Budgeting and Budget Controls

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Budgeting and Budget Controls

The term budget is derived form the French word baguette, which means ‘to pursue’. A budget can be said to be a planned list of all of all the expenses and revenues. It is also a plan devised for borrowing, spending or saving. A budget forms a very important micro economical concept, where the budget line is used for the illustration of the trade-offs which occur between two goods. Budget can also be defined as an organizational plan which is stated in monetary terms.

The budget of an enterprise in compiled annually. The finished budget is attained after a considerable effort and is only for the short term future. It is the work of a finance department to compile a budget. The modern software’s have made it possible for all the employees working in various departments to list their individual and department’s expenses and revenues in the final budget. When the actual figures at the end of financial year match with the budgeted figures, the management is said to be on the right track. Deviations can result in falling of the share prices of the firm as the situation is understood to be ‘out of control’ by the stake holders.

Budgets can be devised for various purposes in an enterprise. Some major types of budgets formulated are:

Sales budget- used for the creation of the sales goals of an enterprise, it estimates future sales.

Production budget- used mostly by the production oriented firms, it estimates all the manufacturing costs, including those of labor and material.

Marketing budget- for estimating the funds needed for advertising, promotion and public relations for a product or service, the marketing budget is use.

Cash budget- this budget estimates and predicts the expenditures and cash receipts for future time periods. By this budget, an enterprise can know whether the revenues will be sufficient to cover the expenses or on outside financial help would be required.

Revenue budget- this budget contains all the revenue receipts of the government and also the expenditures which have been meted by these revenues.

Project budget- for predicting the costs involved with a particular project, the project budget is created.

Expenditure budget- the data items which have been spent are included in this budget.

Participative budgeting- the participative budgeting requires a bottom-up approach to budgeting where the senior management encourages employee participation for creating the budget. This approach has been found to create more realistic budgets which are also found to be more achievable. It positively affects the morale of the employees, who provide more efforts in achieving the budget, as they have themselves created it. The participative budget often does not undertakes high level strategic considerations, as only the senior management is aware of them. Thus, it is required by the senior management to give necessary guidelines to employees for devising a budget which caters to all the needs of the firm. The drawbacks of participative budget include longer time requirement in their making and creation along with them being more conservative in approach.

The principal budget factor- the constraining factor which ultimately decides the actively level planned is called the principal budget factor. This area of the principal budget factor cannot be increased for matching its capacity with that of other areas. For example, an enterprise is capable of selling 20,000 PC’s a month, but the manpower it has can only produce around 10,000 of them. Here manpower is the principal budget factor.

Zero based budgeting- In this method of budgeting all the expenses are to be justified for every new period. Every function of the organization is analyzed for its costs and needs after the budget calculation is started from ‘zero base.’ After the analysis, the budget is built on the basis of the needs for the upcoming period. This budget can be higher or lower than the previous year’s budget.

The budget ratio- the budget ratio is used for getting the information on the performance level of an enterprise. Through it, we can calculate the extent of deviation in the budgeted and actual performance. If the budgeted ratio is 100% or more, it means that the performance has been favorable and if it is less than 100%, the performance is termed unfavorable.

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