New Library Directors Handbook

Following the Money

Your board has control over the library's expenditures, which is why so much of this chapter has focused on the board's perspective. Although your library board should delegate the power to purchase materials, supplies and other goods to you, the board needs to be aware of purchases and should monitor the budget throughout the year.

You should provide your board with a monthly statement that shows at least the following:

Monthly income

Total income for the year

Cash on hand

Monthly expenditures by budget category

Cumulative expenditures for the year by budget expenditure

A list of library accounts, including checking and savings accounts, and certificates of deposit.

When you and your board review the reports, look for yearly patterns of expenditures, such as energy bills in the winter, fees for building repairs or grounds maintenance in the summer, special program costs such as those associated with summer reading programs and purchases of supplies and materials that occur once or twice a year.

This is a good time to compare budget figures with actual amounts. Did you get the expected income? If not, you need to find out why and make adjustments in the budget if necessary. The board should be working with you on this one. Compare actual expenditures with budget amounts as well. Be prepared to explain discrepancies.