MUT CFO prepares line managers for the 2024 budgeting process

Rodney Delomoney

“The devil is in the detail,” were the words reiterated by MUT’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Rodney Delomoney on 4 September 2024 during a series of budget preparatory sessions.  The Finance department assembled line managers at the University’s Council Chamber for induction on processes to be followed as the University opened the budgeting process for the next financial year.  The CFO, accompanied by Mbukiso Zuma, the Deputy Director: Budgetary Services, told line managers that the main goal for the preparatory sessions was to provide all the requirements and guidelines so that the 2024 budget process becomes a seamless and less confusing process for the department heads.

At the centre of the budget planning sessions was providing clear expectations while equipping line managers with thorough detail on how to prepare departmental budgets, being mindful of various factors taken into consideration by the Budget Committee and Council when the University’s budget is being presented for approval.

The Finance team provided specific explanations on each type of budget allocation, which are: Employee cost; Capital budget; Revenue budget; Operating budget; as well as block grants. According to the CFO, as of next year, there will be centralisation of some budget items such as purchasing of IT software and hardware which must be submitted to the IT&N department. “Budgeting for furniture will be centralised through the Asset management office, while infrastructure needs will be managed by the Operations directorate.  This first category of budgets falls within the capital budget.   Secondly, employee costs, which include budgeting for vacant and new positions, and staff development remain within HR&D, but there should be consultation and agreement on the needs of each department.    “There should be no high-level budgeting, the devil is in the details.  The budgeting process starts with a plan, followed by costing for the plan.  When making budget submissions we expect that you provide as much detail as possible for each budget item, indicating the timing of when the budget is to be spent in line with the activities indicated in the plan,” the CFO said.

Several questions were fielded by the Finance team, which explained every step involved in the budgeting process.  Zuma outlined the timelines allocated for the budget season at MUT.  “Templates and guidelines will be available and accessible on the ITS system from 5 September 2023. We have listened to your request for more time and have allocated four weeks for you to complete and submit departmental budget requests for 2024.  The last day for the submission of the detailed departmental budget is 4 October 2023 to allow sufficient time for the next stages in the process.  The aim is to have the final budget approval before the December break,” said Zuma.