Smart budgeting: integrating financial and strategic planning for outcomes

This report from the New Local Government Network (NLGN) in association with the ACCA and Mazars recommends radical changes to the way local government approaches the budgeting process.


As councils in England are increasingly focused not on outputs but outcomes, traditional incremental budgeting – which reflects the siloes that were built up in the 20th century –  no longer properly reflects the strategies and needs of councils and local residents. Councils should instead adopt 'smarter' approaches to budgeting which make sure the strategic value of every pound goes towards meeting outcomes.

Budgets should no longer simply follow patterns of past spending based in individual departmental siloes. Although this review is based on councils in England the findings have wider implications for local and regional public bodies around the world. Public bodies need to get braver in the way that they budget.