The Most Common Budgeting and Planning Mistakes Made by Local Government

Equity. Sustainability. Transparency. Engagement. Impact.

Thanks to these challenges and more, we’ve seen expectations around future-focused planning and reporting become more complex with each passing year, and federal stimulus funds are only making the need for strategic planning and reporting more urgent. Unless you want to fall behind on strategic impact, the time is now to recognize your missteps and overcome these challenges.


13 Common Budgeting and Planning Mistakes

The first step to moving in the right direction is knowing which paths to avoid. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of common budgeting and planning mistakes we most often see. How many of these mistakes is your organization guilty of?

Before we dive in: Check out our ebook, The Strategic Planning Guide for Local Government: Aligned Projects from Concept to Results, for helpful insights on avoiding these pitfalls throughout the planning, budgeting, procuring, and reporting process. If you know you are making one of these mistakes, our ebook explains where to start in fixing them.


Planning Mistakes

1. Collecting citizen engagement through a disjointed or non-representative process

2. Missing the opportunity to align capital projects with long-term strategic priorities

3. Determining uses of funds without clear goals and objectives

Performance Measurement Mistakes

4. Setting goals after planning is complete

5. Losing focus on strategic priorities

6. Tracking funds inefficiently in the Chart of Accounts

Collaboration Mistakes

7. Missing an opportunity to work cross-functionally

8. Working in silos, leading to a longer timeline

9. Ineffective cross-functional communication

Purchasing Mistakes

10. Missing an opportunity to attract a large pool of suppliers

11. Working in silos throughout the procurement process

Reporting Mistakes

12. Ignoring the budget throughout the entire process

13. Data? What data? Missing results to communicate impact


Modernize Your Budgeting and Planning Process

Start addressing these mistakes in your process and watch it transform into a more modern, strategic approach to budgeting and planning. Don’t forget, you can use our ebook, The Strategic Planning Guide for Local Government: Aligned Projects from Concept to Results, for the steps to take now to change your strategy.  From plan to procure, we break the biggest must-haves for strategic fund planning into five major elements, with best practices for each of them.

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Stephanie Beer

Categories: Government Finance, Performance Management, Strategic Impact

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