2022 Edition

Financial Management (CP-FIN) 3: Financial Planning

Planning for the current fiscal cycle is authority/agency-wide and involves key stakeholders. 




Public authority/agency viability and positive financial outcomes are achieved through diligent application of sound financial management practices that accord with applicable requirements. 
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Budget planning procedures
  • Financial information
  • Relevant financial data
  • Cost analysis reports
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Fiscal authority
    2. Agency head
    3. Senior management
    4. CFO or equivalent

Fundamental Practice

CP-FIN 3.01

The budget planning process is a collaboration between the authority/agency’s administrative, program, field, and budget personnel and is based on:
  1. direct and indirect operating expenditures; 
  2. contractual requirements; 
  3. performance improvement and outcomes data;
  4. changing costs and conditions; and
  5. anticipated revenue for the program year.


Performance improvement and outcomes data in this context refers to the use of program and client outcomes data in planning and budgeting decisions. Such data may be used, for example, to direct available resources toward programs or interventions that have the strongest impact on individuals and families served.


CP-FIN 3.02

The public authority/agency’s fiscal authority: 
  1. approves the budget and any revisions to the budget;
  2. reviews fiscal summaries at least quarterly to evaluate expenditures against revenues;
  3. ensures the budget-to-actual variance analyses are performed after year end numbers are finalized; and 
  4. reviews fiscal policy and the recommendations of the agency’s auditors.

Fundamental Practice

CP-FIN 3.03

Financial information is routinely analyzed and the information includes: 
  1. a regular analysis of financial performance against budget projection with budget-to-actual variance analyzes performed on interim financial statements of activities; 
  2. service revenues and actual service delivery costs; and 
  3. an annual inventory of significant assets, including securities.