2.1 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
A budget is defined by the Institute of Cost and management Accountants as planned outcome to be generated and for the expenditure to ensure during that period and the capital to be employed to attain a given objective.
Ezeugwu (1999), defined a budget as a quantitative plan of action of how to carry out an operation/process by a business/establishment.
Osisioma (1989), defined a budget as a different phases of business operation aimed at helping management towards the attainment of organizational objectives.
Horngren and Foster (1987), see a budget as a quantitative expression of a plan of action and an aid to coordination and implementation. Matz and Ivory described a budget simply as a plan expressed in a financial and other quantitative terms and stressed that the terms “Budgeting, Profit and Planning” are synonymous. Pogues opined that a budget is a plan or target I the form of a quantitative statement for a specified time-span. He stated that a budget for the future time-span attempts to look over the hill into the future t where the business hopes to be in a future period of time and how it intends to get there. The budget, therefore, attempt to look at tomorrow business world (in a short time frame) and management is forced to think a tomorrow’s opportunities.
Budget was also described as comprehensive and co-ordinated plan, expressed in financial terms, for the operations and resources of an enterprise for some specifies period in future. A budget involves every level of activity integrating revenue plans, expense plans, asset requirements and financing needs.
To Pandey (1985) a budget is a plan of the organization’s manipulation of relevant variables (controllable and uncontrollable) and reduces the impact of uncertainty. It activates the management into influencing the environment in the interest of the organization.
According to Osisioma (1989) a budget has a number of characteristics, namely.
It is a plan of action
The plan is stated in quantitative or financial terms or both.
It is prepared prior to a defined period of time for the control of performance within the period.
It states performance expectations over a defined period of time, in different phases of business operation – sales, production, marketing and so on.
It integrates the resources and costs of an organization, to plan for anticipated level of performance.
It is aimed at the attainment of organizational objectives
From the foregoing, it could be seen that a budget is a quantitative state of plans in a future period. The process of preparing budget is known as budgeting.
Planning, according to Osisioma (1989) is the management function concerned with the identification of objectives and target and, the selection of policies and methods necessary to achieve those objectives. Planning is a process of deciding what action should be taken in the future Furthermore, it was defined by Homgren and Foster as the delineating of goals, predictions of potentials, results under various ways of attain described results. The purpose of business planning is to minimize uncertainty about the future and through co-ordination of plans to increase the chances of making a satisfactory profit. Planning is, therefore, required at all levels of an organisation, departmental/sectional plan must synchronize in order to achieve the broad objectives of the organisation.
Controlling as a management function which according to Matz and Usry is the measurement and correction of performance of activities of subordinates in order to make sure that enterprise objectives and the plans devise to attain them are being accomplished. Meigs concurred with this view or the managerial controls includes, planning, action, reporting and evaluation. They explain that planning is the setting of organizational objective standards of performance and choosing among alternative course of action while action is to see that the plans are put into effect and that policies are followed reporting in the ensuring of the results of actions taken and evaluation represents the accessing of the quality of performance and taking necessary steps to correct deviation from plans.
Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (1975) defined budgetary control as the establishment of departmental budgets relating the responsibilities of the executives to the requirements of policy and continuously comparing actual with budgeted results either to secure by individual action the objective of that policy or to provide a basis for it revision.
According to Anthony (1970), control is a process by which management assures itself that so far is possible, actions taken by the members of the organization conform the management’s plans and policies. Control is seen by Osisioma as the regulation of activities of an organization so that performances are in accordance with the functions of management. According to Shim and Siegel â€œat the beginning of the period, the budget is a plan or standard, at the end of the period. It serves as a control device to help management measures whether its performance may be improved. However, it has been said that a good control, planning, according to Lucey (1996), is concerned with internal resource allocation to achieve certain objectives whereas control is concerned with the task of co-ordinating and using the allocated resources (labour, machine, space and finance) to achieve predetermine level of efficiency. He is of the opinion that there are very real practical problems in developing separated budgets but it remains that a single budget used for planning and control, which appear to be the norm, is attempting to achieve two different objectives which may conflict.
The above notwithstanding, budgeting is very essential in all organizations in order to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations. Budgeting is means whereas planning and control are the yardstick for achieving corporate goals.
2.1.1 TYPES OF BUDGETS FOR PLANNING AND CONTROL
Generally, there must be avenues for achieving an end and these avenues relates to the forms, processes and methods involved, Consequently, the planning and control activities of businesses and organizations are achieved through various forms of budgets through which planning and control are effected.
The two used types of budgets are fixed and flexible However, some organizations use other types of budgets called continuous budgeting.
2.1.2 FIXED BUDGET
Fixed budgets, according to Pogue (l987), is a budget based on one level of activity to which the various costs are related thus material, labour and overhead cost are related to one level of activity. He is of the view that the control costs are difficult with fixed budget because its actual activity is different from budgeted activity, then the budgeted cost or yardstick costs by which actual cost are measured and variances calculated are meaningless.
Lucey (1996) defined a fixed budget as one which is designed to remain unchanged irrespective of the volume of output. The fixed budget is a single budget with no provision for adjustment. Because many businesses cannot predict accurately, their future activities as a result of fluctuations in their mode of operation, the fixed budget is of little importance to management.
If there is a significant difference between actual and planned level of activity such situation demands a performance evaluation. Such situation demands that a performance report be prepared after the act to show what revenue and costs should have been at the level of activity.
2.1.3 FLEXIBLE BUDGET
Flexible budgets on the other hand estimates costs at several level of activity. The purpose of flexible budget as described by Anyigbo (1999) is to present the quantification and monetary values of cost and benefits that are attributable to varying levels or volume of business activities. It is also entails the direction of the overhead costs so as to establish the variable and fixed components and determination of the extent to which these cost will vary remain constant within the normal range of operational activities. Flexible budgets recognize the different behaviourial pattern of cost in relation to the various output levels.
It is note worthy to state that a company with a steady production run but seasonal, uncertain sales businesses may be by the choices of the managing director. A comprehensive budgeting system consists of the preparation of a master budget with a complete package of the component budgets consisting of three main types: Operating budgets, financial budgets and Capital budgets.
2.1.4 OPERATING BUDGET
Operating budgets relate to the planning of activities operations of the enterprise, such as production, sales and purchases, they are concerned primarily with specified physical activities, for an instance, the sales budget s distributed to the sales division while the production budget is sent to the production department etc.
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