Bases of Budgeting
photo credit: Scott Ableman
Methods for calculating budget figures. Not all methods are mutually exclusive. For example, the federal budget includes both net and gross figures and reports both obligations and cash or cash equivalent spending. As a general rule, budget receipts and outlays are on a cash or cash equivalent basis; however, interest on public issues of public debt is recorded on an accrual basis. Under credit reform, the subsidy cost of both direct loans and guaranteed loans is included in the budget (i.e., the budget records the net present value of the estimated cash flows of direct loans and loan guarantees as outlays).
The basis whereby transactions and events are recognized when they occur, regardless of when cash is received or paid.
Budgeting in Relation to Totals:
Gross Basis. Budgetary totals from which offsetting collections have not been deducted. In customary use, “gross” refers to the sum or total value of a transaction before reduction by applicable offsets. Under this display, totals include obligations and expenditures from offsetting collections and governmental receipts rather than as offsets to outlays. (See also Offsetting Collections and Offsetting Receipts, and Collections.)
Net Basis. The use of budgetary totals from which offsetting collections have been deducted. Under this display, budgetary totals include offsetting collections as offsets to obligations and outlays rather than as receipts. (See also Offsetting Collections under Collections.)
Cash or Cash Equivalent Basis:
The basis whereby receipts are recorded when received and expenditures are recorded when paid, without regard to the accounting period in which the receipts are earned or the costs are incurred. “Cash” generally refers to payment by cash, checks, or electronic funds transfers. “Cash equivalent” refers to the use of an instrument or process that creates a substitute for cash. For example, when the government issues a debt instrument of any kind in satisfaction of claims, the transaction is recorded as simultaneous outlays and borrowing–the outlays when the debt instrument is issued, not when it is redeemed.
The basis whereby financial transactions involving the use of funds are recorded in the accounts primarily when goods and services are ordered, regardless of when the resources acquired are to be received or consumed or when cash is received or paid.
Rand Paul on Ridiculous Budget Plan
- Baseline / Baseline Budgeting / Scorekeeping (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Budget of the United States Government – Govinfo.gov
- Zero-based budgeting – Wikipedia
- United States federal budget – Wikipedia
- “Changing the Budget Rules Could Alter How the Federal Government Lends,” by Douglas J. Elliott, The Brookings Institution, February 23, 2012
- The Federal Budget Process – TheCapitol.Net
- Understanding Similarities and Differences Between Accrual and Cash DeficitsGAO-07-117SP, December 1, 2006 – GAO
- “How Treasury Issues Debt,” CRS Report R40767 (27-page PDF)
- “Deficits and Debt: Economic Effects and Other Issues,” CRS Report R44383 (16-page PDF)
- “Legislative Branch: Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations,” CRS Report R44899 (36-page PDF)
- “Federal Reserve: Legislation in the 115th Congress,” CRS Report R44848 (25-page PDF)
- The Economic Effects of Financing a Large and Permanent Increase in Government Spending, Congressional Budget Office, CBO Working Paper 57201, March 2021 (42-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom Training
- Congressional Operations Poster, with Federal Budget Process Flowchart
- Federal Budgeting, a Five-Course series on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
The Federal Budget Process 2E
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net
For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.
Our custom on-site and online training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.
TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.
Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™