Budgeting - A Budget is a plan expressed in financial terms.

Essay by ridhaUniversity, Bachelor's March 2005

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A Budget is a plan expressed in financial terms.

C.I.M.A. defines a budget as 'A plan quantified in monetary terms, prepared prior to a defined period of time... to attain a given objective', A budget is normally for a relatively short period, e.g. 1 year.

Purposes of Budgeting

A number of purposes of budgeting have been identified. They include:

1.         Planning.

2.         Resource Allocation.

3.         Co-ordination.

4.         Control.

5.         Communication.

6.         Motivation.

7.         Performance Evaluation.

Budgetary Control

This is a system which uses budgets as a means of controlling the activities of the organisation. It has three main aspects:-

1.         Planning.

2.         Co-ordination.

3.         Control.


Budgetary planning is the process of preparing detailed, short-term plans for all the functions, departments and activities of the organisation. It is important that the short-term plans and objectives that make up the budget are related to the long-term plan and objectives of the organisation.

The budget may be drawn up by preparing an overall budget for the organisation which is then broken down into more detailed budgets for the different parts of the organisation [the top-down approach] or by devising budgets for the various parts of the organisation and then bringing them together to build up the overall budget [the bottom up approach].

Extrapolations, Forecasts and Plans

In discussing budgetary planning it is important to distinguish between extrapolations, forecasts and plans.

An extrapolation is the continued projection of an existing trend.

A forecast will be based on an extrapolation, but is adjusted to take account of any known factors which will affect the trend.

A plan involves some intervention by the organisation in order to modify events in such a way as to make it more likely that the organisation's objectives will be achieved.


It is vital that the plans of...