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Management Ugh - end of fiscal year surprises

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,154
Points
34
One thing I hate about our agency setup is that budgeting is a committee deathmatch. And even though it may be your program, you don't have control over the budget.

I won't go into detail, but it's End of Fiscal Year, and I have found out some weird, stupid, and questionable surprises.

1) Another supervisor had 2 people doing the same work, and billing it to my general code. While I knew about the one person (approved the work), the other was an unpleasant surprise, and I've shut that person off of the code. But the budget is screwed up.
2) Another planner billed some time on a side project, and that supervisor underestimated the time by a lot of hours, so the budget is screwed up.
3) My supervisor billed part of the conference registration to my code and didn't tell me. So the budget is screwed up.

So, now I'm about to cut people off of the code totally, and watch the fur fly!

What kind of End of Fiscal Year surprises have you seen?
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
943
Points
24
This sounds very familiar :-/

In addition to the above, received a surprise cost allocation determination which resulted in my program being billed for the majority of costs of community meetings and publication costs even though the primary benefit was to other program areas.

Another was being stuck with paying 100% if the travel of the executive director for a couple trips, when other departments should have picked up part of the cost. Was successful on getting one of these reversed.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,367
Points
53
I got to be the proud renter of a copier that another department dumped on me because they could. I got revenge and got my budget raised to cover it and it come out of their budget.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,681
Points
44
No other department can get their hands on the money in my budget, with the exception of the Controller. Since she signs our paychecks, we are pretty lenient with her. Still, some surprises occur, such as paying "our share" of the City's communication (internet) fee without running it by me first. It's usually not terribly harmful to my budget, but I still think they ought to give me a heads up first.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,430
Points
34
Our project managers get a monthly report that helps us spot things like this. Our issue is that it is usually someone simply checking the wrong project code... usually the one right next to it in alpha order. We also assign eligible practice groups, so someone from, say, water resources engineering, cannot bill against our project unless I specifically set it up and authorize it in advance.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,154
Points
34
^^I can limit some people's access early on, but we only bill to a large umbrella project code (not including grants - those are different) and not to subcategories that tie into the subcommittees. There's a lot less detail and it's way easier to sneak something in. It's also easier for accounting to process timesheets.

For example:

Large Umbrella Project Name/Committee Billing Code 2020123
Subcommittee 1 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020123
Subcommittee 2 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020123
Subcommittee 3 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020123
Subcommittee 4 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020123

Large Umbrella Project Name/Committee Billing Code 2020456
Subcommittee 1 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020456
Subcommittee 2 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020456
Subcommittee 3 - all project activities, trainings, events bill to 2020456
Special Subcommittee - all project activities bill to 2020456

In the private sector, each subcommittee would have its own project code, so it's easier to track work. So the large umbrella code is a parent of the subcommittee codes. But since we have never done that and aren't going to change, we have lump-sum project codes. I can look at the budget as often as I want, but until something other than a timesheet hits the budget with an invoice, I don't see it and can't do anything about it. Timesheets don't include enough detail to catch the duplication of work.*

*What fries my ass on this issue is that the person approved to do the work, and the person who was doing the duplication, work for the same supervisor. Shouldn't they have known what their own people were doing?
 
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