Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Undergraduate Student Life

Budget and Expense Tracking

Keeping Records

  • Appoint or elect a treasurer to maintain the budget and all financial records 
  • Any member organizing an event should be accountable to the treasurer and adhere to the authorized budget, make purchases only with the treasurer’s authorization, and report back to the treasurer throughout the program 
  • The treasurer should review the information provided by Club Finance 411 
  • The treasurer should make frequent presentations of the group’s financial standing to the president and to the general membership. Financial reports should be prepared regularly
  • The treasurer should keep clear records and maintain ledgers, which should be readily available for inspection by group members and your organization’s student governing body
  • The treasurer and the president should keep in touch with the group's governing board to help resolve budgeting concerns as they arise
  • The treasurer and the president should meet regularly with your adviser

Revenue and Expenses

Annual Budgeting 

Each spring, all organizations are expected to submit budget proposals and allocation requests to the student governing bodies under which they are recognized. Your budget should include anticipated operating expenses, program expenses, and income projections. Revisions to these budgets, which are based on the actual allocation you have received, are to be made in September of each year. Start by budgeting your operating expenses for the year. Consider the costs of membership, recruitment, office supplies, and other year-round needs including folders, envelopes, pens, markers, paint, tape, rulers, scissors, telephone charges, mailings, and printing.

Don't forget to anticipate program revenue in your planning! Events generally should have revenue as well as expenses. Reasonably estimate attendance, ticket sales, and co-sponsorships. Be careful not to budget too much for anticipated revenue. This can send your group into unexpected deficit. If your revenue and other resources do not meet your group’s expenses, you may request funding for the difference. Your governing board has an appeals process for additional funding requests and requests may be made directly to your governing board. 

Individual Program Expenses

In budgeting for an on-campus program, be sure to account for every expense and to estimate income conservatively. Possible expenses include:

  • Event costs such as performance fees, agents’ commissions, hospitality, technical and security charges, and mailing expenses 
  • Operating costs such as proctors, rental charges, permit applications, decorations, supplies, car or van rentals, and ticket printing 
  • Food costs such as catering, paper and plastic goods, and serving supplies
  • Publicity costs such as printing, supplies such as sheets for banners and markers, advertisements 
  • In the case of theatrical performances, include copyright, script, or sheet music charges, along with supplies and costumes

After an event or publication, calculate the revenue and expenses then compare them against the original working budget. Similarly, keep an accurate account of your operating expenses. You may be asked to submit budget reports to your governing body. Meet with a representative of your group’s governing body, your adviser as often as necessary to keep your records updated and to address financial concerns immediately.


Undergraduate Student Life


510-515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-3612

Fax: (212) 854-9801

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.

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