Some coaches may be conducting a business and therefore need to keep accurate accounts and have ultimate responsibility for the finances. Other coaches may be given a Programme budget to administer, requiring approval from management for any variations.

Be Conscious of Cost

Many coaches of junior teams will not have an involvement in the budget but should still be conscious of the cost that the players and their families incur to play with the team. The coach may want to schedule extra trainings or travel to play an extra game and these will probably cost the players something (if only in their time).

Preparing budgets

In preparing a budget coaches should:

  • obtain specific information about expenses, not make assumptions. For example, flights vary in cost depending upon the time of year. If possible, written quotations should be obtained (which may simply be an email from a provider);
  • if specific information is not available, make the best estimation based upon as much information as is available. Keep a record of what information was available, so that parameters that may change are easily identified;
  • list everything that they can think of and have someone else check the list to see if something has been overlooked;
  • even items that are not currently an expense (e.g. uniforms may be provided by a sponsor) should be listed, with it noted that it is a currently a nil expense;
  • make an allowance for unforeseen increases in cost or unforeseen expenses. This should be clearly identified and the aim should be not to spend it;
  • make clear all assumptions that are a part of the budget (e.g. income may be dependent upon number of players);
  • obtain more than one quote for expenses where appropriate (for example, the fee for entry of a team into a competition will be fixed);
  • document any reasons for the choice ultimately made. The cheapest quote is not necessarily the best for the programme. It also helps to have criteria (e.g. minimum facilities for a hotel when travelling with the team) and the criteria may demonstrate why a cheaper quote was not preferred;
  • the budget should also identify at what point it is expected that money will be received or spent.

Managing the Budget

To effectively manage a budget (or to assist with management of the budget if the coach is not directly responsible for its management), coaches should:

  • keep receipts and note on each receipt specifically what it was for (if the receipt itself does not identify this). Receipts should also be kept in an organised manner (e.g. by month) or submitted to the relevant manager as quickly as possible;
  • check the budget before spending money to make sure sufficient money was allocated;
  • review the budget regularly, including not just the specific numbers but any assumptions upon which the budget was based. For example, are the number of players assumed in the budget actually participating in the Programme? A coach should set aside time every month for this purpose;
  • document any changes to a budget and make sure that whatever approvals are needed are obtained.

The coach also needs to understand that “cash flow” is very different to a budget. “Cash flow” is simply when an organisation receives money, whereas many budgets only identify what will be received and spent but not necessarily when.

Sometimes expenses will be incurred before money is received. Coaches should check that there are sufficient funds at the time the expense is to be paid.