Automation of Budgetary and Accounting Processes
As previously illustrated and emphasized in this document, the school district's budget is the sole authorization for expenditures. The necessity to keep tight controls on the nature and amount of school district expenditures and revenues is well understood. Because of the large amount of data which must be accounted for and the repetitiveness of the operation, this type of work is uniquely suited to computerization.
One of the chief advantages of computerizing the budget function is the freedom to create files of data ('databases') as archival records, needing to be updated only as the information changes. Various combinations of data access can be developed depending on the requirements of each school district. A complement to the budget program can generate expenditures and revenues by function and object codes and by any other specified criteria for the purposes of producing the monthly budget status report and information needed for building and department program reporting purposes.
Most, if not all school districts, have some type of computer. In recent years many programs have been written giving districts a base of software which better enables them to computerize their business functions. There are many independent hardware and software manufacturers who have recognized the school district market. They are putting out compatible hardware and software at an accelerated rate. Additionally, many BOCES and cooperative computer systems have designed databases which are applicable to complex applications and are available to districts on a fee basis.
Any automated system which is used in the budgeting and accounting process should produce reports in a format which is consistent with law and regulation and compatible with the State's reporting requirements.