Flexible Budgeting


But it’s worthwhile, and the best place to start is with flexibility.

Owners and managers use budgets to plan and allocate company resources. Most use a static budget, which contains fixed revenue and expense estimates by category.

The variable portion of the COGS equals 34 percent times $2 million or $680,000. At $2 million in revenue, the total budgeted COGS equals $680,000 plus $75,000, for a total of $755,000. It is important to understand your manufacturing and overhead costs if you wish to know your true costs of sales. A flexible budget recalculates your production and overhead costs based on sales data or units sold. You can review these numbers each month to determine which of your products are providing the best profit margins, helping you determine whether it is cost effective to keep producing them.

What is commonly considered a flexible expense?

Security deposit covers the rent for the first month when moving an apartment. A common flexible expense associated with apartment renting. Security. A deposite refers to money held to cover possible damage in an apartment.

What Is Flexible Budget

Because it is difficult to create a perfect forecast, it is common for variations to happen. Understanding variances and narrowing down cost drivers can be difficult and time-consuming, which is where the flexible budget becomes useful.

A flexible budget cannot be preloaded into the accounting software for comparison to the financial statements. Only then is it possible to issue financial statements that contain budget versus actual information, which delays the issuance of financial statements. The company needs to identify the number of what are retained earnings units actually sold. The company’s identification of units actually sold must reflect only the product being examined and sales that were completed during the relevant budget period. Considering different products, incomplete sales, and the wrong time periods will result in an inaccurate flexible budget.

This can only be done upon completion of an accounting period to be able to issue financial statements that compare actual and budgeted figures. In order to predict how changes in costs are likely to affect output, a business must be able to identify fixed and variable costs.

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To prepare the flexible budget, the units will change to 17,500 trucks, and the actual sales level and the selling price will remain the same. Given that the variance is unfavorable, management knows the trucks were sold at a price below the $15 budgeted selling price. Flexible budgets act as a benchmark by setting expenditure at various levels of activity. And the estimates of expenses developed via a flexible budget helps in comparing the actual cost incurred for that level of activity. Hence any variance identified helps in better planning and controlling. The flexible budget responds to changes in activity and generally provides a better tool for performance evaluation. Fixed factory overhead is the same no matter the activity level, and variable costs are a direct function of observed activity.

What Is a Flexible Budget

A flexible budget acts as an ideal financial planning tool in business settings whereby costs are closely aligned to underlying business activities. Retail environments would be ideal in this case whereby any overhead activity or cost can be separated and treated as if they were a fixed cost. They work well for evaluating performance when the planned level of activity is the same as the actual level of activity, or when the budget report is prepared for fixed costs. However, if actual performance in a given month or quarter is different from the planned amount, it is difficult to determine whether costs were controlled. Actual net income is unfavorable compared to the budget. What is not known from looking at it is why the variances occurred. These are the kinds of questions management needs answers to.

Importance Of Flexible Budget

What Is a Flexible Budget

To effectively evaluate the restaurant’s performance in controlling costs, management must use a budget prepared for the actual level of activity. This does not mean management ignores differences in sales level, or customers eating in a restaurant, because those differences and the management actions that caused them need to be evaluated, too. A flexible budget is a budget that adjusts to the activity or volume levels of a company. Unlike a static budget, which does not change from the amounts established when the budget was created, a flexible budget continuously “flexes” with a business’s variations in costs. This type of budgeting often includes variable rates per unit rather than a fixed amount, which allows a company to anticipate potential increases or decreases in monetary needs. A flexible budget is an estimate of revenues and expenses that is prepared for a budgeted activity level and allowed to vary as the activity level changes in the actual results.

It helps in setting the expected costs, revenues, and profitability of the business. Further, since the flexible budget is not rigid, it can be adjusted according to the actual activity level at the end of the accounting period and used for variance analysis. The management can determine the performance of various departments based on variances determined. A flexible budget computes budgeted costs and revenues by analyzing the actual level of output in the same budget period. The flexible budget is calculated based on actual production, in contrast to the static budget, which is based on projections and does not change even if a significant event happens during production.

The table below shows the calculations for units produced at 70% capacity and calculates the variable cost per unit for all variable costs. In this method, the budget takes a tablet form, where horizontal columns represent the different levels of activity or capacity. And, the vertical rows represent the budgeted estimates against the different levels of activity or output. The expenses categorized into fixed, variable, and semi-variable costs.

Step 2: Identify Fixed And Variable Costs For The Period

This budget can be prepared even if the activity level is not decided since fixed costs are already known to every department and variable costs can be approved https://www.bookstime.com/ as a percentage of sales per unit. The flexible budget can be used for the determination of budgeted sales, costs, and profits at different activity levels.

Making a prediction based on these resources can be difficult. It is quite difficult to prepare and requires experts for its preparation. It is for this reason that many companies do not prepare this budget. Megan O’Brien is Brainyard’s business & finance editor, covering the latest trends in strategy for CFOs.

In a flexible budget, there is no comparison of budgeted to actual revenues, since the two numbers are the same. The model is designed to match actual expenses to expected expenses, not to compare revenue levels. There is no way to highlight whether actual revenues are above or below expectations. In short, a flexible budget gives a company a tool for comparing actual to budgeted performance at many levels of activity. At its simplest, the flexible budget alters those expenses that vary directly with revenues. There is typically a percentage built into the model that is multiplied by actual revenues to arrive at what expenses should be at a stated revenue level.

You should be creating flexible budgets, not static ones. Flexible budgets have distinct advantages over static budgets. After you get used to flexible budgets, they will become one of your favorite management tools. This is because not all costs a company may incur are variable and must be input into the budget as a fixed cost. Calculating each category and determining the type of cost it requires can be difficult and take time. Because a flexible budget adjusts regularly to reflect a company’s current revenue, this type of budget cannot be used to compare actual expenses or revenue to expected expenses or revenue. This can make it difficult to determine if a company’s revenue is above or below what was expected.

A flexible budget is a revised master budget that represents expected costs given actual sales. Costs in the flexible budget are compared to actual costs to evaluate performance. It further determines that the direct labor portion of this cost and the delivery and storage costs remain relatively fixed at $300,000 per year. To calculate the variable portion of COGS as a percentage of revenue, the company divides $1.7 million by $5 million, which gives 34 percent of revenue. Therefore, total budgeted COGS equal $300,000 plus 34 percent of revenues.

The second column lists the variable costs as a percentage or unit rate and the total fixed costs. The next three columns list different levels of output and the changes in variable costs based on the increased or decreased sales. Company B has budgeted for $5 million in revenue and $1 million in cost of goods sold. The company has determined that $400,000 of the $1 million of the cost of goods sold is fixed and $600,000 of the cost of goods sold will vary based on its revenue. This means that the variable, or flexible, the amount of cost of goods sold is 12% of the company’s revenue.

A flexible budget provides budgeted data for different levels of activity. Another way of thinking of a flexible budget is a number of static budgets. For example, a restaurant may serve 100, 150, or 300 customers online bookkeeping an evening. If a budget is prepared assuming 100 customers will be served, how will the managers be evaluated if 300 customers are served? Similar scenarios exist with merchandising and manufacturing companies.

1 Flexible Budgets

StockMaster is here to help you understand investing and personal finance, so you can learn how to invest, start a business, and make money online. provide an assessment of what those inputs should cost and are the predetermined expectation of the inputs necessary to achieve a unit of output. [Actual quantity of input – Standard quantity of input allowed for the actual # of outputs] x Standard price per input unit. is the difference between the actual and standard quantity of inputs allowed multiplied by the standard price of input.

What Is a Flexible Budget

However, there is a potential shortcoming in using static budgets for performance evaluation. Specifically, when the actual output varies from the anticipated level, variances are likely to arise. Flexible budgets can also be used after an accounting period to evaluate the successful areas and unsuccessful areas of the last period performance. Management Flexible Budget carefully compares the budgeted numbers with the actual performance statistics to see where the company improved and where the company needs more improvement. Suppose material costs for a product suddenly increase during the year, making this item unprofitable. A flexible budget would spot this variance, and management could take corrective actions.

  • A budget that considers different levels of production or sales.
  • a BUDGET that is designed to change in accordance with the level of activity actually attained, so that it allows for the variation in COSTS associated with changes in output volume.
  • The budget must allow for variation in plant utilization by distinguishing between FIXED COSTS, VARIABLE COSTS and SEMI-VARIABLE COSTS and their relationship to output.
  • The costs associated with running a manufacturing plant, for instance, at 50% of capacity are different from running it at 70% or 100% capacity.

There are two types of budgets namely fixed budget and flexible budget. The flexible budget will vary with each activity level and adjusted when the actual activity level is determined. Thus, the cost contra asset account manager can use a flexible budget as a reference tool for measuring the variance with the actual performance and result. Flexible budgets are one way companies deal with different levels of activity.

We can use any of these three methods for the preparation of the budget. But, the method selected must serve the purpose of the development of such a budget. Prediction can be highly volatile as it depends upon factors of production which are beyond managerial controls. Therefore, the forecast may not be accurate all the time. It helps to set the prices and quotations for a business contract. Let us consider firm M wants to determine the cost of electricity and supplies cost for its factory. Our priority at The Blueprint is helping businesses find the best solutions to improve their bottom lines and make owners smarter, happier, and richer.


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