Budgeting and Forecasting, Compensation and Benefits

Role of the Finance Officer in the Budget Process

Course Overview


Role of the Finance Officer in the Budget Process




Fundamentals of Local Government Budgeting, Budget Analyst Training Academy, or experience developing a local government budget.

Field of Study



Budgeting and Planning


Group-Live Class



The budget process is not simply an exercise in balancing revenues and expenses. Rather, it requires local government leaders to make a series of decisions about topics such as:

  • What are the most pressing problems facing the community and what services and programs can we offer to address these problems?
  • What is the best way to raise revenue to fund services and programs?
  • Which programs should receive increased funding and which should not?

This kind of decision-making is messy. It’s often done by groups, so there are conflicting points of view. It’s usually time constrained, so there isn’t time to consider everything. There is always uncertainty--usually more than we realize. And it’s done by humans, so it’s fraught with bias and inconsistency.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to become a “decision architect” and design a better budget decision-making environment for your organization.

Learning Objectives

Those who successfully complete this seminar should be able to:

  • Understand the difference between bias and noise and how they can lead to sub-optimal decision-making
  • Identify cognitive biases that can negatively impact budget decisions
  • Learn skills to help decision-makers see a wider option set, test assumptions and deal with uncertainty, and choose the highest-value options
  • Learn how to communicate numbers more effectively
  • Understand why it is important to nurture stakeholders’ trust in decision-making processes
  • Learn how to instill trust in budget decision-making processes

Who Will Benefit

CFO/Finance Director

Budget Manager

Budget Analyst

Department Director

Course Instructors

This course is taught by experienced budgeting practitioners and GFOA staff. Instructors will be familiar with GFOA best practices and have experience as finance director, budget director, or CEO of various size local governments.