A D V E R T I S E M E N T
This chapter deals with
preparing and using budgets. When preparing budgets managers won't be looking
at specifics, they will look at the big picture.
They won't look at something like the route a delivery driver
takes each day. They will be more concerned with the total monthly fuel costs
for all the delivery trucks. The manager in charge of delivery trucks and
drivers will be responsible for controlling delivery costs and working within
the fuel budget for the month.
Any single budget will benefit a company. Several budgets can
help even more. This chapter shows how to prepare a number of monthly budgets
that fit together into a unified set. They give management the ability to manage
various aspects of the business on both a short term and long term basis.
Operating busiest are very short term, and deal with
production and costs over the coming month. Capital budgets deal with the
purchase of land, buildings and major machinery. These things don't happen every
day, so capital budgets might span over many years. Budgets will span a time
period relevant to the type of decision that relates to that budget. Short term
decisions will use short term budgeting; long term decisions will use long term
The monthly budget should be prepared in a certain order.
This order follows a logical sequence to manage production and delivery of
The logical order should be clear to see. The sales department
must forecast the demand for the company's products. Now that they know how much
to make, the production schedule and manufacturing cost budget can be prepared.
The production schedule budgets labor, machinery and materials into the
production process in terms of units, not dollars. The manufacturing cost budget
shows the cost of the inputs calculated in the production schedule.
- Sales forecast
- Production schedule
- Manufacturing cost budget
- Cost of Goods Sold and ending inventory budgets
- Operating expense budget
The COGS budget shows how much gross profit the company can
expect to be generated by the month's production. The ending inventory budget
shows the reserve of products that will be on hand to start the next month.
Finally the operating expense budget will examine all the other monthly costs of
running the factory.
After preparing the short term budget, managers can update
the capital expenditures budget, and update the budgeted financial statements.
There are three elements to the budgeting process:
- planning and budgeting before production,
- overseeing production and operations during the month,
- month end budget to actual analysis, and review of the
There are two basic types of budgeting: static and flexible. A
static budget assumes a set level of production. A flexible budget uses standard
costs, and is adjusted relative to actual production. A flexible budget is a
much better analysis tool. Static budgets rarely produce reliable results.
Static budgets are widely used in government accounting, where results are less
important, but staying within a legal budget is mandatory.
Flexible budgeting starts with standard costs. After
estimating sales and preparing a production schedule, the flexible budget can be
prepared. The manufacturing and operating cost budgets can be prepared using
flexible budgeting. The sales forecast can also be prepared using flexible
The critical thing about flexible budgeting is the reporting
that happens at the end of the month. After production, a budget to actual cost
analysis is prepared, adjusted for the actual production that month. Favorable
and unfavorable variances are identified and can be analyzed.
Computer spreadsheet programs are a great tool for preparing
flexible budgets. Once a budget template is created, the same format and
formulae can be used over and over again, by simply updating a few pieces of
information. A set of flexible budget worksheets can be combined, and linked
together, so beginning and ending amounts automatically flow from one month to