In this chapter, you will learn the basic process companies use to create budgets and the general composition of basic budgets that are summed up in a master budget. You will also learn the importance of the flexible budget and be introduced to the idea of how budgets are used to evaluate company and management performance.
- 7.1: Prelude to Budgeting
- Preparing a budget for future anticipated activities requires a company to look critically at its revenue and expenses. A good budget gives management the ability to evaluate results at the end of the budget cycle. Even well-planned budgets can have emergencies or unplanned financial disruptions, but having a budget provides a company with the information to develop an alternative budget. A good budget can be adjusted to work with changes in income and still produce similar results.
- 7.2: Describe How and Why Managers Use Budgets
- Implementation of a company’s strategic plan often begins by determining management’s basic expectations about future economic, competitive, and technological conditions, and their effects on anticipated goals, both long-term and short-term. Many firms at this stage conduct a situational analysis that involves examining their strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities available and the threats that they might face from competitors. This common analysis is often labeled as SWOT.
- 7.3: Prepare Operating Budgets
- Operating budgets are a primary component of the master budget and involve examining the expectations for the primary operations of the business. Assumptions such as sales in units, sales price, manufacturing costs per unit, and direct material needed per unit involve a significant amount of time and input from various parts of the organization. It is important to obtain all of the information, however, because the more accurate the information, the more accurate the resulting budget.