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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 parish or school 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 parish or school 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. Parishes must consult with the Financial Services Group and schools must consult with the Department of Catholic Schools if the location anticipates a budget deficit.

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 staff in developing the annual budget and managing the finances of the school within the limits of the approved budget.

See worksheets for budgets (login and password required). See the ADLA Parish Budget App - Login Instructions​ and​ ADLA Budget Application for Parishes: FY2015​. 

The Parish Finance Council monitors parish expenditures and consults with the pastor in addressing potential or developing budget deficits. The pastor/administrator, in turn, works with the regional bishop or regional episcopal vicar to address the modifications or other actions that should be taken to resolve budget imbalances.

For parish schools, expenses over the budget must be approved by the pastor/administrator and the Department of Catholic Schools before the obligation may be incurred.

Stipends, service fees, and additional 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 overtime should also be included in the budget. Parishes should budget for expe​nses related to clergy who serve as "supply" priests.​

Tuition, registration, school trips, and summer school 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 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. Schools apply through the Department of Catholic Schools and parishes apply through the office of their regional bishop.​