|Descriptive Title of Proposal:||Distinguished Budget Presentation Award|
|Awarded||Honourable Mention Ex-aequo|
|Person(s) Responsible for the Idea||
|Name of Institution||Université de Sherbrooke|
|Office Address||2500 Université Blvd
Sherbrooke, Quebec J1K 2R1
|Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Elaine Godbout|
|Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Assistant Vice-President, Administration and Sustainable Development|
|Office Address||2500 Université Blvd.
Sherbrooke, Quebec J1K 2R1
For the third consecutive year, Université de Sherbrooke has received a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This highly prestigious designation recognizes the university’s budget and financial approach, which draws on the best practices inventoried and implemented in over 1,612 Canadian and US public organizations. This third yearly recognition shores up our implementation of this rigorous method, which will come to fruition just as we undertake the extensive project of renewing the university’s strategic planning process.
As applied to the university context in Quebec and Canada, this approach comprises 27 criteria that illustrate the interrelation between strategic planning and yearly budget planning. The budget document thus extends far beyond the traditional columns of revenues and expenditures. For instance, it describes the organization’s financial structure and presents its main policies and administrative processes. The document is written in accessible language and incorporates the results of the major strategic planning and budgeting exercises. It is widely distributed so it can be used as an action guide, a reference guide, and a strategic internal and external communications tool.
Recognition from the GFOA is a great source of motivation and pride for everyone involved in preparing and monitoring the budget. This approach fosters an understanding of budget and strategic processes and greases the wheels of collaboration between internal and external stakeholders. The budget document is prepared over several months, mobilizing a vast team made up of the university’s financial officers and administrative units, as well as copywriters, editors, a graphic designer and a project manager.
|Criteria||Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.|
Adopting the GFOA approach involves a colossal amount of work. To achieve our goal, the Université de Sherbrooke teams split the task into three phases, in order to facilitate the integration into our internal processes. This method, spread out over three fiscal years, is easily transferable to other university institutions.
The GFOA certification highlights the transparency and rigour of university management. It not only stimulates best practices and internal cohesiveness, it also helps establish new dialogues with society and with the government, after years of criticism and budget cutbacks. It therefore not only provides positive reinforcement internally for the excellence of our processes, it is also a testament externally to our quality.
The investment in terms of human resources and time to implement the GFOA approach has had a noticeable impact on productivity in general and on the budget process more specifically.
Thanks to the leadership of the management team and the Board of Administration, collaboration was quickly obtained from all units. There has been a vast improvement in the understanding of the process, and especially, of the integration of large-scale planning and management exercises. The budget document is often consulted and serves as a reference guide and an action guide. Some of its content is disseminated on other university communications platforms.
Beyond integrating the major organizational planning and management exercises into a single document, this process involves a remarkable innovation at the budget level.