Budgeting and Financial Management for Police Services


Understanding a financial statement and how to prepare a budget are essential elements in effectively managing a section or unit within a police organization. This course prepares people, who may not have a financial background, for some of the challenges of management.

All managers need to be able to prepare their budget in such a way that they can defend it before the next higher organizational level whether that is their immediate supervisor or the police commission. They need to be able to organize the financial aspects of their position to ensure that their allocated budget is not overspent and that funds are spent only for the purposes for which they were appropriated.

A knowledge of financial management also helps in making decisions. Examples: Whether to perform a major overhaul on a vehicle or scrap the vehicle and purchase a new one? Whether it is better to build a new office building or rent space in an existing one? A knowledge of financial management will give managers the confidence they need to make those decisions. This knowledge can also be applied to field decisions. Knowing the cost-benefit implications of a potential problem-solving initiative can be valuable in assessing the viability of solutions.

Key learnings

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate a budget using sound financial principles and practices.
  • Prepare a budget.
  • Compare and contrast budget processes used in federal, provincial and municipal governments.
  • Assess different styles of budgets with particular emphasis on their use in police organizations.
  • Track expenditures to prevent exceeding the annual appropriation.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of user charges for police services.
  • Explain the role of the audit function and auditors in the financial administration process.
  • Complete a budget variance form.
  • Perform a cost/benefit analysis to compare different long - term investments.
  • Evaluate cost/benefit analyses provided by others.
  • Explain the importance of financial considerations in decision making.

I have been managing finances for my section for some time. This course was an eye opener and made me think about ways that I can do business in ways that are effective and efficient. It has forced me to do cost-benefit analysis when making financial decisions. My question is- Are the City of Prince George tax payers getting the best bang for their buck?"

Sgt. Raj Sidhu, NCO i/c GIS Task Force, RCMP, Prince George, BC