Budgetary Control Essay

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Budgetary control is part of overall organisation control and is concerned primarily with the control of performance. The use of budgetary control in performance management has of late taken on greater importance especially as a more integrative control mechanism for the organisation. Discuss.

“It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it” (George W. Busch 2005). This definition of a budget can be supplemented using the Oxford dictionary, which states that a budget is an estimate of income and expenditures for a set period of time. Nowadays almost every business uses budgets and managers use them as a tool in order to set targets. In other words managers can, with the use of budgets, explain in a financial way what are the
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The 20’s century saw the use of budget involve due to a change in the environment. Indeed the control of output used to be obtained by the dissemination of tasks and so traditional budgets were very much highlighted, with a significant top-down influence. As an example of the importance of budget in the 1970’s IBM had about 3,000 people involved in their budgetary process. During the same period, the oil crisis brought concerns about rising in costs and led to the introduction of zero-based budgeting (ZBB), which can lower cost by avoiding blanket increases or decreases to a prior period’s budget. The increase in business uncertainties was in discrepancy with the stifling effect of fixed plans, promoting the use of rolling budgets. The 1990’s saw the growing influence of shareholders and steered the focus on a budget that included a wider view of organisation results, answering the investment community for quarterly updates on results and expectations (Bill Ryan, 2005). Budgets then started being used as a communication tool between the financial community and the organisation, allowing the corporation to be integrated in the capital market. Moreover companies started using flexible budgets rather than static budgets as nowadays various levels of activities can be observed in most organisations. The use of flexible budgets then enables firms to be consistent with their new environment and the market.
The current environment
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