GLOSSARY OF BUDGET TERMINOLOGY
Account Groups: Account groups are used to establish accounting control of general fixed assets
and the unmatured principal of general long-term obligations. Assets and liabilities of these
funds are neither spendable resources nor do they require current appropriation. Therefore,
they are accounted for separately from the governmental fund types.
Accrual Basis: A basis of accounting in which transactions are recognized at the time they are
incurred, as opposed to when cash is received or spent.
Activity: Departmental efforts which contribute to the achievement of a specific set of program
objectives; the smallest unit of the program budget.
Agency Funds: Agency funds are used to account for assets held by the City as an agent for
individuals, private organizations, other governments and/or other funds.
Appropriation: An authorization by the City Council to make expenditures/expenses and to incur
obligations for a specific purpose within a specific time frame. An appropriation is usually limited
in amount and as to time when it may be expended. Operational appropriations usually expire at
fiscal year end.
Assessed Valuation: A dollar value placed on real estate or other property by Contra Costa County
as a basis for levying property taxes.
Assessment District: Defines area of land that is benefited by the acquisition, construction, or
maintenance of a public improvement. An assessment is levied and collected in the regular
property tax bill to fund the improvements.
Assets: A probable future economic benefit obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of
past transactions or events.
Audit: A view of the City's accounts by an independent auditing firm to substantiate fiscal year-end
funds, salaries, reserves, and cash on hand.
Base Budget:- Cost of continuing the existing levels of service in the current budget year.
Beginning/Ending (Unappropriated) Fund Balance: Unencumbered resources available in a fund