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I am new to management and I am supposed to do a budget for my department. I do not know how to do one, and I have never been trained in this area. No one, including my manager, has time to show me. I'll do what I can, but I'm sure a lot of it will be wrong. Is this my fault or the company's?

You have been given a real opportunity by management, and it is up to you to determine if it is an opportunity to demonstrate your initiative or your inertia. Rather than trying to figure out who is at fault, you will be far better served by trying to figure out the budget.

There is no question that management has thrown you into a situation without adequate preparation, and you can certainly make the case that management deserves whatever it gets. However, is this a message that you really want to deliver?

You will look and feel much better if you are able to present at least a basic first draft of the departmental budget. There are all sorts of easy-to-read guides that are available in libraries and bookstores, and you can find some very helpful information on the Internet. In addition, there may be someone in your network who can give you some help on this project, and you should also take a look at last year's budget.

In a word, putting together this budget is a way to show the company that you are a real asset.

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