17 Questions to Ask Prior to Beginning the Annual Budgeting Process

by John H. zumBrunnen, Founder, zumBrunnen, Inc.

The annual budgeting process is a critical step in managing your facilities. Before you jump into the process, there are many important issues to consider. Does your planning process “prompt” you to consider everything on OUR list?

Please use this as a handy checklist:

  1. Are any critical warranties provided by a developer, contractor, or major equipment or systems manufacturer set to expire during the next year?
  2. Have any significant environmental or geological events occurred on or near the property that may have a negative impact?
  3. Have any new mandated changes been made to the building codes?
  4. Have you received any building code citations?
  5. Have any significant building system components been added, overhauled, or replaced?
  6. Have any major systems or equipment become obsolete?
  7. Has there been any extreme wear and tear to major components?
  8. Is there any technological change or product development that may result in a change to a major component or system?
  9. Has any maintenance been deferred or lifecycles changed?
  10. Has local pricing/inflation been significantly impacted?
  11. Did reserve funding and expenses occur as planned?
  12. Have reserves deviated from the desired percent-funded goal?
  13. Has there been any significant change in demographics or competition?
  14. Has there been significant change in the board?
  15. Has there been any change in senior-level management?
  16. Is there a plan to refinance, complete a major renovation or expansion, apply for accreditation, or attempt a sale or merger?
  17. Have three or more years passed since an independent consultant updated your assessment and funding plan?

John H. zumBrunnen is the founder of zumBrunnen, Inc., an independent building consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia (www.zumbrunnen.com). The recipient of a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of North Dakota and a member of the AAHSA Senior Leadership Council, zumBrunnen has 35 plus years’ experience in construction, assessment, and property development. He is the inventor of the FacilityForecast® software system and a respected speaker in the industry.

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