Essentials of Effective Budgeting:
A budgetary control system can prove successful only when certain conditions and attitudes exist, absence of which will negate to a large extent the value of a budget system in any business. Such conditions and attitudes which are essential for effective budgeting are as follows:
a) Support of Top Management: If the budget system is to be successful, it must be fully supported by every member of the management and the impetus and direction must come from the very top management. No control system can be effective unless the organisation is convinced that the top management considers the system to be import.
b) Participation by Responsible Executives: Those entrusted with the performance of the budgets should participate in the process of setting the budget figures. This will ensure proper implementation of budget programmes.
c) Reasonable Goals: The budget figures should be realistic and represent reasonably attainable goals. The responsible executives should agree that the budget goals are reasonable and attainable.
d) Clearly Defined Organisation: In order to derive maximum benefits from the budget system, well defined responsibility centers should be built up within the organisation. The controllable costs for each responsibility centres should be separately shown.
e) Continuous Budget Education: The best way to ensure the active interest of the responsible supervisors is continuous budget education in respect of objectives, potentials & techniques of budgeting. This may be accomplished through written manuals, meetings etc., whereby preparation of budgets, actual results achieved etc., may be discussed.
f) Adequate Accounting System: There is close relationship between budgeting and accounting. For the preparation of budgets, one has to depend on the accounting department for reliable historical data which primarily forms the basis for many estimates. The accounting system should be so designed so as to set up accounts in terms of areas of managerial responsibility. In other words, responsibility accounting is essential for successful budgetary control.
g) Constant Vigilance: Reports comparing budget and actual results should be promptly prepared and special attention focused on significant exceptions i.e. figures that are significantly different from those expected.
h) Maximum Profit: The ultimate object of realizing the maximum profit should always be kept uppermost.
i) Cost of the System: The budget system should not cost more than it is worth. Since it is not practicable to calculate exactly what a budget system is worth, it only implies a caution against adding expensive refinements unless their value clearly justifies them.
j) Integration with Standard Costing System: Where standard costing system is also used, it should be completely integrated with the budget programme, in respect of both budget preparation and variance analysis.