KSA’s budget is linked to the realization of its ambitious Vision 2030 from which Vision programs are funded and on which the country's credit rating improvement and GDP development depend. The Ministry of Finance “MOF” is therefore required to highlight the transparency of its preparation and budgets in an attempt to ensure sustainability to fulfil the nation’s aspirations.
The budget preparation stages start from the end of December of the last fiscal year to the following January. By the beginning of February, the main trends of the budget are determined. From mid-March the budget is subject to initial review and analysis until the end of April. It is then discussed and reviewed from May until the end of August.
The preparation of budget is subject to a number of specific rules, namely; commitment to the annual period and submission of estimates, where resources and expenses are general. The budget requires revenues to be equal to expenses taking into account tabulating and analyzing changes. The budget must also determine an expenditure limit in addition to presenting a standard budget that includes all expenditures and revenues in one statement.
Preparing the budget requires the availability of financial and economic competencies combined with knowledge and technical skills, strategic thinking and leadership, a besides deep understanding of policies and regulations as well as advanced financial analysis capabilities.
Budget approval goes through three stages: starting from initial analysis throughout July, August and September, then final approval within October and November and finally the official release in December.
MOF adopts four tracks in the implementation of the budget; (1) To announce the budget in order to disseminate its instructions, (2) To be implemented by collection of its revenues and commitment to its expenses and provisions, (3) To estimate its quarterly performance, (4) To prepare the final account where entities submit their accounts at the end of the fiscal year.
Automation programs, such as the digital platform (Etimad), ensure preparation and implementation of the budget expenditure models, budget preparation and implementation system, business intelligence system, data governance and management enhancement program.
Communication with government entities is being carried out through introductory workshops, budget forum and the media plan for the budget as well as releasing the activating roles of supporting bodies.
The Etimad platform plays a role in increasing transparency and raising efficiency of expenditure for its users such as government and supervisory entities, contractors, suppliers, vendors, etc.
KSA’s development of the accounting system of transition from cash basis to accounting accrual basis has led to greater transparency and accountability in line with G-20 countries.
Saudi Vision 2030 has launched twelve operational programs to implement the budget. The Fiscal Balance Program, released in 2016, is one of the most prominent programs with a timeframe extended until 2023.
The Kingdom's budget is subject to legislative and regulatory scrutiny and is based on the regime. MOF is working on developing its policies to implement the National Transformation Program (NTP), in order to enhance economic impact and to realize a better strategic framework.