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Research Paper, 3 pages (700 words)

Operational budget

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A budget is a formal plan that estimates the plausible expenditures and income for an organization over a certain amount of time. Seeing that budgets are such a valuable tool for planning and having a control of a company’s finances, budgeting affects nearly every type of organization. Typically a small business contributes in budgeting to determine the most efficient and effective approach makingmoneyand increasing its asset base.

A financial plan can help a company use its restricted finances in a way that best utilizes existing business opportunities. An operational budget involves the development of monetary tactics for the organization, generally for a year. Though annual budgets need not be subdivided into shorter terms, monthly and/or quarterly budgets are particularly constructive for foreseeing cash needs and for evaluating actual knowledge with plan.

An extensive master budget entails planning for all stages of the operation: sales, marketing, manufacturing, engineering and general administration. “ Once a budget has been established comparisons may be made with actual results and variances analyzed, budgetary control. Flexible budgetary techniques may also be used to update figures or test alternative courses of action. The advantages and disadvantages of an operating budget are: Advantages| Disadvantages| | |

Commitment andmotivationof managers| The time taken and the cost of this time| Looks at alternatives| May be unexpected events that affect later results| Sets targets and standards| Information must remain confidential| If predicted volumes change, new sales and costs can be predicted using flexible budget techniques| Managers may treat cost budgets as separate from revenues, and hence over-spend if revenues are not achieved| Looks forward and considers both internal and external factors| | In order to be successful, operating budgets are prepared by departmental managers using the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry or similar to give detailed figures for all volumes, sales, costs and hence profits or costs. ” (BURGESS, 2009) These may exist by month and could be determined by day for the entire financial year. The three main steps in contributing towards accomplishing a successful operating budget are: planning for achievable target and objectives, comparing the actual numbers to the budget and evaluating to differences, and taking corrective action if necessary. The key pecuniary relation between a strategic plan and an operational plan is the establishment of a departmental financial plan.

The strategic plan gives a budget approximation that is based on anticipated revenue. ‘ The operational plan provides a more precise number that can be used to measure the success of a strategic plan. If the operational budget is more than the strategic plan provides for, then the company needs to exert more effort to bring the two numbers more in line. ” (Rosemary Peavler, 2012) Budgets are a valuable instrument for businesses to use to help evaluate the performance of their firm at the end of the time period that the budget covers. Businesses should look at actual expenses, for instance, compared to budgeted, or planned, expenditures.

By doing this, the business can see how much actual expenses assorted from intended expenses in order to improve the budgeting process in the next time period. Businesses also use budgets for the idea of control. If businesses have a master budget to track, then they can carefully manage expenditures during the time period of the budget by evaluating them to the master budget. Budgets help avoid overspending. The budget also gives the company a target to use by which to evaluate the firm. Not only can expenditures be monitored, but so can income inputs. Some disadvantages of budgeting are staff time devoted to budgets bears a potential opportunity cost.

The time these workers give to the budgeting process means they are not accessible to accomplish other tasks and responsibilities. There are Errors and imprecision that will always remain since it is unfeasible to forecast the future. There are major external events, such as, rising energy prices or the worldwide recession that may disfigure the whole process. Budgets also involve and affect people therefore they could be basis for conflict since there may be complicated decisions over where restricted funds are spent. Some departments with tight budgets could feel constrained. Therefore, this will carry the risk of frustrating initiative and enterprise.

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