Budgeting serves a number of useful purposes. These include:
➢ Performance evaluation
The generally purpose of budgeting is to estimate and predict the future financial performances.
There are different types of budgeting, which are incremental budgeting, zero based budgeting; priority based budgeting and rolling budgeting. The format of preparing budgeting may be similar but each of the basic approaches has relative advantages and disadvantages.
Incremental budgeting is also known as traditional or annual budgeting. It’s a method of budgeting based on the past and actual results, for example adjusting for known changes and inflation (CIMA official terminology, 2005). It is also used as a base for preparing budgets with additional amounts added to the current budgetary periods. The idea of incremental budgeting is that it is easy to understand thus it is easy to operate.
Incremental budgeting has several advantages. It is simple and easy to prepare. The method is consistent with the line of authority and responsibility in the organisational unit which can be applied to any organisations whether big, small or medium sized because of its flexibility. The main advantage is that it is much more straightforward than ZBB or using rolling budgeting (Drury, 2009). It conserves time and energy, it give better and general understanding which is accepted by government board members and legislators (Smart, 2004).
However, incremental budgeting continues to fail to meet today’s business demands. The major criticism is that incremental budgeting process is incapable of meeting the demands of the new competitive environment. Thus, the cost of non-unit level activities becomes fixed and inefficient. It also encourages wasteful spending which makes it difficult to maintain the main concept of budgeting. When the budgets does not relate with the past working activity level, it tends to become outdated. With this form of budgeting, there are no incentives because it tends to be a percentage of increase in budgets yearly. It also does not consider changes in the priorities of a company, from the previously set budget therefore creating disappointments (Drury, 2009).
The problems with incremental budgeting have given a rise to new method of budgeting such as rolling budget. Rolling budget can be define as a budget that is updated continuously, increasing a further accounting period (month or quarter) when the newest accounting period is outdated. Its use is specifically good where future costs or activities cannot be predicted correctly (CIMA official terminology 2005). Rolling budget is reliable because it allows for update of the budget every time there is subsequent deficit in budget (due to economic increase or decrease).
Rolling budget is reassessed regularly which makes it more realistic and accurate compared to annual budgeting. The uncertainty of rolling budgets is lessen since it is revised regularly. Therefore it can be said to be very useful in period of an increase in inflation. The planning and...