Introduction to the Budget Register

The budgeting process is a means of planning future revenue and expenditure. Once you have decided your company's goals and objectives for a future period, the budgeting process should help you plan how much you need to spend to achieve those objectives, what you should spend it on and how you will fund that expenditure.

Once you have completed the planning process and the fiscal year has begun, you can then use your budgets to monitor your company's performance. Regular reporting will bring any variations from the budget to your attention, which you can then investigate. For example, a shortfall in sales will quickly be revealed if you routinely compare actual sales to budget. Investigation may reveal changing market conditions: you can then both change the focus of your sales force if necessary, and you can adjust your expenditure plans to compensate for the reduced funding.

The Budget register in Standard ERP allows you to enter detailed Budgets for each Account. You can also use Tags/Objects to break these Budgets down by department or other cost centre. You can enter Budgets for a period (e.g. one year) and then divide them into sub-periods (e.g. calendar months, quarters or four-week periods).

Once you have finalised a Budget, you can change it at any time during the current accounting year. This may be tempting if the actual performance begins to differ greatly from the Budget. It is, however, advisable to leave the Budget unchanged. Changing a Budget will mean that the original planning objectives will be lost. You will no longer be able to compare performance to budget as the year progresses, and so the divergence from the original plan may increase. Simply explaining the divergence as poor budgeting may also hide the real cause. Changing a Budget will also prevent a realistic evaluation of the quality of the budgeting process. More than just predicting the future, budgeting is a way of planning that future. Good budgeting is a sign that the manager or company both understands their business and market and knows how to plan for and achieve objectives.

If you do need to make changes to a Budget during the current year, you should therefore not change the Budget itself. Instead, you should record the changes in the Revised Budget register provided for this purpose. To encourage this practice, you can mark each Budget record as OK, after which you will not be able to change it.

Having entered your Budgets, three reports allow you to compare Budgets (or Revised Budgets) with actual figures: the Balance Sheet, the Nominal Ledger report, the Tag/Object/Quantity Results report (which provides this analysis separately for each Account-Tag/Object combination) and the Profit & Loss report.

The Budget register in Standard ERP:


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