Does traditional budgeting work in modern business? Essay

The essay below is an effort to analyze the issue of Traditional budgeting and discusses the fact that how now-a-days formal, traditional budgeting does non turn out rather disposed for modern concerns. To get down with, the essay will give a brief account of what is a budget and what is budgeting. This will be followed by a short note on modern budgeting and there will be a concise initiation on traditional budgeting. Furthermore, the essay will throw visible radiation on the strengths and failings of traditional budgeting ; following which it will explicate and measure the options to traditional budgeting in modern concerns.

“ A budget is a concern program for the short term-typically one twelvemonth ” ( Atrill & A ; McLaney,2007 ) . It is chiefly expressed in fiscal footings and it is designed to run into strategic intents. Budgeting plays a critical function in concern success as it helps in the organisation ‘s operational planning, public presentation rating, communicating of ends, scheme formation, and commanding cost which helps the organisation to accomplish its overall nonsubjective. But it seems it is unsuitable for the modern business.The term ‘modern concern ‘ bases for a concern which operates in a planetary economic system and practises all modern techniques to last in a extremely competitory environment. In today ‘s epoch of information engineering, it is impossible for a concern to vie globally without uninterrupted invention, updated information and controlled activity.

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In direction accounting, budgeting is rather a huge and of import construct.

There are different sorts of budgeting. The essay will now concentrate on Traditional budgeting and its working in modern concerns.

What is traditional budgeting?

Budget is a portion of strategic planning procedure. It lays down concern aims, marks and decides activities required to accomplish these aims. Traditional budgeting is based on old twelvemonth informations, determinations, unsure estimations and prognosis ( Drury,2009 ) .Traditional budgeting is fundamentally one twelvemonth planning which lays down marks for the concern and at the terminal of the twelvemonth these marks are compared with existent consequences and divergences, if any, are reported to the budgeting squad which uses them as an of import beginning of information for current twelvemonth budgeting. Traditional budgeting creates boundaries for the concern operations and sets marks for its employees, which motivates employees to work hard and gain wagess for their accomplishment.

Importance of Traditional Budgeting:

Kennedy and Dugdale ( 1999 ) in his survey on budgeting found out that 99 % of all companies in Europe still utilizing formal budgeting system. Budgeting provides a way which can be used as a model for planning and commanding the overall activity of the concern. Budgeting is frequently used as an of import tool for commanding cost and outgo of the concern, which is really indispensable for an organisation to last in a competitory universe. It is besides used as a tool to keep liquidity place of the house by fiting concern gross against outgo, which gives an existent place and demand of hard currency at a definite clip period. Kennedy and Dugdale ( 2009 ) in his survey besides points out that it is the multiple map of budgeting which makes it an of import tool for direction. Budgeting provides a system of mandate, a agencies of prediction and planning, it besides provides a channel of communicating and coordination through which the actions of different parts of an organisation can be brought together and reconciled into a common program. Kennedy ‘s survey besides states that budgeting serves as a tool of motive, a system of rating and control, which acts as a utile beginning of information for decision- devising.

Restrictions of Traditional budgeting:

Budgeting is ever being criticized for its high cost and the longer clip it takes for its readying. These two restrictions are ever a point of consideration for modern concern organisations, which require a long working of fiscal directors and which incurs heavy charges on the company. In add-on to this, budgeting is criticized in many other facets as good. Dugdale and Lyne ( 2006 ) in his survey on budgeting points out that budgeting being an of import tool for an organisation has many restrictions like, it meets merely the lowest marks, it uses more resources than required, it competes against other divisions, concern units and sections, besides it spends merely what is in the budget, provides inaccurate prognosiss, has motivations merely to run into the budget but non to crush it and eventually it besides avoids hazard component. Bourne et Al. ( 2002 ) conducted a study on restrictions of traditional budgeting in which he criticizes traditional budgeting on a figure of issues. From the study consequence, he pointed out the following unfavorable judgments against budgeting ; its clip consuming, dearly-won, restricts flexibleness in operation, its really frequently focused on mark and frequently misaligned with scheme, it focuses more on cost instead than value creative activity, it frequently encourages bet oning between higher-ups and subsidiaries, it is barely updated and is based on unrealistic premises and guessing which make it unsuitable for modern concern.

Traditional budgeting and modern concern:

‘Budgets have long had a bad imperativeness, but they have attracted even more flack catchers late for being at best inappropriate to modern concern pattern and at worst potentially harmful ‘ ( Marginson and Ogden,2005 ) . Hope ( 2000 ) , in his survey on traditional budgeting, points out four of import grounds of incapableness of traditional budgeting in modern concern. he pointed out that in modern concern, invention is more indispensable instead than incremental, focuses more on faster larning instead than faster working, client focal point is on merchandise satisfaction instead than increasing sale and knowledge- sharing and usage of endowment given more importance, instead than physical or fiscal capital. Modern concern requires invention along with cost economy in order to be competitory plenty to contend with its rival company.

Marginson and Ogden ( 2005 ) in his survey on budgeting and invention argues ‘how houses are equilibrating the demand to command costs on the one manus with the chase of invention on the other ‘ . That is, modern concern is an epoch of planetary concern and competition which requires uninterrupted invention and immense disbursement on R & A ; D for its endurance. And if modern concern follows the budgeting tool it will curtail the concern from passing a immense sum on invention and this becomes a major unfavorable judgment of budgeting. Hopes & A ; Fraser, 1999a, cited in Ekholm and Wallin ( 2000 ) added that ‘traditional budgeting is incapable of run intoing the demand of the competitory environment in the information age ‘ . This means, traditional budgeting is a utile accounting theoretical account with its focal point on bid and control but it lacks in supplying utile updated information like market alterations, alteration in gustatory sensation and penchant, alteration in engineering, etc. which makes traditional budgeting unsuitable for modern concern. Traditional budgeting is a clip devouring procedure and hence fails in reflecting alterations fails in the company ‘s organisation procedure. As a consequence it ‘produces unequal discrepancy studies go forthing the how and when inquiry unanswered ‘ . That is, it ignores stockholders value and focuses more on short term fiscal Numberss. It follows a hazard avoiding civilization and hence faces a false sense of security as a annually, stiff procedure and as being a plaything of the accounting section. ( Hopes & A ; Fraser, 1999a, cited in Ekholm and Wallin, 2000 ) . Ekholm and wallin ( 2000 ) in his survey about budget found out that traditional budget seems to be a load, and hence must be removed from fiscal studies, before bettering fiscal public presentation.

Dugdale and Lyne ( 2006 ) say that if companies want to run into the modern concern challenges so they must level their ‘ stiff bid and control construction, which means trashing their budget and should follow a policy of extremist decentalisation and implement appropriate cardinal public presentation indexs, scorecards and turn overing prognosis. ‘

Options to budgeting:

Traditional budgeting is described as a “ Bane of Corporate America ” and a “ tool of repression ” , by modern concerns which look for options.

Rolling prognosiss produced on a monthly or quarterly footing, are suggested to be the chief option to the one-year budget ( Arterion 1998, Hope and Fraser 1990-20 cited in Ekholm and Wallin, 2000 ) . Restrictions of traditional budgeting give rise to many beyond budgeting techniques. Faning ( 2000 ) , in his article titled ‘evolution or Revolution ‘ , explained beyond budgeting as a technique that restrict gambling, focal points on other concern public presentation in add-on to fiscal public presentation and uses insightful prognosiss that accurately predict company ‘s public presentation for a shorter period of clip like, turn overing prognosis. In add-on there are some better budgeting techniques like, zero based budgeting, activity based budgeting, procedure based budgeting and public presentation based budgeting. Rolling forecast serves as a best alternate to traditional budgeting, as stated earlier. In this the budget is prepared for a short period of clip which ranges from a month to a twelvemonth. The chief advantage of this method is that it encourages the director of a company to look in front and reexamine their programs on a regular footing.

Zero based budgeting is besides emerged as a good option to incremental budgets. Unlike traditional budgeting nothing based budgeting justifies and prioritizes all the activities before apportioning sum of resources to them. In add-on it focuses on activities alternatively of functional section which is a characteristic of traditional budgeting ( Drury, 2008 ) .

Activity based budgeting ‘authorize the supply of merely those resources that are needed to execute activities required to run into the budget production and gross revenues volume ‘ . This overcome traditional budgeting restriction which works on incremental footing to foretell twelvemonth disbursals on the footing of last twelvemonth disbursals.

Traditional budget systems focus on outgos.

Performance Based Budgeting focal points on concluding consequence by repairing coveted public presentations end to each section. The intent of Performance-Based Budgeting is to supply a sound footing, upon which resource allotment determinations can be done ; to pass on the mensurable consequences expected to be achieved from a budget allotment ; and to construct a connexion between budget and plan public presentation consequences for the same operational unit over same period of measuring.

Importance of budgeting in modern concern:

Dugdale and Hanseen ( two authors ) from their survey on? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? happen out that in budgeting ; operational planning, public presentation rating, communicating of ends and scheme formation are the of import maps which help it in being alive in modern concern. Ekholm and Wallin ( 2000 ) from a questionnaire study on budgeting stated that traditional budgeting is needed in modern concern as it is an of import tool for keeping internal effectivity which is needed to keep long term equilibrium place of the company. He besides finds out that modern concern still requires traditional budgeting because its marks ca n’t be set for the people. This means that, no control and no public presentation rating can be done. Hanseen and Van der Stede ( 2004 ) from his survey on Multiple aspects of budgeting discoveries out that there are different grounds to budgeting like ‘market related public presentation ( gross revenues growing, market portion ) and internal operation related public presentation ( cost effectivity, quality ) , which seems to be of import ground for its broad usage in modern concern as it will assist company to accomplish competitory advantage over its challenger. Dugdale and Lyne ( 2006 ) as a decision of instance survey point out that budget is an of import tool to put resources bound for map such as service and R & A ; D, which will assist concern to do efficient usage of their limited resources that will take to success for a company in this competitory universe.


After a elaborate survey about budgeting it can be concluded here that, budgeting is an of import tool for any concern organisation which helps the organisation in operational planning, public presentation rating, communicating of end, scheme preparation and repairing marks which serve as a footing for organisational working and control. Inspite of its importance in organisation, its become a affair of great concern to alter or abandon traditional budgeting from modern concern. It is because of some budgeting restrictions which make it someway stiff to be used in flexible and compatible modern concern. It can be seen that traditional budgeting deficiencies in supplying updated information, flexible operations, restricts immense outgo on invention and in add-on to this, it is clip devouring and a dearly-won method, which binds a company to a 12 month understanding with budgeting outgo and income list which restrict flexibleness of modern concern. On the other manus, budgeting helps modern concerns in puting their marks for the twelvemonth and cost controlling steps which play a critical function in the competitory market.

So, seeing budgeting restrictions and benefits to modern concern, many economic experts and concern directors suggest that traditional budgeting is an of import tool which can non be to the full removed from an organisation but some alterations or beyond budgeting techniques like turn overing prognosis budgeting, zero based budgeting, activity based budgeting, procedure based budgeting and public presentation based budgeting, aid in work outing concern organisation job.


Atrill, P and McLaney, E. ( 2008 ) . ‘Accounting And Finance For Non- Specialists ‘ . England: FT Prentice Hall.

Bourne M, Neely A and Heyns H ( 2002 ) “ Lore Reform ” , Financial Management, January, p.23.

Drury, C. ( 2009 ) . ‘Management Accounting For Business’.UK: South- Western.

Dugdale, D. and Lyne, s. ( 2006 ) ” Are budgets still needed? “ , Financial Management, November, pp 32-35.

Ekholm B and Wallin J ( 2000 ) , ‘Is the one-year budget truly dead? ‘ The European Accounting Review, volume 9, figure 4, pages 519-539.

Faning J ( 2000 ) ‘Evolution or Revolution? ‘ , Accountancy, October.

Hansen, S.C. and Van der Stede, W.A. ( 2004 ) , ‘Multiple aspects of budgeting: an explorative analysis ‘ , Management Accounting Research vol. 15, pp 415-439.

Hope T ( 2000 ) , ‘Conflict Resolution ‘ , Accountancy, November.

Kennedy A and Dugdale D ( 1999 ) , ‘Getting the most from budgeting ‘ , Management Accounting, February.

Maginson, D. and Orden, S. ( 2005 ) ” Budgeting and Innovation ” , Financial Management, April, pp 29-31.


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