Budgets, Accountable Events, Transactions


While referred to as a singular, finite event, budgeting in the Federal Government is not a once-a-year undertaking. Work on the Federal budget never ceases. In practice, a department or agency is never addressing just a single budget phase or a single fiscal year. At the same time a current year’s funding is being executed and accounted for, budget proposals for the next fiscal year are being vigorously defended before congressional committees. Concurrently, agency executives are discussing with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the proposed budgets for the second-out fiscal year. In addition, financial personnel are concerned with applying the appropriate accounting and reporting to expired or “old” appropriations in years prior to the current year.

Budget, Planning Years

The focus of the news media, committees of Congress, the President, and the public is most often concentrated on a single fiscal year: the next one. However, the compilation of Federal budget estimates requires a multiyear perspective. The number of years that must be considered in structuring the budget estimates for just one fiscal year could include as many as eight, and possibly more, years.

Budget Indicator Period or Year Referred to
PY – 1: prior year – 1 Fiscal year immediately preceding the prior year
PY: prior year Fiscal year immediately preceding the current year; the last ...

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