Higher education can’t catch a break these days. Institutions are dubbed “glorified Skype” for switching to virtual-only models, featured in the news almost daily for reporting more COVID-19 cases on campus, and told sending students home is “the worst thing you can do.”
Colleges and universities also continue to face criticism over costs at a time when their financial woes are worsening: operating expenses increased 10 percent during the pandemic, lucrative international enrollments declined, and auxiliary revenue such as room and board dropped.
It’s an environment that forces finance leaders to rethink their institution’s business model, including the way in which they budget.
The business case for reforecasting
Administrators can no longer afford inefficient planning processes — they must do more with less by streamlining budget processes and reallocating resources based on emerging goals. Reforecasting can help.
Reforecasting involves reassessing the budget at regular intervals — typically, one to four times a year — and making changes to the budget based on current trends and activity.
A survey found that 74 percent of institutions whose budgeting cycles last longer than six months reforecast one to four times a year. That’s important because the data used during long budgeting cycles can quickly become outdated. Without reforecasting, institutions with long budgeting cycles struggle to react to changing needs — which are ever-present during this pandemic.
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