Helping NGOs do more with their money

Top Tips 5

Reading Project Budget Monitoring Reports

A budget monitoring report is a financial report that shows actual income and expenditure for a certain period compared to the budget for the same period.

These reports are one of the most important tools for managers, allowing them to check that projects are still on track, in financial terms. Any areas that are not on track can be identified, and action can be taken to put things right before any situation gets critical.

Finance staff should prepare budget monitoring reports regularly throughout each project, normally once per month. Programme staff and managers should review the reports straight away, once they are prepared. It is good practice to organise a regular review meeting, including both programme and finance staff, to discuss the financial position and decide on any actions that need to be taken.

1. Look for the date of the report

2. Look at the ‘bottom line’

3. Look at the budget variance column

4. Look at the % of the budget (or grant) that has been used

5. Look for ‘linked’ budget items

6. Look for unusual or unexpected expenditure or income

7. Look at the narrative reports

8. Look for solutions


Want to learn more?

Mango’s highly acclaimed training course Getting the basics right covers budget monitoring reports in more depth, as well as writing budgets, keeping accounts and setting up controls.

See our calendar of courses around the world here:

Mango’s FREE Guide to Financial Management for NGOs includes advice and tools to download and use, including a section on financial reporting and a budget monitoring report format:


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