To achieve the best results in planning and delivery of community services, key financial decisions related to those services must be made explicitly and under a single umbrella. The budget process of the city is the forum to:
accumulate financial and performance information of all services into a common format
analyze and evaluate the cost-benefit trade-off of each service
set priorities about which services the city can and cannot afford
make decisions about the level and cost of services that will be provided in the fiscal year as well as over the next several years
The budget process is the main instrument for monitoring and controlling local spending and may be used effectively to monitor the quality of work performed by city personnel. A budget consists of a comprehensive listing of anticipated revenues and proposed expenditures for each function of the city for a future 12-month period, or fiscal year.