University of Wisconsin-Madison

Print Preview

Return to previous page

Transportation Information Center

Workshop Overview

You will learn how to use various budget formats to communicate your department's operational costs, benefits, effectiveness, and changes over time, as well as work with your agency’s capital budgeting process to meet long range department needs.

Who Should Attend?

  • Public works supervisors who wish to sharpen their skills
  • Supervisors and managers who are new to the field of public works
  • Public works employees who wish to prepare for advancement
  • Public works engineers who are new to supervision and management
  • Public works professionals engaged in the APWA Donald C. Stone Center leadership and management career path

Workshop Outline

 Making Budgeting More Than Paperwork

  • Budgeting and the Management Cycle: plan-budget-execute-report and evaluate
  • Competing purposes of budgeting: legal compliance, control, management, planning
  • Obstacles to making budgeting useful to managers
  • Multiyear program planning: What happens before annual budgeting becomes critical?
  • How does your budget rate?  Applying Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) standards for effective operations budgeting to your budget

Differing Budget Approaches and Looks: Fund-based Budgeting and Accounting

  • Legal compliance drives governmental fund based budgeting & accounting
  • Each government fund type addresses differing budgeting purposes
    • Examples
  • Alternate budget objectives & related budget looks and formats
  • Budgeting in a cutback mode: Flexible budgets example
  • Budgeting in a cutback mode: Zero based budgeting example
    • Case Exercise #1: Reshaping Average City Public Works Department operations budget

Capital Budgeting Overview

  • Defining Capital – Contrasting capital versus operations
  • What to budget for capital – Annual cash flow or total project cost?
  • Capital projects versus capital programs
  • Annual capital budget process

Selecting Projects for a Capital Budget

  • Update condition assessment for existing asset classes
  • Tools for assessing the existing physical plant
    • Case Exercise #2: Rating competing capital budget project requests
  • Evaluate each competing capital project using criteria to score each project
  • Evaluate potential new capital projects – analytical techniques
    • Lifecycle Cash Flow (LCF) analysis and the Time Value of Money
    • Case Exercise #3: Repair, buy or lease an office processor?


"Very well done. This is a dry topic. You presented it in a very interesting fashion. Thank you."
—Village of Rochester

"Very interactive. Energetic instructor!"

"Seeing different ways and techniques to budget."

"The class gave me a new perspective on how to use the budge as an educative call. There are multiple things I will use from this class on a regular basis."
—City of Kewaunee

"Everything will be helpful to understanding budgets."


Benjamin Jordan

Benjamin J. Jordan, PE is a program director with Interdisciplinary Professional Programs in the transportation sector. He has over 35 years of experience in civil engineering and public works. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a Master of Public Affairs degree with a Certificate in Public Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this workshop when it’s offered next!