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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Workplace Budgets

During the war with Iraq, it seems the only other news besides the war was congress slugging it out over next year’s budget. Unlike Washington, where a “cut” is often just a reduction in the amount of budgetary increase, our businesses have to deal with real cuts.

Bruce Reiche, our financial consultant on staff, always recommends being careful when creating a budget. He says, “you can always loosen a budget later, but it is almost impossible to make cuts half-way through the year and not have negative ripple-effects.” The same goes for payroll. In most workplaces, labor is the highest cost, so Reiche cautions not to be too quick with big pay raises until an employee is proving that he is earning his keep. Giving someone a pay cut does not do much for morale.

Since not every manager has been trained on budgets, it’s not a bad idea to have a “budget workshop” for a half-day or so to help everyone understand how your company’s budget fits together, and so everyone is literally “working on the same page” for a common goal.

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