expenses. They should be deposited in the Investment Pool account or a separate prepaid fees account upon receipt.

Locations serving low-income communities may apply for financial assistance from Together in Mission. Applications for Together in Mission​ assistance are available from the deacon assistants of the regional bishops. Parishes and schools apply jointly to the regional bishop's office and the Department of Catholic Schools.​

Departments of the archdiocesan administrative office (Archdiocesan Catholic Center) must submit an annual budget to their senior directors for review and approval.​​